Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Investing for My Grandchildren - Year 1 Update

Many parents and grandparents like the idea of saving for children/grandchildren. 

My 5 grandchildren are aged between 21 months and 7 yrs and last year I decided to start a regular savings plan with Baillie Gifford and to put aside a regular monthly sum of £50 with the option of adding the odd lump sum amount from time to time.

I am fairly traditional 'old school' when it comes to money and remember what I was like at the age of 17 or 18 yrs and what I may well have done with a large sum of money at a young age. I therefore want some control over the account as I would like them to have the money a little later, maybe at the age of 21 yrs (earliest) rather than 16 or 18. This rules out a few options such as junior ISAs and bare trusts set up in the children's own name.

The plan is therefore in my name with the grandchildren all named as designated beneficiaries. The plan offers a low cost way of saving via a range of investment trusts.

There are 4 global trusts :

Scottish Mortgage
Scottish American
Edinburgh Worldwide

and 3 trusts which focus on the Far East:

Baillie Gifford Japan
Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon
Pacific Horizon


The plan will run for the next 15 to 20 years or so and over this timeframe I am obviously looking at global growth. Although I am starting with the one investment trust, I do have the option to split my monthly contributions between two or more trusts. The minimum is £25 for each trust and there is the option for a lump sum addition into any trust - min £100.

The Trust Choice (But Note Changes to Come)

To start off I have selected the Scottish Mortgage trust as this is the largest global trust with the lowest ongoing charges. I am obviously familiar with SMT as I hold it in my own SIPP and ISA. The managers have a good reputation for consistent performance in areas which I believe will provide a good chance of out-performance over the coming years. It has turned £1,000 into £8,000 over the past 10 years which equates to an average of over 23% per year. At this rate, an annual contribution of £1,000 over 15 years would grow to just over £60,000. However this period is not typical as it has the distortion of the financial crash of 2008/09. I am hoping for a return of nearer 10% per year. If it can deliver anything near this over the coming years my grandchildren will have a tidy sum in the region of £8,000 each - fingers crossed.


For the best long-term returns, it is important to ensure the costs of the investment are low. This is one of the reasons the low cost index funds generally out perform the more expensive managed funds. The big advantage of the savings plan is there are no platform charges from Baillie Gifford and also no transaction charges for the purchase of shares which is important when a monthly drip-feed plan is operating. Therefore the only charges will be the ongoing charges for the Scottish Mortgage trust of 0.37%. There is however a charge of £22 for each withdrawal but as I am not planning on this for many years it should not be a problem.

Performance - End of Year 1

I started off with an initial lump sum of £200 and have 12x monthly contributions of £50 into Scottish Mortgage - total £800. The share price has ranged from £4.45 to £5.60p so some months have seen a relatively high price such as last Summer, which means less shares purchased. I have therefore accumulated a total of 159 shares at an average price of £5.00.

Scottish Mortgage Share Price - Past Year

I have also invested a one-off lump sum of £100 into Edinburgh Worldwide taking advantage of the dip in the share prices last December. So, an additional 60 shares purchased at £1.64 and currently £1.88.

The total contributions over the year have been £900 and the current value is £970 - a return of £70. So far, so good.

BG Drops Savings Scheme

I just heard yesterday that Baillie Gifford have decided to abandon the savings scheme and transfer all customers accounts to Hargreaves Lansdown. This will ultimately involve transaction fees on the monthly contributions for investment trusts (funds are free) as well as platform fees of 0.45%. However, I understand the free dealing/platform arrangement currently in place with BG will continue for 3 years after the transition. The advantage will be the investments will not be limited to the 9 BG trusts so I could look at the wider market and possibly something climate-friendly such as BGs Positive Change fund or WHEB Sustainability.

I am awaiting further details from BG. While I consider all the changes and implications, I will continue to drip feed my £50/month into the Scottish Mortgage trust with HL for the time being. The share price can be volatile but the drip feed is a good way to even out the swings.

Feel free to comment if you are currently saving for children or grandchildren and share your experience with others.


  1. Great to see what you've actually invested in for your grandchildren and as mentioned previously, I too have gone for the age of 21 for the investments I have for my nephews and nieces.

    I was going to invest in investment trusts too but in the end, went for tracker funds. My investing hasn't been as organised as yours - more slapdash really, a £50 here for Christmas, £100 there for birthday.

    I only really started investing for them around 4 years ago and the 'pots' are showing gains of 16% (VLS 100%), 19% (Fidelity Pacific index), 33% (L&G Int index) and 57% (L&G US index). I've got around 9 years before the first one turns 21 so still some time to continue to grow.

    I read about the BG transfer to HL and good for you that they will be keep the same fees for 3 years. After that, when you invest, use HL's regular investing facility so the transaction fee is only £1.50 per purchase (for ETFs, stocks and ITs).

    1. Thanks weenie and good to see you savings in place for your nephews/nieces - hopefully they will get a nice surprise in a few years.

      I really like the regular monthly option as I set up my DD and the small amounts are automatically taken from my bank much the same as my utility DDs or council tax so I don't really miss the money. I'm not sure if it would work for me as well with the odd lump sum but I always have that option to add money.

      I will await the full options from BG and then decide whether to go along with the transfer to HL. If I do decide to go with them I would probably choose funds which have no dealing charges as £1.50 every month on £50 adds 3% to charges and then there would be the additional 0.45% platform fees. I will update again at the same time next year.

  2. Hi diy, could you please explain a bit more about what type of trust you have set up (you say this isn't a bare trust) and how this works so the kids don't get access at 18? Are there any other tax implications also? Thanks for the insight - john

    1. Yes, this is merely a designated savings plan which means it always remains in my name with my grandchildren named as beneficiaries. They also offered the alternative of a bare trust but as they are closing down all plans, this is now academic.

      This point was raised in one of the replies to the first article (see link above).

      The sums involved are fairly modest and I am not aware of any unfavourable tax implications. I guess when the money is gifted in a few years it would be technically regarded as a potentially exempt transfer for IHT. Then again there are tax breaks for the likes of wedding gifts etc.

  3. Thank you so much for this detailed post, from which I learned a few things. What a shame that they're closing down the present fund arrangements and fee-free regular payments.

    I now realise I need to research which funds do have regular payment options with decent fee arrangements.

    Again, many thanks!

    1. Thanks David. Yes, it is annoying for the scheme to be closed just a year after I started but I will now look at the offer from HL to see if it will work for me - better in some ways as far more funds available but not sure about the costs for small regular amounts.

      Good luck with your own research.

  4. Hi John,

    Was busy reading you book on DIYPensions and came accross this blog when researching - investments for my grandchildren.

    We have 5 grandchlidren and were using the Baillie Gifford saving scheme to save monthly modest ammounts for each of the grandchildren - in Monks and Scottish Mortgage. Was a great scheme as you mentioned. Looked but could not find a replacement scheme, so the accounts have been migrated to HL - with 5 different accounts, charges can be high just to invest a modest sum every month so have ended up not doing anything - time is marching on so may look at moving all to Vanguard.

    I did email regarding setting up a bare trust for the grandchildren but as yet not received a reply.

    Enjoying you book on DIY Pensions - have recomended to others.

    1. Hi,
      In the end I decided to withdraw the accumulated funds with BG rather than transfer to HL. The proceeds are now mixed with my own investments but the grandchildren will get the benefits in time.

      Good to hear you are enjoying the book and many thanks for the recommendation...much appreciated.

    2. Thanks for getting back - still looking at options for the grandchildren's investments. (Another one on the way)