Winners: Portfolio Adviser Wealth Manager Awards 2014

You may think that awards are the domain of the wealth management giants – famous names like Smith & Williamson, Coutts, Barclays, etc. But, thanks to our clients, First Wealth has won again.

Two awards, in fact, for the second year running:

  • Best Absolute Return Portfolio Manager Gold Award.
  • Best Cautious Portfolio Manager – Boutique Gold Award.

So, how do we do it? And what does it mean for you, our clients?

Like many financial planners, when we started up years ago, we used to outsource investment management to discretionary investment managers. We’d set the parameters like risk profile, and client preferences. They’d try to maximise growth and protect against falling markets. The trouble is, financial planners who do that typically have to charge clients higher fees to pay for the investment management. And they lose control of performance, so the risks faced by clients aren’t always what they wanted. And their updates can be sparse, leaving clients worrying about how their funds are performing, or worse, unwittingly leaving them with shortfalls and panic.

Your feedback #1: “We want lower fees.”

We now do investment management ourselves. And that sets us apart from many other financial planning firms. How do we do it? Well, because of our client’s feedback, we get our own bespoke investment research and analytics from another award winner, Independent Strategic Research.

That means you’re only paying one firm’s fees, not two!

Your feedback #2: “We want lower volatility.”

We create a Personal Business Plan for every client. What’s a Personal Business Plan? Well, just like a corporate business plan, a Personal Business Plan sets out each client’s unique personal goals.
It defines the absolute returns they need and largely ignores short-term gains. (Have any of your friends told you about outlandish 20% gains in the past 12 months? Just take a look at the volatility of those gains though! It’s either impossible or stressful to the extreme, to plan important events like retirement if you have a wealth manager that lets you fall into so much volatility).

That puts us (and, therefore, you) in control.

Your feedback #3: “We want regular updates.”

We all hate to panic. Sure, we might like the adrenaline rush on the ski slopes. But our clients tell us that adrenaline and wealth management don’t mix. And we agree! In fact, we draw lessons from the science of Behavioural Finance. (Pro tip: Ask your own wealth manager how they accommodate Behavioural Finance.) Behavioural Science, in a nutshell, explains how our own bias can detrimentally affect our investment decisions. Regular updates keep you focused on your absolute returns.

That protects you from panicked, rash decisions.

The bottom line

With so many famous brands in wealth management, it’s easy to get tempted by short-term gains which can expose you to unwanted volatility.

We’ve learned from you, our clients, that the adrenaline rush of volatility is not something you want from wealth management. Thanks to you, awarding bodies like Portfolio Adviser continue to recognise our success. It’s a win-win.

Two final requests, please…

1. Carry on sending us feedback. Add your comments below! We will act on your feedback.

2. Introduce us to your friends and associates. The more people who know about us, the fewer people will unwittingly take on unnecessary volatility, be left in the dark, and face panic. We promise to always offer your friends and associates the same commitment as we do to you. And we’re sure they’ll thank you for it!

This document is marketing material for a retail audience and does not constitute advice or recommendations. Past performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

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