I’ve wanted to write a piece about our investment philosophy for a while now. I often write about the human side of financial planning and how we work with and help our clients on a day to day basis – but this time I thought it might be useful to give some insight around the investment side of financial planning.
I have been thinking about financial freedom recently. It’s a term that’s used a lot in the profession I’m in.
In February I was included in the ‘VouchedFor’ Top Adviser guide that featured in The Times. This is a list of financial advisers who have received a significant number of 5* reviews on VouchedFor.
Over the Christmas period I spent a fair bit of time reflecting on the past year, as I’m sure lots of people did.
The Christmas period is often a good time for a reflection of the year gone by, as well as a time to look forward to the coming year. At Engage we asked ourselves what have we done well? Where can we improve and what are our targets for the year ahead?
For the third and final extract from my Humans Under Management Talk, I look at the important subject of how money can’t buy happiness and - barring a lifetime supply of KitKats - the best things in life are free!
For humans, happiness is found in connections. We, as practising advisers are in the people business and the connections you make with the people all around you are going to influence how they feel. This means that we must be wholly aware of our own happiness, how we are feeling and the projection of energy we give out.
Last week I had the privilege of speaking in front of 250 advisers at the Humans Under Management conference. This is a conference where the focus is on managing clients’ behaviour and what we do help people.
Over the past five years, not only has the actively managed fund underperformed its own benchmark, it has also underperformed the UK and global stock markets.
Last week I returned to the office after 2 and half weeks out. It was the longest holiday I’ve had in years and coming back in to the office felt strange. I mean, I was really happy to be back at work (genuinely) but I felt a little off kilter.
Economics is generally about research and making assumptions based on what would likely be optimum decisions. Humans make decisions based on emotion and psychology. Behavioural economics is a cross between the two!
Habits and attitudes. I’ve been thinking about these two a lot lately because I’ve needed to make some changes in my life. I’m not happy with myself for letting some standards slip which I’ll explain below.
My firm has just celebrated our first anniversary and whilst it was great to allow for a little time to reflect on the last year, we’re more concerned with looking ahead.
With the burden of surviving year one behind us now, it’s time to look to the future. I see lots of room for improvement as I alluded to before.
One big mistake investors make is to pay excessive attention to the short-term movement in share prices. The reality is that, while the prices of shares (also known as equities) do fluctuate significantly on a short-term basis, over the long term, they tend to deliver better returns than most other asset classes.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I still find it difficult to really articulate what financial planning and life planning actually are. This could be considered an issue given that this is my dedicated profession!
Earlier this year I wrote a blog entitled 'It's a marathon, not a sprint’. Well the marathon is now over and I can confirm that it definitely was a marathon and at no point a sprint.
My firm’s average client age is substantially lower than that of the wider industry, at mid-30s. I work with two main subsets of clients as well: young professionals/business owners and sports professionals.
Investing in a single, well diversified, low cost investment fund can be all the investment strategy someone needs. This person doesn’t need to do anything, just buy the fund and get on with their life - or fund it regularly and again get on with their life.
As long-term investors, we are not and should not be concerned by what the capital markets do from year to year. That means we don’t listen to, or act on, short term market forecasts.
At the end of the working day yesterday - Wednesday 7th Feb 2018 - the FTSE was up 138 points or nearly 2%, the Dow Jones Industrial index was up 0.2% after a 2% rise the day before and most of the developed markets have had green (positive) days post the normal levels of volatility seen earlier this week and last.
If people ever ask me what I do for a living and I reply, ‘I’m a financial planner’, I can see from their reaction that their view of financial planning differs slightly from my own.
Work/life balance is extremely important to me. In fact, beyond being able to provide for my family through work, I think it’s the greatest motivation behind my desire to run my own business.
I have a number of clients who already, at a relatively young age, have what many could argue is ‘enough’ wealth to sustain a comfortable lifestyle.
I feel that 2018 is going to be a great year for me personally, and I hope for Engage as well. There is so much to look forward to, to be grateful for and to be excited about.
Last Saturday marked 6 months since we received our authorisation from FCA to begin trading as Engage Financial Services. So I thought I’d bring everyone up to speed and review the progress - both good and bad!
Three friends and I are running the 2018 London Marathon in April. I can say for certain in won’t be a sprint. At this point, running anything over 10k is looking like a challenge.
For those of us in the advising space, helping clients tune out the noise is extremely difficult. In fact, tuning the noise out in general is extremely difficult. There is just so much of it. Magazines, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and newspapers are available and in your face all day every day.
Twenty years ago today, my dad passed away from cancer. I’m going to try and make this post an upbeat one and focus on some of the positives and realities that this kind of situation can bring.