Is it possible to create ETF Portfolio like Vanguard Lifestrategy Funds

Hi Guys

Is it possible to create ETF Portfolio like Vanguard Lifestrategy Funds 60% or 80%.
I wish IE would add these but i would like to know how you could go about creating the 60 or 80%.
The workflow involved how to keep it balanced or are there similar ones already very similar?

Hi, yes it is possible but the lifestrategy funds have a home bias towards the U.K. and unless you think the U.K. is going to outperform the U.S. anytime soon I wouldn’t try to replicate them.

You could have a portfolio makeup of equity from
(VHVG) Vanguards FTSE Developed world ACC @ 90%
(VFEG) Vanguards FTSE Emerging Markets ACC @ 10%

Then add your desired Bond allocation from…

(VAGS) Vanguards Global Aggregate bond fund ACC

Another bond fund to consider would be (VGOV) but this is only the distribution not accumulating as Invest Engine doesn’t have (VGVA) which is the equivalent accumulation fund for some reason

This would work out a lot cheaper than lifestrategy and probably offer you better returns over the long term.But you would need to rebalance once in a while to keep them at the correct weightings.

Kind regards


You could look at what is in these LS Strategy funds and then see if you can match it up with anything that IE offers.

This is the current split of LS 80 - screenshot taken today

Right now, one of the major points for me - is the fact that Vanguard operates with decimal points whereas IE only allows allocations in full percentage points.

So, in order to replicate this fund you need to make some decisions on how much you want in each ETF - minimum is 1% for each of the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 ETF’s.

Also, as ntyce has already mentioned - there’s quite a bit of UK bias in these - over 26% in the LS 80 right now.

If you’re happy with that then that’s fine - otherwise you need to make more decisions on how to balance this out.

Monevator has a good review about LS funds.

As for rebalancing … Use threshold rebalancing to lower your portfolio’s risk - Monevator

I quite like the Larry Swedroe 5/25 rule - on a quarterly basis. So, I have a looksee, if it needs doing then I rebalance it otherwise I leave well alone and come back at the end of next quarter.

But, and there’s another point for IE’s developers - IE currently rebalances the whole portfolio even if only 2 ETF’s are out of whack.

Yes sorry my apologies i should have worded it far better.
I wasn’t looking at duplicating the VG LifeStrategy 80% or 60% as you mention.
I wanted a a more World Diverse 80-20 not focusing heavily on the UK.
A broad brush/diverse but did a 80-20 with good performing ETF’s (as much as they can be)

The more funds / ETF you have in your portfolio you are more likely to tinker with it and make mistakes when there are changes in the market

A cheap global passive ETF will give you all the diversification you require like (FWRG) Invesco All World.Then add a global diversified bond fund to dial down your risk requirements

This keeps things simple requiring minimal time and you are less likely to make mistakes.

The other advantage of keeping your bonds separate is as you get older you can easily increase your bond allocation to suit your risk.Where an all in one fund like lifestrategy doesn’t offer this.

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Whats are the good bonds etf to look at for my research

I’m considering the same, an 80/20 of ETFs. However I’m reading a lot it’s not as simple as just adding a global diversified bond fund. Many think GILTS are necessary. IE include two of these ETFs in their managed portfolios. A higher percentage than globally diversified bonds in fact. I wonder what people’s thoughts were on this and what it says about their approach?

Hi, I give you two bond options in my first response

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HI ntyce has already mentioned some bonds but you could also looke here:

Vanguard Asset Management | Personal Investing in the UK - just filter it by Bonds and ETF’s

or you could use JustETF - follow the link to see a list of Bonds for Region: World - filter it further depending on your own criteria

I’m not sure why you would want to do that.
I have been checking Life Strategy against the Nutmeg equivalent for almost three years now. Nutmeg seriously outperform them consistently.

I looked at what the Nutmeg alpha funds were holding and unfortunately some of the key investments were in Funds not available to the public. However they were much like Quality Factor Managed Index Funds. So, I invested in iShares Edge MSCI World Quality Factor UCITS ETF (Acc) and I have been pleased with the results.

I would add that the other issue is that Nutmeg and presumably Vanguard, will be rebalancing their portfolios and for me it would be a constant effort to keep an eye on them and copy their strategy.

Hi, thoughts on bond funds
There’s logic and research behind the efficiency of just buying the market for stocks, hence funds like VWRP. Some carry that logic to bonds (the ‘market portfolio’), hence market-weighted funds like VAGP and AGBP. LifeStrategy Funds feature these market-weighted funds.

Bonds are not like stocks though, some big buyers such as central banks have no direct interest in their market value, so the pricing can be skewed.

Some own bonds to offset the risk of stocks, that they will move opposite. VAGP/AGBP have corporate bonds though, and those tend to move with stocks. So they consider government-only funds like VGOV and IGLT; or International, like IGLH or XGSG if you don’t trust the UK Gov to do the right thing.

Then there is the problem of interest rate sensitivity that revealed itself in ‘22 with a 20% drop in the likes of VAGP in what were thought of as safe investments, so some prefer shorter duration with funds like IGLS and IBTG. Also, there are inflation risks, so look at funds like XGIG.

I can see the logic behind VWRP, but I’d say for bond funds: understand what you are buying and why. Personally, I get all the excitement I want from stocks, and prefer short-quality in bond funds, ref. Tim Hale, “Smarter Investing” (easy choice with current high rates of course).

Bonds are not necessary at all and it all depends on what you want from your investments you’re risk tolerance and your time horizon to achieve your goal.

Bonds should give you a smoother journey but will drag down your returns.If you’re young I would personally go all equity but that’s your choice.

A globally diversified bond fund will normally contain a range of Gilts anyway and I have mentioned a gilt ETF above.
Inflation is like kryptonite to bonds they are not risk free and in 2021when inflation went up it started one of the worst years on record for bonds.

Bonds probably has some good years ahead in the short term but over the long term it will definitely not be a smooth ride.

Also a lot of Gilts do tend to have a longer duration to maturity.

Buying individual bonds rather than a fund is a better option but this is not made easy for U.K. investors.

Well to be clear i sold a VG 60% and bought VHVG & VFEG at a 90% 10% split which i think is risky but diverse IMHO.

But i am looking at setting up Investment for my other half they have a SIPP but no S&S ISA yet.
So trying to find a good fund i might just go for the Invesco FTSE All-World

sorry @osopolar I realised your original question wasn’t actually answered, (interesting though the theories and viewpoints can be).

Yes, you can easily set up a Portfolio within your ISA Account in InvestEngine - with eg. 60/40 VWRP/VAGP or similar, if you did want to emulate something like LifeStrategy60.

Once set up, you can buy or sell the Portfolio just like it is a single fund.

This Help shows how :-
Create a DIY portfolio

There is a rebalance button to make that job easy too :-
Rebalance Portfolio

All Investments have risk even holding your money in a bank account for long periods of time you lose money due to inflation.

Although the market is at all time high it hasn’t really gone anywhere for two years The last year only recovered losses from previous year.Also all the gains has mostly only been driven by 7 stocks (The Magnificent Seven) So if you wasn’t invested in them you would still be down.The market is very bullish at the moment but there is still substantial risk underlying the current economy and the markets.So technically most portfolios are still down 12% working on a basis of a average return of 6% a year.

Market risks always occur “slowly, then come all at once.So being diversified across stocks and high quality bonds is the preferred method.Unless you have time on your side and the stomach to sit through a bear market correction and not sell at a loss.

No one knows what the market is going to do next…

I’ve made one and am tracking it to see how I like it, bringing the cost down to 8bps, which compares favourably to Vanguard’s funds, albeit with spreads on top.
Some of the choices are specific to me, but as a relatively punchy 80/20 I’m happy with it so far.

I’m sure others can break down choices that could have been made better.