When I’ve caught up with friends this week, the key issues we’re ‘chewing the fat’ about are the shenanigans of the U.S. presidential election, which contestants will make the Final 5 of Masterchef and what new Paleo fad, Atkins diet or juice cleanse we’re taking on. In my meetings and conversations with financial advisers however, the main topics of discussion are quite different. Not that I am saying that the merits of a paleo brownie are undervalued, but it helps us to put things into perspective. The three key themes I’ve been discussing on the BetaShares frontline are summarised below:
Protecting client portfolios
In my conversations with advisers, there has been an overwhelming focus around how to protect their clients’ portfolios given the instability of the equity markets in recent weeks. Many of my adviser clients believe the tide has turned and it’s not necessarily about how to grow a client’s portfolio, but more about how to protect their capital base. A completely different conversation to twelve months ago when the interest was purely centred on growth exposures and how to access the newest emerging market hotspot. From a product perspective, this means more conversations about our Bear Hedge Fund Series – BEAR and BBOZ.
As we all know, the days of opening our term deposit interest statements and getting a pleasant surprise are over- so what now? Property is the answer. Right? It’s been at least part of the answer for successful investors for many years, so is this the silver bullet? Well…not for those (myself included) who read the property section in the Sunday paper every weekend. With house prices reaching record highs and rental yields plateauing in many states, the property story appears to become less compelling. The good news is, product providers are becoming more aware of the need for yield and are launching funds that can provide equity income exposure with some form of downside protection. For our clients, the conversations in this regard are about YMAX, UMAX and HVST.
We all know about asset allocation. The importance of getting it right, how it can benefit portfolios and the many different ways you can approach it. Advisers are more and more searching for answers, guidance and research on this topic, and are increasingly willing to challenge the status quo. There is now a strong school of thought that standard strategic asset allocation methods are limited, with numerous bodies of research published that highlight the benefits of using a more flexible dynamic asset allocation approach. We have received many queries from advisers asking us for our thoughts on the topic and as a result we are working on a number of different solutions, with more information on that in blog posts to come…
I wish I had a crystal ball to forsee the future for my advisers and their clients, however in the meantime I can assure you that the exchange traded fund market is consistently evolving and if the exposure you’re looking for hasn’t arrived yet- it won’t be too far away. Watch this space.