UnaVida | Organising Your Investments and Pensions

Organising Your Investments and Pensions

How to Organize Investment and Pension Portfolios: A Comprehensive Guide


Every financial adviser and individual investor has a unique perspective on organizing investment and pension portfolios. This article explores the strategies employed by financial advisers, and individual investors and the role of investment platforms, lending platforms, and statistics in shaping these decisions.

Financial Advisers:

Financial advisers play a crucial role in guiding clients through the complexities of investment and pension planning. They often adhere to guidelines set by regulatory bodies like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). These guidelines emphasize aligning investments with a client’s risk profile and considering low-volatility options.

The choice of investments depends on whether advisers favor low-cost passive investments or actively managed funds. Investment trusts are sometimes overlooked due to perceived additional risks and complexity compared to unit trusts.

Individual Investors:

Individual investors, while seeking financial security, often stick to what they know, which may be limited. Their investment choices often include UK shares and a few overseas collective funds. Unfortunately, some investors hold onto underperforming shares while selling profitable ones without a full understanding of underlying factors.

Cost considerations, particularly management fees, are a significant focus for individual investors. However, it’s important to note that fees are just one aspect of a well-rounded investment decision-making process. Popular, well-established companies (blue chips) frequently make up the core of their investment portfolio.

Investment Platforms:

In the coming years, a substantial shift towards investment platforms or dashboards is expected. These platforms are favored by Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) for their efficiency in analyzing investments and real-time price monitoring, streamlining the decision-making process.

Clients unfamiliar with investment platforms often concentrate solely on membership charges and overlook the benefits. These platforms can negotiate lower initial and ongoing charges with investment funds, enhancing returns. Additionally, investors can access their portfolios globally through secure PIN numbers.

It’s worth mentioning that some platforms allow for a built-in adviser fee, which can be a point of concern for some individual investors.

Lending Platforms:

Lending platforms, also known as Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending, initially attracted retail investors seeking higher returns than traditional banks could offer. However, this sector has faced challenges due to a few unregulated platforms engaging in fraudulent activities. Potential investors should exercise caution and conduct thorough due diligence when considering P2P lending.

It’s essential to note that investments in unregulated P2P lending platforms may not offer investor compensation in the event of losses.


Studies have shown a notable “behavior gap” in investment returns. For example, between 1992 and 2012, the S&P 500 returned 8.21%, while the average investor achieved only 4.25%. This gap is attributed to emotional decision-making, which can lead to irrational choices and distorted facts.

Final Thoughts:

Organizing diversified investments, which may include various models and customized planning, can be challenging. Instead of exclusively opting for low-volatility investments, consider a balanced approach that includes higher-growth global investments to reduce overall risk.

Regarding investment trusts, they often outperform unit trusts over the long term. Selecting a high-performing investment trust can lead to substantial outperformance under normal market conditions.

Seek a Second Opinion:

To schedule a second opinion on your investments, contact our friendly team on 01189 347 920 or fill out our contact form. As a special offer, we will waive our normal first meeting fee if you bring a copy of this blog.


Diversification and Asset Allocation:

One of the fundamental principles of investment management, often emphasized by financial advisers, is diversification and asset allocation. Diversifying your investments across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and commodities, can help spread risk and enhance long-term returns. Financial advisers typically work closely with clients to determine the optimal asset allocation based on their financial goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon.

Risk Management:

Risk management is a paramount consideration for both financial advisers and individual investors. While financial advisers follow specific guidelines to match investments with a client’s risk profile, individual investors often rely on their intuition and experience. However, understanding risk and employing risk management strategies, such as setting stop-loss orders or using options and derivatives, can be crucial in protecting investment portfolios from significant losses.

Investment Horizon:

The investment horizon, or the length of time an investor plans to hold their investments, significantly influences portfolio construction. Financial advisers often help clients define their investment horizons, which can vary from short-term goals like buying a house to long-term objectives like retirement planning. Individual investors should also carefully consider their investment horizon when selecting assets and investment strategies.

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Investing:

In recent years, ESG investing has gained prominence as investors increasingly consider environmental, social, and governance factors when making investment decisions. Financial advisers often assist clients in integrating ESG criteria into their portfolios, aligning investments with their values and beliefs. Individual investors interested in ESG may explore options like socially responsible mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Tax-Efficient Investing:

Tax efficiency is a critical aspect of portfolio management. Financial advisers often provide guidance on tax-efficient strategies, such as utilizing tax-advantaged accounts like ISAs or 401(k)s, managing capital gains, and implementing tax-loss harvesting techniques. Individual investors can benefit from understanding these strategies to minimize their tax liabilities and maximize after-tax returns.

Regular Portfolio Review:

Both financial advisers and individual investors should regularly review their portfolios to ensure they remain aligned with their goals and risk tolerance. Rebalancing the portfolio, selling overperforming assets, and reinvesting in underperforming ones can help maintain the desired asset allocation and risk level.

Continuous Learning:

The world of finance and investing is ever-evolving, with new products, strategies, and market conditions emerging regularly. Financial advisers typically engage in continuous education to stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices. Individual investors can also benefit from ongoing learning, reading financial literature, and staying informed through reputable news sources to make informed investment decisions.

In conclusion, organising investment and pension portfolios is a worthwhile task that involves considerations like risk, diversification, asset allocation, and ethical factors. Whether you seek advice from a financial adviser or make decisions as an individual investor, a well-informed and thoughtful approach is key to achieving your financial goals.

Seek a Second Opinion:

To schedule a second opinion on your investments, contact our friendly team on 01189 347 920 or fill out our contact form. As a special offer, we will waive our normal first meeting fee if you bring a copy of this blog.


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A pension is a long-term investment that typically cannot be accessed until age 55 (57 from April 2028). The level of pension benefits offered could change depending on the value of your investments (and any income they may generate).

The interest rates in effect at the time you begin receiving benefits may also have an impact on your pension income. The tax consequences of pension withdrawals will depend on your unique situation. In later Finance Acts, tax rates, tax bases, and tax relief may change.

The opinions expressed by Ray Best are meant to inform and educate. Before making any investment decisions always take advice that is pertinent to your investment personality and financial situation.

You are aware that past performance will not necessarily be repeated in the future, but you should be aware that persistent poor performance invariably will.

The value of an investment and the income from it could go down as well as up.

The return at the end of the investment period is not guaranteed and you may get back less than you originally invested.

UnaVida Wealth Management Ltd. is directly authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (440577).

The guidance in this website is primarily aimed at a UK audience and is subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax planning, estate planning, or wills and any form of legal documentation.