Let’s Talk Investments Conference - The Paradox of Choice

This month I attended the ‘Let’s Talk Investments 2022’ Conference organised by Frank Mulchay of the FM report and the Conexim Investment Platform, held at the Marker Hotel in Dublin. 

It was hard to believe that, due to Covid, it had been over two years since an in-person event had taken place and it was great to see a strong turnout and a return to more normal times. It was also a relief to see that my suit could still fit after all this time!

Eight fund houses (several of which are currently included in PortfolioMetrix portfolios, including Regnan, JP Morgan and Dimensional) spoke on the day and presented a wide range of topics, including macro-economic overviews, impact investing, infrastructure as an asset class, value investing, the inflation environment, Chinese equities and even cryptocurrencies. Safe to say it was a packed agenda.

Pulling all the ideas and insights together – where do you start?

Many interesting ideas, updates, facts and figures were shared, and I believe all attendees came away from the day having learned something new. The challenge for advisers in attendance was then to get under the bonnet of the marketing pitches and challenge some of the ideas that were presented, and to also consider the other alternative fund managers and investment ideas that were not represented on the day and ultimately deliver a robust and suitable investment recommendation to a client.

With something in the region of 10,000 fund options available on Conexim, it is important to consider how to carry out due diligence properly on the wide selection of fund managers and their funds. It is about looking beyond a marketing pitch to truly understand the pros and cons, risks and benefits of any potential asset class or fund choice, and crucially, how to blend various funds into a coherent portfolio within an asset allocation framework that seeks to minimise risk for each level of forward-looking expected return.

The benefits of adopting a central investment proposition

At the end of the day (and with everyone at that point spitting feathers for a refreshment at the bar!) David Jones of Dimensional highlighted the importance of having a centralised investment proposition (CIP) with a consistent process and we heartily agree (click here to download our whitepaper on CIPs). We also believe that one fund house cannot be the best at everything, which is why it was so interesting to hear from so many managers on the day and why it is so good to have a world of options available through Conexim. However, the paradox of choice is that, as discussed above, it is not easy or straightforward to distill all these options and ideas down into a robust and actionable solution for a client.

At PortfolioMetrix, we provide advisers and planners with an independent CIP that is backed by a skilled asset management team with diverse backgrounds, many of whom are qualified Chartered Financial Analysts (CFAs). This team spends their working week considering all the issues discussed at the conference (and many more!), carrying out rigorous due diligence on all the fund options available and ultimately creating and managing well-diversified portfolios for end-clients that an adviser can rely on.

As one of our partner advisers said to me at the conference, “I’m glad I have PortfolioMetrix to do all this for me. Every single client we place in a portfolio with you feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders.”

Congratulations to Frank and Conexim for putting on a great event. If you would like to understand more about how PortfolioMetrix can help you as an adviser, please contact me (mark.bradley@portfoliometrix.com) and I will be delighted to have a chat.