Our investment philosophy
This page is an introduction to how we undertake investment research on your behalf.
“Woodruff Financial Planning manages my investment portfolio professionally and comprehensively, delivering regular updates and meetings to discuss investment strategy and progress. My investments have consistently risen in value registering an average increase of over 8% per year in the last 4 years despite the difficult trading conditions.”
Understanding your investments
If you do not understand a product or the reasons for it, then you should not invest in it. We believe that we should keep things as simple as possible. We want to help educate you in the investment process.
Without a consistent and repeatable investment process you will not be able to get the best out of your investments. We help you to analyse the best way forward, and to remove the emotion from the situation; this should help you to avoid costly errors.
All investments involve some sort of risk, from almost no risk, to a high level of risk. In general terms, the greater the risk you take, the greater returns you should generate on average over time; the reverse is also true. Over time you should expect low risk and low returns on assets such as cash or bank accounts (perhaps below inflation), and greater risk and greater returns on riskier assets such as shares.
We manage risks by diversifying your portfolio. This can be in a number of ways, such as increasing the number of holdings by using different types of asset (split between cash, fixed interest, shares and property), or different geographical locations and currencies. Research has shown that this approach limits the downside of your portfolio without too much impact on the upside.
This is the choice of which assets to use in your portfolio, and in what proportion. We take a medium to long term view and put together a combination of assets that will work together to deliver the risks and returns you want. The majority of a portfolio’s performance over time can be attributed to this part of the process.
We take your risk profile and use this to determine your ideal investment mix. We then use our investment research process to allocate a suitable mix of investment funds to match your individual needs.
Rebalancing your portfolio
Over time some assets will perform better than others. This can alter the risk of your portfolio unintentionally. We minimise the risks of this happening at regular reviews by rebalancing your funds towards the agreed asset allocation.
As we discuss your plans, we can make changes and assess alternative scenarios so that you can immediately see the implications of different routes towards your goals.
Once we have agreed your strategy we prepare a written plan of action.
It can be tempting to try and make short term gains on portfolios by moving in and out of the different markets. This is almost impossible to get right every time. We focus on delivering stable returns over the medium to long-term using the principles outlined above.
In turbulent stock market periods it can be tempting to reduce the risk of your portfolio by biasing the portfolio more towards safer assets. By doing this you can hamper longer term performance, or even lock in losses. These periods of turbulence are less important over time.
Inflation has an underestimated impact on returns over time. Often people focus on the actual rates of return without reflecting on the impact of the increase in the cost of living.
Active or passive funds
There are positive reasons for investing in actively managed funds as well as passive index-trackers (which tend to be cheaper). We do not have a particular bias, and prefer a statistical analysis to guide our decisions.
Watch the video on our free Investment Management guide and video series:
Dan Woodruff of Woodruff Financial Planning discusses the free Investment Management guide and video series, plus how this can help you manage your assets.