Adrian Shandley is the manager director at Premier Wealth Management.
Q: What are the most interesting themes in the industry at present?
A: The IFA market is moving towards a client-service proposition as standard. In the investment world, cost is becoming quite a driver. There is more of a focus on which funds are underperforming and outperforming.
Q: Where do you stand on the active versus passive debate?
A: We have been doing a lot of investing with ETFs (exchange traded funds), driven a lot by costs, asset allocation, and risk profiling, which are becoming much bigger issues. We are starting to be of the opinion that ETFs and passives are a good alternative for a lot of clients. There is more pressure on actives to perform, to justify their existence from a cost and performance point of view. We have been using providers such as Vanguard and iShares.
Q: Do you share the industry’s widespread enthusiasm for absolute return funds?
A: Honestly, I think they are an accident waiting to happen. Personally I’ve got a bad feeling about the whole sector. It’s the old Henry Ford quote isn’t it? ‘By the time you see a bandwagon, it’s too late to get on it.’ I am not sure they can achieve in all weathers.
Q: How do you feel about commercial property?
A: Property will be much slower to recover than equities. When property goes down it only goes in one direction, while equities jump up and down, and when they have decided it is a bull market, recovery is very quick. At auction, commercial property prices are still falling, as are residential property prices. I would have to see positive economic statistics to show the sector was getting positive on the economic side, and therefore positive on the trading side, so it will pick up. At the moment there is too much supply.
Q: Which funds do you think will be ones to watch going into next year?
A: As a general sector I like global income, especially funds from M&G and Invesco Perpetual. For a speculative punt of 2% or 3%, I like emerging markets funds focusing on China rather than Russia, and financials funds from Axa and Jupiter.