Presenting the Passive view

Author: Huw Jones
Published: 20th May 2011

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the Nucleus Investment Academy  in the City of London. In case you are unfamiliar with Nucleus, they are a whole of market wrap platform provider – i.e. somewhere to hold client investments. What this means is they have access to almost any investment tradable in the UK.

However Nucleus is not just another financial services company. What makes the Nucleus platform unique is that they are majority owned by the financial planning firms that use it – firms like Proposito Financial Planning. Since the firms that use it also own it, they have a significant say in the development of the platform. The investment academy which runs every 6 months, was set up following a suggestion from some of the participating firms as a way of educating users as to some of the current issues and ideas in the investment landscape.

So what was so unusual about me attending the investment academy?

Well I wasn’t there to learn… I was there to present! I had been invited to describe how we had transitioned Proposito Financial Planning to a firm whose investment philosophy is 100% passive.

This was a great honour. There were 3 other presenters representing firms with combined assets under management of over £300,000,000! But I wasn’t intimidated by this. It made me realise that I was invited to speak because our proposition is compelling and that the story of our journey to 100% passive portfolios is interesting, engaging and worth listening to.

Of the other 3 presenters showcasing their views I was the only one extolling the virtues of passive investing. I felt a bit like Daniel in the lion’s den, waxing lyrical about passives in the City, but I survived!

I was delighted that the presentation was well received – and judging by the email and website traffic following the event, it proved highly thought-provoking for the audience. I’m not sure if it was my content or the use of ‘Prezi’ as an alternative to PowerPoint but you can be your own judge and look at it here.  I managed to field all of the questions without too much waffle and was even invited to the pub for a drink afterwards!

It’s always nice to step outside your comfort zone once in a while and presenting to over 50 of my peers certainly took me there.

Huw Jones is a partner at Proposito Financial Planning and has been instrumental in developing Proposito’s 100% passive investment philosophy and positioning it with clients.