Expert view: investing for the next 10 years

We asked the experts where they would put their money long term


Hong Kong World Markets

Where should you be putting your money long term? It's a good question, given current miserable savings rates and high stock markets valuations. So we asked the experts to reveal several ideas that could be worth a look.

Let's look at what options could potentially serve you well in the next 10 years - while also letting you sleep at night.

Note that that there is risk attached to any investment and you could lose some or all of your capital.

Look at healthcare

Jon Horton from Chamberlain de Broe suggests a modest exposure to healthcare could be worth a close look. "There are many drugs now that are set to be released onto the market that will provide cures for previously untreatable conditions."

US drug maker Gilead Sciences, he says, recently introduced a Hepatitis C treatment that could make £20bn in sales this year. "It's already breaking records. You can't say it's no risk but you're investing in areas which have strong rates of growth - think the mapping of the human genome. A whole rash of 'designer' drugs."

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Combo therapy

Patrick Connolly from Chase de Vere says a mixture of shares, fixed interest and property is well worth consideration. "We have had clients who have considerable amounts of cash and seen the real value of reduced by inflation. It's about moving into other assets."

While there's exposure to UK and global shares, a fixed interest element plus investment in property - as opposed to property shares - is a solid combination Connolly claims. "We invest in funds like Henderson UK Property, companies that invest in real bricks and mortar".

With the UK economy emerging out of recession, some investors are increasingly attracted to its yields, compared with cash and bonds.

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Track it down

Essex IFA Peter Chadborn is a big fan of passive index trackers. As long as you take a carefully-weighted approach to risk, then low-cost equity trackers should be a core feature of your long-term savings plan he says.

"Consider a risk-targeted portfolio which might take into account a basket of different trackers," he suggests. Chadborn is particularly keen on the Vanguard range of index tracking funds because of their passive investing structure, which should reduce your costs significantly over time.

He's also wary about investing in particularly sectors. "I wouldn't want to make a call on biotech versus financials, for example," he says. In other words, keep it simple and keep costs down.

World wide dividends for the taking

Chamberlain de Broe's Horton also says it's a good idea to get global if you're thinking of steady, solid dividend income, plus growth opportunities. Although many of the FTSE 100 companies make much of their earnings overseas, globalisation continues to press ahead.

It's also an opportunity to become less reliant on the FTSE 100. "Some private investors remain over-focused with an over-concentration of funds [in the FTSE 100]. Look to the likes of what happened to BP or the banks - what is considered to be low-risk for orphans and widows can produce quite high risk."

He goes on: "By not having exposure to global equity income, you're ignoring some great multinationals in France or the US or Germany. Try to have a basket of diverse funds."

Sit tight

Not the most exciting option. But wealth adviser Jonathan Spring-Rice from Towry says stock market crystal ball gazing is tricky. It's not about what you can afford to risk, but what you can afford to lose.

"You've got to have a reason to increase risk," he says. "Don't be driven too much by how low interest rates are currently. That's where some mistakes can be made. Ask yourself, what's the objective?"

In other words, be it retirement, a new car or a holiday. Have a hard think about whether you have enough in reserve should the house roof blow down before you invest. "Gold, equities, financials, all have done well historically. But it's about where you are now."

Investments carry a risk and could cost you some or all of your invested capital. As such they are not suitable for everyone. Please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved and do not invest money you cannot afford to lose

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