30 Jan The 6 point checklist for reviewing your investments
At your review, your Wren Sterling adviser provides you with an investment review pack and explains a series of charts and figures relevant to you. Guiding you through the progress of your investments and re-assessing your short term and long term goals is essential for giving you the clarity you need and the assurance that your plans for the future are appropriate.
These six points are the most important aspects we look for when preparing your review and an example of where our skills and expertise add real value:
- You. Have your circumstances or requirements changed? For example, what was a “perfect” investment portfolio last year might have provided amazing growth but this would be no use to you if you now need an income. As with everything we do, you and your requirements are front and centre. Everything else leads from this.
- Is the portfolio working as it should? A collection of high-performing individual funds can be like a sports teams full of prima donna stars. We want a team that works together.
- Only then do we look at the individual funds and investments, firstly in terms of performance. How does it look in comparison to the rest of the market? We examine cumulative performance, in other words, what level of return have we seen over longer terms of usually three or better still, over five years. We also analyse discrete performance year on year. We seek consistency and stability, rather than a star fund that might be about to fade.
- Risk is next. High returns could be a sign of extra risk rather than good management. Equally a fund might show lower returns due to a more cautious approach which we have agreed is what you need. It is vital for us to know how the investments are run and why.
- Charges are obviously important too. That doesn’t mean that cheap is always cheerful. Is a manager justifying higher charges by delivering higher returns with less risk? If the answer is yes then a lower cost option might not be as good.
- Is there anything else that careful inspection might uncover? Has the manager changed, the fund amended its strategy or objectives, has anything changed at the fund house that could affect the long term prospects or even has anything changed in the world that means we might no longer want to be invested in that area?