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Week ends with a bounce

James Gardner

Monday

Arriving at the office, I had a chance to review my inbox before a sales and marketing meeting. Although I am part of a small team and much work can be progressed face-to-face, emails and an ever-growing inbox is a part of modern life.

My afternoon centred on our regular investment meeting. The weekly discussion is broad ranging; from global macro to its impact on individual sectors and industries, as well as any other topical comments. Recent discussions have centred on market valuations, with a key aim to identify those sectors and regions that are likely to offer the most attractive returns over the next 12 to 18 months. These debates can be quite lively, as we can be quite opinionated. With equity markets near all-time highs, and interest rates and bond yields close to historic lows, avoiding those investments likely to underperform from a change in market dynamics is becoming increasingly important.

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Tuesday

Tuesday began with the nursery run for my two-year-old, before heading into work – a regular and rewarding experience.

The morning was taken up by a call with a prospective client to discuss her existing portfolio, currently held with a large local competitor (Hargreaves Lansdown). The discussion centred on what she was looking to achieve from these investments, followed up with an email reviewing the portfolio to help consider the current approach, identify potential risks as well as offering potential improvements.

James Harries of Newton Investment Management came to town to present on their Global Higher Income and Real Return strategies – a welcome reminder of global economic realities if ever one was needed.

Wednesday

A series of emails and a follow-up call with Lipper, one of our data providers, filled most of the morning, investigating a range of possible enhancements.

This was followed by the arrival of a new case using the Suffolk Life Sim Sipp targeting a lower risk investment strategy, which appeared timely considering the near conclusion of our ongoing review.

The work day finished with a friendly chat, and cheeky pint, with Jake Lewis of Coram Asset Management, further reinforcing concerns over the global economy.

Thursday

The majority of the day was spent dealing with a range of minor tasks and catching up on emails in preparation for the long weekend.

As a collective investment specialist, a change of fund manager is a great reason to revisit an investment. With Fidelity recently handing over one of their Asian focused investment trusts to Nitin Bajaj, a review of his approach seemed appropriate. While not quite the same as the trust changing fund management group, a change of strategy can often cause shareholders to sell, leading to a potential investment opportunity for an agile investor such as ourselves.