DB Wood Team
21st December, 2018
A Review of 2018…
And so this is Christmas, where does the time go? It’s that time of the year where we look back on 2018, reflect on what we have achieved, and take an outward look at tomorrow’s challenges.
Over the year our business has continued to enjoy a significant inflow of new clients across all our client propositions. To support growth, we have reinvested in our team through recruitment, and encouraged professional attainment, where our team continue to push the bar higher. Our graduate training programme continues to attract some amazing talent which bodes well for our forward mandate of being better in 6 months’ time than we are today, as well as for the longer-term structure of our business. We have reinforced our investment into the community with the initiation of the DB Wood foundation, which will help support local and national charities, provide sponsorship for community wellbeing events and help develop financial services within the national curriculum of local schools. We are very proud of our team at DB Wood, and we are grateful to our clients for their consistent support, without whom none of this would be possible.
It would of course be wrong to say it’s all been plain sailing. We are ambitious in our pursuit of consistent improvement, though realistic enough to know that it’s not always straight-line progression, and that for sure, mistakes will be made along the way. Striving to do what’s right is more important than how you do it. You may take a wrong turn along the way but working out the right destination justifies the journey, in this regard we have focused heavily on managing our perspective, keeping it broad (stress free) and not allowing it to narrow. It is imperative to look at the facts and separate them from assumption, in order to make clear decisions and provide informed choices.
One of the key challenges we have faced this year has come from investment markets. Doubtless they will continue to challenge us into 2019. Of course, investment markets are external to our control, and this year has not been helped by global politics, trade wars and protracted Brexit negotiations, none of which we pretend to know the outcome to.
In terms of reflection, we can look back on our experience from handling investments through the 1999 dot com bubble, the 2003 Iraq war, the 2008 credit crisis and the 2011 Greek crisis, which have all helped to shape our thinking. We have learnt that it is important to ensure that whilst stock markets have always endured periods where volatility is high and valuations fall away, we are astute enough to ensure that our client portfolios hold significant exposure to assets where volatility is minimal, and ensure our clients have access to funds for many years ahead, without having to consider withdrawing from assets that take greater risk in order to achieve a greater longer term reward.
Historically, investment propositions fail because they take on too much risk, which forces narrow perspective, leading to poor decisions. Often investors will sell low and buy high, which from a logical perspective can only lead to detrimental performance. With a wide perspective, we can steer away from behavioural bias which encourages poor decision making, rather we are able to concentrate on embracing the opportunity that market volatility provides. We can only do this if the construction of the portfolio is appropriate, so you can be sure that our client portfolios hold a solid core of stable assets, to help navigate difficult investment periods, affording us the opportunity to buy into the cheaper prices or provide the funds required for the years ahead without having to sell low. It is periods such as now where the foundations for future gains are laid. We have been here before, and we embrace both the challenge and the opportunity.
So, although the years appear to go by faster than ever, we know that there are still only 24 hours in a day, the same as there has always been. We know that the journey is a long and winding one, and we know that one swallow does not make a summer, albeit 2018 was a belter in that regard!
Here’s to 2019 and the challenges ahead. Wishing you all a very happy Christmas, and a healthy New Year, from your dedicated team at DBW.