Hi All, I'm looking for some ideas/advice relating to an investment strategy for my mother's investments. We have a chunk of cash to invest and I'm dealing with two financial advisers who are offering divergent advice. I am hoping that some smart and more investment-savvy folks might offer some questions I could ask of the advisors to help me gauge who's advise sounds the soundest. My mother is elderly and living in South Africa. She has recently sold her house and moved in order to realize some of the capital tied up in her house so she can live off that money. She has raised about a decade's worth of living expenses by doing this (and this sets the investment horizon). In general out risk tolerance is pretty low. I was initially hoping to invest the money on her behalf myself, but after some research feel like I'm not confident enough and over time won't have enough time to stay on top of the South African market well enough to manage the investments well. Hence approaching investment advisors. My main question is about the amount of cash which should be held, and how the ratio of cash to equity should be allowed to vary over time, as my mother has to gradually liquidate assets in order to live off them. The two investment managers advised a split between cash, a managed fund and bonds. In summary we're looking to invest around 50% in equity, the balance in cash (marginally inflation-beating money market investments) and bonds. Some of the equity in the managed funds is "hedged" (i.e. it's shorted to protect against falls in the market, though I don't have all details to hand). The managed funds are well respected and suitably conservative for someone like my mother who will have to liquidate those funds over the next 10 years. (I was interested in an ETF (index tracking funds) as management fees are very low, but would only want a very small component in it as a pure equity investment and I'm not sure I'd want to do that in addition to using a managed fund). The main two main investment strategies offered to me are: (1) 50% "balanced" managed fund, 25% "defensive" managed fund, 25% cash. Where the two funds would also hold between 20-30% cash positions. The strategy being that she lives off the cash first, then the defensive investment, allowing the balanced investments to grow (and hopefully riding out any large market fluctuations) before she has to start selling them. (2) Invest 100% in a "balanced/defensive" managed fund that is tailored to my mother's risk. The selected fund would hold a significant proportion of cash and bonds. Any selling off would be out of that fund and thus maintain the asset class split as maintained by the fund manager. The motivation behind a 100% investment in the managed funds would be to have a mostly stable risk profile rather than one that varies over time (also ensuring, or at least hoping, that the funds are managed such that they lie on the efficient frontier -- something that the funds I looked at seem to be mostly doing). The question is: while the first strategy initially struck me as the safer one, it does mean that as the cash is used up, the investment position becomes more risky over time, while my mother's risk exposure should actually be reduced. Futhermore it does not take as much advantage of a fund manager's skill to vary the asset mix (assuming of course that one believes fund managers are competent at anticipating the market at least as well as a bunch of chimps). For those that are interested, the funds under discussion are: http://www.coronation.com/assets/factsheet/2011/May/CORONATION BALANCED DEFENSIVE FUND.pdf http://www.coronation.com/assets/factsheet/2011/May/CORONATION CAPITAL PLUS FUND.pdf They are pretty well regarded in South Africa, and are not front-loaded (as far as I know). thanks all very much.