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Room 101: Mifid research brain drain - wealth managers' gripes

Three wealth managers express their personal and investment gripes.

Mike Myers

Investment manager at Psigma Investment Management - London

Investment Gripe

Risk is one word, but not one number! My investment gripe is the use of volatility as the definitive definition of investment risk.

In reality, volatility is simply a measure of the dispersion of returns from its average. Volatility cannot distinguish between positive and negative return variability, and weights them both equally. Our clients, would consider high variability, i.e gains, to be an attractive reward and, therefore, should not be penalised! In my opinion, the real risk for clients is suffering losses. I have just done a dissertation on this, available upon request!

Personal Gripe

The ‘misplacing’ of Tupperware at our office. Scouring supermarkets, specialist boutiques and online retailers for the highest spec Tupperware containers is a time consuming but highly rewarding process. However, ‘misplacing’ my containers (I am very cynical that they have been lost) within the first month of purchase is highly irritating. I remain vigilant in the quest to keep my lunch fresh!

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Mike Myers

Investment manager at Psigma Investment Management - London

Investment Gripe

Risk is one word, but not one number! My investment gripe is the use of volatility as the definitive definition of investment risk.

In reality, volatility is simply a measure of the dispersion of returns from its average. Volatility cannot distinguish between positive and negative return variability, and weights them both equally. Our clients, would consider high variability, i.e gains, to be an attractive reward and, therefore, should not be penalised! In my opinion, the real risk for clients is suffering losses. I have just done a dissertation on this, available upon request!

Personal Gripe

The ‘misplacing’ of Tupperware at our office. Scouring supermarkets, specialist boutiques and online retailers for the highest spec Tupperware containers is a time consuming but highly rewarding process. However, ‘misplacing’ my containers (I am very cynical that they have been lost) within the first month of purchase is highly irritating. I remain vigilant in the quest to keep my lunch fresh!

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Kevin Doran

Managing director at AJ Bell Investments - Manchester

Investment Gripe

Have you noticed how stocks never just go up or down these days? It winds me up when I tune in to financial news to hear that something has ‘surged’ or ‘plummeted’ 2%, or ‘hasn’t traded at these levels in weeks’. The greatest ally an investor has on their side is time – this media short-termism doesn’t help anyone.

Personal Gripe

Airports. The security undressing, clear plastic bags, mafia-style foreign exchange desks and having your bag put in the hold. The places are a masterclass in the ‘rules without reason’ mentality that kills businesses. If you’ve never missed a flight, you’re spending too much time in airports!

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James Gardner

Head of propositions at Alpha Portfolio Management - Bristol

Investment Gripe  

An unintended consequence of Mifid II has been the impact on investment research produced by the City. Less independent research is available, yet a larger number of analysts covering similar areas does not necessarily feed through to a similar standard of research.

A further consequence is that a new generation of aspiring research analysts – who, historically, were able to freely circulate their views to the investment community to prove their value – must now consider alternative means or a change in profession.

 Personal Gripe  

As a Bristolian, traffic congestion is a regular complaint. Metrobus is the local, rapid transport solution championed by the Council. Yet it is overdue, over-budget, over-complex and badly thought out, and likely never to be delivered on the scale intended. Blighted by a series of comical cock-ups, Bristol now features a series of ongoing roadworks and regular traffic jams. The wheels on this bus are not going round and round.

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