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Thoughts on InvestorsCircle

Discussion in 'Managed Funds & Index Funds' started by CCinvest, 7th Sep, 2008.

  1. CCinvest

    CCinvest Member

    Joined:
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    Posts:
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    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Hi Guys,

    I would appreciate your thoughts on a group called InvestorsCircle InvestorCircle: Investment Training Courses - Learn Portfolio Investment - Investment Portfolio Education - Managed Portfolio (and their partner group TradersCircle: Option Training Courses - Learn Option Trading - Option Trading Education)

    I have seen their presentation previously and seem promising, yet more importantly seem to fit my long-term strategy.

    My strategy is to 'stair-step', meaning
    - accumulate savings (start with 10% of gross income, increasing each qtr by 10% from the previous qtr)
    - build to a level equivalent of 3 months income
    - this becomes a level of savings/investment
    - start with a very safe and conservative form of investing (and also least earnings), namely cash term deposit
    - next level maybe bonds
    - each subsequent level of savings/investing becomes more riskier yet having a greater potential for returns.

    There are many reason for this strategy, predominately since it builds a strong and safe base thus taking away the 'emotions' of fluctuations in the more potentially profitable and riskier markets.

    Investorscircle have several different managed portfolios, ranging from conservative to riskier, namely their 'leaders' - 'balanced' - 'high income' portfolios respectively.

    In my mind this would fit 3 levels on my stair-step strategy well. The following levels could be satisfied by their TradersCircle program whereby you would trade stocks and options.

    I am keen to hear from members about these guys, or are their many others out there that do a better job?

    cheers

    CC
     
  2. CCinvest

    CCinvest Member

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    Any thoughts?

    Have i posted this in the right section?

    Cheers

    CC
     
  3. Billv

    Billv Getting there

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    CCinvest
    I have seen their presentations but have not used them for investment purposes.
    Cheers
     
  4. Nigel Ward

    Nigel Ward Team InvestEd

    Joined:
    10th Jun, 2005
    Posts:
    1,172
    Hi CC

    For someone with a conservative approach don't you think you're exposing yourself to excessive manager risk by concentrating your bond and equity investments either with IC or under IC's advice?

    Also what's the fee structure? How does that compare to market averages?
    Does IC have an AFSL? I found this in very tiny print at the bottom OzFinancial Pty Ltd AFSL 241041 - ABN 85 106 823 741
    That company has a series of trading names which includes IC so tick there.

    Your conservative approach to start by developing not only a base of savings but a consistent savings habit is great. Query though why you need bonds? For most private investors the various high interest cash deposit accounts are sufficient. Further if you invest in bonds through a managed fund (necessary for most of us) will incur a management fee. I have real problems paying someone a fee to manage what's effectively cash for me!

    Also, perhaps I'm a bit suspicious but do you have any affiliation with InvestorsCircle, TradersCircle or Circle securities?

    Cheers
    N
     
  5. CCinvest

    CCinvest Member

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    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Hi Nigel,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I have no affiliation with either company. I had seen these guys at 'think and grow rich' seminar in Sydney early this year.

    I have completed my first layer of savings- cash in a high interest savings account (as you mentioned), and now i am fast approaching my 2nd level. This level of savings I would like to get into the share market.

    I have little understanding of share trading, nor wanting to study and get into that just yet (although with time to come, and with a greater 'safety' cushion I will expose myself to it). So really a managed fund of some sort would probably be appropriate.

    I am unsure of their fee structure. Obviously I will need to assess this.

    I dont have any real interest in bonds, not too sure why I said that.....

    I am open to hear comments from anyone who has funds managed by these guys, or more thoughts by those more experienced.

    Are there any others whom I should consider to fulfill my needs.

    Cheers

    Carlo
     
  6. Nigel Ward

    Nigel Ward Team InvestEd

    Joined:
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    Perhaps you should see a financial planner to get some guidance on appropriate managed funds for you?

    To a large extent the appropriate funds will depend upon (in no particular order)

    1) the amount you have to invest (some funds have minimum thresholds)
    2) your goal - are you looking for growth, income or a mix
    3) your other assets and how these funds will fit into your overall asset allocation
    4) your timeframe
    5) your tolerance for risk and volatility
    6) accessability of your money - what are the chances you'll need it back quickly (some funds have exit fees or break costs or may be illiquid having short redemption windows)

    Cheers
    N.
     
  7. Young Gun

    Young Gun Guest


    looks like you need to see a financial planner :)
     
  8. CCinvest

    CCinvest Member

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    Thanks guys for your thoughts.

    Not to stir up too much debate about financial planners.

    I have yet to use one, although i do see the value of professional advice, where do I start to look for one. What sort of questions and features should i look for, and also avoid. How are their fees calculated, whats fair, etc?

    I certainly believe in taking advice only from someone who has what I want or desire to have, but how can I ask them to show me their assets, wealth, planning etc.

    Feel free to pm if preferred

    Cheers

    CC
     
  9. AsxBroker

    AsxBroker Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Hi CC,

    Find a Planner

    Is a good place to find a planner. Obviously these planners are members of Australia's Financial Planning Association (a bit like an accountant being a member of a professional group).

    "I certainly believe in taking advice only from someone who has what I want or desire to have, but how can I ask them to show me their assets, wealth, planning etc."

    Very interesting comment. I'm guessing that anyone that has what you want is probably retired...

    I'd be focussing more on Nigel's points, ie, if you are looking at retirement you'd be investing your funds more conservatively than if you are still working, if you have 30 years of work ahead you'd probably be investing in growth oriented assets.

    I'd be very suspicious of anyone showing you their "assets". Nowadays, it's very easy to move money and shares around electronically. There 1 second and gone the next (most people can take out a Line Of Credit, dump the funds in a bank account, print a statement, then transfer the funds back to the Line of Credit, hey presto, money in the bank out of thin air). The same can be done through stockbrokers, moving stocks from different accounts.

    I'd be asking any managed fund for more up-to-date results in their manager fund, 2007 has been long gone! We are in September 2008. Try and get some results at least until the end of 30th June 2008. If they can't give you those figures (which are still out of date but better than 2007) I'd run for the hills.

    Have a look at some other fund manager performance webpages Advance Asset Management - Performance figures and Performance Table

    Advance is as at end of July and Kudos for AMP (I know YoungGun would be proud) is as at end of August 2008!

    Also look at the amount of clarity of these two websites, the fund manager tells you absolutely everything, returns over many years to even months, download a Product Disclosure Statement, find out about the individual funds, read newsletters, etc. The other website is a little scant on information.

    If you can obtain an APIR (if it has one) you can compare the performance on Compare Funds :: Managed Fund Comparison Charts and Statistics which is another website that the webmaster of this site runs.

    Good luck,

    Dan

    PS This is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any investments or securities in any fund manager, they have been used purely for examples. Before making an investment decision speak to your FPA registered Financial Planner.
     
  10. CCinvest

    CCinvest Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks for the links Dan,

    My point was, I would not take advice from someone whom had not implemented their actions and profited from it. Why would you listen someone and have confidence investing your hard earned money, if they were not an example of their success.

    Do you need a financial planner to be part of fund manager?

    Any other advice or a checklist of criteria I should look for in finding a suitable financial planner

    cheers
    CC
     
  11. AsxBroker

    AsxBroker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Posts:
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    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Hi CC,

    It's always interesting how many people will do anything their accountant tells them to do (and remind me of lemmings walking off a cliff) and won't do anything anyone else tells them to do. Some accountants won't have done what they advise clients, hence why I was asking.

    You don't need to use a financial planner to invest in a managed fund. There are other forums discussing different discount services so you don't get upfront fees.

    You can also look at the FPA's FPA - Plan your financial life website.
    I'm sure somewhere on the Welcome to the FPA website there is an example list of questions that you can ask prospective financial planners. Eg, how many years have they been a financial planner for (you can double check their answers against ASICs register ASIC Authorised Representatives Browse , what where they doing before they became a financial planner (this is always an interesting one, there are a few people from a teaching and engineering background in financial planning).

    Cheers,

    Dan