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Room 101: Lack of sleep, V bucks and the District Line are among this week’s bugbears

Room 101: Lack of sleep, V bucks and the District Line are among this week’s bugbears

We ask three wealth managers what really grinds their gears when it comes to their personal and investment life. Here's what they had to say.

Iain Barnes, head of portfolio management, Netwealth

Investment

A key aim of wealth management is to help clients achieve a real return on their savings, enabling them to meet their financial goals. Any investment process and financial plan has to take inflation into account. Before we can do this, clients need to understand their own personal rate of inflation, which is made all the harder by the array of different inflation metrics (we counted eight) built into UK financial markets and the pension industry.

It’s challenging enough to gauge the drivers of inflation and its impact on assets. Why can’t the government and industry enforce the best standardised metric for everyone to use, and do away with the rest?

Personal

In an increasingly digital world, my two eldest sons are obsessed with the free-to-play battle game Fortnite. It has pros (it’s social and strategic) and cons (it’s outrageously addictive), but my gripe is with ‘V bucks’, the virtual currency which can be earned, or more likely bought with parents’ real money.

Players spend their V bucks on flash outfits for their avatars, which get demoted as soon as a new version of the game is released, thereby incentivising players to spend more time playing or soak their parents for more real cash – neither of which are ideal. 

The financial lesson is clear, but I’m struggling to teach it.

Evangelos Assimakos, investment director, Rathbones

Investment

The erroneous focus on short-term performance in general and 10% depreciation reporting letters in particular. Focusing on the negatives risks altering both client and manager mentality when it comes to making and holding on to investments for the long term as well as selling out at the wrong time.

Personal

We skimp on how much we sleep and look down on those who get their eight hours’ worth. Sleep is arguably the most underappreciated thing that humans need, and I fear we are all sleepwalking (pun intended) into a mental health crisis as a result. Cut corners on your sleep at your peril.

Martin Ward, senior investment analyst, Psigma Investment Management

Investment

Short-termism. The true test of a fund manager is being able to generate good consistent performance over a three or five period. This demonstrates a solid, repeatable process and sound investment philosophy. Basing investment decisions over shorter time periods such as three-to-six months just doesn’t make sense to me. I’d like to think at Psigma we take a longer term approach to investment.

Personal

The District Line. All I want is a smooth service every day. Is that too much to ask for? We seem to spend enough on fares over the course of a year to warrant a good service. The dread of walking into Embankment tube station after work and seeing on the information board next to the district line: ‘delays’…

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