Asset Management

We combine deep qualitative analysis by our team of investment specialists with powerful quantitative analysis from our proprietary software to inform an unconstrained approach for strong, risk-adjusted returns.

March 2019 investment update

Markets have rallied despite what appears to be the largest economic deceleration in recent years. How long will markets ignore the fact that corporate revenue, earnings and margin forecasts are deteriorating? It seems as if risk markets once again see bad news as good news, writes Dolfin’s Head of Investment Management, Richard Gray.

Postcard from the Netherlands

A key question facing players in a vibrant and rapidly growing fintech hub is whether to disrupt, collaborate, build or buy. Nikolay Pomortsev, Project Manager, reports from Dolfin’s Amsterdam office.

Dolfin shortlisted for Citywealth’s Magic Circle Awards 2019

Dolfin has been shortlisted for Industry Newcomer of the Year and Innovation of the Year in this year’s Citywealth Magic Circle Awards. Voting closes on 12 April.

Treating advisers fairly?

In this guest post for Dolfin Diary, Nick Kelly, the founder and chief executive officer of IFA firm Alexander House, argues that almost everyone needs professional financial advice and that they should pay advisers a fair fee in order to be confident of receiving a quality service for years to come.

17 July 2018 / Investing

Originally published by Money Marketing on 9 July 2018.

A recent article in the Daily Telegraph once again reinforced the prejudices and stereotyping we as professionals face every single day. Apparently, there are not enough doctors, teachers, accountants, engineers or quantity surveyors in the UK. I suspect if I look hard enough someone will even be extolling the virtues of estate agents and traffic wardens. But who cares about professional financial planners?

At the one end of the spectrum we operate in (probably) the most highly regulated professions in the country. Unlike surgeons who can quickly and simply move between hospitals, financial advisers are required to evidence qualifications, fit and properness, technical knowledge, CPD and past performance, to transfer from one business to another – yet the business they join is primarily accountable for what the adviser does anyway.

The Chancellor made it clear that people should seek out financial professionals.

Nick Kelly · Alexander House

Indeed with the introduction of pension freedoms, the Chancellor made it clear that people should seek out financial professionals to advise on the best course of action for each individual – and of course product providers demand that clients receive advice before agreeing to action almost any direct client encashment request…..perhaps because they want someone to blame if the client has cause to complain in the future?

At the other end, the number of people leaving or planning to retire, exit, or slow down far outweighs those, often self-funding their way into the profession, to then take personal liability for the next 20+ years and risk social ridicule because the press tarnish everyone with the same brush.

Unregulated marketing companies, claims management (ambulance chasers) and even our own regulator from time to time, can be accused of painting a particularly unflattering picture – in the extreme we are all apparently unscrupulous, arrogant, money grabbing, self-serving luddites intent on making a quick buck, by deliberately misleading Middle England.

People need financial advice. Not robo advice or some other self-service fad.

Nick Kelly · Alexander House

My point is that Middle England needs financial advice. Not robo advice or some other self-service fad, but honest human professionals’ intent on helping people achieve their goals in a sensible and realistic fashion. There are just not enough of us to go around. Moreover, we have failed to unite in presenting our case to the masses, which is why some are inundated with new business and others struggle to find new clients.

Perhaps it’s a problem with labels – so what is financial advice? We could define what it’s not: Bitcoin sales, debt management or cheap personal loans. Instead, I believe we should be explaining what it is: optimising and protecting you and your family’s financial future. But of course, introducing a marketing catch phrase simply isn’t enough, and here’s the rub. We must believe it too.

Since RDR I’ve been amazed and disappointed by the number of professional people who genuinely believe adviser charges are too high and our services too vanilla. I don’t mean journalists or off-the-page promotors of transactional commodities, I’m talking about business owners struggling with ever increasing staff salaries, scarce resources, increased regulatory demands, software, PII, premises, electricity and other unavoidable costs.

I’m no macroeconomic genius, but any market with strong demand and static (or reducing) supply does not lower its charges – it increases them. Most firms I’ve ever met in 30 years, are under capitalised. Whilst many are content to be lifestyle businesses, many more could be a lot more if only the firm could generate the income to reflect the work, the risk, the costs and the resources necessary to deliver professional financial planning advice into the future.

Pay a fair fee and be confident in receiving a quality service for years to come.

Nick Kelly · Alexander House

Who says 3 per cent plus 0.5 per cent is right or wrong – why not 5 per cent plus 2 per cent (much akin to a large national we all know). I believe the commission standards that were paid to advisers in bygone days should not be the benchmarks for charging in 2018. Rather a fair price for the incredible life changing work we do with our clients.

Of course decency limits, percentage vs fee or hourly rates, are each topics with important considerations, but for me treating advisers fairly is about paying a fair fee and being confident in receiving a quality service for years to come. In return we need to invest in future generations, in our public persona, in our infrastructure, in our resources and in our technology. We need to over come the constraints of a fragmented cottage industry and start to speak with one voice – ‘Fair’ must be a two-way contract.

I for one believe we all have a responsibility to support the adviser community by educating and demonstrating why this profession should not die on the cross of perfection, but be allowed to flourish alongside others regarded as expert in their field….. it’s only fair.

Originally published by Money Marketing on 9 July 2018.

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