"On building a portfolio - If commencing now would David's/Eoin's Top-10 be the same - any substitutions? At 56 time is not on my side, would this have a bearing on portfolio selection?"
David Fuller's view The more relevant question, I believe, is what do you feel is appropriate for you? Also, I do not feel that time is against you in middle age, unless perhaps you intend to retire at 60 to 65.
If so, and if this is money that you will absolutely depend on for income, then you may wish to emphasise yield at this time. Unfortunately, bond yields, not to mention deposit rates, are low today relative to the inflationary risks that may emerge over time. However you could still opt for higher yielding equities with a history of increasing dividends. Alternatively, you could opt for equity income funds but this would involve fees.
The most important point, in my opinion, is that you should not feel under pressure to roll the dice in terms of going for a lucky win in a highly speculative situation.
Regarding my own personal portfolio, it is an arbitrary question which I do not feel is easy to answer, mainly because it has done quite well over the last 15 months. I do not like to pay up and would prefer to buy into Fullermoney themes on dips. That aside, I would probably have less exposure to gold shares because they are more speculative than bullion. I would give Thailand a miss because of enduring political problems. I would remain overweight in emerging Asian funds and I would add Japan as a cyclical catch-up play. I would look to diversify, preferably on setbacks, into two Fullermoney themes where I have little or no exposure - Brazil or Latin America generally, and information technology.