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Investment Philosophy

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Our
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Financial
Planning

Investment
Philosophy

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WealthFlow

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10th
Apr
2024

Make your investment bed and lie in it!

Make your investment bed and lie in it!

As the old saying goes, investing is simple but not easy. 

It is simple to look back at market data today and wish that we had, for example, owned more US equities and less UK and emerging market equities over the past ten years, given their annualised returns of around 14.5%, 5.0% and 6.5%, respectively. Could have, would have, should have!

The part that is difficult is knowing that you need to build and own a robust portfolio for the future that will work for you across a potentially wide range of unknown market events and outcomes.  If one were to be influenced by the recent returns of the US market and allocate more assets to it, one would risk having all of their investment eggs in one basket.  As it is, the US already represents around 62% of global market capitalisation across developed and emerging markets. Students of market history will recall that the US market suffered what has become known as the ‘lost decade’ in the 2000s where the market went sideways over a ten-year period.

Take a look at the patchwork quilt below illustrating the returns of the stock market of various developed markets each year.  It is evident that there is no discernable year-by-year pattern that an investor can take advantage of. Interestingly, the US stock market has not been the best performer in any of the past 20 years! The best performing market was in fact Denmark which delivered an annualised return of almost 16%, which compares to 11% for the US and 9.4% for the developed markets as a whole.

Figure 1: The patchwork quilt of developed markets 2004-2023Make your investment bed and lie in it!

The reality is that markets work pretty well at incorporating information into prices and trying to beat the market – through either market timing or stock picking – is a tough game, with very few winners.

Simply making your investment bed out of a diversified market exposure and lying in it over time, makes a huge amount of sense in the absence of market timing signals and an ability to foresee the future. 

Since the future cannot be predicted, it is impossible to specify in advance what the best asset allocation will be.  Rather, our job is to find an allocation that will do reasonably well over a wide range of circumstances.

William Bernstein, author of ‘The Intelligent Asset Allocator’

Sleep well at night under your patchwork quilt of equity markets and feel the cosy warmth of being invested across all markets.

Duncan R Glassey
Founder & Director – WealthFlow
duncan.glassey@wealthflow.com

 

This article is distributed for educational purposes and should not be considered investment advice or an offer of any product for sale. This article contains the opinions of the author but not necessarily the Firm and does not represent a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but is not guaranteed. Past performance is not indicative of future results and no representation is made that the stated results will be replicated. Errors and omissions excepted.

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© 2024 WealthFlow Group Limited
All Rights Reserved | Privacy | Cookies Policy

Head Office & Consulting Rooms: 10 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh EH2 4DR.

Mail correspondence to our Central Scotland Admin Hub: WealthFlow Group Limited, PO Box 14947, Grangemouth FK3 3AU.

WealthFlow Group Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The guidance/advice contained in this website is subject to the UK regulatory regime and is therefore restricted to consumers based in the UK.

For your protection, unresolved complaints can be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

To contact the Financial Ombudsman Service, please visit www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.

WealthFlow Group Ltd. Registered in Scotland No SC635011. Registered Office: 10 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh EH2 4DR.