Asset allocation: The overwhelming factor in determining investment performance. Asset allocation means the choice of assets, or financial markets, in which we invest. Using our risk-profiling tools and by discussing your objectives we recommend an investment portfolio suitable for you.
Rebalancing: Keeping a portfolio’s risk and return profile on course. Because different assets perform differently, the initial asset allocation will drift over time. Higher risk assets will tend to outperform in the medium to longer term, altering the risk profile of the portfolio. Regular, disciplined rebalancing will keep the portfolio aligned with your goals and has been demonstrated to add as much as 0.45% annually.
Lowering costs: The power of compounding applies to costs. An amount that might seem small at the beginning can turn into a significant charge over time. We add real value through seeking cost savings wherever possible, and research shows this can add 0.66% – 0.92% p.a.
Behavioural coaching: Avoiding the costly mistakes of giving in to fear and greed. Behaviours that work in most areas of life do not necessarily apply to investment. Research shows that investors too often sell when they should buy and buy when they should sell. Advisers can make a critical difference by helping their clients avoid these mistakes, potentially adding 1.5% per year.
Tax allowances: The UK offers a number of tax-efficient investment vehicles, including Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) and Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs). Ensuring the tax efficiency of an investment portfolio is a core competence for financial advisers and can add 0.23% each year in returns.
Withdrawal strategy: Withdrawing money in a tax-efficient manner is important. Tax-efficient accounts will grow faster than those attracting full rates of tax, and should be kept in reserve for as long as possible. The correct strategy has been proven to add up to 0.48% annually.
Sustaining income with lower risk: Research shows that significant value can be added to an investment portfolio through a tax-efficient, total return strategy. A total return approach supports robust risk control as it avoids the need to seek income in higher risk assets. This supports investors maintaining a broad and appropriate portfolio of investments. It allows greater flexibility and tax-efficiency.
Chris Ryan – Apex CB Financial Planning Ltd, Poole.
Vanguard – Adviser’s Alpha: Putting a value on your value
Royal London – Value of Advice report