At Cambridge Partners, we aim to make investing accessible, transparent and profitable for all our clients.
Hollywood loves to glorify the flashy, speculative ‘boom or bust’ world of day trading stocks. Most of us have seen the hectic, risk-saturated life of The Wolf of Wall Street (and others) on the big screen and thought, “not for me!”
Fortunately, there is a whole other, far less dramatic side to share markets. One that offers everyday investors an opportunity to build their wealth and secure their financial futures through a measured, considered, and evidence-based approach.
This is the approach that Cambridge Partners take to investing. You can read about our investment principles here.
Some of the keys to our approach are:
Speculators will often try to ‘time the market’ in an effort to buy shares at what they consider to be a low point, and (hopefully) sell them quickly at a higher price. This is a high-risk, guess-based strategy that can lead to big wins, and big losses.
Conversely, we take the evidence-based approach that the market has generally trended upwards over the last 100 years, and (over significant periods of time) has delivered solid returns for investors. While there are fluctuations in share prices between days, weeks, and even years – we can reasonably expect the value of quality shares to increase over time. i.e, if you spend enough time in the market, you’ll see positive returns. And we have.
Below is a chart of the value of the S&P 500 Index (made up of the top 500 companies listed on US Stock Exchanges) from 1927 to 2020.
If you invest in one company, you are putting all your investment eggs in one basket. Your fortunes are inextricably linked to that one company’s performance. Even if you invest in ten great New Zealand companies, you can still be exposed to the ups and downs of the New Zealand economy. The same applies when you invest in just a handful of industries.
We have highly diversified portfolios that include quality shares across many countries, industries, and companies. This means that you are well placed to weather any localised ‘storms’.
Overcoming emotions is a fundamental part of success in investing. It is very easy to get nervous when our share performance dips, or get overly excited when things are going well. However, reacting emotionally to short-term fluctuations in prices – rather than sticking to a considered, long-term strategy – can be very costly.
If we make emotion-driven decisions, we risk selling low and buying high. A very undesirable outcome!
At Cambridge Partners, our highly experienced advisers work with clients to ensure they understand that riding the wave of emotions is not a recipe for financial success or happiness. We build solid, best-practice investment strategies, and rely on them to deliver the desired outcomes.
Cambridge Partners offers a highly personalised and holistic approach to financial planning, investing, and wealth management. We work to understand your values and goals – as well as the level of risk you are comfortable with.
Everyone’s situation is unique, and your investment strategy will always reflect your objectives and timelines.
Your investment adviser works with you to develop a portfolio that best fits your circumstances. This might be a ‘growth’ focused portfolio that aims for higher returns over a longer time period. Alternatively, it might be a ‘defensive’ focused portfolio for those looking for more reliable, low risk income in the short term.
Generally, you’ll have a strategic ratio of both growth and defensive assets, as the examples below represent:
Your adviser will help you make the best decision on what asset mix your portfolio should contain, and then set up the relevant purchases on your behalf. You have full visibility of your portfolio via an online portal and regular adviser updates.
The assets in your portfolio are in your name – and you are always able to invest more money, or make the decision to sell at any point.
You can view our portfolios below:
Below are some brief answers to questions our first-time investment clients often ask us. If you have more questions about the specifics of investing, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
The short answer is you can buy shares in any listed company. This includes high profile giants such as Apple and Tesla, right down to small local businesses.
However, the reality is that some shares are very expensive – beyond the reach of the average investor – and the transaction costs of buying and selling shares can also impact where and how you are able to profitably invest.
Typically, Cambridge Partners’ advisers will encourage you to invest in funds which have a diversified spread of shares across countries, industries, and companies. This mitigates the risk of investing in one company, and therefore being at the mercy of its fortunes. It also reduces your transaction fees.
That said, some of our more experienced clients do invest in individual companies as part of their wider portfolio.
There is always some risk associated with investing in shares – as there is with all investments. In fact, even simply keeping your money in a bank account is a risk, as inflation can cause the real value (your spending power in the real world) of your savings to decrease over time.
In the case of shares, risk is closely linked to the potential for reward. A high risk strategy can bring big returns (or big losses if things go badly) and a more conservative approach is likely to bring lower (but more predictable) returns.
Everyone’s tolerance for risk is different – and it can vary throughout our lives as our circumstances change – so a good adviser will personalise your investment strategy to ensure you always feel comfortable. What good is making money if you can’t sleep at night?
As a firm, we look to mitigate risk (and the uncomfortable feeling that comes with it) through investing in high quality shares, diversifying our portfolios, and helping our clients to ‘take a long term view’ of the market, rather than riding the short term ups and downs.
Over the last 100 years, the average annual return from the S&P 500 index (made up of America’s 500 largest listed companies) is approximately 10%.
Not bad. But, of course, there is significant variability between years.
This is why taking a long term view of investing is key. Year to year the value of your investments may vary, but over the course of a decade or so the share market has typically tracked upwards. And so, typically, have the value of share portfolios.
It’s worth noting that you only lose money on an investment when you ‘realise’ (sell) your shares below the price you paid for them. Even if your portfolio loses some value on paper during a slump, you still own the shares, and when the market rebounds they begin to increase in value.
Both property and shares have their pros and cons as investments. Many of our clients have made great returns from property, and we certainly do not discourage property investment.
Some of the reasons to consider investing in shares include:
– Relatively low admin when compared to actively managed rental properties with ongoing tenant and maintenance concerns etc.
– Easier/more diversification of your assets across several countries and industries, compared to property portfolios that are often based in one region or country.
– Liquidity is often cited as a key reason people invest in shares, as it is far easier to pull your money out (almost instantly) when circumstances change. This can contrast sharply with the time required to sell property.
Ultimately, the choice of property vs shares comes down to personal preference and situation. There is no reason why you can’t invest in both.
Not at all. It’s your money!
Many of our clients have investments with us, as well as some property and other assets they manage personally. We always look to accommodate your personal preferences, and include these in your overall financial plan.
Over time, as circumstances change, clients will often look to add more funds into their portfolios, or sell off shares to invest in other areas.
If you’d like to discover more about investing with Cambridge Partners, please Schedule A Call or get in touch via email. One of our investment advisers will answer any questions you have, and (if you’re happy to proceed) look to set up an initial no-obligation meeting to discuss your options.
We look forward to hearing from you.
We offer a no obligation review of your situation.
Our series of real-world case studies will help give you a full understanding of your investment options, and how different strategies are suited to different situations, goals and timelines.
You will also gain valuable insight on how our advisers work with their clients to achieve the outcomes they are looking for.