"Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it"
"Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants"
"Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend"
- Laertius Diogenes
"The glow of one warm thought is to be worth than money."
"I don't care too much for money for money can't buy me love"
- The Beatles
"Simple, genuine goodness is the best capital to found the business of this life upon. It lasts when fame and money fail, and it is the only riches we can take out this world with us."
-Louisa May Alcott, Little Men
"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."
"Not he who has much is rich but he who gives much"
"Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans"
"I pity that man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth shall starve in the process"
An Overview of Our Investment Strategies and Processes
- Investment Decisions
- Model Portfolio Construction
- International Diversification
- Investment Risk
- Investment Discipline
- Our Responsibilities
- Your Responsibilities
- Our Clients Understanding
The purpose of this Investment Policy Statement is to provide you with a comprehensive overview of our investment philosophies, strategies and processes. Our aim is to help you make smart decisions about your money and, ultimately, to enjoy the peace of mind that is the product of a successful investing experience. The benefits of creating an Investment Policy Statement are:
- You have a clear understanding of your attitude to investment risk.
- Your performance objectives and expectations are clarified.
- Misunderstandings are less likely.
- You understand our investment philosophies, strategies and processes.
- Approved procedures and the agreed means of evaluating the performance of your investments are recorded.
Our desired outcome is to deliver to you the returns of asset class investing. That is: exposure to globally diversified markets, tilted towards small and value stocks, tempered with fixed income investments, less fees and taxes (where applicable). To achieve this outcome, we will:
- Determine your individual capacity for investment risk and match it to the most the most appropriate investment portfolio.
- Utilise a proven scientific approach to asset allocation and fund selection which employs the latest fund management software and online monitoring systems to help you achieve your investment objectives.
- Review your existing investments to ensure they are in line with your current and future objectives.
- Make recommendations to bring your existing investments into line with your risk profile and performance objectives.
- Comprehensively report the progress of your investments in a quarterly investment bulletin giving information on the current performance and any recommendations which we deem necessary to achieve your ongoing objectives.
Our Objective Is To Provide You With Information, A Means Of Assessing Risk And, Ultimately, The Means For The Removal Of Uncertainty
Your investment decisions are influenced by two factors: information that is factual and information which is based on opinion.
The value of your equity-based investments today, whether they be pensions, unit trusts or other collective investments is a historical fact based on share prices on the date of valuation.
The value of your investments tomorrow is an unknown quantum because the future value of equities is uncertain and your capital is at risk.
Markets are moved by news and news, by definition, is unpredictable and therefore random. Extensive studies based on the original “Random Walk” theory first discussed by Louis Bachelier in 1900, have found overwhelming evidence to support the view that the behaviour of stock prices is indeed random. Whilst the reactions of investors to events may be logical or emotional, well-informed or irrational, news is always unpredictable. Therefore, share prices tomorrow may rise, fall, or remain about the same but the only certainty is that the outcome is uncertain. Therefore, your assessment of the suitability of an investment must be based on the degree of uncertainty you are prepared to face at any one time and the extent to which you can risk capital.
The future value of a portfolio primarily invested in Fixed Interest or Cash is still an unknown quantum because movements in interest rates will affect its value. However, being less volatile, returns are more predictable. Interest rates may remain the same, fall or rise, but in building your own portfolio you need to determine whether removing uncertainty about future investment performance is the right decision for you. If so, tempering your exposure to equities by the use of cash and fixed interest will remove some of that uncertainty, but you will need to accept that expected returns will be lower.
Investors who treat the opinions of others as if they were facts, however compelling they might sound, may well suffer serious consequences. What matters is your assessment of the amount of risk you can tolerate. Our objective is to provide you with information, a means of assessing risk and, ultimately, the means for the removal of uncertainty. In order to do this, we must first distinguish between facts and opinions and, having done so, provide you with a decision-making process that treats each according to its merits.
Model Portfolio Construction
A key element of the our investment process is the construction of risk graded model portfolios. Model portfolios are used in our financial planning process to provide a robust investment engine for the realisation of your financial and life goals and are designed to offer a range of investment experiences which can be matched with your capacity for investment risk.
The construction of our model portfolios is the result of a properly structured decision process which is based on the work of leading academics in the field of financial economics. This body of work, collectively termed Modern Portfolio Theory, provides us with a framework which we have documented here to provide investors with a consistent audit trail as to the asset classes and processes we include in our models – and those we have rejected. Our investment process is underpinned by five key principles:
1. Capitalism, and Capital Markets, Work
Capital markets have consistently rewarded investors for the capital they supply. Companies compete for the supply of investment capital and millions of investors compete with each other on a daily basis for the most attractive returns. This competition drives prices towards fair value so that on any given day a point of equilibrium is reached between the buyers (optimists) and sellers (pessimists) on the price of a security. This price moves randomly and almost instantaneously to reflect new information such that it is difficult for any individual to systematically profit from market mispricings. We, therefore, accept market rates of return.
Many investment managers believe that they can actively exploit market mispricings by stock-picking or market-timing - the traditional activities of active fund management. If markets were not efficient then the brightest, hardest-working and most highly paid fund managers would be able to beat a simple buy-and-hold strategy over time. But nearly forty years of academic research has shown that traditional investment managers are unable to outperform markets by anything more than the amount we would expect by chance. Indeed, a multitude of studies has reached the same general conclusion: the average actively managed fund does no better than the market after fees, transaction costs and taxes.
2. Risk and Return are related
We believe that it is impossible to achieve greater returns than the market return without taking more risk. They key point is to identify those risks which owe investors positive expected returns and capture them in a cost-efficient manner.
It comes as a surprise to many investors that the potential for financial loss is also the reason that they earn a return. We face risk because nobody can reliably predict the future - but risk, return and time are interconnected. Higher exposure to the right risk factors leads to higher expected returns but is no guarantee of them. Risk is the currency of return, in that a greater return can be considered a payment to investors for subjecting their capital to greater uncertainty.
3. Diversification is your friend
Diversification in investing refers to the process of spreading out risk. The risk associated with one individual shareholding can be easily eliminated with diversification and consequently the market does not reward investors with a return premium for this ‘non- systematic’ risk. When investors concentrate their investments, they are increasing their risk with no added benefit of a higher expected return. Systematic risk, on the other hand, cannot be diversified away as it is the risk common to the market as a whole.
The most prudent approach to minimising risk and maximising the probability of achieving a market rate of return is to hold the entire market index. In this way the specific risk of holding each individual stock within the market is diversified down to near zero leaving investors with the systematic risk of the market the index is designed to track.
Global diversification is beneficial because it applies the same rationale as above. There are more risk factors in international markets that can both smooth out volatility and increase expected returns in a portfolio.
4. Costs Matter
The taxes, expenses and transaction costs incurred in the management of a portfolio have a direct impact on returns. All other things beings equal, we seek the most cost-efficient route to market returns.
5. Structure Explains Returns
Our process is derived from a Five-Factor Risk Pricing Model which is primarily drawn from the work of Professor Eugene Fama of the University of Chicago and Professor Kenneth French of Dartmouth University.
Their model has successfully identified and isolated the risk factors that investors should pay attention to in the construction of their portfolios. In essence there are three factors that explain equity returns (market, size and value, with a tilt towards profitability) and two factors for fixed income (term and default risk).
5.1 Equity Returns
Expected returns in equity markets can be summarised in three dimensions. The first is that stocks are riskier than bonds and have greater expected long-term returns. Relative performance between stocks is largely driven by two other dimensions: small company shares have higher expected returns than large company shares, and value companies outperform growth companies over time. Economists believe that this is because the market discounts their prices to reflect the underlying risk and that consequently, these lower prices give investors greater upside potential as compensation to bear this risk.
5.2 Fixed Income Returns
The two dimensions which explain fixed interest returns are the Term Factor (the difference between long-term and short- term government and corporate bonds) and the Default Factor (the possibility of capital loss). Whilst the Term Factor provides higher expected returns, the excess returns diminish significantly beyond a term of five years, so bonds with terms in excess of five years are generally avoided.
We believe that fixed income investments play a vital role in balanced portfolios to dampen volatility rather than as a source of higher returns. As short-term, high quality debt instruments have lower risk (volatility) than long-dated or lower-quality bonds, our portfolios exploit this characteristic to take more risk in equities where expected returns are higher.
Equipped with the three risk factors of equities and the two risk factors of bonds, it is possible for investors to select from a wide array of risk and return combinations when building efficient portfolios. The resulting trade-off is known as the “eat well / sleep well dilemma.” If investors want to eat well and earn higher returns with stocks they need to be prepared to take more risk and accept the roller-coaster ride of fluctuations in the value of their portfolio. If they want to sleep well, they must take less risk and invest in fixed-income investments such as bonds and accept that they will earn lower returns. The blending of these components in an investment portfolio is called Asset Allocation.
What is an asset class – and what isn’t?
In designing our model portfolios, we seek to exploit the individual characteristics of asset classes and, by combining them into risk graded portfolios, achieve the benefits of diversification. So, what do we define as an asset class? Simply put, an asset is an economic resource that delivers a positive expected cash flow to investors in return for the use of their capital – either through lending or ownership. Typically, we think of those assets that are a ‘natural’ source of income as being:
• Cash or Fixed Income – which pay interest in exchange for borrowing capital
• Property – which pays rent
• Equity – which pays dividends in exchange for a share in the ownership of those assets
There is a material difference in the nature of risks between lending and ownership which provides investors with a set of trade-offs in their expected returns. For example, bond holders have seniority over ordinary shareholders when it comes to being paid a return and there is less risk to their capital in the event that a company fails.
Without an expectation of higher returns, there would be no reason why a rational investor would hold equities over bonds. In addition to the natural income, the total return of the asset can also include the capital growth.
Assets, such as Fixed Income and Equities may also be traded on a secondary market, which determines their value on any given day as a result of the equilibrium price arrived at between buyers and sellers; a balance of competing opinions about the expected future cash flows and capital growth for each asset.
We define an asset class as being a group of assets that have similar characteristics and whose price movements can be expected to react to market conditions or events in the same way. The relationship of the individual asset to the asset class is arrived at by establishing the covariance (a statistical measure of how much two variables change together) and, in order to calculate this, reliable evidence with a long and robust data set will be required.
The question then arises of whether a resource that does not pay a natural income to the investor and has no expected return is, likewise, an asset. Examples might be the acquisition of a piece of raw land in anticipation of obtaining planning permission and developing it or buying a commodity such as gold. These assets might better be thought of as speculative investments, as the potential return is contingent upon some event or circumstance which results in the outcome being win / lose for the investor. This is sometimes known as the ‘greater fool theory’. In order for you to profit, you need someone else to buy your ‘asset’ believing that it is going to continue to rise in value so that they too can sell it on for a profit.
In our definition of an asset class, we exclude such speculations and concentrate on those assets which have an expected return, can be traded and priced on a regular (daily) basis and for which an efficient market exists.
Hedge funds, Absolute Return Funds and Structured Products
We have described the way in which the four main asset classes pay investors for the use of their capital as being ‘natural.’ In contrast, we regard the returns generated by a hedge fund manager, for example, to be synthetic. That is to say, fabricated from the natural components but modified with, say, leverage or derivatives to produce a different pay-off structure. In our opinion this is an investment strategy, not an asset class. The question arises, however, as to whether a fund of hedge funds or an index fund of hedge funds, might qualify as an asset class?
In order to be considered an asset class, hedge funds would have to respect several criteria. For example, prices and composition information would need to be readily and constantly available and this is not the case in the hedge fund universe. Another example is the opportunity to invest passively meaningful amounts in the asset class at quoted prices. Since a significant number of hedge funds are closed to additional investment, this criterion cannot be respected.
In addition to these shortcomings, there are practical challenges.
- Closed hedge funds and the introduction of new funds make calculating a relevant index very complicated.
- Secondly, the methods for calculating net asset values vary widely across hedge fund managers and this creates a bias in the creation of an investable benchmark index.
- There are significant problems with the availability and reliability of data due backfill and survivorship bias that leads to big differences between the universe covered by the index and the true investable hedge fund universe.
- Charges and fees tend to be considerably higher than for traditional collective investments.
THERE IS A MATERIAL DIFFERENCE IN THE NATURE OF RISKS BETWEEN LENDING AND OWNERSHIP WHICH PROVIDES INVESTORS WITH A SET OF TRADE-OFFS IN THEIR EXPECTED RETURNS
We do not include Hedge Funds, Absolute Return Funds or Structured Products in our model portfolios because of their overly complex structures and hidden risks, high fees and lack of liquidity.
Asset classes explained
By using the Five-Factor model as the basis for our portfolio design we are able to select assets to play a distinct role;
Whilst Property certainly qualifies as a ‘natural’ asset class, we have decided not to include it in our model portfolios for the following reasons:
- It is a difficult asset class to capture passively.
- Although Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) funds are available as collective investments mostly as Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) - their structure can be unsuitable for regular premium investors.
- Unlike Equity and Bond market indices which are updated daily based on the movement of prices in the market, Property indices such as the Investment Property Databank (IPD) index are appraisal based and are only updated quarterly. Consequently, it cannot be said that the asset price is derived from an efficient market process which is subject to daily pricing.
- Funds investing directly into property are not always liquid and can restrict an investor’s ability to redeem funds when asset values are adversely affected by market conditions.
- Whilst not directly related to the dynamics of portfolio construction, many investors already have a significant exposure to property in their overall net worth.
Successful investing means not only capturing risks that generate expected return but reducing risks that do not. Avoidable risks include holding too few securities. Diversification is the antidote to all these risks as it washes out the randomness of returns of individual companies, sectors and markets and positions the portfolio to capture the returns of broad economic factors.
Most UK investors have habitually over-weighted the UK equity holdings in their portfolios but does this make sense in a world where the UK only represents less than 10% of the world’s market capitalisation? The two reasons most often given for this over-weighting are: a familiarity bias for UK companies they are investing in and a concern for currency exchange rate fluctuations which can impact portfolio returns.
Whilst understandable, familiarity bias is increasingly less justifiable, especially when the earnings of so many large UK companies derive their income overseas.
The second issue, currency risk, is of far less concern in the long- term than in the short-term. Long-term, the fluctuations between currencies tend to cancel each other out, but they can be volatile in the short-term. Our portfolios are primarily designed for long-term buy and hold investors, but we recognise that this needs a balanced approach.
When considering the question of international diversification, we have two obvious anchor points. Firstly, we could adopt a purely global approach and hold a diversified index which replicated world market capitalisation weightings. Secondly, we could be completely biased to our domestic equity market and simply hold a FTSE All-Share Index fund.
Although the FTSE All Share index is diversified across a large number of UK companies, investors can benefit by adding in some international diversification. Our portfolios are globally diversified which is especially relevant at times of political uncertainty.
MOST UK INVESTORS HAVE HABITUALLY OVER-WEIGHTED THE UK EQUITY HOLDINGS IN THEIR PORTFOLIOS
Size and Value Efffects
As discussed, Fama and French’s analysis of the sources of investment risk and return has reshaped portfolio theory and greatly improved investors’ understanding of the factors that drive equity performance.
The notion that equities behave differently from fixed interest is widely accepted. However, within equities as a whole, Fama and French find that the differences in returns are due to company size and price characteristics. Taken together, these three factors explain more than 90% of the variation in average equity portfolios. Because they are riskier, smaller companies and financially less-healthy “value” companies have higher costs of capital than financially healthier “growth” companies.
For example, if a “value” company and a “growth” company issue shares, the price of a “value” company’s shares is lower because the market perceives the stock to be riskier. The market drives down the price so that the expected return is high enough for investors to hold it, in spite of the extra risk. The market sets the price at a discount so the expected return is higher. This ensures the stock will be purchased even though “growth” companies have better earnings prospects and generally appear safer.
The three factor model defines risk with a precision that has made it the modern investment research standard. Size and price characteristics, along with broad stock market exposure, are the major explanatory variables in equity returns.
Our portfolios are designed to increase the weightings to small company and value stocks as the proportion of equity rises, from zero tilt in our lowest risk portfolios up to a 30% tilt to small and value in our highest risk portfolio.
Investment Process - Risk Capacity
Investors are entitled to a level of return that is commensurate with their risk capacity. Therefore, the importance of the measurement of risk capacity in the investment process cannot be understated. For example, if an investor selects a portfolio that is overly conservative, the danger is that when the stock market starts to rise rapidly they adopt a more aggressive stance which increases their risk exposure beyond their risk capacity. At this level, the higher volatility ultimately has the effect of scaring them back to a more conservative risk exposure which is not a satisfactory investment strategy.
The five risk dimensions of individual risk capacity are:
i. Time Horizon and Liquidity Needs
This dimension estimates how rapidly investors may need to withdraw money from their investments. The longer an investor holds onto a risky asset with at least a twenty-year record of associated returns, the less chance there is of obtaining poor cumulative returns.
ii. Attitude to Risk
This dimension estimates aversion or attraction to risk – defined as “the possibility of loss” - and addresses an investor’s ability to withstand the fluctuations in the value of any investment that is subject to risk. The longer an investor holds on to a risky asset with at least a twenty-year record of associated returns, the less chance there is of obtaining poor cumulative returns.
iii. Net Worth
This dimension estimates the investor’s capacity to take various levels of risk. An investor of high net worth has a cushion for the uncertainty of future cash needs. Because life is uncertain, we can never be certain of tomorrow’s requirements. However, the more assets an investor has in reserve, the higher their capacity for risk.
iv. Income and Savings Rate
This dimension estimates the investor’s excess of current income and ability to add to savings. The higher the score, the more likely it is that the investor will have a higher discretionary income available for investment and they will also have a greater cushion against future emergency cash requirements.
v. Investment Knowledge
This dimension considers the investor’s knowledge about investing in general and, more specifically, their understanding of the relationship between risk, return, and time.
The challenge for investors is to find the most appropriate allocation between safe assets and risk assets to maximise the probability of accomplishing long-term goals.
We use a Psychometric risk profiling process in order to give us a broad indication of your risk capacity.
The results of the risk profiling exercise indicate which of our model portfolios would provide an asset allocation and an investment experience commensurate with your tolerance for risk. This then forms the basis of a detailed discussion with you on role that risk and return plays in delivering the desired outcome of the financial plan we build for you.
Our guiding principle is that you should only take on the amount of investment risk you are comfortable with as it is essential that you are able to maintain investment discipline.
There are theoretically an infinite number of portfolios that could be created from the combination of the five risk factors. However, our design criteria for our model portfolios are that there should be a distinct and material difference in the risk / return characteristics of each portfolio. We seek a measurable difference in the expected annual return with a quantifiable increase in standard deviation between each portfolio.
So, accepting some slight variations between the portfolios, this results in 7 model portfolios ranging from 0% Equity / 100% Fixed Income, to 100% Equity / 0% Fixed Income.
Whilst we endeavour to guide you to the most appropriate portfolio, the ultimate test will be your acceptance of the volatility you will experience in real life.
The investor’s chief problem – and even his worst enemy – is likely to be himself. Benjamin Graham “Security Analysis”, 1934
Investing is often likened to a ride on an emotional roller coaster. If you consider the typical behaviour of the vast majority of investors, you can understand why. When an upward trend – either for an individual stock or indeed the market as a whole – starts to emerge, the investor follows the trend but only buys in once he is convinced that it is for real. Unfortunately, this is usually at the point that all the gains have been achieved and the trend reverses. Thus, it can be seen how the emotions that drive investors are a powerful force that lead them to buy high and sell low.
The solution therefore is for the investor to select a portfolio that would allow him to remove his emotions from the investment equation. This can be achieved by the use of a portfolio of globally diversified index funds, tempered with a fixed income component to reduce volatility. This allows them to stay invested at a risk level with which they feel comfortable and which minimises their urge to move. In that sense, it could be said that the stock market is like a wild bull trying to buck investors off its back. The investor’s objective is to find the bull he can stick with and ride until the buzzer sounds. The buzzer in this analogy represents an investor’s need to withdraw his funds from the market at a time of their choosing.
Rebalancing a portfolio is an important factor in achieving long-term returns. If you accept that your risk capacity should be matched with a suitable portfolio then rebalancing is the means by which you maintain a consistent risk exposure. For example, after a prolonged bull market the balance of equities and fixed income in your portfolio might have shifted from 60/40 to 70/30 – leaving you more exposed to the downside than you are prepared for.
Although rebalancing is a simple concept, realizing its benefits is a challenge for many investors because it involves selling assets that have recently done well and buying assets that have recently done poorly in order to return to the original allocations. However, an understanding that, over the long-term, asset class performance tends to revert to the mean (i.e. periods of above average performance are followed by periods of below average performance), rather than maintain upward or downward trends indefinitely, will help the investor overcome his reluctance to do what appears to be counter-intuitive – i.e. sell a successful investment rather than hold on to it.
Rebalancing has been proved to increase portfolio returns with no additional cost in terms of risk. However, it is not an entirely ‘free lunch’ as, in order to rebalance, some transactional fees and expenses may be incurred. The key, then, is to maintain discipline as to when and why the portfolio will be rebalanced. As a general rule, a portfolio is tested quarterly and rebalanced when necessary to revert to its original allocation. In addition, your risk capacity should be assessed regularly or when a significant life event occurs such as loss of job, marriage, divorce, birth of children or death, to determine whether any structural change in asset allocation is required.
SOME TRANSACTIONAL FEES AND EXPENSES MAY BE INCURRED... THE KEY, IS TO MAINTAIN DISCIPLINE AS TO WHEN AND WHY THE PORTFOLIO WILL BE REBALANCED
In addition to any responsibilities imposed by law or by the rules of the Financial Conduct Authority, our responsibilities at Interface Financial Planning are:
- When so requested by you, to help you decide on a suitable asset allocation policy. To recommend pensions, offshore bonds, individual savings accounts, unit trusts, investment trusts and / or investments managed by insurance companies and / or others and to attempt to arrange for you the investments you select.
- You have not imposed any specific restrictions on the type of investments you may wish to consider, thereby leaving us free to suggest whatever may seem appropriate having regard to your circumstances at any particular time.
- For the avoidance of doubt, it is understood and agreed that Interface Financial Planning is not a manager of investments. When so requested, we will recommend fund managers and we will monitor the performance of those managers.
- When so requested by you to provide valuations of the investments it has arranged for you. These valuations are normally supplied digitally via your personal online account where you can view them at any time of your choosing in a secure environment.
- It is understood and agreed that we should use our best endeavours to meet your investment performance expectations but will incur no liability to you if unsuccessful.
IT IS UNDERSTOOD AND AGREED THAT WE SHOULD USE OUR BEST ENDEAVOURS TO MEET YOUR INVESTMENT PERFORMANCE EXPECTATIONS
- To review this Investment Policy Statement and satisfy yourself that it is acceptable to you. If any points are not clear you should discuss them with us.
- To advise us in writing if at some future date the terms of the Investment Policy Statement become unacceptable to you.
- To advise us in writing if you anticipate any significant encashment of your equity linked investments within the next five years. This means a rolling five years. We normally recommend such investments on the assumption that, emergencies excepted, they will be held for at least 5 years and if you identify a future need to release capital from your portfolio it would be helpful for us to be aware of this.
- To read any investment literature provided for you by us or by the managers of your investments and to notify us if there are any points which you do not understand. You retain absolute discretion over all investment and implementation decisions.
- To advise us in writing if you wish any specific ‘ethical’ concerns to be considered before investment advice is given to you. This could cover, for example, industries such as alcohol, armaments or tobacco or might relate to investment in countries with a political regime which you would find unacceptable. You should note that with collective investments, other than the small number of specifically ‘ethical’ funds, it may not be possible to identify from day to day the exact constituents of a fund in which you have invested or in which you are considering investing so it would be appreciated if you would stipulate investment constraints only in relation to those matters about which you feel strongly. To date you have made no such stipulation.
- Should you wish to follow our ongoing advice, to reply to our communications recommending any fund switches, promptly and clearly.
- To maintain a disciplined approach to investment.
Our Client's Understanding
Our clients understand the following:
- They understand that there are many kinds of investment risk including but not restricted to:
- The systematic risk of markets
- Income risk
- Inflation risk
- Currency and exchange rate risk
- Default risk
- The unsystematic risks of securities
- Liquidity risk
- Capital risk
- They understand that there is no such thing as an investment which will give above average returns without the acceptance of above average risk and that above average risk does not guarantee higher returns.
- They understand that their investments may go down in value as well as up and that past performance is not a reliable guide to future performance. They also understand that they may not recover from a non-Cash investment the whole of the sum originally invested.
It is important to us that our clients have a good investment experience and understand our investment philosophy and our strategy. We are always on hand to help you to understand and answer any of your queries.
Our Clients understand and appreciate the benefits of our advice and adopting a long-term strategy:
They do NOT act on impulse
They are NOT swayed by the media
They do NOT bet their savings on tips and hunches
They do NOT try to predict the future
Our clients focus on what they can control
Just remember that markets have rewarded discipline
Many of the Greatest Advancements in Finance Have come from Academia
OUR CLIENTS UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE THE BENEFITS OF OUR ADVICE AND ADOPTING A LONG-TERM STRATEGY
History, Structure, and Expertise
Interface Financial Planning started providing independent financial advice in 1992. From the beginning we had the aim of providing professional advice and quality service to people with modest income and wealth. Our key value is putting people before profit, and contribution before reward. This mission statement has been our torch to light the path ahead and has been the reason that we have endured for over 24 years.
Alan has lead the company with his personal values of: Integrity, Compassion, Respect, & Loyalty, and he is proud that over the years he has worked with clients who share similar values. Like him they want to help others and make the world a little better. Client care and service is important and he is proud that his first two clients from January 1990 remain his clients today.
We believe that every client should have access to highly qualified advice and expertise.
Technology is used to the full to maximise efficiency and engage expertise from throughout the UK. The business has been paperless for 10 years and for over 5 years has been ‘cloud’ based. This structure reduces costs and allows support staff to operate anywhere - from Colchester to Honiton to Leicester and elsewhere.
Clients are encouraged to access their online account where they can exchange messages and documents securely. They can view their investments and reports, and they have immediate access to their paper file. Clients love the transparency and openness of being able to view and print paperwork going back for years and many clients use it as a source of reference.
PUTTING PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT AND CONTRIBUTION BEFORE REWARD
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Getting Help And Support
Readers should not rely on, or take any action or steps, based on anything written in this guide without first taking appropriate advice. Interface Financial Planning Ltd cannot be held responsible for any decisions based on the wording in this guide where such advice has not been sought or taken. The information contained in this guide is based on legislation as of the date of preparation and this may be subject to change.