The aim of the Review is to give you a general feel for what’s happened in the financial world over the last three months and how this may have affected your pension or investment.
A key part of the reporting is the colour coding. Each FSWM portfolio is colour coded to enable you to spot which category applies to you. The relevant information is then presented in a clear and easy to understand way. However, if you require any further clarification, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Markets again pushed upwards during the fourth quarter, supported by economic data that continued to surprise on the upside and corporate earnings numbers which also produced solid returns. Commodities also helped, with both oil and copper reaching multi-year highs, the former boosted by a continuation of OPEC oil cuts and the latter by stronger global growth.
In the US, Donald Trump finally managed to push through his first piece of major legislation as the tax reform bill was passed. In simple terms this will reduce corporation tax from its current 35% to 21%, bringing the US into line with most other developed countries and providing a competitive boost for many US companies increasing profitability. In Japan, Shinzo Abe called a snap election which he won at a canter, which in turn provided a boost for markets as this continues the very supportive policies from both the government and Bank of Japan. Back in the UK we finally saw progress on Brexit as agreement was reached on the so called divorce bill and the post-Brexit border arrangements between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Looking ahead to 2018 we remain positive on markets, however it is unlikely that we see the exceptionally low level of volatility witnessed during 2017. As central banks begin the first steps of removing stimulus, it may prove impossible for this to happen in a way which supports all asset classes, hence we continue to be vigilant.
There are seven portfolios in the FSWM range, four Growth and three Income which are detailed below. Your FSWM pension or investment will be invested in one of these categories. The tables show the aggregate composition of the portfolios with some figures to show the potential risk and return of each category.
There are three income portfolios which aim to produce an income within a target range as highlighted in the table below. The three portfolios cover the Cautious, Balanced and Adventurous Finance Shop risk categories.
The graphs below show how the FSWM portfolios within the four Finance Shop risk categories have behaved over the last three months. The first graph shows the total return for the quarter whereas the second graph illustrates the “month by month” performance. The performance figures are aggregated so, for example, the green bar is made up of all the FSWM Multi-Asset Balanced portfolios across all product types. If you require specific performance figures for your plan, please contact your adviser.
The first graph below shows how the FSWM portfolios have performed over 12 months. For comparison, the returns of cash (MoneyFacts 90 days notice 10K) and inflation (UK Consumer Price Index) are also shown. As with the graphs on page 6, the figures for each category are aggregated.
The second graph illustrates how the portfolios have performed since launch (1st November 2008).
The fourth quarter saw positive returns from all of the portfolios once again, however 2018 may prove a little less supportive. The mix of less accommodating monetary policy, combined with the potential for higher inflation, may subdue returns.
A key part of the FSWM service is to monitor the underlying performance of each fund within the portfolios for both risk and return. We have selected quality funds with strong track records and therefore do not envisage a high turnover of holdings. However, there will be occasions when the performance of an individual fund will lead to its expulsion from the portfolio(s). There are a number of factors that determine this decision, for example consistent under-performance, change of management team etc. It is also important, however, to have patience with a fund that is just suffering short-term under-performance.
We operate a “traffic light” system and will move a fund from a “green” to “amber” rating if the fund requires closer scrutiny at the next review. If a fund shows sufficient improvement, it will move back to “green”. If the fund consistently under-performs without good reason its status will change to “red” and the fund will be removed from the portfolio(s). A replacement fund will be selected and all clients holding the fund within their portfolio will be notified. Upon receipt of their authority, the client’s funds will be switched accordingly.
The Investment Committee meets on a bi-monthly basis and one of its primary functions is to review our existing fund range. Within this meeting we scrutinise any funds which we feel are performing significantly differently to their peer group or benchmark, with a number then run against our internal performance and risk measurements.
During 2017 we saw a shift in policy from a number of central banks. This could lead to a change in the style of funds which will perform best as liquidity is withdrawn and the cost of borrowing increases. Taking these factors into account, the Investment Committee has recommended a number of changes to the current asset allocation of the FSWM portfolios, which they believe more fully reflect the forthcoming economic backdrop.
Many clients holding a product using FSWM will, or may already have received, a switch letter to recommend changing to the new asset allocation. It is important to sign and return this letter to us as soon as possible so your portfolio can be updated. The switch letter will contain further details of the changes, but our aim is to optimise returns whilst minimising risks.
The next FSWM review will take place in early February 2018.
The maximum quarterly gain and loss figures in the asset allocation tables on pages 4 & 5 are taken from Financial Express based on the last 34 quarters of the longest running FSWM portfolios (up to August 2017). For the table on page 5, the figures are based on 16 quarters.
FE Risk Score: Financial Express have introduced FE Risk Scores to provide a single, easy to understand measure of risk across a range of investments. In the UK, Risk Scores measure the riskiness of any given investment in relation to the FTSE 100. Weekly volatility is measured over up to 3 years, with recent behaviour counting more heavily than earlier behaviour. The Risk Score is calculated weekly, and can be tracked over time. Cash type investments will have scores near zero, investment funds will tend to have scores in the 0 - 150 range.
The FTSE 100 is always 100. There is no upper limit to the scores.
The asset allocation figures on pages 4 and 5 are aggregated based on the current holdings within the FSWM portfolios for a new investor as at 1st August 2017. They will vary on a daily basis subject to market fluctuations. Rebalancing will be recommended if equity content exceeds the benchmark maximums. There is no guarantee that any of the model portfolios above will achieve their stated objectives. Each model portfolio may also experience more or less volatility than expected. The value of investments will fall as well as rise and are not guaranteed. Past performance is no guide to future performance. The Finance Shop Risk Categories are graded from 1 to 7. The above portfolios cover categories 3 to 6. For further information on all categories, please speak to your Finance Shop Independent Financial Adviser.
This report has been issued by the Investment Committee of the Finance Shop Wealth Management team using data provided by Financial Express. Care has been taken to ensure that the information is correct but Financial Express and Finance Shop neither warrants, represents nor guarantees the contents of the information, nor does Financial Express or Finance Shop accept any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions or any inconsistencies herein.
Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested. Currency fluctuations can also affect fund values. The above report does not constitute advice and you should speak to your Independent Financial Adviser before you make any alterations to investments or pension plans.
The instruments recorded above are weighted model portfolios created using Financial Express Analytics. Performance figures shown are based on the weighted models and may differ from the actual returns achieved by investors. Performance figures shown are based on bid to bid gross returns and do not include plan, contract or ongoing adviser charges / commission. Please refer to your policy documentation for further details.
Financial Express Limited Registration number: 2405213. Registered office: 7 Chertsey Road, Woking, Surrey, GU21 5AB. Telephone 01483 783 900. Website www.financialexpress.net
Finance Shop is a trading name of Finance Shop Limited. Company Number 07535053. Registered in England. Registered Office:
North Wood Place, Octagon Business Park, Little Plumstead, Norwich, Norfolk NR13 5FH.
Finance Shop is authorised and regulated bythe Financial Conduct Authority.
Formed in 1990, Finance Shop has grown to become one of the region’s leading firms of Independent Financial Advisers.
As a locally owned, genuinely independent company, we pride ourselves on the quality of our advice and service to both personal and corporate clients. With over 150 years of financial services experience within the firm and over half a billion of assets under management, we have the expertise, experience and knowledge to be able to advise on all aspects of financial planning.
Our belief is that access to quality, independent advice is more important than ever and that is why we spend the majority of our time face to face with new and existing clients, explaining the key issues of today and helping them plan for the future.