Skip to main content

Industry Insights: Asset Allocation in an Uncertain World

II Ascot

In this week's Industry Insights talk, Mark Insley, the founder and Managing Director of Ascot Wealth Management talked us through his firm's investment philosophy.

Mark was very clear that asset allocation, not stock selection, is the primary driver of returns in a portfolio, and that diversification is crucial to minimise risk. He was also very clear that for his clients - private individuals - there was no need to invest in complex, costly or excessively risky strategies. Instead AWM offer five different multi-asset portfolios to their clients, each with slightly differing risk and return profiles. Each portfolio is a mixture of active and passive (approximately 60:40) and they are invested for the long term, although they do occasionally make tactical or strategic shifts in the asset allocation to take advantage of opportunities that the investment committee identifies: recent examples include a successful tilt towards India, and a short term investment in Russia. The house view at AWM is that markets are mostly, but not always efficient and therefore excess returns can be captured when the opportunity arises.

To date the five portfolios have beaten their respective benchmarks, and performed in line with expectations (i.e. the higher risk portfolios have outperformed the lower risk ones!)

Mark also talked us through his new project - The Cape Academy. This project is all about qualifying younger people to be financial advisers and is based on Mark's experience of training up the youngest ever qualified UK adviser. This project will be piloted this year in conjunction with the ICMA Centre and promises to challenge the perception that financial advisers have to be older males in their 50s...

Published 15 February 2018
Industry Insights reviews

You might also like

Star Finance Student Wins Hedge Fund Prize

2 November 2006

The ICMA Centre Launches new Portfolio Simulation Platform

1 February 2010
MSc and BSc students at the ICMA Centre that take the portfolio management course are involved in an assessed group project where they have to build and evaluate a hypothetical portfolio with securities of their choice using real time data. The new web-based ICMA Centre portfolio simulation platform that has been developed by StockTrak Inc and customised by Dr George Alexandridis allows students to trade securities in most major markets around the world in real time and build and manage large portfolios.

New Scholarships announced for 2014-15

19 March 2014
The ICMA Centre is pleased to announce six new additional scholarships for a total of £30,000 for outstanding students applying for a postgraduate masters. The new scholarships are available for 2014 entry at the ICMA Centre.