12th March 2020 – Market Volatility Concerns

Yesterday was very eventful, with the early morning news that the BOE reduced the base rate to 0.25%, accompanied by market volatility and afternoon budget announcements.

Overnight, the news from Trump to stop travel from the Schengen European countries to, and from America helped lead to further volatility and the FTSE, opening another 5% down, and at the time of writing is down 9%.

Given these exceptional circumstances, we thought at this time it would be prudent to communicate our thoughts.

Our belief is that long term investing is designed to tolerate short term volatility both up and down, and this is backed up by long term equity returns data.  Making knee jerk reactions at times like these often leads to a poorer investment experience.

Nevertheless, with the current news being dominated by headlines about the coronavirus and stock market falls, we fully understand any nervousness about the impact in the short-term on your investment portfolios.

It’s worth considering in the first instance as to when you might need your money; do you need it all right now or does it need to last you say, for the next thirty years?

It might also worthwhile to consider actual performance of a balanced portfolio over a range of periods to demonstrate how the effects of one year’s performance are diminished.

We have published data on the performance of all our portfolios on our website and we ask you to consider the best and worst numbers over the longer periods and you will see despite some short term volatility, the longer term averaged returns have tolerated those short term losses.


Performance Summary Statistics: 01/06/2009 – 31/01/2020

Date as of January 31st 2020.

Performance data shown represents past performance and is not a guarantee of future results.  Current performance may be higher or lower than the performance shown.


The attached article from Dimensional was written 2 weeks ago as the markets were in the early stages of reacting to the coronavirus reaching the wider world.  Whilst things have moved on in terms of volatility, the message still remains strong and relevant.


If you have any questions or would like to chat through your thoughts or concerns please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.


Roland, Jonathan and Nikki.



Coronavirus, and its impact on the markets

Its impossible to ignore the news surrounding the Coronovirus and its impact on a personal level, as well as the markets.

We have seen the FTSE in the UK face its largest weekly decline since the financial crisis, and Mark Carney has warned that the coronavirus outbreak could lead to a downgrade of the UK’s economic growth prospects.

Whilst we must be thoughtful of those impacted by the virus, we need to take stock and think about how we as long term investors must not make knee jerk reactions to negative news.

The following article from Dimensional gives good insight into the reasons for the current uncertainty, and also reasons to not let it consume your thoughts in regards to your own financial plan.


If you have any questions or concerns please do get in contact





Evidence Based Investing – Drowning out the Noise!!

In this blog I want to give you a quick overview of our investment beliefs at Oliver Asset Management, namely Evidence Based Investing.

Who are evidence based investors?

You may well have heard us mention Dimensional Fund Advisers in the past, but probably will not have seen them mentioned anywhere else.

They are the worlds 8th largest fund management company.  They don’t advertise (helping to keep costs low) and they manage and offer research exclusively to institutional investors and a select group of fee based advisers (including us at Oliver Asset Management).

What is evidence based investing?

Evidence based investing is based on a belief in the efficiency of the markets, and that the market is an effective information-processing machine.

Rather than attempting to predict the future or outguess others, information is drawn about expected returns from the market itself—using the collective knowledge of its millions of buyers and sellers as they set prices of shares.

By trusting markets to do what they do best—namely drive information into prices—Dimensional Fund Adviser’s time can be freed up to where they believe they have an advantage,  which is how they interpret their research. They take a less subjective, more systematic approach to investing—an approach they can implement consistently, and investors can understand and stick with, even when the markets seem challenging.

How do we use evidence based investing?

By using Dimensional research principals in conjunction with our investment partners, we are able to utilise low cost globally diversified portfolio’s with strong track records.

We stick to our principals in helping to educate and drown out the external noise from fund houses who claim to have the next big idea.  This in turn frees up our time to focus on what brings you value, like planning out and visualising your future, using our sophisticated cash flow modelling software.

Why use evidence based investing?

The reasons we believe in evidence based investing are numerous, and too long to fully implement into this blog, but in short….

Evidence tells us that trying to outguess and trying to time the market does not work in the long term, and selecting funds based on past performance is extremely unlikely to continually succeed.

Daily news sells on fear which can in turn challenge your investment discipline.  For example fear of a market crash, or fear of missing out on the next big idea.

By avoiding market timing and chasing the next expensive “star” fund manager, diversifying globally, taking control of costs and turnover, and tuning out the noise we can focus together on actions that will add value to your financial plan.

For more information please follow the link:


Where can you access evidence based investing?

Get in touch, or pop into our office for a coffee and we can chat through our thoughts with you.


Jonathan Beaton


Client Centred Financial Planning using Cash Flow Modelling

Cash flow modelling, we believe, is the integral part of any serious client centred financial planning process.

Taking into account your income, expenditure, assets, liabilities plus future planned spending or windfalls etc, we can build a visualisation of your financial future.

The initial model leads to an in-depth conversation about what is really important to you and your family’s long-term financial plans and aspirations.

This could be whether or not you are on course for that early retirement you have been striving for, or goals within your working life, a dream holiday home, funding a wedding or your children’s or grandchildren’s education.

Cash flow modelling allows us to see how achievable your ambitions are, and if so, what actions may need to be taken to make sure you are making the most of your potential.

They also help us to understand if you are able to continue to live a good life in retirement, without running out of money or even potentially dying with too much money, leaving your estate with a possible inheritance tax issue to solve.

The next step, is then to put in place actions to make the most tax efficient effective use of your money, build confidence in your plans, and also solidify our relationship as your trusted source of advice.

The most important part of the financial planning cash flow modelling process however, is the ongoing review.

What makes it work as an invaluable tool is revisiting the model, and re-evaluating your position on a regular basis.

Regular reviews will ensure that the course of any financial plan is maintained and is able to be followed, and amended to take into account any changes in your life.

Whether your investments have increased or reduced in value since the previous year, it’s the impact on your long-term planning that we need to consider.  Annually reviewing your model helps avoid making snap investment decisions that could seriously damage long-term investment returns.

Our service is not about a single transaction.

We aim to become your trusted adviser for the long term.

By really understanding what you want to achieve with your money, for you and your families’ future, we believe we can provide the long-term advice that adds value.

Get in touch, come into our office and let us show you how we can help you by building a visual profile of your financial future.

Jonathan Beaton


Welcome to our new Website!

I’m delighted to introduce the latest version of our website – our 4th or 5th iteration if I remember correctly.

We’ve had great help from Rachael at Clooti and Bill at Wing Design in bringing this to life. They’ve be instrumental in helping us get the correct message about what we do across and how this has evolved over the last 12+ years. The journey has quite fascinating.

The aim of the business was always to provide the best financial guidance and planning that we could, but in the early days we were in a product-sales led rather than advice led environment.

We had a strong belief and conviction that there was a better way to provide a better experience and outcomes for our clients and that has led us to the approach we take today.

The tools, support, processes and systems were admittedly there, but you had to go digging to find them and work hard to implement them in the business process, but the feedback we were getting about what we doing for clients, convinced us it was the right thing to do.

It’s reassuring to see how many other financial planning firms now adopt a similar approach to us and have a client service ethos at the heart of their businesses.

Our new website reflects the distillation of what we’ve tried to do since the business started, and we aim to provide as much information and education on financial matters, regulations and taxation along with the latest thinking on smart investing as we can.

We hope that you find the new website a true reflection of what we are about as a business. We’d be delighted to hear any comments that you have and any ideas of items or ideas you’d like to see more of.

Roland Oliver
May 2019


Want to save the planet?

As parts of America suffer record cold temperatures and after the previous years’ devastating hurricanes and the terrible fire in California, you might be inclined to believe there is something in the scientist’s dire warnings about climate change.

Donald Trump thinks it’s a hoax, but the evidence points to something serious going on.

As any individual concerned about trying to their bit to help out, we do have some choices and lifestyle decisions to make. Continue reading “Want to save the planet?”


EU Referendum – What now?

Brexit – What does it mean for my investments?

Following last week’s EU Referendum vote, there is a high level of uncertainty over what this will mean for the country on many levels.

To attempt to calm market fears, there have been statements made from the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney and this morning from George Osbourne.

At this time there is no clear understanding what leaving the EU will mean for investing in short term, but I believe that the long term nature of our investment philosophy and approach would recommend that although these are uncharted waters, staying in your investment seat at this time is the correct approach.

I work closely with Dimensional Fund Advisers and I share an extract from their newsletter which
better puts in to context our current situation:

“Dimensional has nearly 35 years of experience managing portfolios, including during periods of uncertainty and heightened volatility. We monitor market events—including their impact on trading and trade settlement—very closely and consider the implications of new information as it comes to light. We are paying close attention to market mechanisms and they appear to be functioning well. Our investment philosophy and process have withstood many trying times and we remain committed.

We urge caution in allowing market movements to impact long-term asset allocation. Long-term investors recognize that risks and uncertainty are ever present in markets. A drop in prices is generally due to lower expectations of cash flows, higher discount rates, or both. In some cases, a drop is also due to investors demanding liquidity. In the current situation, some investors and economists may expect lower cash flows due to possible trade barriers that may not be implemented. Higher discount rates may be occurring due to uncertainty about changes in the economic landscape and regulations. We have seen markets increase discount rates in times of uncertainty before, resulting in lower prices and increased expected returns. However, it is difficult to know when good outcomes will materialize in the future. By attempting to time the right moment to invest or redeem, one risks not enjoying the potential benefits of such materialisations. Many of those who exit the markets miss the recoveries. What we have often seen in the past is that investors who remained in well-diversified portfolios were rewarded over time.”

I appreciate you will have questions as to how this event may impact your own financial situation and I’d be happy to hear from you at anytime to discuss this further.

Please either phone me or email to get in touch.

We will provide further information as and when things become more clear.

Roland Oliver


Ethical investing: How to do it

When it comes to investing, keeping an open mind about new opportunities, new approaches and seeing new trends are all valuable things to be able to do.

There is a growing public demand for businesses that they deal with to act in a socially responsible manner.

It’s clear that public sentiment towards companies that appear to flaunt the law, act in their own self-interest is strengthening. Companies like Amazon and Starbucks, whose tax strategies are deemed less than moral, can lose customer confidence.

Continue reading “Ethical investing: How to do it”