If there’s one thing that investment markets and managers find very challenging, it’s dealing with uncertainty. The dark clouds of uncertainty having been lurking around the global economy for a long time now many market watchers are surprised that markets have managed to avoid responding too negatively. But what lies ahead? Should we be bracing ourselves for a downturn? When it comes to making asset allocation decisions how do you make sound long term strategic plans for client portfolios when there is so much doubt and uncertainty about what’s going on in the global economy?
In this month’s edition of IFA Magazine I only wish I could tell you that we had all the answers to the conundrum. However, IFA Magazine readers are savvy enough to realise that it lies beyond the likes of us to lay out a clear path to what the future holds. What we can do though, is to consider some of the issues involved and to discuss possible ideas and solutions for asset allocators.
We’ve tasked our own Mike Wilson to take a look at all the uncertainty which exists across the global economy and what steps advisers might be wanting to consider as a result. In his article “Strictly between ourselves…”, Mike’s assessment includes some personal reflections as well as analysis of the global backdrop to some of the more important elements which underpin economic and investment decisions.
The challenges of portfolio construction are also on Brian Tora’s mind this month as he reflects on whether today’s greater choice of investment options comes with strings attached. Looking in more detail at asset allocation decisions, we’re grateful to L&G ETF for their analysis on investing in today’s themes and tomorrow’s sectors as well
as to Alex Araujo of M&G Investments for shedding more light on what’s going on in global listed infrastructure. Finally on the investment front, Edward Wielechowski highlights how changes in MiFID II regulation can bring opportunities as well as challenges for investors. We speak to Bobby Owen of Investec Bank about the merits of using structured products in today’s uncertain world.
THE BUSINESS OF FINANCIAL PLANNING
Moving away from matters of investment, our attention turns to some of the ways that readers can reflect on their own business processes and how they work for clients. In this regard, our thanks go to Tracey Underwood, our brand new regular columnist in the popular “Better Business” slot. We’re also grateful to Sarah Lord of Succession Wealth for sharing her views on whether generational changes are impacting the type of advice and service which financial planners will need to deliver in future. With a look towards regulation, Clever Adviser’s George Cliff assesses the FCA’s PROD initiative and suggests that there are good reasons for advisers to see it as a robust and compliant template from which to deliver positive client outcomes. We’re also delighted to bring you the third and final instalment in our min-series on paraplanning in practice, this month featuring Caroline Stuart and Robert Harper. And last but definitely not least, we ask Dave Inglis of Gadget Line Films to explain why he thinks that the use of video by financial advice firms is set to increase in the drive towards helping clients and consumers to get to grips with some of the more technical aspects of financial planning.
As always, our thanks go to all our contributors and also to you, our readers. We hope that you find something of interest and of use in this month’s edition. Whether the Brexit mist and all the other clouds of uncertainty will have lifted to any degree by the time our next edition is produced is anyone’s guess. We’re not holding our breath.