Before the market goes down be sure that you understand your tolerance of risk and your plan is designed to match it (MAR 2020)

The investment risk has changed a lot over the past 20 years, especially after the 2008 credit crisis. We believe that compound return to deliver a specific outcome is more important that capturing every gain of sterling upside when shares are strong. With volatility and slow economic growth likely for the next few years at least, we believe that our investment process helps clients understand better risk and return

Assessing your tolerance to risk, however, can be tricky. You must consider not only how much risk you can afford to take but also how much you stand to take; determining how much risk you can stand – your temperamental tolerance for risk – is more difficult. It isn’t quantifiable.

The following chart shows the process we follow to determine a client’s ability to accept investment risk.

In determining a client’s ability to accept investment risk, Professional Capital focuses on the following factors:

Risk Tolerance Factors - Quantitative (tangible) in nature

Risk Tolerance issues tent to be financial or quantitative in nature. Based upon each risk tolerance factor, Professional Capital ranks a client’s quantitative ability to accept investment risk.

Factors taken into account: Current financial position, cash flow distribution needs, impact of inflation, longevity, how long will your money need to provide you for? liquidity needs, tax position, time horizon and legacy requirements and finally your overall risk tolerance assessment.

 Risk Preference Factors - Qualitative (intangible) in nature

Risk preference is a client’s willingness to accept investment risk. Risk preference factors tend to be as important as risk tolerance. However, risk preference factors tend to be qualitative and subjective.

Factors taken into account:

Primary Objective, income vs capital growth, preservation of capital, market volatility (fluctuations), important trade - offs, investment constraints.

The combination of these factors is used to determine a client’s composite risk profile which leads to their target asset allocation between various assets.

Ultimately, the creation of a composite risk profile is a subjective decision based upon the unique characteristics of each client. One client may have the quantitative ability to accept risk, but is not willing to have significant fluctuations in their portfolio market value. In this particular example the client’s risk preference for lower volatility will likely dominate their risk tolerance and will be translated into a less aggressive allocation between growth/defensive assets. 

Professional Capital focuses on the threats to our client’s lifestyle and/or retirement income rather than fluctuations in the asset portfolio value. These threats could be wealth erosion in the longer term because of inflation by keeping a great deal of money in cash,  assets do not sustain income withdrawals in retirement and deplete early, growth is not sufficient to satisfy specific income/legacy requirements and many more.

We carry out many stress tests on each client’s unique situation and lifestyle requirements, putting together different what-if scenarios of how income/assets are likely to perform under best-and worst–case scenarios- and select the plan with the lowest risk.

Professional Capital works very closely with each individual client in making this extremely important decision.

To that end, we help our clients determine their composite risk profile by using FinaMetrica's risk profiling psychological questionnaire.

This comprehensive financial risk tolerance test gives reliable in-depth insight into our clients' financial attitudes, values, motivations, preferences and experiences. By making risk tolerance explicit and understandable, our clients are more confident of the advice and committed to the planning process.

The benefit of using it is to get a good idea of your risk tolerance and also to examine past volatility and past returns based on various asset allocation portfolios. It also helps us devise an appropriate investment strategy for your investment plans.

It provides with resources that enable us to educate clients about risk and return, and in managing their risk and return expectations.

It is true that the past performance is no guarantee of the future. But an examination of the past provides clients with a comfortable starting point for understanding the likely pattern of future returns.


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