We lost a legend in St. Jack Bogle!

We lost a legend in St. Jack Bogle!

The news of the passing of legendary investor Jack Bogle nearly brought a tear to my eye. I’ve personally never even met St. Jack (as he’s endearingly referred to) yet the man still had an immense impact on my life and career and I know many advisers will feel the same.

Such is the impact of Bogle on my own family finances that as soon as our twin daughters were born a few months ago, I set them up with Vanguard accounts within weeks!!! But a lot of what we do at my shop FinalytiQ comes from Jack’s ideas and … More →

2018: An Uneventful Year for Asset Class Returns

2018: An Uneventful Year for Asset Class Returns

Contrary to what you might have read in the papers, 2018 was a pretty uneventful year for the UK stock market – and indeed, the global market as a whole.

While the financial media appears to be up in arms about the negative return experienced by most major stock market indices in the past year, this sort of temporary decline should be expected, and dare I say welcomed?

Historical data shows that, over the last 100 years, UK Equity ended with a negative return in around one in four calendar years. (This is also true for US and global stock

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Cambridge University’s Professor Elroy Dimson to speak at Science of Retirement Conference 2019

Cambridge University’s Professor Elroy Dimson to speak at Science of Retirement Conference 2019

We’re delighted and honoured to announce that Professor Elroy Dimson from Cambridge University will deliver a keynote at the Science of Retirement Conference on Thurs., 28th February 2019 at the Science Museum, London.

Jack Bogle once said that ‘investment professionals who take their careers, their responsibilities, and their fiduciary duty seriously must have a deep understanding of financial history.’ Elroy Dimson has done more than almost anyone alive today to enhance our understanding of the history of capital markets.

Professor Dimson has unparalleled insight into the behaviour of asset classes. Together with his colleagues Paul Marsh and Mike

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The less you look (or the best managed volatility strategy in the world)

The less you look (or the best managed volatility strategy in the world)
This tweet by Rick Ferri is counter-intuitive. If you want to lower volatility, look at your portfolio less often?
Rick is a highly regarded investment adviser across the pond, but we’re not just going to take his word for it, are we? So let’s look at the cold hard data.
 
The aim here is to see if the percentage of times an investor sees a negative return vs. a positive return differs based on how frequently
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Robo-advice and the art of growing customers for the competition

Robo-advice and the art of growing customers for the competition

‘We have been growing customers for General Motors’ observed Lewis Crusoe, a vice-president of the Ford Motor Company in the 1950s.

Mr Crusoe was talking about a well-known problem at the company; low-income Ford owners were trading up to a medium-priced car from its big rival General Motors, as soon as their earnings rose above a certain level.

To address this problem, Ford invested over $250 million to design a new model, the Ford Edsel, especially aimed at the mid-market.

It was launched amidst an obscene fanfare and Ford expected to sell 200,000 Edsels in the first year alone.  Well,

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Will the FCA’s inducement rules kill off on-platform tools?

Will the FCA’s inducement rules kill off on-platform tools?

Should advisers use free – but often inferior – tools offered by platforms and product providers, or should they pay for best-of-breed, independent tools available in the marketplace?

This debate has raged among advisers for a long time.

The FCA might have inadvertently settled this debate in its interim report on the platform market study (MS17/1.2). The regulator’s focus here is on whether platform tools have clear direct or indirect benefits for consumers, or whether they have any potential to incentivise advisers. In this case, the risk is that advisers would be less likely to act in the best interests

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Cobras, Unintended Consequences & Multi-Asset Funds

Cobras, Unintended Consequences & Multi-Asset Funds

Today, we publish our Multi-Asset Fund Guide 2018 titled Dysfunctional Families. This guide is an in-depth analysis of 91 fund families consisting of 402 individual funds in which a £148bn of client’s money is invested.

The story of the cobra in India during British colonization is a surprisingly valuable one when it comes to multi-asset funds.

The venomous creature was a constant irritation to the Brits, given their lack of familiarity with the species. To rid this newly inhabited land of cobras, the colonial administrators devised a cunning plan: they offered a bounty for every dead cobra! The plan was

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Living on planet GARS: Lessons in how (NOT) to invest

Living on planet GARS: Lessons in how (NOT) to invest

A recent article in the Guardian is the latest indictment of the Standard Life GARS fund. The fund has underperformed virtually all imaginable benchmarks over the last three and five years.

3-Year Cumulative Return

5-Year Cumulative Return

Is it just me or does anyone else remember a time that the fund was a top holding in many advisers and DFMs’ portfolios? If you weren’t holding GARS in your client’s portfolio, you weren’t cool. However, times have changed. It is far less popular these days. But with £20 billion in AUM, GARS remains a flagship fund for SLI/SLA (or is it

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Lessons from 118 years of asset class returns data

Lessons from 118 years of asset class returns data

The annual Credit Suisse Global Investment Returns Yearbook (2018) should be on your reading list.

Compiled by Professors Elroy Dimson (Cambridge), Paul Marsh and Mike Staunton (London Business School), this epic publication provides incredible insight into asset class return going back 1900! So, we have 118 years data on major asset classes (Equity, Bonds, Bills), inflation and currency for 23 countries and three regions (World, World ex-US and Europe).

The data provides a colourful perspective on the behaviour of asset classes under a very wide range of market conditions, from the best of times to the worst. This insight doesn’t … More →

Phoenixed! The end of Standard Life as we know it and implication for platform users

Phoenixed! The end of Standard Life as we know it and implication for platform users

The big news on Friday is that Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) has agreed to flog its life and pension business to the grandmaster of dead closed book consolidation, aka Phoenix Group. Phoenix is where customer service goes to die. It’s where life policies become lifeless, and pension plans are ‘zombified’. You might remember such names as Pearl, Abbey Life, Sun Life and Axa Wealth! But you only really know Phoenix exits when you’re banging your head against your desk trying to get a valuation from them.

With this deal, SLA is effectively getting out of life and pensions business for … More →