How we are different – Our unique approach to investment management

Many private investors have sought advice from a discretionary fund manager, private bank or financial adviser, and rather than find a solution that considers their long-term objectives and tax position they were sold an unsuitable investment product or portfolio. Now they find themselves holding investments that have little or no bearing on what they really want to achieve in their life. Today, because of their experience, they don’t know where to turn for advice or who to trust.

There is a better alternative which involves accessing in detail your situation and ultimately what you want the funds to do whether the outcome is to fund a child’s education, fund retirement or simply ensure wealth preservation.

By using our tried and tested investment philosophy underpinned with a cost conscious and disciplined approach and using cash flow analysis techniques we can build the most suitable investment strategy for you identifying the amount of risk needed to obtain your goals within the timescale required.

The investment is monitored and communicated to you frequently keeping you informed and up to date, we will provide all the information you need in a concise format and update your cash flow plan regularly to ensure the plan changes with you.

Please call us so we can introduce ourselves and see if our approach will help you.

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Require more information on the above services? Click here to contact us, alternatively, you may also find our FAQ section below useful.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is cash flow analysis?

Financial planning uses cash flow analysis to illustrate how you can achieve your goals by showing how much you need to invest over a given time frame whilst also considering the risk required and also taking into account inflationary pressures.

The whole financial plan is designed to deliver your desired outcome rendering the boom and bust of markets largely redundant meaning as soon as you have achieved your goals why take unnecessary risks.

Financial planning aided by cash flow analysis supersede all other considerations before you decide what to invest in, additional consideration is then given to asset allocation and the type of investment wrapper used such as individual savings accounts (ISA), investment bonds, offshore investments or even pension plans.

What is meant by asset allocation?

Academics have analysed the returns of portfolios and have concluded that over ninety percent of the return can be attributed to asset allocation meaning other considerations such as stock selection, timing and quite frankly luck account for less than ten percent of an investment return so asset allocation is an extremely important feature of any investment plan.

There are a range of asset classes some of the most common are cash, fixed interest securities, property, equities and commodities how these asset classes are distributed through your investment portfolio define the diversification and risk taken.

There is no such thing as a free lunch and if you want higher returns you need to take greater levels of risk this is fantastic for the average investor meaning a risk tolerance can be found that given a well thought out asset allocation within an investment portfolio can provide a reliable and predictable rate of return. However reliable and predictable does not mean guaranteed and your investment will go up and down and you could get back less than you originally invested. It is also important to consider past performance cannot be relied upon to determine future returns.

After you have completed my cash flow analysis and given me a financial plan can I arrange my own investments?

Unlike many financial advisors and financial planners we do not require you to implement your financial plan with us, although it is usually what clients want us to do as they can then be assured they are arranging the right investment wrapper whether an individual savings account (ISA), offshore investment, offshore bond, personal pension or self-invested personal pension plan (SIPP).

For those clients who want to control the investments themselves we have developed Spectrum Self Investor which is an execution only platform in other words you will receive no advice on the suitability of an investment you will have access to either an investment savings account (ISA), general investment account (GIA), self-invested personal pension (SIPP).

Spectrum Self Investor provides access to about five thousand funds and also stockbroking services providing access to single company shares and exchange traded funds.

What is the difference between active and passive investing?

Which way to invest either actively or passively has been a debate that from time to time crops up and is continually debated with no real conclusive answer on which is best.

Essentially active management is when you invest into a fund which has a fund manager that analyses the market and makes stock selections based on his or hers investment style and mandate. The feature of an active manager is that they attempt to beat the market by choosing the right stocks to achieve a market beating strategy. The negatives of this approach is that this strategy comes at a price to the investor majority of active strategies can cost double, triple or even more to purchase, in addition the vast majority of fund managers fail to beat the market over five years and even less beat it over ten years.

It is important to understand the faith you are placing in a fund manager, you are paying much more for skill that in the vast majority of cases do not turn into performance. This is not to say there are no market beating fund managers quite the contrary there are few who do consistently beat the market however it is extremely difficult to predict who will beat the market going into the future.

Passive investing is when you capture the market returns of an index for example the FTSE 100, the positives of this approach are you will receive the market rate of return so under performance is impossible, passive strategies cost significantly less than an active fund manager however the negatives are that you will never beat the market and if markets have a “wobble” your investment will react in line with the markets and unlike an active manager who if they have sufficient foresight can move money out of markets before negative market conditions occur there are examples where managers have predicted correctly but they are rare.

So which is best? The honest answer is neither strategy is best they are different styles of investing, at Spectrum Wealth Management we are always mindful of confirmation bias and we approach each client with a blank sheet of paper and discover what is needed for the client. We are happy to develop investment strategies that are wholly passive in nature or active or a blend of two.

I am concerned my discretionary wealth manager is more interested in gains than ensuring I do not take excessive risks?

This is a common criticism of discretionary wealth managers who often describe themselves as experts and the importance on picking winners. In the pursuit for ever increasing gains there is often an increase in costs particularly through trading but also increasing the risks that are taken.

The vast majority of discretionary wealth managers have broadly speaking the same strategies for all clients and to a certain degree because of this singular strategy your risk profile is determined for you before you even meet with a discretionary wealth manager.

If your discretionary wealth manager charges a performance fee then this fee structure could expose your funds to increasing levels of risk, in the pursuit of their performance fee some discretionary fund managers have been accused in the past of taking ever increasing risks and using unsuitable strategies for their clients.

Spectrum Wealth Management do not operate a performance fee based remuneration strategy we also use evidence based research believing that risk is linked to reward the risk you take the more reward you should receive it is simple but elegant. The need for esoteric and unquantifiable risks does not feature in the core of any investment strategy.

What investments do you consider?

Being independent financial advisors, we consider all investment solutions for our clients including offshore investments, investment trusts (IT) exchange traded funds (ETFs). We also consider esoteric investments such as enterprise investment schemes (EIS), Venture Capital trusts (VCTs). We can also discuss the viability of investing through precious metals such as gold.