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The Investments

Where is EZ ISA?
We’re based in Ramsbottom, UK

Sooner or later with a Stocks & Shares ISA some investments must be selected. You can either do this the EZ way, or the hard way.

The EZ Way to Select Investments

Think about which risk level you are happy to take- lower, medium or higher (or go for a mix). This table should help, and you can always talk to Mark for some guidance.

To see what’s in each of the different investments click on the ‘Underlying Investments’ link. These pictures show how your money would be split between thousands of different equities (shares), fixed income investments (loans to governments and companies) and commercial properties without you having to get involved at all.

Risk Level Lower Medium Higher
Underlying Investments Mainly cash (‘liquidity’) and loans to governments and large companies A broad mix of shares, loans to goverments and companies and other investments Mostly shares and a mix of other investments
Appropriate Time Period Under 5 years 5+ years 10+ years
Chance of Loss Low if held for several years Reducing with the amount of time held Substantial, especially if only held for a few years
Possible Returns Similar to cash Better than cash over several years Potentially much better than cash
Returns over 5 years (to 11/11/16, before some costs) 23.1% 49.7% 74.9%

For each risk level the investment managers, SEI, have designed an investment fund that aims to match it. They have over a hundred investment experts who decide which ‘asset classes’ (like cash, shares or property) to buy and sell when, and review all the best money managers in the world and select the best ones to actually invest the money for you. Overall you’ll have thousands of people involved in taking care of your money, all at a low charge thanks to SEI’s massive size.

Check here for an overview of SEI.

This brochure explains their investment philosophy.

And this brochure explains a bit more about their ‘Manager of Managers’ approach.

They call the lower risk fund the ‘Conservative’ fund, the medium risk fund the ‘Core’ fund and the higher risk one ‘Growth’.

Although we can’t claim that the past performance of these funds will be the same as the future these graphs show how each fund has done since we started in 2011. The green line is the SEI fund, the blue line is the ‘benchmark’ they compare their performance to- and watch out as the numbers up the side are bigger for the higher risk funds:

Lower Risk (Conservative)
Medium Risk (Core)

Higher Risk (Growth)

These graphs nicely demonstrate the features of each investment. All the investments will go both up and down in value over time. The lower risk one is likely to not go up and down so much, and provide some fairly slow and steady returns. As you can see the higher risk fund can plunge sharply (by about 20% at one stage over the last few years)  but can also rise sharply and provide the best returns given enough time. As expected the medium risk one is somewhere between the two.

Nobody knows which investment is likely to do best over any time period. Typically higher risk investments have done best over long periods (10+ years), but we’re living in a very strange world these days with no way of knowing whether this will be true in the future.

The nice thing is that you don’t need to do anything at all to ensure that teams of experts are doing their very best to get you good returns and limit the risks.

About Investment Performance Figures

Until 2015 investment performance was shown after all fees and charges had been taken into account. Due to changes in regulations this is now impossible and we can only show investment performance after some costs but before Cofunds and EZ ISA fees are taken into account. This means that investors’ actual returns will be reduced by about 0.8%pa from what is shown in the above graphs/tables.

Full Details of Funds

For full details of the funds check out the latest fund factsheets and official ‘Key Investor Information Documents’ (KIIDs) for each:

SEI Conservative Fund



SEI Core Fund



SEI Growth Fund




The Hard Way

The traditional way to select investments yourself is to trail through all the thousands of funds available and try to put together a portfolio that you think will suit you and your attitude to risk. This really suits some people, who have the confidence and the time, and can lead to higher returns than the SEI portfolios if you get it right.

Check here for all the funds available on Cofunds via EZ ISA (beware- there are 200 pages of them!)

Trustnet is a great place to research funds for yourself, most of which will be available on Cofunds through EZ ISA.


See the FAQ section or contact Mark to find out more and apply.

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