Angela Needham
By Angela Needham
Financial Writer
Updated 13 September 2023
|Read time: 7 mins

Fully managed portfolios explained

Many of us have financial goals and want to save for big milestones. Whether it's helping your children get on the property ladder, the post-retirement life in the South of France you keep fantasising about, or just the comfort of knowing your family is prepared for the unexpected.

When it comes to investing for life’s moments, long-term investments can potentially help grow your money as experts recommend investing for the long term. The longer you invest your money, the longer you can compound your investment returns, however it can be quite a commitment. You shouldn’t feel discouraged just because you feel like you don’t know how to manage your portfolio like an investment pro or even have the time to learn. The truth is not everybody's an expert, and not everybody has the hours in a day to monitor their investments for several years.

A fully managed portfolio can ease the hard part of investing for you. We’ll go through everything you need to know about how fully managed investments work:

How does a fully managed investment work?

The best way to describe our fully managed portfolio is that it’s designed to be a flexible and simple approach to investing. The difference between another investment account and our fully managed account is that you may be required to buy and sell stocks and shares yourself (known as ‘trading’). With our fully managed investment account, a team of experts can do the trading on your behalf. After paying management fees, returns made on your investments are yours to keep.

With your investment account, you have the choice to be as involved with your investments as you feel comfortable. Although it’s called ‘fully managed’, you are in control of your investments.

Who is managing my portfolio?

Your money is managed by a team of experts from our partner, Nutmeg, who monitor your portfolio from start to finish. The team is there to make sure you remain aligned with your long-term financial goals. With all John Lewis Investment accounts, you can also track your investments through an online dashboard with easy-to-read summaries of your investment’s performance.

What investments are included in a fully managed portfolio?

For our fully managed investment style, portfolios are made up of globally diversified exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Here’s a quick breakdown of what that means:

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs): A basket of securities someone can invest money into. An ETF could be shares of hundreds of companies in the US or a S&P 500 index.

Globally diversified portfolio: A portfolio made up of a variety of businesses across the world in different sectors and fields.

A diversified portfolio can reduce the risk of your returns. Which means your money won’t be put into just one company, and you don’t have to keep buying individual shares which can be costly and time consuming.

While all investments come with an element of risk to your capital, the stakes are higher if you only invest in one company. So if one company in a specific sector (like a tech company in California) performs well, its share price increases and the value of your shares in the company go up. If they’re struggling, the value of your shares in the company will go down.

Diversification and ETFs can lower the risk, and may add some form of security in the long term, especially when outperforming inflation.

Who is it for?

As long as you meet the requirements for individual investment accounts, our fully managed investment style is available to anyone interested in investing. As mentioned above, the fully managed investment style is designed for all levels of investment expertise, from a curious beginner to an avid pro. 

A fully managed portfolio may also benefit anyone who prefers to let an expert take care of their investments, especially if they don’t want to spend too much time trading on a regular basis.

John Lewis Investment Accounts

We offer three investment accounts, with the choice of two investment styles, socially responsible and fully managed. All of our accounts can be a fully managed investment style. When you apply, make sure to choose which style you prefer.

Investment Accounts

Stocks & Shares ISA: An investment account with tax-free returns

Junior ISA: An investment account for children under 16 (managed by parents) with tax-free returns

General Investment Account: An investment account available to adults over 18

Investment styles

Fully managed investments: A globally diversified portfolio of ETFs

Socially responsible investments: A globally diversified portfolio of ETFs that excludes companies engaged in controversial activities

Good to know

If you’re ready to set up a fully managed investment account with us, make sure you read through our initial requirements:

Stocks & Shares ISA

Minimum payment of £500

Account holder must be over 18

Must be a UK resident (unless you are in the UK’s armed forces, diplomatic service or overseas civil service)

Junior ISA

Minimum payment of £100

Parent/guardian responsible for the opening account must be over 18

At the time of setting up an account, child must be 16 and under

Child and parent must be UK residents (unless the parent is living abroad in the UK’s armed forces, diplomatic service or overseas civil service)

General Investment Account

Minimum payment of £500

Account holder must be over 18

Must be a UK resident (unless you are living abroad in the UK armed forces, diplomatic services or overseas civil services)

We believe in ensuring you get the most out of your investments. We don’t charge exit fees, but investment styles do come with annual portfolio management fees.

Fully managed: 1.03% of your portfolio’s total value

Socially responsible: 1.12% of your portfolio’s total value

Ready to invest in an ISA?

Find out more about our ISA options.

As with all investing, your capital is at risk. The value of your portfolio can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest. Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may change in the future.


For more information, read our terms and conditions.

John Lewis plc trading as John Lewis Finance acts as an Appointed Representative of Nutmeg Saving and Investment Ltd for the purpose of making introductions to Nutmeg and distributing financial promotions. John Lewis Investments services are provided by Nutmeg Saving and Investment Limited; authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, no. 552016, registered in England and Wales, no. 07503666, with a registered office at 25 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London E14 5JP.

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