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BlackRock Consensus 85 Class I - Accumulation (GBP)

Sell:295.60p Buy:310.38p Change: 0.37p (0.13%)
Prices as at 4 March 2024
Change: 0.37p (0.13%)
You can buy or sell holdings in this fund through a Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, SIPP or Fund and Share Account
Prices as at 4 March 2024
Change: 0.37p (0.13%)
Prices as at 4 March 2024
You can buy or sell holdings in this fund through a Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, SIPP or Fund and Share Account
The selling price currently displayed is higher than the buying price. This can occur temporarily for a variety of reasons; shortly before the market opens, after the market closes or because of extraordinary price volatility during the trading day.

Our view on this Fund

BlackRock's Consensus 85 is a whole portfolio in one fund, and might be considered by those looking for low cost access to a range of international markets in one investment. It is a balanced fund, holding shares, bonds, property and cash, with the weightings based on the proportions held by the average balanced pension fund. Once these weightings are determined, BlackRock invest passively, looking to track the markets they are invested in, rather than beat them. The fund is restricted to a maximum of 85% in shares, but typically holds slightly less than this proportion. It is one of the lowest cost balanced funds available.

Our view on the sector

The Mixed and Flexible Investment sectors could be the answer for investors who want to leave the asset allocation decisions to an expert. Funds in these sectors invest a certain amount of their portfolio in shares, from 0% to 35% in the case of the Mixed Investment 0-35% Shares Sector, 20% to 60% for the Mixed Investment 20-60% Shares Sector, 40% to 85% for the Mixed Investment 40-85% Shares Sector, and 0% to 100% for the Flexible Investment Sector. Any proportion of the fund not invested in shares can be invested in bonds, cash, currencies, commodities or property. Funds within these sectors can be very different from each other so they'll perform differently too. Each should be looked at on its own merits, taking account of your investment objectives and the amount of risk you want to take.

Performance Analysis

The chart shows the performance of the fund against the peer group of IMA balanced funds. Since launch the fund has matched its objectives closely, though by nature its performance will never be exactly in line with the sector. The fund follows the asset allocation of the average manager in the sector, but generally adjusts to this allocation with roughly a 2 week lag.

In 2013 the fund fell behind the sector as it was holding more cash which acted as a drag in a rising market. The fund follows the average balanced pension fund's asset allocation of shares, bonds property, and cash, but the sector also includes some unconventional, higher risk investments, loosely known as 'Alternatives' such as hedge funds, commodities and derivatives. The Consensus 85 fund has held this proportion of the sector in cash because these sorts of investments are difficult to invest in passively, and tend to be costly.

We raised this issue with BlackRock, who have since decided to invest this 'Alternatives' portion across the equity and bond portion of the fund. We think this is a common-sense solution which maintains the low charges of this fund, and which over the long term could reward investors more than holding cash.

Investment Philosophy

This fund aims to track the asset allocation of the average balanced pension fund. The fund invests in passive investments, such as index tracking funds, to get exposure to international markets.

Passive investments follow an index, where predefined rules dictate the investments included and their proportion. Most commonly the indices set that the biggest, most frequently traded companies occupy the biggest share. If the market feels a company is good, its price goes up and it becomes a larger part of the index. Therefore the index reflects the whole market's view of a company- not just one analyst's.

Tracker funds aim to match an index not beat it. They follow the rules of the index on what they invest in, which means that the fund does not need to employ expensive teams of analysts or researchers- the best tracker funds have very low costs.

Process and Portfolio Construction

The BlackRock Consensus range takes a different approach to traditional index tracking funds. The aim is to use passive investments to match the asset allocation of UK balanced pension funds. Each month, the fund managers compare the fund's investments to the asset breakdown of managers running pension funds in the ABI Mixed Investment 40-85% Shares Sector. BlackRock then use their own range of tracker funds and ETFs to replicate this asset mix.

question mark Manager Track Record Based on HL Quantitative Research

  • BlackRock Consensus 85 A Acc
  • IA Mixed Investment 40-85% Shares

Source: Refinitiv Lipper

Fund Track Record

04/03/19 to 04/03/20 04/03/20 to 04/03/21 04/03/21 to 04/03/22 04/03/22 to 04/03/23 04/03/23 to 04/03/24
Annual return 4.31% 9.99% 7.17% 1.69% 8.36%

Please remember past performance is not a guide to future returns. Where no data is shown, figures are not available. This information is provided to help you choose your own investments, remember they can fall as well as rise in value so you may not get back the original amount invested.

Fund Management Group Comment

BlackRock was founded in 1988, growing steadily until the mergers with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers and Barclays Global Investors in 2006 and 2009, respectively. These resulted in a significant increase in assets under management and have turned BlackRock into a global company with deep roots in every region across the globe.

The range of BlackRock funds reflects this reach, with actively managed and tracker funds covering multiple asset classes over six continents.

Information about the fund

Fund manager biography

Manager Name: Stephen Walker
Manager start date: 1 January 2013
Manager located in: N/A

Steve Walker, Director and portfolio manager, is a member of the Beta Strategies Group. Within Beta Strategies, Mr. Walker is head of the Index Asset Allocation team in EMEA. Mr. Walker's service with the firm dates back to 2007, including his years with Barclays Global Investors (BGI), which merged with BlackRock in 2009. At BGI, he was a portfolio manager in the Client Solutions team. Prior to joining BGI, Mr. Walker was a portfolio manager in the discretionary investment team at Coutts & Co bank for over 12 years.

Data policy - All information should be used for indicative purposes only. You should independently check data before making any investment decision. HL cannot guarantee that the data is accurate or complete, and accepts no responsibility for how it may be used. Benchmark data provided subject to this disclaimer.
You can buy or sell holdings in this fund through a Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, SIPP or Fund and Share Account