Starting with goals
Only by starting with goals is there a basis on which to make good financial decisions.
While we all have hopes and aspirations for the future, most of us don’t spend much time thinking and planning around our goals; this can lead to regret, lost time and dissatisfaction. And for many (including seasoned investors) there is very little connection between the way we arrange our finances and any plan.
We help our clients to focus their investments (and broader finances) towards a goal-focused plan. This increases the chances of being able to financially underwrite a meaningful and fulfilling life – whatever this means to each of us.
Important questions for investors to ask themselves
If you are an investor in any way (for example, if your pension fund is invested), we think that it is important that you should be able to confidently answer these important questions. If you want us to help you then please get in touch.
Do I understand my investments – am I fully confident in how investment decisions are made on my behalf and why?
Do I feel empowered to contribute and engage with this process?
What is the purpose of being invested – what am I hoping to achieve and how does this relate to my broader goals?
Is there a clear and rational link between my investment arrangements and my plan?
Do I understand the risks involved with my investments – what would a poor outcome look like and how likely is this?
Am I taking enough risk (to be reasonably able to achieve my goals) or is the risk I am taking excessive (in light of my goals)?
What is the impact of funding my investments (adding lump sums or regular amounts to an investment portfolio) on achieving goals and the level of risk I need to take?
What is the total cost burden of my current arrangement – do I know exactly what I’m paying for and am I convinced this represents good value for money?
Are my investments held in a way that is as tax effectively as possible?
Do my investments reflect my values and ethical convictions?
Getting to know our clients well
Unless we get to know our clients well – it is impossible for us to do our job well. To this end we resource considerable time getting to know our clients in a real and meaningful way.
We work with our client’s over the long term, normally throughout their lives (and often multi-generationally). Through life’s (and the market’s) ups and downs we remain committed to helping them make good financial decisions, manage risk and improve the likelihood of achieving good outcomes.
We base our ongoing work around a personalised goal-focused plan for the client, but this is not set in stone. The state of the world and outlook change regularly as do a client’s circumstances, risk tolerances and goals. We believe that regular iterations of the planning process, throughout the investment journey helps to ensure that the investment strategy remains optimised for success.
To this end we undertake a formal planning meeting at least annually, followed by a presentation in report format of our latest recommendations.
We act as trusted guides for the investment journey, helping our clients to avoid common investor pitfalls.
While the client-adviser relationship is key – we have built our business so that our whole team revolves around our clients and their unique needs.
Using our independence
We are proudly independent and own our business. We are free to think and act independently with our client’s interests as our sole focus.
We believe that genuine independence is powerful – allowing unrestricted and open access to the whole world of valuable expertise and innovation.
Our approach is collaborative, integrative and anti-insular. We partner with external experts to ensure that the methods we use to help our clients make important decisions are as good as they can be. We put a special focus on including academic experts to ensure rigour and veracity.
We know that asset allocation decisions have the biggest impact on risk and return outcomes for investors and we are convinced in the merits of using probabilistic forecasting to make important risk/reward payoff decisions.
It is important that the forecasting and asset allocation modelling we use is independently applied by us so that we can stand behind the big decisions that we help our clients make.
We employ an external and independent expert to our ‘Asset Allocation and Forecasting’ group who is charged with ensuring that 1) our modelling decisions and assumptions represent best practice, are research based and maintain academic veracity; 2) that our modelling is regularly reviewed and improved; 3) that the application of our modelling is correct and robust.
The external expert (Prof. Richard Harris) was appointed on the basis on their considerable and ongoing academic background, level of publications in academic journals and texts, and the relevance of their areas of study and peer-reviewed work to asset allocation, financial forecasting and risk management.
We believe that this collaboration of in-house and external experts helps us to get the very best out of our independence, for the benefit of our clients.