We recently sold our house in a busy commuter town to move to the country, as we are both able to work mostly from home and felt we could get a house for less and do something with the difference.

We did better than expected on the sale and, combined with our savings, have just under €150,000. We have no children and have reasonable workplace pensions in place. Have you any initial ideas about what we should do with this money?

– DG, Co Wicklow

Your move to the country is a great opportunity to broaden your horizons: not just the view when you wake up, but also financially.

With a six-figure sum to invest, you can build an attractive portfolio spanning several fields.

First, the basics

Of course there are basic questions about any investment like how long you’d like to invest for, how much risk you’re prepared to tolerate, and so forth. To get an idea of what’s possible, we’ll assume you’re happy to invest for at least five years, and that if the market fell by 15% over three months you would not feel the need to sell.

So what does your portfolio look like?

Investment funds should be the cornerstone. Funds invest your wealth across many different assets. That spreads your risk, and gives your money numerous opportunities to grow.

We’d suggest putting at least 60% of your money in equity funds – that is, funds which hold shares in companies.

A fund offering a broad spread of global companies is a valid home for a chunk of your money, giving your exposure to the world economy and a high degree of diversification.

Look further afield

But don’t be afraid to look further afield. With €150,000 to invest, you can be more selective in your choice of equity funds.

For example, technology companies have delivered great returns over the last decade. Often loss-making today, they promise strong profits in the future. They have their place in your portfolio. But there is value to be had in less talked-about areas. Value-oriented European businesses, which make profits today, are strongly positioned as the offline world reopens. Think global drinks companies, travel businesses, and luxury goods.

The remaining 40% of your money offers many possibilities. Historically, many investors would have put a lot of this money into government bonds. But with interest rates so low, many investors are looking for alternative ways to generate returns which are not closely correlated to your equity portfolio.

We’d suggest holding some gold and perhaps silver, as well as inflation-linked bonds (all easily done via a funds).

That alone will create an attractive, balanced portfolio for a five-year term, or longer. And if you’d like to take things further, you could introduce some other asset categories. Holdings in private equity, commercial property, music rights could bring a breath of fresh air to your lump sum investment.

This article is adapted from a Moneycube article which appeared in the Sunday Times on 13 June 2021.


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