How to invest The Which? investment portfolios

How to invest £10,000

When it comes to investing, defining your attitude to risk isn't easy, and only you can decide how cautious or adventurous you are with your money. 

Our portfolios are uniquely designed to show not only how much you could gain, but how much you could potentially lose, based on an investment of £10,000. They show you:

  • How much you could potentially lose in one year
  • What mix of assets you will need for each level of risk
  • How much you could earn over a number of periods (in today's money)
  • What might happen to your money if the stock markets take a dip

We have built eight portfolios, each with a different asset allocation and level of risk. Click through each to find out the mix of assets and hover over an asset to find out more about each of them. 

These portfolios do not constitute financial advice, but can act as a helpful starting point for a conversation with a financial adviser. Read our guide to financial advice explained to find out how to find one. 

Select a level of risk

  • Cash

    95.5%

    Cash

    Seen as the lowest risk asset class, and often has the lowest potential return. You can invest in cash through savings accounts, Isas and money market funds. more info

  • Gilts

    2%

    UK Gilts

    Also known as government bonds - essentially loans to the UK government in return for a fixed rate of interest. more info

  • UK Corporate

    1%

    UK Corporate Bonds

    Loans to large companies in return for a fixed rate of interest. The rate paid depends of the health of the company you lend your money to and its ability to repay its debt. more info

  • High Yield Corporate

    0%

    High yield corporate bonds

    The companies you lend your money to are less well known and are at greater risk of defaulting on their repayments, so interest rates are higher. more info

  • Property

    0.5%

    Property

    Investing in commercial property - like shopping centres and office blocks - give you the chance to grow your money through rental payments and increases in the value of the properties. more info

  • UK Equity

    0.5%

    UK equities

    Shares in British companies. Your money grows through increases in share prices and dividends - a share in the profits of the company. Often seen as some of the most reliable shares to invest in. more info

  • European Equity

    0%

    EU equities

    Shares of firms in developed parts of Europe, such as France, Germany and Spain and are seen as slightly riskier than UK equities, though companies are often well developed and high quality. more info

  • US Equity

    0.5%

    US equities

    Some of the biggest companies in the world operate in the US, and your money will be invested in shares firms like Microsoft, Apple and Nike. Slightly riskier than European equities. more info

  • Japanese Equity

    0%

    Japanese equities

    Shares in Japanese companies round out what’s known as ‘developed market equities’, along with the UK, US and Europe. Seen as the riskiest developed equities. more info

  • Emerging Market Equity

    0%

    Emerging markets equities

    Seen as the riskiest type of shares and largest growth potential. You’ll be invested in companies in countries like, Brazil, China, India and Russia. Share prices will be much more volatile. more info

 3 years7 years15 years40 years
Expected growth£10,484£12,112£17,986£70,564
Lowest return£10,298£11,162£13,600£24,217
  • Cash

    39.5%

    Cash

    Seen as the lowest risk asset class, and often has the lowest potential return. You can invest in cash through savings accounts, Isas and money market funds. more info

  • Gilts

    21%

    UK Gilts

    Also known as government bonds - essentially loans to the UK government in return for a fixed rate of interest. more info

  • UK Corporate

    11.5%

    UK Corporate Bonds

    Loans to large companies in return for a fixed rate of interest. The rate paid depends of the health of the company you lend your money to and its ability to repay its debt. more info

  • High Yield Corporate

    1%

    High yield corporate bonds

    The companies you lend your money to are less well known and are at greater risk of defaulting on their repayments, so interest rates are higher. more info

  • Property

    8%

    Property

    Investing in commercial property - like shopping centres and office blocks - give you the chance to grow your money through rental payments and increases in the value of the properties. more info

  • UK Equity

    7%

    UK equities

    Shares in British companies. Your money grows through increases in share prices and dividends - a share in the profits of the company. Often seen as some of the most reliable shares to invest in. more info

  • European Equity

    2%

    EU equities

    Shares of firms in developed parts of Europe, such as France, Germany and Spain and are seen as slightly riskier than UK equities, though companies are often well developed and high quality. more info

  • US Equity

    7%

    US equities

    Some of the biggest companies in the world operate in the US, and your money will be invested in shares firms like Microsoft, Apple and Nike. Slightly riskier than European equities. more info

  • Japanese Equity

    1%

    Japanese equities

    Shares in Japanese companies round out what’s known as ‘developed market equities’, along with the UK, US and Europe. Seen as the riskiest developed equities. more info

  • Emerging Market Equity

    2%

    Emerging markets equities

    Seen as the riskiest type of shares and largest growth potential. You’ll be invested in companies in countries like, Brazil, China, India and Russia. Share prices will be much more volatile. more info

 3 years7 years15 years40 years
Expected growth£10,767£12,853£20,345£91,250
Lowest return£9,460£10,609£14,938£38,084
  • Cash

    7%

    Cash

    Seen as the lowest risk asset class, and often has the lowest potential return. You can invest in cash through savings accounts, Isas and money market funds. more info

  • Gilts

    33%

    UK Gilts

    Also known as government bonds - essentially loans to the UK government in return for a fixed rate of interest. more info

  • UK Corporate

    18%

    UK Corporate Bonds

    Loans to large companies in return for a fixed rate of interest. The rate paid depends of the health of the company you lend your money to and its ability to repay its debt. more info

  • High Yield Corporate

    1%

    High yield corporate bonds

    The companies you lend your money to are less well known and are at greater risk of defaulting on their repayments, so interest rates are higher. more info

  • Property

    12.5%

    Property

    Investing in commercial property - like shopping centres and office blocks - give you the chance to grow your money through rental payments and increases in the value of the properties. more info

  • UK Equity

    10%

    UK equities

    Shares in British companies. Your money grows through increases in share prices and dividends - a share in the profits of the company. Often seen as some of the most reliable shares to invest in. more info

  • European Equity

    3%

    EU equities

    Shares of firms in developed parts of Europe, such as France, Germany and Spain and are seen as slightly riskier than UK equities, though companies are often well developed and high quality. more info

  • US Equity

    10.5%

    US equities

    Some of the biggest companies in the world operate in the US, and your money will be invested in shares firms like Microsoft, Apple and Nike. Slightly riskier than European equities. more info

  • Japanese Equity

    2%

    Japanese equities

    Shares in Japanese companies round out what’s known as ‘developed market equities’, along with the UK, US and Europe. Seen as the riskiest developed equities. more info

  • Emerging Market Equity

    3%

    Emerging markets equities

    Seen as the riskiest type of shares and largest growth potential. You’ll be invested in companies in countries like, Brazil, China, India and Russia. Share prices will be much more volatile. more info

 3 years7 years15 years40 years
Expected growth£10,919£13,265£21,709£104,802
Lowest return£8,838£9,646£14,257£40,416
  • Cash

    0%

    Cash

    Seen as the lowest risk asset class, and often has the lowest potential return. You can invest in cash through savings accounts, Isas and money market funds. more info

  • Gilts

    27%

    UK Gilts

    Also known as government bonds - essentially loans to the UK government in return for a fixed rate of interest. more info

  • UK Corporate

    15%

    UK Corporate Bonds

    Loans to large companies in return for a fixed rate of interest. The rate paid depends of the health of the company you lend your money to and its ability to repay its debt. more info

  • High Yield Corporate

    1%

    High yield corporate bonds

    The companies you lend your money to are less well known and are at greater risk of defaulting on their repayments, so interest rates are higher. more info

  • Property

    13%

    Property

    Investing in commercial property - like shopping centres and office blocks - give you the chance to grow your money through rental payments and increases in the value of the properties. more info

  • UK Equity

    13%

    UK equities

    Shares in British companies. Your money grows through increases in share prices and dividends - a share in the profits of the company. Often seen as some of the most reliable shares to invest in. more info

  • European Equity

    5%

    EU equities

    Shares of firms in developed parts of Europe, such as France, Germany and Spain and are seen as slightly riskier than UK equities, though companies are often well developed and high quality. more info

  • US Equity

    17.5%

    US equities

    Some of the biggest companies in the world operate in the US, and your money will be invested in shares firms like Microsoft, Apple and Nike. Slightly riskier than European equities. more info

  • Japanese Equity

    3%

    Japanese equities

    Shares in Japanese companies round out what’s known as ‘developed market equities’, along with the UK, US and Europe. Seen as the riskiest developed equities. more info

  • Emerging Market Equity

    5.5%

    Emerging markets equities

    Seen as the riskiest type of shares and largest growth potential. You’ll be invested in companies in countries like, Brazil, China, India and Russia. Share prices will be much more volatile. more info

 3 years7 years15 years40 years
Expected growth£11,144£13,880£23,899£135,089
Lowest return£8,326£8,955£12,983£38,200
  • Cash

    0%

    Cash

    Seen as the lowest risk asset class, and often has the lowest potential return. You can invest in cash through savings accounts, Isas and money market funds. more info

  • Gilts

    18%

    UK Gilts

    Also known as government bonds - essentially loans to the UK government in return for a fixed rate of interest. more info

  • UK Corporate

    10%

    UK Corporate Bonds

    Loans to large companies in return for a fixed rate of interest. The rate paid depends of the health of the company you lend your money to and its ability to repay its debt. more info

  • High Yield Corporate

    0%

    High yield corporate bonds

    The companies you lend your money to are less well known and are at greater risk of defaulting on their repayments, so interest rates are higher. more info

  • Property

    12.5%

    Property

    Investing in commercial property - like shopping centres and office blocks - give you the chance to grow your money through rental payments and increases in the value of the properties. more info

  • UK Equity

    15.5%

    UK equities

    Shares in British companies. Your money grows through increases in share prices and dividends - a share in the profits of the company. Often seen as some of the most reliable shares to invest in. more info

  • European Equity

    7%

    EU equities

    Shares of firms in developed parts of Europe, such as France, Germany and Spain and are seen as slightly riskier than UK equities, though companies are often well developed and high quality. more info

  • US Equity

    24.5%

    US equities

    Some of the biggest companies in the world operate in the US, and your money will be invested in shares firms like Microsoft, Apple and Nike. Slightly riskier than European equities. more info

  • Japanese Equity

    4.5%

    Japanese equities

    Shares in Japanese companies round out what’s known as ‘developed market equities’, along with the UK, US and Europe. Seen as the riskiest developed equities. more info

  • Emerging Market Equity

    8%

    Emerging markets equities

    Seen as the riskiest type of shares and largest growth potential. You’ll be invested in companies in countries like, Brazil, China, India and Russia. Share prices will be much more volatile. more info

 3 years7 years15 years40 years
Expected growth£11,358£14,473£26,102£171,712
Lowest return£7,783£8,294£11,805£34,084
  • Cash

    0%

    Cash

    Seen as the lowest risk asset class, and often has the lowest potential return. You can invest in cash through savings accounts, Isas and money market funds. more info

  • Gilts

    10.5%

    UK Gilts

    Also known as government bonds - essentially loans to the UK government in return for a fixed rate of interest. more info

  • UK Corporate

    6%

    UK Corporate Bonds

    Loans to large companies in return for a fixed rate of interest. The rate paid depends of the health of the company you lend your money to and its ability to repay its debt. more info

  • High Yield Corporate

    0%

    High yield corporate bonds

    The companies you lend your money to are less well known and are at greater risk of defaulting on their repayments, so interest rates are higher. more info

  • Property

    12%

    Property

    Investing in commercial property - like shopping centres and office blocks - give you the chance to grow your money through rental payments and increases in the value of the properties. more info

  • UK Equity

    17.5%

    UK equities

    Shares in British companies. Your money grows through increases in share prices and dividends - a share in the profits of the company. Often seen as some of the most reliable shares to invest in. more info

  • European Equity

    8.5%

    EU equities

    Shares of firms in developed parts of Europe, such as France, Germany and Spain and are seen as slightly riskier than UK equities, though companies are often well developed and high quality. more info

  • US Equity

    30%

    US equities

    Some of the biggest companies in the world operate in the US, and your money will be invested in shares firms like Microsoft, Apple and Nike. Slightly riskier than European equities. more info

  • Japanese Equity

    5.5%

    Japanese equities

    Shares in Japanese companies round out what’s known as ‘developed market equities’, along with the UK, US and Europe. Seen as the riskiest developed equities. more info

  • Emerging Market Equity

    10%

    Emerging markets equities

    Seen as the riskiest type of shares and largest growth potential. You’ll be invested in companies in countries like, Brazil, China, India and Russia. Share prices will be much more volatile. more info

 3 years7 years15 years40 years
Expected growth£11,528£14,962£27,996£207,644
Lowest return£7,277£7,659£10,695£30,131
  • Cash

    0%

    Cash

    Seen as the lowest risk asset class, and often has the lowest potential return. You can invest in cash through savings accounts, Isas and money market funds. more info

  • Gilts

    2%

    UK Gilts

    Also known as government bonds - essentially loans to the UK government in return for a fixed rate of interest. more info

  • UK Corporate

    1.5%

    UK Corporate Bonds

    Loans to large companies in return for a fixed rate of interest. The rate paid depends of the health of the company you lend your money to and its ability to repay its debt. more info

  • High Yield Corporate

    0%

    High yield corporate bonds

    The companies you lend your money to are less well known and are at greater risk of defaulting on their repayments, so interest rates are higher. more info

  • Property

    11%

    Property

    Investing in commercial property - like shopping centres and office blocks - give you the chance to grow your money through rental payments and increases in the value of the properties. more info

  • UK Equity

    19.5%

    UK equities

    Shares in British companies. Your money grows through increases in share prices and dividends - a share in the profits of the company. Often seen as some of the most reliable shares to invest in. more info

  • European Equity

    10.5%

    EU equities

    Shares of firms in developed parts of Europe, such as France, Germany and Spain and are seen as slightly riskier than UK equities, though companies are often well developed and high quality. more info

  • US Equity

    37%

    US equities

    Some of the biggest companies in the world operate in the US, and your money will be invested in shares firms like Microsoft, Apple and Nike. Slightly riskier than European equities. more info

  • Japanese Equity

    6.5%

    Japanese equities

    Shares in Japanese companies round out what’s known as ‘developed market equities’, along with the UK, US and Europe. Seen as the riskiest developed equities. more info

  • Emerging Market Equity

    12%

    Emerging markets equities

    Seen as the riskiest type of shares and largest growth potential. You’ll be invested in companies in countries like, Brazil, China, India and Russia. Share prices will be much more volatile. more info

 3 years7 years15 years40 years
Expected growth£11,726£15,544£30,317£257,509
Lowest return£6,762£6,821£9,426£25,192
  • Cash

    0%

    Cash

    Seen as the lowest risk asset class, and often has the lowest potential return. You can invest in cash through savings accounts, Isas and money market funds. more info

  • Gilts

    0%

    UK Gilts

    Also known as government bonds - essentially loans to the UK government in return for a fixed rate of interest. more info

  • UK Corporate

    0%

    UK Corporate Bonds

    Loans to large companies in return for a fixed rate of interest. The rate paid depends of the health of the company you lend your money to and its ability to repay its debt. more info

  • High Yield Corporate

    0%

    High yield corporate bonds

    The companies you lend your money to are less well known and are at greater risk of defaulting on their repayments, so interest rates are higher. more info

  • Property

    0%

    Property

    Investing in commercial property - like shopping centres and office blocks - give you the chance to grow your money through rental payments and increases in the value of the properties. more info

  • UK Equity

    17.5%

    UK equities

    Shares in British companies. Your money grows through increases in share prices and dividends - a share in the profits of the company. Often seen as some of the most reliable shares to invest in. more info

  • European Equity

    13%

    EU equities

    Shares of firms in developed parts of Europe, such as France, Germany and Spain and are seen as slightly riskier than UK equities, though companies are often well developed and high quality. more info

  • US Equity

    46%

    US equities

    Some of the biggest companies in the world operate in the US, and your money will be invested in shares firms like Microsoft, Apple and Nike. Slightly riskier than European equities. more info

  • Japanese Equity

    8.5%

    Japanese equities

    Shares in Japanese companies round out what’s known as ‘developed market equities’, along with the UK, US and Europe. Seen as the riskiest developed equities. more info

  • Emerging Market Equity

    15%

    Emerging markets equities

    Seen as the riskiest type of shares and largest growth potential. You’ll be invested in companies in countries like, Brazil, China, India and Russia. Share prices will be much more volatile. more info

 3 years7 years15 years40 years
Expected growth£11,834£15,835£31,437£284,524
Lowest return£6,377£6,069£8,042£18,194

Level of risk (%) - This indicates how much you could lose in one bad year. In the long term you would expect to have good and bad years, and no portfolio can be completely immune from that. Our lowest risk portfolio has a 5% potential loss, so if you're investing £10,000, you must accept that you could lose around £500 in a bad year. Our highest risk portfolio has a 40% potential loss, so you would need to be comfortable knowing your £10,000 could lose £4,000 in a bad year. 

Our portfolios work on the basis that there's a 95% chance of losing no more than these amounts in any given year. There are no guarantees, but it can give you an indication of how much of your money would be at risk, as well as how it might grow.

Expected growth - How much we expect a £10,000 investment to grow to over 3, 7, 15 and 40 years.

Lowest return - What you could end up with if our expected growth didn't happen. There's a 5% chance the portfolios will grow by less than this.

SEEK ADVICE

These portfolios do not constitute financial advice. They should be used to help you have an informed discussion with an independent financial adviser, who can talk through all of your financial needs and options.

Seeking advice also gives you an avenue to complain through the Financial Ombudsman Service if you're unhappy with the recommendations you've received. Find out more in our guide to choosing a financial adviser for more.

INVESTMENT RISK

The expected growth and potential losses expressed in the portfolios are based on forecasts for future performance. They are not guaranteed, and the value of your investments can go down as well as up.

Data source

Source: This information is based on economic risk modelling provided by Moody's Analytics UK Limited and the portfolios were last updated in April 2014.