It's time to get active
2016 has already been a difficult year for investors and in particular would-be investors. Market volatility at the start of the year and investor apathy leading to a wait-and-see attitude in the run up to the Brexit vote, meant that new business numbers for H1 were nothing to write home about.
However, I was not alone in surmising that an expected remain vote in the EU Referendum would provide the stability for advisers and their clients to start investing again. But with a leave win, where will this position would-be investors and their commitment of capital to the markets now? Do we have to brace ourselves for a H2 where investors are even more reluctant to take the plunge into what will be uncharted waters and doom and gloom predicted by the remain campaigners?
In my experience, general practitioner advisers have always been resourceful in how they advise clients and where they generate new business from. Indeed recent business stats sent to me by one of our network partners indicates big dips in investment business month on month this year but more than compensated by huge surges in the writing of new protection and mortgage business. The ability to reinvent oneself and follow the money has long been the insurance policy for many an advisory firm.
As has been proved many times with hindsight, investment timing is a foolhardy pursuit for most and simple procrastination and sitting on one's hands until everything in the garden is rosy isn't normally a route to long term success. It’s at times like this that the adviser's role as consul to their clients has to come to the fore.
This advice might include doing nothing. However, clients paying a regular fee to their adviser might have an expectation that some kind of active investment activity should be part of their wealth plan. The challenge as a financial adviser is where do you go next? Indeed, some advisers might raise the white flag and see recent events as an opportunity to get onboard the outsourcing train and employ solutions for their clients that enable them to park the agony of choice for underlying investment decisions with others such as DFMs.
This isn’t to admit defeat. But rather a recognition that in current times two heads can be better than one and working alongside a DFM that has conviction, an active asset allocation strategy and decent research resources to make informed investment decisions not only removes the agony of choice, but enables your clients’ wealth to be actively managed including agreeing a strategy for how new cash might be staged into the market.
So when it comes to finding the perfect time to invest, a Chinese proverb probably sums it up best: "Man who waits for roast duck to fly into his mouth must wait a very, very long time."