“A quality investment philosophy is like a good diet: it only works if it is sensible over the long haul and you stick with it.” – Mauboussin1

 

Our investment philosophy is founded on a number of key principles which have served our clients well for more than 30 years.

Differentiate savings from investment – we believe it is vital that our clients establish a distinct cash reserve. By ring-fencing sufficient funds to cover short term income needs, planned capital expenditure and gifting with a suitable contingency buffer, you can be confident that investment capital can be committed for the longer term.

Understand and manage risk – it is a common misconception that risk and reward go hand in hand. The reality is that taking unnecessary investment risk simply increases the chance of failing to meet your objectives. Using advanced psychometric assessments and cash flow modelling we help you explore the dynamics of risk exploring your tolerance of loss, how you cope with uncertainty and how much risk you need to take to achieve your goals. With that understanding comes confidence.

Get the “investment recipe” right – Noble prize winning academic research and numerous subsequent studies2 have shown that it is the blend of asset classes and the proportions allocated to each that has the greatest impact on your investment experience. We design a bespoke asset allocation to suit your individual circumstances.

Diversify – diversification is the only free lunch in investing. A portfolio with exposure to a wide range of global stock and bond markets reduces risk. We do not believe in trying to “pick a winner”. We do not risk our clients’ financial well-being by following fads or fashions. We believe in robust due diligence and all investment funds within our clients’ portfolios are selected by applying strict governance criteria and are independently monitored.

Avoid market timing – whilst it is sometimes appropriate to phase investments and building a strategy in stages, we do not believe in trying to time markets. Independent research by William Sharpe3 and others has shown that timing decisions need to be correct nearly 7 times out of 10 in order to equal doing nothing. We won’t take that risk with your money.

Fear inflation – despite the current macro-economic environment, we believe inflation remains a very real threat to our client’s long term financial security so we are focused on protecting the purchasing power of your income and capital.

Manage tax and costs – it is the net of tax, net of cost return that counts, so we focus on managing both so you keep as much of the return as possible. Building an investment strategy across a range of tax wrappers we make sure you’re planning makes use of all legitimate tax allowances and reliefs on an ongoing basis.

Process is paramount – ensuring consistent and repeatable outcomes requires the application of best practice and process4. Our independently chaired Investment Committee meets frequently and is responsible for setting investment policy and ensuring it is being applied consistently.

We believe you win by not losing and this core principle lies at the heart of our investment approach.

By focussing on what we can control – risk, tax, costs and behaviour we ensure you plan for success and invest with confidence. To find out more get in touch with one of our Partners.

References:
1. Michael J. Mauboussin, More Than You Know: Finding financial wisdom in unconventional places (Columbia University Press, 2006).
2. Gary P. Brinson, L. Randolph Hood and Gilbert L. Beebower, ‘Determinants of Portfolio Performance’, Financial Analysts Journal (42:4, 1986) and William Jahnke, ‘The Asset Allocation Hoax’, Journal of Financial Planning (10, 1997).
3. William Sharpe, “The Arithmetic of Active Management.” The Financial Analysts Journal (Vol. 47, No.1).
4. J. Edward Russo and Paul J.H. Schoemaker, Confident Decision Making: How to make the right decision every time (Piatkus Books, 1991);
5. Charles Ellis, Winning the Loser’s Game (McGraw-Hill, 1998, 3rd edn; previously published as Investment Policy).