The performance of our investments our security and certainty for the future are fundamental considerations necessary for any investment and it is important that unsophisticated investors get advice.
It is important to have confidence that any advice given is solely for the benefit of the investor and not unnecessarily tainted with consideration for the advisor or the advisors company.
After recent high profile scandals and strategic failures an independent third party must be considered an important tool for monitoring the performance of investments’ and giving unbiased financial advice.
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The disadvantage is that it adds extra cost and this has to be weighed up against the size of the investment and the level of expertise of the client.
After deciding you want to use an investment consultant how do you decide which investment consultant is best for you?
In the past Investment Consultants were in reality Investment Managers, today Investment Consultants assess whether Investment Managers are taking the right risks and review how particular managers are performing in comparison to their peer group.
One of the roles of an Investment Consultant is to assess a clients appetite for risk the returns the client is expecting and if they wish to invest a large or a small part of their wealth.
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An Investment Consultant should work with a selection of Investment Managers and if they take on the role of investment manager themselves they should work with many different providers.
The fact that some Investment Consultants are also Investment Managers can give rise to queries of potential conflict of interest. Make sure an Investment Consultant is not tied to any particular investment house, check how they collect their fees, ask if they are working on commission. Our advice would be to seek out those who are completely independent and impartial for your Investment advice.
Before you choose to go with an Investment Consultant look at the size of their team, how they gather data, what software they use and the level of expertise of their team. If they are also acting as investment managers you also have to look at levels of capitalisation and how much professional indemnity insurance they are carrying.
Some investment managers view the involvement of investment consultants as a hindrance and are not enthusiastic about it. Others are very enthusiastic about it and others see it as a way of just ticking the boxes and do not really value the Investment Managers input as a way of giving clients a better service.
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Independent Investment consultants are being used more and more frequently by international and national clients as a way of ensuring they have the best fully independent advice and get the best returns and security for their money. It is estimated that since the turmoil in 2008 there has been approximately a 20% growth in the Investment Consultant business.