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A switch in time

From my point of view, wraps are a necessity, both for me as an IFA and also as a consumer. Quite simply, they allow complete control.

I have personally enjoyed excellent returns over the last few years with my own pensions run within a wrap.

Once you have experienced what can be achieved by applying focus with regard to fund selection, not to mention the ability to act quickly when it seems that markets are likely to become unfriendly, it would be churlish to practice one approach for yourself and a different one for your clients.

So, about five years ago, I started to preach what I practised. As a result, a large proportion of my appropriate clients have, by and large, moved over to holding their invested assets in this way.

With the advent of portfolio moulding tools and also the portfolio reporting abilities available from the better wraps, it has moved the concept of obtaining achieve- ments for your clients to a different level.

The power of fund selection – holding the right funds rather than some funds in roughly the right area or sector – has made considerable differences to the performances of clients’ Peps, Isas, bonds and pensions.

The improved performance, versus their equivalent a few years ago, has brought clients closer. It has made them wiser. They read more about what might affect their beloved investments and they question and discuss them constantly.

Email has certainly brought regular client contact to a new level. When this is used as means of contact by a client to pass on instructions, it provides a very efficient way of controlling and protecting their investments when combined with the flexibilities of the wrap approach.

Having experienced the market downs and subsequent recoveries of May 13 to 17, 2006 and February 26 and 27, 2007, I was already well aware of how fast things can change in the world of funds.

I was already of the opinion that things would be heading for an upheaval at some point. The financial information around could not be ignored, so I contacted my clients by email and pointed out the imminent holiday I was due to take in two weeks, July 27 to August 2. All moved to a less risky status with their funds. This was completed as I took off for sunnier climes.

My return to Blighty was with a happy heart as I received emailed thanks and congratulations from my clients.

The power of bulk switching tools, portfolio building tools, proper analysis tools and the sheer choice of the right funds in the right sectors means that there is no excuse not to provide the best service you can to your clients. It breeds loyalty and regular new business from them, not to mention a nice warm feeling inside for doing your job well.
Andy Mulligan is managing director of Knowlden Titlow Financial Services

Andy Mulligan is managing director of Knowlden Titlow Financial Services

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