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Three ways to simplify investment ISA fund choices

11 February 2019

2 minute read

Choosing funds for your investment ISA can be difficult, particularly if you don’t know where to start. We look at three ways to simplify the process.

Who's this for? All investors

The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you could get back less than you invest. If you’re not sure about investing, seek professional independent advice.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to do your own fund research.
  • Where to find fund recommendations.
  • Why Ready-made Investments might appeal to investors.

Selecting funds for your ISA across different sectors and continents can be both time-consuming and tricky, especially as there are thousands of options to choose from.

However, there are ways to simplify the fund-picking process. Here, we consider three of them.

If you’re not confident making your own investment decisions, seek professional financial advice and remember that no matter which fund you choose, the value of your investment can fall as well as rise; you might get back less than you invest.

Doing your own research

Funds cover a range of asset classes, markets and geographies, so a good starting point is to think about the sectors or regions which you think may perform well over the long-term.

Remember that investing will only be suitable for you if you have a timeframe of at least five years, but preferably longer. That's because if there are any market downturns, hopefully this will provide enough time for your investments to recover, although there are no guarantees.

You may for example, decide you want to put money into a tracker fund which aims to replicate the performance of the FTSE 100 index of Britain’s biggest companies, or, alternatively, you might prefer to adopt a more global approach, investing in companies worldwide. Or, if you are interested in a particular sector, for example, technology or property, you may choose to invest in a fund specialising in this area.

Bear in mind that it’s important to ensure your portfolio is properly diversified across a wide range of asset types and sectors, so that if one investment performs badly, hopefully stronger returning investments will ideally make up for it. That means you may want to choose five or six different funds to hold in your ISA to help spread risk.

Learn more about how many funds you should hold in your portfolio

Our Research Centre offers a number of tools and resources to help you do your own research and find the right investments for your needs, whatever you’re interested in investing in. For example, you’ll find the top performing funds in the top sectors, over a range of recent time periods or the funds paying out the largest dividends,, as well as daily news and comment.

You can also use our main investment search to find funds by fund manager or sector, and view all the key details about the fund on our factpages, including performance, what and where the fund invests and review the KIID document. You can use our Compare tool to then view a number of funds, other investments, against each other by key figures and plot their recent performance alongside key indices.

However, remember that past performance of investments is not an indicator of their future performance.

Narrowing down your options

If you’re still overwhelmed by the number of funds available, our Barclays Funds list chosen by our investment specialists may help you to narrow down your options.

The list focuses on those funds which, based on our research, could offer potentially more consistent returns than other options in the medium to long-term, although equally they may not do this and you may still get back less than you originally invested.

Our funds list shouldn’t be considered a personal recommendation, or an exhaustive list. It’s up to you where you invest, and Barclays Smart Investor doesn’t offer personal investment advice. If you're unsure about investing, seek independent advice.

A Ready-made solution

If you’re looking for a simple solution to building a diversified investment portfolio, one option could be ready-made investments. These offer a choice of funds matched to your chosen risk profile and financial goals.

For example, Barclays offers five Ready-made Investments to investors, so you can choose the level of risk that you feel comfortable with. Each fund is made up of a mix of investments across different asset classes, giving you an instant diversified portfolio with global exposure.

Find out more about Ready-made Investments

Bear in mind that, Ready-made Investments won’t be suitable for all investors, and whether they are right for you will depend on your personal circumstances. Seek independent advice if you’re unsure where to invest.

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