How we can help you invest 


It is easy and often tempting to be drawn into the day-to-day news on the markets, the economy, or the performance of individual funds. It is interesting but it can be distracting. Focusing on current events can take investors away from the four principles that, in our view, are most likely to give them the best chance of investment success.

We believe these principles rest on one simple idea: focus on what you can control.

1. Goals

The investment process should always begin by setting appropriate goals.

How can we help?

  • We can help you to set investment goals that are clear, measurable, and attainable.
  • We can develop a plan based on these goals, in consideration of your risk profile.
  • Finally, we can evaluate progress, helping you to stay on track or, if your goals or your circumstances change, suggesting appropriate adjustments.

The key elements that your plan might include are as follows:

  • Objective – How much money you need to achieve a goal, such as retirement.
  • Time horizon – The number of years to reach your goal.
  • Risk profile – The level of risk you are willing to take to achieve your goals.
  • Savings rate – How much you can invest at the start, and regularly thereafter.
  • Investment mix – The broad mix of investment types you will use to achieve your goal. Professional investors call this “asset allocation” and is a crucially important factor.
  • Monitoring – How your portfolio is going to be monitored and adjusted to keep it in line with your risk profile.

Why does it matter?

Investing without goals or a plan may simply lead to confusion. Should you “follow the money” and invest in funds that are currently doing well?

Should you maximise risk in the hope of getting the highest potential return? 

You can only know which is right for you, or how to get the right balance of investments, if you know what you are trying to achieve.

2. Balance (Diversification)

Diversification is a key factor in achieving long term performance, whilst at the same time keeping short term volatility under control. For most investors, a well-balanced, diversified portfolio is likely to be the best solution.

How can we help?

  • We can help to choose the investment funds that are most likely to achieve your goals, whilst aiming to keep the portfolio’s short-term volatility within comfortable limits.
  • As the value of your investment funds change, so will their percentage in relation to your portfolio as a whole and therefore, potentially altering your overall risk profile. As part of the regular evaluation process, we will help to maintain the portfolio at the right balance appropriate to your goals.

3. Costs

You cannot control the markets. You cannot control the economy. What you can control is how much you pay to invest. Investment vehicles and fund costs vary widely, and it can be surprisingly difficult to unpick the total cost of an investment.

How can we help?

  • Speaking to us about the impact of costs on long-term returns can be a key step towards investment success. That is because the lower the charges, the more you get to keep of any return your pension and investments achieve.
  • We can explain the overall costs of your investments and can offer guidance on the investment funds most likely to provide you with the best value for your money.

Why does it matter?

Every penny you pay in costs comes directly out of your return, reducing gains and worsening losses. Like interest, costs compound, but in reverse. Paying a pound in charges means you lose not just that pound but the returns it would have earned had it remained invested in your fund. Compounding, as we know, accelerates exponentially. Over time, the difference between a low- and a high-cost portfolio will have a major impact on returns.

4. Discipline

If you are investing to achieve a goal that is going to have a significant impact on your life, you are likely feel a wide range of emotions as the value of your portfolio rises and falls along the way. In our view – and there is data that backs up this viewpoint – investors that remain disciplined, focusing on their long-term goals, are more likely to succeed  than those who chop and change in response to short-term market conditions.

How can we help?

We provide critical guidance to help you understand what is happening in the markets, and the importance of maintaining perspective and focusing on your goals.

It can often feel counter-intuitive to stay invested – or even to invest further – in investments that are falling in value, or to sell assets that are rising in value. An adviser can help you to understand the benefits of keeping your portfolio in balance, and why you should avoid the potentially costly mistakes of chasing short-term gains.

Why does it matter?

There is a significant body of evidence that shows that, for the majority of investors, most of the time, short-term or tactical positioning is unlikely to be better than staying the course. A portfolio that is not regularly rebalanced is likely to become higher risk over time, which in turn will alter its potential returns and raise the volatility of the overall portfolio.

Investment risk information

The value of investments, and the income from them, may fall or rise and investors may get back less than they invested.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

Get in touch

Liam Starley

APFS Chartered Financial Planner

Scott Moorhouse

Senior Financial Advisor