We currently have close to 400 carefully selected clients. Most of them have over £100,000 actively invested and the majority are DIY investors such as business owners, self-employed professionals and corporate executives. However, we also have clients from the financial services sector such as IFAs, wealth managers and fund managers. Even though we have clients such as IFAs, wealth managers and fund managers, a question that we are sometimes asked is 'What are the differences between you and an IFA?'. In this post, to help answer this question, we'll look at 5 things you need to know about IFAs:
- Some advisers really are worth their weight in gold but they are rare. Most IFAs are product sales people and they're not full time investors.
- It’s hard to believe and a sad fact that about 99% of IFAs have no idea how to analyse the market on behalf of their clients, or how to help their clients select the best funds for their portfolio. Most of them have no idea at all how to accurately time their clients' buy and exit points.
- IFAs often don't have their own money invested into the funds they put their clients in. Why would you trust somebody’s recommendation when they don’t put their money where the mouth is? After all, the value of investment advice increases or decreases depending on who it is from and whether the person giving the advice has their own money on the line.
- Even though IFAs promise their clients a personal relationship, most of them will take their fees and are never to be seen again. The majority of them do not offer their clients daily guidance and continuous investment education because they are not competent in doing so.
- You really have to be on the ball with advisers because often there are hidden costs and back door fees. That means if you are not careful, you end up with poor service, high fees and worst of all, you end up not hitting your investment objectives.
This information that I’ve just shared with you is gold dust to many of the people I speak to. Some are shocked by what I tell them, but many can understand these differences based on their own personal experiences, negative events and broken relationships with advisers.
The thing is and as I mentioned before, some advisers really are worth their weight in gold but they are rare. We have lots of trusted, highly competent advisers who are clients. They come to us for help in growing their ISAs and pension. Some come to us to learn our secrets so that they can pass on what they learn to their clients. Many come to us for the same reason DIY investors come to us; to help them achieve better returns. Some are looking to get a much better understanding of how the market works, which funds to be invested in, when to be invested and when to be parked in cash. IFAs and wealth managers come to us because we share with them what the market is doing and the funds we are personally invested in.
We become their expert ‘fund researcher’ who can help them personally with their own accounts and so that they can use the information and knowledge we give them to pass on to their own clients. Fund managers come to us to help confirm their own thoughts about the market, its health, its trend and direction and what investments to be in invested in. They also like to know when we are getting aggressive with our investing so that they can get more aggressive and they like to know when we are becoming more defensive so that they can become more defensive. Would that kind of information fed to you throughout the year be useful to you?
We give these financial professionals insights, just like we give our DIY clients, so that they are better informed and more confident, which results in them making much better decisions with their investing.
ISACO is a specialist in ISA and SIPP Investment and the pioneer of ‘Shadow Investment’, a simple way to grow your ISA and SIPP. Together with our clients, we have £57 million actively invested in ISAs and pensions.*
Our personal investment service allows you to look over our shoulder and buy into exactly the same funds as we are buying. These are investment funds that we personally own and so you can be assured that they are good quality. We are proud to say that by ‘shadowing’ us, our clients have made an annual return of 17% per year over the last three years** versus the FTSE 100’s 7.9%.
We currently have close to 400 carefully selected clients. Most of them have over £100,000 actively invested and the majority are DIY investors such as business owners, self-employed professionals and corporate executives. We also have clients from the financial services sector such as IFAs, wealth managers and fund managers. ISACO Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Our firm reference number is 525147.
*15th November 2012: Internal estimation of total ISA and pension assets owned by ISACO Investment Team and ISACO premium clients.
**(31st December 2008 - 31st December 2011)
ISACO investment performance verified by Independent Executives Ltd.