Investment Philosophy

Consistent Investment Philosophy

An investment philosophy is the overall set of principles or strategies that guides and steers our investment decisions. It helps us to simplify a complex industry, allowing us to concentrate on our relationships with our clients, safe in the knowledge that we are doing our best to protect and grow their assets.

We believe that your money should work hard for you and that a long-term investment strategy is essential for success. For many people, investing money is fraught with complexity with so many options to choose from, it can be hard to get it just right and have confidence that your goals will be met.

Investing for the future is subject to many uncertainties. We don’t pretend to be able to predict the future or invest you in ‘the next big thing’; what we do offer is years of investment experience, a tried and tested investment process and a system of continually monitoring to ensure your investments have the best chance of achieving your goals.

While investment performance hinges on many factors out of our control, most notably the return on markets, we can control other factors. These are the ones we deem the most important in creating and managing a portfolio for our clients. Our philosophy summarises our approach. We adopt a blended investment approach.

Define Goals

Investing without a goal is a bit like a journey without a destination. Setting clear investment goals is one of the most fundamental parts of investing and something that many investors fail to do. A clear goal will help determine the investment horizon (how long you have to invest), how much you may need to contribute to your investment and help with the assessment of how much risk you need to take to ensure your goals are met. We continually monitor and review your investments to ensure you achieve your goals.

Strategy

We provide a series of outcome based and risk rated portfolios which are actively managed. We blend passive and active funds. We use passive funds because they are low cost and there are certain markets which are efficiently priced and historically active managers have struggled to add value. We use active funds as they can often take advantage of short-term price fluctuations where passive funds cannot. This can be particularly beneficial in periods of market upheaval.

Our portfolios err on the defensive side in the aim of providing consistent and predictable returns, however, when opportunities present themselves, we are open to taking positions in more aggressive holdings.

We believe diversification is key in managing risk and reducing the volatility within a portfolio. This means diversification between regions, sectors, etc, but also within those demographics. For instance, although there may be multiple UK Equity funds in a portfolio, they will be serving very different purposes, differentiating in style bias, market cap and volatility. We favour complimentary funds as they broaden diversification and enhance a portfolio’s risk reward profile.

We believe first and foremost that maintaining a strategic asset allocation is key to successful investment however, we will apply tactical ‘tilts’ where we feel we can take advantage of shorter-term opportunities.

Portfolios are rebalanced on a quarterly basis to ensure they remain within your risk profile however, we may undertake ad-hoc rebalances to take advantage of the shorter-term opportunities referenced above.

We believe in diversification

One of the most important views to arise from modern portfolio theory is that investors should avoid concentrated sources of risk by holding a diversified portfolio.  There are three primary factors which influence portfolio performance; asset allocation, stock selection and market timing.

Diversification of an investment portfolio across a variety of different low correlated asset classes should help to reduce the overall level of risk compared with, say, a portfolio which only includes bonds.  For example, the inclusion of a small investment in a higher risk fund invested in a completely different area, in a portfolio comprising solely of UK bonds, can actually serve to reduce the overall level of risk in the portfolio when viewed as a whole.  This is because the behaviour of the higher risk fund differs to that of UK bonds in how it reacts to varying economic events.  An effective combination of different asset classes can significantly reduce the risk of a portfolio without reducing its potential for growth.

Long Term Approach – Strategic Asset Allocation

One of the most important investment decisions we make for clients is what assets to invest their money in. Depending on their financial goals we will build a corresponding mix of assets that produces the most appropriate level of risk and expected return.

We believe that maintaining a strategic asset allocation is key to successful investment.

Short Term Changes – Tactical Asset Allocation

Tactical asset allocation is an active management portfolio strategy that varies the percentage of assets held in various classes and sub-classes to take advantage of short, and intermediate term market inefficiencies. This is in contrast to a strategic approach where an adviser will stick to the client’s initial investment allocation in the long-term, ignoring short-term fluctuations in price, until their financial goals or circumstances change.

Tactical asset allocation attempts to increase returns by overweighting asset classes or sub asset classes that are expected to outperform on a relative basis and underweight those expected to underperform. It goes through and analyses financial and economic ‘signals’ to predict performance and assign relative short-term asset class weightings.

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