Our Ready-made Investments Quarterly Update

Here’s our update on what's been happening across markets over the past three months, recent changes we've made and how our range of Ready-made Investment funds are performing.

Remember the value of the investments can fall as well as rise. You may not get back what you invest. We're not recommending Ready-made Investments as being suitable for you based on your personal circumstances, nor do we offer personal financial advice.

If you're unsure about this investment’s suitability for you, or you’re not confident about making your own investment decisions you should seek independent advice.

Q3 – July to September 2023

What’s been happening in the markets?

At the start of the quarter, there was a sense of optimism in markets. However, this optimism was vulnerable to a setback, as expectations for the economy avoiding a recession and for an end to interest rate rises were already factored in to market prices.

That enthusiasm quickly disappeared and stock markets fell after concerns surfaced about the US economy’s growing debt burden as well as the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) upward revision to their interest rate forecasts.

Emerging market shares continued to struggle as tighter financial conditions (e.g. higher interest rates) had a negative impact on emerging market currencies and made investors more risk-averse.

This was combined with ongoing weakness in the Chinese economy and concerns about the country’s property sector.

The prospect of higher rates for longer also led to a major sell-off in US government bonds which put downward pressure on bond prices.

UK gilts, however, performed well as signs of slowing inflation, labour market weakness, and deteriorating growth activity allowed the Bank of England to keep interest rates unchanged in September. The European Central Bank (ECB) also hinted that it had finished raising interest rates.

Commodities rose sharply in the third quarter, driven by significantly higher energy prices after a summer heatwave unfolded as well as cuts to oil production by Russia and Saudi Arabia.

When it comes to investing, we believe that the best way to achieve your long-term investment goals is to have a diversified portfolio. This is why we suggest staying invested in our Ready-made funds for the long term. They all invest in a mix of shares, bonds, and cash, giving you a diversified strategy, which can help protect you against unanticipated falls in markets.

Of course, no matter what approach you take with your investments, their value can fall as well as rise and you might not get back what you invest.

What changes have we made?

Our Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA) is our mix of shares, bonds, and cash designed to give you the best portfolio outcome for the long term. Our Tactical Asset Allocation (TAA) is the process where we actively deviate from our SAA in order to take advantage of short-term investment opportunities.

We added to developed market government bonds in some funds where appropriate. We think that global inflation is cooling which should benefit bond prices as interest rates come down.

We also added back exposure to emerging market shares (excluding China) from developed market shares. We think the likely peak in US interest rates alongside improving emerging market growth could benefit emerging market shares.

Next steps

You can relax in the knowledge that we will continue to monitor and manage your Ready-made Investments and we’ll update you regularly on their performance and any changes we’ve made.

Of course, if you’d like to see the latest performance of your investments simply log-in to your Smart Investor account any time.

How the funds have performed

View the accessible version of our charts

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You can pay in up to £20,000 per tax year into our award-winning ISA.

Any returns you make are tax free.

Tax rules can change in future and their effects on you will depend on your indvidual circumstances.

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A flexible account if you’ve already used your ISA allowance for the current tax year or you’re already paying into an ISA with another provider.

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The return you make on your investments will be taxable but there are allowances that may mean you don’t pay tax, or it's reduced.1

Smart Investor is an investment service for UK residents aged 18 or over. The service is not available to US persons, even if they are resident in the UK.