Chris Gilchrist

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Chris Gilchrist: ‘Real’ investment will defeat the paper shufflers

The remorseless advance of the passive investment movement (for such it is, complete with creed and prophets) leaves active fund management businesses with a dilemma. In theory, they would prefer to fight and claim that their various styles of active management can and do deliver superior outcomes over the timescales that matter to investors. But […]

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Chris Gilchrist: Herds, spreadsheets and fund selection

Behavioural finance boffins have made us more aware of herding, which is argued to be a relic of humanity’s formative years on the African savannah. Many of our hard-wired “rules of thumb” – such as the bird in hand being worth two in the bush – are often a poor guide to the most advantageous […]

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Chris Gilchrist: Finding fault with the passive evangelists

Why would you buy an index tracker fund? Because very few active fund managers consistently generate higher returns than a representative market index? That is not – as many passive evangelists think – a slam-dunk proposition. The degree of market efficiency varies from market to market and among sub-sets of stocks within markets over time. […]

Chris Gilchrist: Why can’t we just call a sale a sale?

The provision of advice used to be a business. It involved selling products to clients. Almost all advisers and bank-owned wealth managers used this business model in the 1980s and 1990s. The RDR in 2013 mandated a switch to a model where advisers received ongoing revenues from clients, and they have slowly moved to providing […]

Chris Gilchrist: The problem with managing to volatility

Advisers deal with people who have capital. For the vast majority the prime concern is not losing their capital. As people get to grips with the consequences of increased longevity and lower-for-longer interest rates, this is becoming more important. In decumulation, a serious market downturn can wipe you out in a way that it simply […]

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Chris Gilchrist: ETFs could be next for a meltdown

Exchange-traded funds are a likely candidate for the next systemic financial crisis. While most bond fund managers cannot see why interest rates will rise, a major sell-off in bond ETFs would send all interest rates up. The problem is that, while ETFs have delivered low costs, they cannot deliver on other aspects of their promises […]

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Chris Gilchrist: Give financial planners the respect they are due

Human beings measure whatever can be measured. Then they turn the numbers into a battleground of different views. Arguments about costs of financial products and levels of adviser fees follow this pattern. Like many advisers, I am confident that most of our clients gain benefits, in the form of tax relief gained and tax not […]