If you knew you had 40 years...?

If you had 40 years until you needed your money, where/what would you invest in?

The Vanguard FTSE Global All Cap Index Fund.
Or VWRL on Freetrade.


Just avoid “outstanding” natural beauty. But they aren’t making any more land (in this country at least) so I’d definitely add a bit to the portfolio for a 40 year horizon.

1 Like

Maybe not but only about 6% of UK land is built on :sweat_smile:

Agreed but most of it is golf courses, greenbelt and not an existing settlement which seems to be the main criteria :joy: (don’t check the figures)

1 Like

Well, if it was a 40 year prison sentence, I’d read a lot :man_student:

All joking aside, if FT was around when I was in my 20’s, I’m not sure I would have had the maturity to start investing. Now, as guy in his 40’s, I would encourage younger people to start investing, even if it’s only a small amount of your monthly income.

FT is making it so easy to invest in your future :clap:


I guess it depends on a few factors, including how much, and whether it was a one off lump sum, or regular sums over a 40 year period.

I guess some tracker fund, since I wouldn’t bet on any single company still being relevant in 40 years time given how quickly companies can go from all to nothing.

I’d certainly want some form of land/property, and Crypto (Bitcoin) as exposure.

Really relevant for me as I’m almost 20, 40 years kind of works perfectly.
Everyone mentioned invest in land/property, and I agree, but i have no idea how to expose myself to it.

1 Like

If we’re looking at just what’s in the app, I would go with what @anon287192 said, a super broad all market index fund.

If you find that a bit boring, you could look at stocks. I personally would expect big dominating non-tech brands to do well, e.g. McDonalds and Coca Cola. If I had to choose one of the tech companies, I would go with Microsoft, they’re integral to almost everyone’s daily life, with both personal and enterprise software. It would be a lot harder to change from using Microsoft products than to change from using Google’s search engine, Amazon’s ecommerce store or Facebook’s social networks.

Just my opinion, what stocks would everyone think would do well over the 40 year time frame, if you had to pick some?


The safer bet would be to diversify through a REIT (or even an ETF of them).

It’s worth noting that “everyone” (not just in this thread) thinks of property as a great investment (usually in the context of getting a BTL or their own home), because it has historically done well. But as we all know, past performance is not an indicator of future returns.

A property does not intrinsically increase in true value over time in the same way as a growing company might. You could reasonably expect a house’s price to increase in line with inflation, but other than that it’s actually a depreciating asset requiring maintenance and upkeep. In the past there has been a bit of a bubble increasing property values above the rate of inflation, so people have made money “by accident”, and thus extol the virtues of property ownership.

Plus the idea of “safe as houses” is also built in to the British culture. It’s a real, tangible asset that people understand, whereas the stock market is a lot more opaque.

Certainly for income and diversification purposes, investing in real estate makes sense. But I think it would be hard to argue that it should make up the majority of a person’s investments. And yet for most people, I suspect their weighting is 100% property, tied in to a single building no less. Actually incredibly risky and unlikely to perform better than the stock market average return.

The one saving grace of a BTL or your own home is that you can easily get “safe” leverage via a mortgage to acquire a high value asset at today’s prices that, through savings alone, you could only afford 30 years from now, and only then if there was no inflation. Which there will be. You can get leverage for stock purchases, but it is crazy risky and you should avoid at all costs.


Does property/land value not go up over time, simply because scarcity increases? More people in the world, more of them becoming wealthy and wanting their own home, as opposed to a family of 10 living in a house together.


Here is what I try for (I’m not quite at this balance at the moment):

  1. Cash 5%
  2. Pension 30%
  3. Property 30%
  4. ISA in stocks 35%
  5. Crypto 0%
  6. Peer to peer 0%

I’d try to diversify as much as possible - focus on one area is risky. Property you’ll probably get more than enough exposure just by buying a house wherever you settle down, so that takes care of property. The value of land is not because they’re not making any more, but because land use is heavily restricted in the UK - this can and probably will change so property values are not quite as immutable as people think. The world population will also start to fall probably sometime next century, fertility is already falling steadily in developed countries. The reasons for buying property IMO are 1) leverage of a kind you don’t have access to normally 2) as a hedge against inflation using that leverage.

As sendu said VRWL if you can persuade yourself not to gamble is probably the better choice (I have yet to follow this advice myself, but am slowly coming round to recognising it is the best option).

1 Like

I’m not aware that scarcity is a thing driving up property/land prices, no. (But if you have information, please share.)

In somewhere like central London where perhaps all the possible land is already built on, demand is met by knocking buildings down and replacing them with flats (or taller buildings that can accommodate more people). Elsewhere, they just build more houses on all the unused land.

Scarcity of buildable land has been an issue in the UK due to strict planning laws. Laws can change though.

Certainly planning laws stop you building, but is this related to price increases? I don’t think so. Laws will change if scarcity becomes a real problem.

It’s speculation in the property market that is fuelling stratospheric house price rises, not shortage of supply.

But the evidence is clear: increases in housing supply, and a contraction of demand thanks to a fall in the number of households, have not dampened prices. At last count, in 2014, there were 28 million dwellings in the UK, but only a predicted 27.7 million households in 2016. As the director of consulting at Oxford Economics, Ian Mulheirn, highlights, London’s number of dwellings grew faster than the number of households between 2001 and 2015. Similarly, in Ireland more than 90,000 homes were built in a country of just 4 million people in 2006, and yet prices continued rising – by a whopping 11% that year.

My thinking is: don’t ever buy in to a bubble. You’re not going to end up happy long term. Stick to things that have actual value and will give you real returns above inflation.

1 Like

It’s not just building land that has gone up a lot. My parents have a few acres of farm land that is probably worth 10X what they paid for it

How long have they had it? To what extent can the increase be explained merely by inflation? And can the rest be explained by speculation?

Probably 30+ years so quite a while. But I think farmland has beaten inflation by quite a bit over that time

However some are saying it will drop after brexit.

Also I think the area has something to do with it as well

Inflation would only have increased it by about 2.4x, so yes, something else is going on there. Again, I would not bet my future on an inexplicable price rise in the past, hoping it would happen again in the future.

The think about land is it’s useful, It’s not purely about what it’s worth at the end you can make regular income from it, or in my mum’s case put horses on it and end up spending even more :smiley: