Established in 2016, Portfolio Construction Forum Finology Summit is THE behavioural finance ('fin") and investor psychology ("ology") program of the year. It will help you better identify and understand how your own and other people's different investing biases, beliefs and behaviours impact investment markets and portfolio construction practices - and therefore, investment outcomes - to help you build better quality investor portfolios.

Established in 2016, Portfolio Construction Forum Finology Summit is THE behavioural finance ('fin") and investor psychology ("ology") program of the year. It will help you better identify and understand how your own and other people's different investing biases, beliefs and behaviours impact investment markets and portfolio construction practices - and therefore, investment outcomes - to help you build better quality investor portfolios.

Trust is the product of two judgements clients make about us - one is about our ability to make good things happen (competence), the other is about our motivation to make those things happen for them (benevolence). The latter also explains the bulk of their overall impression of us. So, we must never neglect demonstrations of benevolent intentions if we want to win and keep clients. And, while the signals that convey competence (e.g., certification, track record, experience) must be earned, those that convey benevolence (e.g., communication style and interpersonal skills) are within almost everyone’s reach. This means that trust could, at least partly, be won without being earned. So is it ethical to try?

Many assume there are two kinds of business decision makers - those who are ethical and those who are not. However, most of us are both. Recognising when a business decision has an ethical component, understanding how decision-making biases can lead to ethical pitfalls, as well as when your decisions are not aligned with your own values, enables principled business decision-making and human interaction.
Note: This is an interactive session in which you’ll use your own examples as well as be introduced to a methodology for choosing your principled decision-making strategy and help support others in the process.

Managing risk and preserving capital are too important to be left to the trading strategies used for many financial products. From the first approach through to final approval, private debt requires a lender to have strong relationships with borrowers, a deep understanding of their businesses, informed risk assessments, and legally binding contracts with terms and conditions that protect investor capital and generate income. These same mechanisms help the borrower and lender weather storms to their mutual advantage. Few of these steps are present in public market trading strategies, leaving investors exposed at a time when quantitative easing has inflated the price and risk of other asset classes. Private debt prices in this risk and allows you to offer investors the capital protection they deserve.

As investors themselves, advisers can suffer from the very biases they attempt to combat within their clients. However, these traditional behavioural finance biases manifest in ways unique to advisers. By failing to account for those biases in the design and implementation of investment solutions, advisers risk the delivery of optimal client outcomes and deepening relationships.

Regulation states that fund managers must not mislead clients. However, subtle nuances around word choice, connotations and links to performance can distort framing. While prescribed scales exist for risk, analysis shows inconsistent application. Gradable adjectives (e.g. strong) can be subjective. Examples like the Beaufort Wind Scale assign words to speeds. Analysis of market data shows the distribution of outcomes. The “Isles scale” maps asset class returns to pre-defined words for given time periods for the purpose of investment communication. Prescribing universal implementation of this approach would remove a dangerous loophole in the regulation.

Clients and investors are concerned about investing in assets like utilities with exposure to carbon emissions due to climate change concerns, and fears over asset stranding risks. However, regulated electric utilities – even those burning coal and gas today to keep the lights on – are well positioned to navigate this. Despite concerns, these high-quality businesses should not only face very little asset stranding risk over coming decade but will be a significant beneficiary in a greener world.

A recent independent research study looking into retirement from the perspectives of over 1,500 older Australians found that finances are at the fulcrum of their happiness and well-being. But it’s complicated. There is a paradox in that while the absence of financial stress is a major driver of well-being, increasing wealth is not. And, the study found that financial advisers are the keystone to retirees’ well-being: relieving retirees of their short-term stressors; providing retirees with a sense of control in their lives; providing confidence that they can deal with the unexpected; enabling retirees to nurture relationships; and, helping retirees live consistent with their values.

Australian cash rates will stay low until the mountain of home loan debt is repaid - and that will take decades. Low cash rates mean low bond rates. Low interest rates mean high asset prices, which means much lower returns lie ahead for all asset classes. Low future returns have many implications - not the least of which are finology-related. Should we warn our investor clients of what lies ahead? How do we keep them engaged? How do we keep them from chasing rainbows? Our communications strategy must be in tune with this new environment.

The finology domain has been the focus of considerable research and innovation in the past decade. Investigations into investor biases, beliefs, and behaviours - and the implications for investor portfolios and the adviser-client relationship - continue to evolve and yield important insights. Moreover, expectations related to “know your client” and “know yourself” have risen considerably in recent years, with many new possible skills, techniques, and strategies with which investment advisers can (or should) be proficient. The Forum created the Finology Benchmarking Indices (FBI) as a critical input into continuing professional and practice development. The FBI encourages reflection on your mastery of the finology domain and how well you are integrating finology concepts, techniques, and self-awareness, into your practice. It also provides meaningful points of comparison with peers. The FBI benchmark dataset as a whole, representing more than 450 investment advisers from Australia and New Zealand, offers an intriguing snapshot into finology proficiency and practice that may challenge your assumptions. Knowledge and proficiency in finology is essential to knowing yourself and your clients – and to developing ever better relationships with clients to help them achieve their goals. Finology benchmarking matters!

Heuristics such as availability bias, herd instincts and extrapolation that get in the way of making the right decision at the right time are the most prevalent at the extremes. When markets are exuberant it is difficult to see - let alone act - against the hubris. When markets are down in the dumps, it is difficult to see past the misery. An example is Covid. Initially, it was a common cold (complacency), then it became a never-ending lockdown and recession (doom and gloom). Now, there is optimism after the stimulus fuelled recovery. Managing these heuristics is even more important when investing in emerging markets, where so many of our impressions of what is happening on the ground are coloured by opinions of different media outlets with their own respective filters. So why is it so hard to manage our behaviour biases? It may be because heuristics are so genetically programmed into us as humans that none of us can quite pull ourselves free from the gravity. In the age of rising geopolitical tension, fake news and social media silos that reinforce our base instincts at every turn, this can move us away from the true north. How do we centre ourselves in reality? A reductive macro-economic framework may be the answer, helping centre our qualitative assessment and decision-making using high “signal-to-noise” ratio data that tell us what is really happening in economies and market sentiment.

Under our current defined contribution system, the retiree bears all the risks - longevity risk, inflation risk and investment/sequencing risk. Empirical evidence shows that retirees have a bias against drawing down on capital, and this preservation of capital is likely explained by the need to insure against these risks. A high equity income strategy tailored for retirees is a core solution for providing better retirement outcomes, maximising income while leaving capital intact.

There are strong behavioural biases that attract investors to complex strategies. We know that outperforming the market is hard, so it makes sense that it takes a complex approach to do so. It’s difficult to separate skill from luck, so complexity serves as a mental shortcut to help identify competence. Complex approaches to investing include thematic investing, market timing and hedge funds, all of which carry an air of sophistication. However, introducing complexity will, on average, diminish the odds of success and detract from returns. To make better financial decisions, eschew complexity and embrace simplicity.

It is possible to generate both financial returns and positive environmental and social impact from fixed income portfolios. Positive selection creates a broader universe of sustainable companies, and therefore a greater opportunity set than negative or exclusionary policies. The in-depth analysis involved in a positive selection approach provides confidence in the sustainable practices of these business – and companies with sustainable business practices are likely to be better credits in the long term, providing a degree of downside protection. As a result, positive selection delivers more sustainable risk-adjusted returns than a stand-alone exclusionary approach.

The same mind-set that works so well when people are building their nest egg for retirement can damage their quality of life in retirement. Many retirees have a difficult time changing their mindset from a saver to a spender. Even people who want to “smooth” spending during their entire life cycle find it difficult to estimate their life-cycle wealth. Moreover, people find it difficult to resolve conflicts between wants for spending and wants for saving - and we reconcile conflicts between these wants using framing, mental accounting, and self-control rules. You help your clients accumulate responsibly - you can help your clients decumulate responsibly, too.

People love money, and all the things it can do for them and their loved ones. Money is sexy, liberating, and fun. However, the financial services industry has disconnected people from their money. They’ve done the impossible and made it boring, opaque and difficult to understand. If we better understand the psychology of money, we can better help our clients.

We all have a responsibility to understand how our own and other people’s different investing biases, beliefs and behaviours impact investment markets and portfolio practices - and therefore investment outcomes. Connecting behavioural finance with investor psychology helps ensure practitioners’ investment philosophy spans “know the markets”, “know yourself” and “know your clients”. In other words, Finology is the unique mix of behavioural finance (fin) and investor psychology (ology) as it relates to giving investment advice to individual investors. It is where investing meets investors™.

Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) is the peak, international technical portfolio construction certification program designed for investment management analysts - that is, those involved in any aspect of constructing multi-manager, mulit-asset portfolios, whether practitioner or advocate.

Established in 2016, Portfolio Construction Forum Finology Summit is THE behavioural finance ('fin") and investor psychology ("ology") program of the year. It will help you better identify and understand how your own and other people's different investing biases, beliefs and behaviours impact investment markets and portfolio construction practices - and therefore, investment outcomes - to help you build better quality investor portfolios.

In the 1990s and 2000s, investors were largely able to ignore the macro picture. But macro forces have reawakened and matter more than ever for portfolios to succeed in meeting client goals in the years ahead.

All markets are embedded in a web of human relations, values and norms. We must rethink the relationship between market and civil society to return to a more secure and stable economic plane.

Raghuram Rajan | 1.00 CE

As the Baby Boomer generation continues to transition to retirement and life expectancies rise, portfolio construction practitioners must ensure retirement solutions meet client goals right to the end of their days.

Private debt essential to modern investment portfolios. If the end objective is an attractive risk-adjusted return, then private debt is the means to get there.

Andrew Lockhart | 0.50 CE

Style matters when constructing portfolios, but there are other characteristics in a manager that are as - if not more - important in generating consistent returns over the long term.

Myooran Mahalingam | 0.50 CE

Investors should consider the real-world impact of their investments and build portfolios aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a means to building clients' wealth, and improving well-being.

Erik Keller | 0.50 CE

There is no point in building wealth for the future if that future is one of frequent and catastrophic climate events that undermine our way of life.

Chris Iggo | 0.50 CE

With several catalysts impacting on the Australian advice landscape, we are seeing a resurgence back to centrally developed investment portfolio construction solutions - but the approach differs to history.

David Hutchison | 0.75 CE

Value investing proved to be successful strategy for nearly a century, before experiencing one of its worst performance periods in the last few years. These two papers examine whether implementation or low interest rates are the culprit.

Ron Bird | 1.00 CE

Charles Goodhart, perhaps Britain's most distinguished economic commentator, has just co-authored a book arguing that longer-term inflation will be much higher than the past 35 years. The reason for his view is highly unorthodox - and, in our opinion, correct.

A generation of great international economists is passing from the scene. Richard Cooper, Robert Mundell and John Williamson each made important contributions on a variety of topics including to the ongoing debate about optimal currency arrangements.

Rich Pickings explores the investment beliefs and philosophies of prominent professional investors. In this Rich Pickings, I sit down with London-based Keith Lloyd, CEO and Deputy CIO of global bond manager, Colchester Global Investors.

Our diverse panel debated which of the high-conviction propositions they heard at Markets Summit 2021 resonated most strongly, which they disagreed with most - and the portfolio construction implications.

Expert Panel | 0.75 CE

The energy transition has the potential to be as transformative for the world economy and geopolitical landscape as the digital revolution has been since the 1980s.

Chris Iggo | 0.50 CE

It's time to construct portfolios with investment strategies designed to advance humankind towards a global sustainable economy, a just society, and a better world.

John Quealy | 0.50 CE

Believe in sustainable investing or not, investors need to understand its impact on investment returns and portfolio construction as capital markets stand on the cusp of a transformation to an ESG world.

Suni Harford | 0.50 CE