LPI Awards Investment Broker of the Year 2018
Harvest Financial Services Limited was delighted to be awarded the prestigious title of ‘Investment Broker of the Year’ at the The Brokers Ireland Life, Pensions and Investments (LPI) Awards last week. The LPI Awards for Financial Brokers is designed to ensure that those at the forefront of the profession are identified and commended for their efforts.
We are delighted the strength and depth of our investment advisory offering and the continued innovations and improvements we have made over the last year were recognised by the judges.
This success complements the Independent Retail Pension Broker of the Year award which Harvest received at the Irish Pensions Awards in November 2017. This rare combination of accolades reflects the breadth of the Wealth Management offering provided to our clients.
Why Harvest won the Investment Broker of the Year
Getting to know our clients and their needs is the first step of our investment process. By using plain language, we aim to keep communications simple and concise to make sure that they clearly understand our proposals and recommendations. We focus on cost transparency and where possible clients will invest in the institutional share class of funds, which can significantly reduce costs over time.
Every investor’s needs and circumstances are different. Our adviser’s ability to provide advice suitable to our client’s circumstances is dependent on our knowledge of their financial position, investment needs and objectives, attitude to risk, liquidity, requirement for income, importance of capital security, etc. By working closely with our clients to really understand them we can establish this information.
Our advice seeks to optimise the investment returns in our client’s portfolio through identifying a suite of investments from our list of recommended funds reflecting their personal circumstances and preferences. We always consider the long term picture and understand that strategic investment advice relies on timing and patience allied to insight and market intelligence. Whether clients are investing their pension, corporate, personal or charity funds we take the same approach to ensure they have an overall investment portfolio that meets their investment needs and objectives.
We have developed a four-step process designed to arrive at a portfolio recommendation that meets our client’s investment needs and objectives.
The Harvest Financial Planning Process:
Investor profiling and goal setting:
Our first step is to ensure we understand your financial position, investment needs and objectives, attitude to risk, liquidity, importance.
Recommendations for the portfolio:
Based on an assessment and analysis of the information you provide, your Harvest advisor will recommend investments from our list of recommended funds which will be designed to optimise the investment.
Agreement and implementation:
Your Harvest advisor can help you select the most suitable investments for you where a number of options are available. Prior to any formal investments taking place your Harvest advisor will provide you with a detailed suitability letter taking into account the information you provided and outlining why the investments are suitable for you
You will be kept informed of the performance of your portfolio on a regular basis and your Harvest advisor will make further recommendations as appropriate.
Asset allocation is a critical element of portfolio building. Our typical recommended ranges for the four primary risk categories of investor are:
Where possible, we look across a clients total assets – personal & pension – to advise on an appropriate asset allocation to suit them.
The cornerstone of our approach to investment management is our Investment Committee. The objective of the Investment Committee is to compile and review a list of appropriate investment funds to generate consistently superior investment results for our clients over the medium term.
Investment Director, Terry Devitt heads up our Investment Committee which compiles our list of recommended funds from Irish and international fund managers. Terry has spent his career as an investment analyst and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our investment offering. Terry regularly visits fund managers in the UK as part of his fund selection and ongoing review process. Many of the fund managers are regular visitors to Harvest where the Client Managers have the opportunity to quiz the managers about their funds. We regularly host investment seminars for our clients where we invite international fund managers to give their view on the investment world.
We provide an unbiased view of the product providers and their funds that are considered for inclusion on our recommended fund list. We consider the merits of various fund managers and undertake a stringent due diligence process before a fund can be added to the list. This process of fund selection provides the most appropriate fund choice for our clients.
The investment committee allocates each investment on our list of recommended funds a risk rating based on its volatility. These risk ratings are provided as a guide to help clients make informed investment decisions within the context of their investment needs and objectives, with an appropriate diversification of assets.
We are constantly investing in new ways to bring our clients the most cost effective routes to market and have recently introduced an online platform. This has significantly reduced transaction costs, ongoing annual management fees and has expedited execution. The platform is fully integrated with our valuations system which provides clients with daily valuations on their funds.
Occasionally, where we cannot source the appropriate investment to meet our client’s needs from the market, or they come to us with a particular investment proposal they wish to pursue, we will develop an in-house structure that brings the opportunity to our clients.
The basics of investing never changes – it always comes down to risk and reward. At Harvest we want to tilt the balance of risk and reward in our client’s favour through appropriate advice and strategic thinking. No matter what stage in life they are at, our team of seasoned professional advisers will tailor an asset allocation for each client’s portfolio that optimises investment returns by seeking the highest possible return for the level of risk that they are willing to take. Harvest’s experience and insight guide our clients through the maze of investment options from our continuously updated list of recommended funds.