Using IpsoFacto

How to use the IpsoFacto Investor website

Summary

We provide a unique combination of asset allocation and equity, investment trust and bond expertise, all in one place.

  • Follow our asset allocation advice to decide how to split your investments
  • Do it yourself from our equity, investment trust and bond model portfolios; use also our specialist portfolios, for Income, International, Contrarian and Alternative exposure OR
  • Use our ‘Choosing Portfolios’ Tab where you will find the options of General Investment, Building a Portfolio and Income OR
  • Use our ‘Off the Peg’ portfolios of either investment trusts or ETFs for long term investment, at low cost and low maintenance

If you have any questions, do use our Contact Page and we will respond as soon as possible

Asset Allocation

We provide an advised split of your investments between cash, bonds and equities, aimed at investors who have at investor checks the share priceleast five years until they need to realise their investments . This is our ‘core’ asset allocation, the best combination of asset classes to achieve strong investment performance with relatively low volatility (the amount by which the value will vary from its average over time).

We also provide a cautious version and an adventurous version. See the Asset Allocation tab under Members.

 

Choosing Portfolios

We run a series of model portfolios – equity, investment trust and bond – and four specialist portfolios – income, international, contrarian and alternative – which are updated monthly and aimed at outperforming the FTSE All Share. As a member you will receive an email with our recommendations for any changes to these portfolios.

More experienced investors may like to pick and choose from these portfolios, but for those who want some guidance or who are new to investing we set out suggestions on the ‘Choosing Portfolios’ tab, which will choose appropriate investments in accordance with the advised asset allocation. These are divided into portfolios by value; so level one covers £30,000 – £100,000, level two £100,000 – £250,000 and level three over £250,000.

 

Off the Peg/Buy and Hold

We recognise that some investors will want a less hands on approach to portfolio management – whether for themselves or whether they are building long term investments for their children. So we have created in addition to our high performance model portfolios, a series of portfolios, using the same investment research, suitable for less active management. We would not expect to change these portfolios as often as our models. These portfolios may well be suitable for pension fund investing; again you have a choice of Cautious, Core or Adventurous.

 

Research and Newsletter

Our robust research and archive of newsletters and investment news is available to members to educate and inform.

 

DIY Investing

Obviously DIY is not for everyone; but for those who are interested here is a short checklist of how to approach it. You will find further guidance in our investment guides (available for full members).

  1. Decide how much you can invest for the long term (at least five years) taking into account income, outgoings, debt, other assets and contingencies. If you need cash in the short term, it is usually better to keep it in a bank account.
  2. Decide on your investment objective in terms of income or capital gain and risk tolerance (which may be a function of age and level of assets).
  3. In considering risk we strongly advise looking at the totality of your assets and how they are invested; if, for example, you already have a pension fund invested largely in shares, then you may want to reduce the amount of risk you are prepared to take on in new investments.
  4. Find an online broker whose charges and service suit your circumstances.
  5. If you are investing cash from scratch (ie. not from an existing portfolio), consider investing in chunks over a period of time, to minimise the risk of investing when markets are too high.
  6. Hopefully, sign up to IpsoFacto membership and choose from our recommended portfolios, according to your circumstances and risk appetite. We will then guide you with regular updates and any changes to our recommendations, giving you the best chance of investment success.

 

Appendix – The Advantages of DIY Investing

It is easy to make the argument for DIY investing: as headlined in the Your Money section of the Daily Telegraph (15.11.14), ‘Investors: go DIY and save thousands.’ With wealth managers and financial advisers charging anything up to nearly 3% per annum in their stated charges (there are often other costs and trading costs on top of this), charges can swallow up most of the likely income return or yield from an investment portfolio.

 

But the experts always do better, don’t they?

Discussing investmentsThere may be a few very talented investors who can consistently beat the market but even these are not guaranteed to do so over an extended period of time. On average active professional investors do worse than the market; so why pay for this?

Our contention at IpsoFacto is threefold:The investment future is uncertain and getting the right choice of investments for the current investment environment and your own circumstances (asset allocation) very difficult (although probably the most important decision). But this is as true for the professional as for the private investor: a rigorous mathematical driven approach based on relative value (as we have devised) and sensible diversification can achieve good results at a fraction of the cost of so called professional advice, which is often based on what is largely guesswork.

  1. The amount of risk you are prepared to take in your investing is a very personal thing and more than likely can change over time. Getting regular information and advice and keeping control of one’s own investment decisions is vital to this process of managing risk, in our view.
  2. Private investors can use our advice to access some of the most talented investment managers through investment trusts or closed end funds, often at much reduced costs versus unit trusts or OEICs, which are the traditional recipients of private investor money.

 

In any case, it’s not complicated, is it?

No one should pretend investing is easy but the practical aspects for the private investor have been simplified greatly over recent years. There are now many online brokers who provide dealing and settlement services at pretty reasonable costs (often single digit pounds per trade); simply google something like ‘online brokers’ and choose the right platform for you.

The great thing about going DIY and using an online broker is that if you want to buy or sell investments, you don’t have to ring up or write in and wait to be told what you get: you just do it, with the price dealt (for investment trusts and equities at least) in front of you on the computer screen.