Careful stock-picking and impeccable market timing help, but the key to generating the best long-term returns is asset allocation. We've created three portfolios based on this principle to suit different types of investors: follow them for easy, low maintenance and successful investing.
We identify the investment trusts that not only have a long record of raising dividends but have also managed to raise them enough to outpace inflation.
Bargain shares updates:
Simon Thompson updates his 2012 bargain portfolio and has good news to report. Overall the portfolio is up 6 per cent against a market that’s down 3 per cent, and he's convinced there's scope for further upside.
With European economies struggling and political uncertainties rising, giving Europe a wide berth right now could be a sensible move. We've found eight growth stocks with significant non-European exposure.
All you need to know about investing in the past seven days: what's rising, what's falling and what's making the headlines, plus the key market statistics this week
Our columnists offer in-depth analysis and investment ideas:
■ No free lunch - Sick of lousy corporate governance and rewards for failure?
■ Simon Thompson - Small-cap value shares worth buying
■ Chris Dillow - Seasonal sensitivity: Returns on smaller stocks are even more seasonal than returns on larger ones.
Financial planning, tax and investment wisdom:
■ Portfolio - David Stevenson has started to build some exposure to emerging markets debt
■ Family - Setting up an education trust
■ Smart Money - The downside of regular investing
■ This construction materials giant is back on firm foundations after a difficult few years, plus it's underpinned by vast amounts of tangible assets.
■ Things look set to get worse before they get better at this struggling manager – and the high dividend yield is the subject of much debate with most expecting a cut.
■ You're likely to encounter the products this company makes on a daily basis. Now a move into new markets could improve its fortunes.
■ This portfolio of mortgage backed securities offers big dividends and potential for capital gains.
■ Here's a fund offering small company outperformance while avoiding too much exposure to the recession-hit UK.
BOND OF THE WEEK:
■ A new bond from a household name offering a yield to redemption of 5 per cent.
SHARE TIP UPDATES:
■ Fund news - Trusts adopt controversial charges methodology
■ The big theme - The real dividend heroes
■ Interview - Johan Kahm tells Maike Currie why he's investing in Mongolia and Iraq
Results - The lowdown on the latest company results:
■ IP Group
■ We've found eight growth stocks with significant non-Europe exposure.
■ Notable transactions at YouGov, Wolfson, Lamprell, plus a table of all boardroom share trades.
■ Trading news - Traded volumes help verify price movements, but beware of shortcomings in the data.
■ The Trader - Groundhog summer