Our unique investment capability is one of our core strengths – with our disciplined, consistent and deeply considered approach being fundamental to our investment decisions. We aim to create tailored portfolios based on the risk and return objectives of each client.
Our investment specialists monitor and provide advice on portfolio changes. They produce in-house research, analysis and independent views based on internal and external research using open-ended sources for external research. Our views are unaligned with any research houses.
We provide regular forward-looking investment newsletters as well as macro-economic views combined with a fundamental “bottom-up” value approach to the appropriateness and suitability of investments.
Our Chief Investment Officer has frequent meetings with, and direct access to, portfolio managers and heads of research who provide us with a deeper understanding of the market.
Our investment breadth covers:
Within the complex world of investment opportunities, we strive to keep it simple for our clients. We base our unique offering on the following three underlying methodologies in managing money and guiding our clients through the ebb and flow of the financial markets:
- Foundational Portfolio Management
- The “Moat” Concept
- Behavioural Finance
1. Foundational Portfolio Management
This methodology refers to building portfolios in the most “fool-proof” manner by understanding how to place weightings on certain companies and fund managers that meet our strict criteria guideline.
2. The “Moat” Concept
A “moat” defines the company’s resilience and competitive advantage in their products and services. The fast changing business environment means that companies with large competitive advantages are likely to navigate through the many landmines ahead and become stronger in the process.
This moat concept is important in the identification of high quality companies and with it comes a much higher chance of providing investors with a reasonable return on their investments over time when purchased at a reasonable price.
3. Behavioural Finance
Human behaviour drives markets. While many academics believe that markets are efficient, human emotions can from time to time provide mispricing in the underlying worth of the company. Our understanding in behavioural finance coupled with our strong relationships with some of the best investment minds in the country, also helps us to gain deeper insights into these opportunities in providing suitable and value-adding advice.
These three factors combined with our independence provides added investment opportunities.
Separately Managed Accounts
We have formed a Professional Investment Committee, which includes third party involvement. Our model portfolios operated under the Separately Managed Accounts (SMA) structure include the following advantages:
- Three model portfolios – The Summit Fund (low cost growth), The Generation Fund (growth) and The Guardian Fund (conservative)
- Two-pronged approach using both managed funds and direct stocks in models
- Absolute return strategy with focus on downside risk mitigation
- Consistent changes to every portfolio, ie. no timing issue with any changes
- Clearly defined strategies and positioning
Supervised Investments Australia Limited
Traditionally, many funds have not had the level of transparency that we require. However, after two years of negotiations, we became a part owner of a managed investment company, Supervised Investments Australia Limited (SIAL). The investment in SIAL and Damien Cooper’s board representation provide the desired visibility and control over its investment decisions.
SIAL is an investment company that manages two types of funds – an equity fund, The Supervised Fund and a fixed interest fund, Supervised High Yield Fund. We believe that the Supervised High Yield Fund is an opportunity for our clients to add further diversification within the fixed interest sector.
In summary, we believe our approach adds enormous value to our clients. Our dedicated investment team is always on call to answer questions on and discuss share market opportunities. Our close business relationships with major retail banks and investment banks provide us with “first-call” opportunities in shares, bonds and unique investment opportunities.
Listed and Unlisted Bonds/Fixed Income Opportunities
Fixed Income investments such as bonds often make an important and stable part of an investment portfolio. It is an integral part to achieving a stable income but can also help smooth returns and volatility in a portfolio. However, fixed income is not as plain vanilla as the average investor often imagines. Investors need a good understanding of the macro-economic environment and where interest rates are heading over the medium to longer term. We use various sources to gather this information as well as our own in-house assessment of the likely scenarios in order to make adjustments in the type of fixed income and strategies used in portfolios.
Direct Domestic and Global Share Portfolios
Our clients have come to expect that their portfolios come with a degree of direct holdings in quality companies listed in Australia and abroad. Our unique capability in offering both Australian and International direct share ownership allows our clients to tap into some of the very best brands and companies in the world that are often unavailable to the typical clients. We use a range of filters and tools to enable us to only assess companies that meet our quality criteria. We then gather information from various sources in order to understand their valuation level and whether their future is bright enough to convince us to take the risk in having our clients invest into them.
Alternative assets can often be confusing to most clients. As a general definition, alternatives is an asset class that should assist and complement the portfolio when markets trend sideways or down. We use a select group of strong managers who are able to place uncorrelated bets on the market by actioning unique strategies to assist our clients in preserving capital during market downturns.
How do you sort out the best from the rest in a world where there are thousands of choices to choose from? Financial Decisions has direct access to most of the portfolio managers and thereby attains a much deeper understanding of how their minds work and whether or not our philosophy aligns with theirs. Having a true understanding of how they act and react to certain situations can assist us to separate the best from the pack and allows us to choose and blend together the most appropriate funds to place into your portfolio.
Tailored Equity Solutions and Structuring
This is a unique offering from Financial Decisions to our clients. Through our deep understanding of many aspects of market volatility, we are able to structure unique investment opportunities by combining equities and options as a package in return for a fixed set of return. No investment comes without risks but during certain times of the year, we can offer certain strategies to enable clients to receive a high level of income. We package an investment structure that we believe has the best risk to reward by understanding probability scenarios combined with the fundamentals of the underlying companies to package a high probability investment often with double digit returns.
Understanding Foreign Exchange and Options
Foreign exchange (FX) requires many years of experience as it involves an ability to combine a fundamental outlook over a short to medium term timeframe on the economy as well as a solid practical knowledge of technical analysis. Options require a very solid knowledge of the different aspects that can affect its pricing. While we do not do direct option strategies for our clients, some of our strategies require a very good practical knowledge of the impacts of how movements in the underlying asset can impact on the option premiums. We can take advantage of these to make money for our clients. Both FX and options are complex but important fields requiring a lot of patience and understanding in order to execute well. Financial Decisions is one of the very few financial advisory firms with this capability in-house.