Insurance and Pensions for 2011

Investment Management

It was J K Galbraith who famously said ‘We have two classes of forecasters; those who don’t know and those who don’t know they don’t know’.

This is never more true than when trying to predict which kinds of investment or particular stocks are set to prosper. Trying to ‘call’ markets is notoriously unreliable and – even for professionals - it is easy to be seduced by this year’s “must have” investment story. The trouble is, of course, that the bestseller is often hitting its peak and about to head downwards at just the time when many are investing.

As a result, we have over the years developed a distinctive approach to managing investments for our clients. Because, we do not believe that any one fund manager can have all the best skills, we typically use up to 30 “best of breed” fund managers within a client portfolio. We then blend these managers, and the underlying investments, in ways designed to maximise your returns while minimising risk. Tax Accountants

UK (and EEC) , European and US stock markets tend to behave in similar ways so the diversification achieved by investing across these markets is a lot less than you may imagine. Gilts, on the other hand, are largely unaffected by share price movements unless falls are dramatic: when their value often rises. Commercial property tends to sit somewhere between gilts and shares and provides further diversification.

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While attempting to predict the future in terms of performance is unreliable, what we can measure with a greater degree of certainty is the strength of the relationships between different asset classes (known as correlation).

By measuring the correlations of different asset classes – and blending in a rigorous manner those which do not move in tandem - we are able to create portfolios that are more likely to achieve growth no matter what the future holds.

But the initial blending of the portfolio is only the beginning. While our approach to asset allocation relies on sophisticated technology, our fund selection and ongoing management is all about the human touch.

We only invest in funds where we have personally interviewed the fund manager.
We insist on a full understanding of the underlying holdings, the rationale behind them and exactly where a manager expects to outperform.

Because we are able to run portfolios on a discretionary basis, we can continually monitor and rebalance portfolios to reflect changing market conditions and fund manager moves.

Our investment management service can be used for PEPs and ISAs, for pension assets and for those held in an offshore bond, as well as for straightforward investment portfolios.