Like everyone Cambridge Partners is now operating remotely with all staff at home. Watch our update, and get a glimpse of our various staff at work in their home ‘offices’.
All our portfolio monitoring, decision making, and processes are working well.
In fact, a few weeks before the compulsory requirement to work from home we reviewed our Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and discussed what we would need to do if we were required to leave the office.
Each morning our entire team have a video call and then individual client or business focus groups have separate calls to discuss issues to ensure everything continues to run smoothly.
Our team will keep in touch with you all individually, and we’re going to keep up our digital communications through the website, email, and videos like this one.
Stay safe, stay well, and we’ll talk to you soon.
Richard Austin, Managing Partner, and the Team at Cambridge Partners
Coronavirus Update from Cambridge Partners March 19th 2020
Presented by Richard Austin, Cambridge Partners Managing Partner
Watch Richard’s video presentation below, or read on for a detailed analysis.
These are extraordinary times. It has been just two weeks since we provided our last update, but a lot has changed.
- The World Health Organisation officially declared Coronavirus a ‘pandemic’ on 11 March 2020
- Travel bans have been put in place around the world, schools are being shut and large events cancelled
- Anyone coming to New Zealand, except those from some Pacific Islands, must go into self-isolation for 14 days
- In the US the Federal Reserve cut its overnight rate to between 0% and 0.25%
- Closer to home, the Reserve Bank of NZ has made an emergency cut to the official cash rate this week, from 1.0% to 0.25% (a drop of 0.75%), which will last for at least the next 12 months
Governments in NZ and around the world are putting in place financial packages to help support business. This may help reduce the impact of the slowdown, but it is likely the economic effects of the virus will be widespread for weeks and months to come.
What is happening in markets?
Share markets react to new information and reflect general investor sentiment. As the scale of the effects of the virus have become known, markets have priced in the expected reduction in company earnings and outlook, causing share prices to fall.
As we release this update, the fall in the US S&P 500 from its recent peak in February has been around 30%. While the Dow Jones has fallen 33%. Returns differ depending on each country, but the falls are of a similar magnitude around the world.
It’s fair to say that investor sentiment has turned almost 180 degrees from being very positive at the start of 2020, following nearly 10 years of gains, to one of being fearful and full of uncertainty.
As we know we know markets are driven by both fear and greed, and we are now seeing a high level of fear return to markets.
What effect will the downturn have on my portfolio?
New Zealand is a relatively small economy and as a net exporter, we are exposed to events that happen around the world.
However, our portfolios contain many thousands of underlying investments to ensure we are not overly exposed to any one specific company, sector of the economy or country.
We also have an approach of holding a high proportion of the portfolios in offshore assets. The benefits of this approach are generally two-fold – our clients receive greater country diversification, but also any losses experienced offshore are dampened if the New Zealand dollar falls.
In addition to holding growth assets like shares, our portfolios also hold defensive assets, such as New Zealand and International Fixed Interest. In times like these, the aim of the defensive assets is to reduce the overall effect of the fall in share prices.
For example, a 50/50 portfolio with 50% in growth assets and 50% in defensive assets is down around 13% from the recent peak in February and around 6% over the past 12 months.
Whilst these are significant falls, and no doubt concerning for investors, its less than the 30% fall that equity markets are experiencing.
Should I sell shares and reduce risk?
Share prices react very quickly to new information. A good starting point is to assume that all the information that is currently known about the virus and other events around the world is effectively ‘priced in’.
As new information becomes available – markets react. If the news is negative or worse than previously predicted, markets generally fall, whereas if the news is positive, or not as bad, markets generally rise.
Whilst we cannot predict tomorrow’s news, or events that are yet to happen, we do know that if investors sell in times of market stress such as these, they are much more likely to lose money, than to gain.
Not only have you got to predict the best time to sell, you have to predict the best time to buy. When investors try and do this, or base decisions on the emotions of fear and greed, they sell after markets have fallen, and buy only after markets have gone up. This is a sure fire way to lose money.
As a client of Cambridge Partners, it is also worth remembering the planning process you went through with your adviser, when you initially determined what type of investment strategy was suitable for your needs and objectives.
This strategy was designed knowing that events like this can, and sometimes do, happen. This means if your plans or objectives haven’t changed, your portfolio may still be appropriate for your long-term objectives.
How long will it take for things to recover?
The short answer is that nobody knows.
However, it looks like the next three months could be rough for the global economy, financial markets and investors. It’s likely that we’ll see plenty of profit warnings from companies and some economies in recession.
But at some point, things will get better. In the Northern Hemisphere the summer will arrive, which may take some sting out of the virus and, at some point, a vaccine may emerge.
It’s important to bear in mind that no one waves a flag, or blows a whistle, when the markets hit their peaks or come off their lows. But at some point, markets will recover – and it is normally before we’ve seen hard evidence of the global economy improving.
If we remember the Global Financial Crisis that started in late 2007, the S&P 500 hit its low in March 2009, while the world was still in the depths of recession and investors couldn’t see a way out.
However, six months later the S&P 500 had rallied 53% – anyone who was sitting on the side lines waiting for firm evidence of the improvement, missed out.
The message here is that abandoning your longer-term investment strategy and reacting to your fears, may hurt your portfolio’s overall performance.
Is there anything I should be doing now?
If you are feeling concerned or anxious – that’s OK and perfectly normal. We encourage you to reach out to your adviser.
There is a heightened level of uncertainty and anxiety at present, but what we do know is that, at some point, markets will recover. However, what we don’t know is exactly when.
In interim, there are some practical measures you could consider:
- If you are regular taking money out of your portfolio, then consider reducing the amount you are withdrawing, or suspend withdrawals for the next few months.
- While it may seem perverse, if you are holding cash in your portfolio, the fall in markets, does represent the opportunity to re-balance into growth assets at these lower prices.
- Work with your adviser to review your current investment strategy and objectives against the outlook for your portfolio.
We also encourage you not to let fear drive your decisions and sell after markets have fallen.
It is a difficult time right now, but we know from experience that you’re much more likely to lose money than to gain, if you try and time the low and high points in markets.
How will the virus affect Cambridge Partners?
Last month as part of our Business Continuity Plan we conducted tests on our processes in the event we had an outbreak of Coronavirus in the office. This included how we would communicate with clients and manage the effects within the office, along with maintaining business as usual.
We’re pleased to advise that our tests were successful and with laptops, mobile phones and secure internet connections we are confident that we will be able to continue to operate at close to normal capacity if we are required to work elsewhere.
We are very conscious of all the health warnings and have advised staff to stay at home if they are feeling at all unwell.
Meetings are still being held in the office and we are monitoring the appropriateness of this daily.
We aim to continue to provide updates as the situation develops. But if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your adviser or one of the team.
A Market Update on the Effects of the Coronavirus
Presented by Richard Austin, Cambridge Partners Managing Partner
Watch Richard’s video presentation, or read on for a detailed analysis.
The world is, as we are, watching with concern the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Uncertainty is being felt around the globe. It is unsettling on a human level as well as from the perspective of how investment markets will respond.
Market declines can occur when investors are forced to reassess expectations for the future. The expansion of the outbreak is causing worry amongst governments, companies and individuals about the potential impact on the global economy. Earlier this week the OECD predicted that global GDP growth could now be 1.5% in 2020, which was half the rate it was predicting before the outbreak.
But what should you do regarding your investments? As always, we lean into the evidence to determine our advice.
Looking back to recent pandemics, particularly SARS, helps provide context.
There are no definitive timelines for when SARS started and stopped, but broadly speaking the virus was active over an eight month period between November 2002 and July 2003.
It was certainly an unusual time. For anyone travelling overseas in that period, they may recall individual health screening at country borders. At the time travellers felt unsettled, but people continued to go on with their lives. Business and commerce still functioned.
Interestingly, our model portfolios performed well over that eight month period. Despite SARS and increased global uncertainty, our portfolios were up between 4% and 5% after funds management fees. One year after SARS was first observed, our model portfolios were up between 6.8% (for an 20/80 portfolio with 20% in growth assets and 80% in cash & fixed income) and 11.6% (for a 98/2 portfolio with 98% in growth assets and 2% in cash).
If investors had chosen to sell out of their investments, it would most likely have been a poor investment decision, given the subsequent performance of markets.
It may also be worth noting that SARS had a mortality rate of approximately 9.6%. How is this relevant? Well, perhaps it isn’t, but the Coronavirus has a mortality rate currently hovering around 2% and doctors are predicting it will ultimately be less than 1%.
Whether that makes it less scary than SARS might be a moot point, but regardless, markets treated investors well through the SARS outbreak and there is no reason that the same won’t happen through the Coronavirus outbreak as well.
As at February 27th, most of our model portfolios had been only modestly impacted by the increased market volatility experienced. Year to date, the approximate performances of our model portfolios ranged from +0.3% for our lowest risk portfolio (a 20/80 portfolio) to -7.0% for a 98/2 portfolio. For many, a better indicator may be something closer to a balanced 50/50 portfolio which is currently showing a year to date return of -2.0%.
The media are doing their best to paint a picture that markets are crashing, but these sorts of returns, whether Coronavirus was an issue or not, are not out of the ordinary for portfolios containing allocations to higher risk assets.
Of course, SARS hasn’t been the only global health scare to hit the headlines in the last 20 years. The following table highlights a few of the higher profile pandemics in recent history. We have identified an estimated start date for each of these pandemics and then looked at the subsequent performance of a balanced 50/50 model portfolio over the next three months, six months and twelve months.
The results may surprise you…
|Model 50/50 portfolio returns:
After 3 months After 6 months After 12 months
Source: Consilium. A 50/50 Portfolio has 50% allocated to growth assets and 50% allocated to cash and fixed income.
Within the first few months, the performance of markets and portfolios can be mixed. During SARS, which was the first global pandemic to emerge in quite some time, the early reaction of equity markets was quite negative. During the Avian Flu outbreak a few years later, it was relatively flat.
What is even more striking is that markets within six and twelve months from the start of each of these outbreaks, regardless of their perceived severity, generally rebounded strongly.
What will happen in the weeks ahead with respect to the Coronavirus outbreak?
The truth is that no-one knows. Markets today are reflecting heightened uncertainty in the form of lower prices. As soon as there is new information (good or bad) this will also be priced in. When the tone of the news flow gradually changes from contagion to containment, and eventually cure, then market risk and uncertainty should reduce, which is likely to be positive for risky assets.
While this heightened uncertainty may be uncomfortable for investors, don’t be surprised if the Coronavirus can be added to the list of issues that might make an investor think about selling, our general response is that it’s unlikely to be a good idea to sell investments. Although we can’t see into the future, we can observe the past and we have witnessed the best recommendation is to stay focused on the long term and maintain your strategy.
Cambridge Partners Grow Their North Island Presence
Cambridge Partners has always had a strong client base in the North Island, so we are delighted to announce the opening of dedicated offices in Auckland and the Waikato. These are in the capable hands of Brigette Arnold and Bryce Turner.
Brigette, based in Auckland, has worked in the financial industry for over 18 years, across markets in the UK, Europe, Asia, North America, Middle East and Australasia. She advises both private clients and institutional investors, specialising in working with iwi and Māori entities, and women’s wealth.
Bryce is Waikato based and has over 20 years’ applied knowledge and experience specialising in providing business development and consultancy services to Treaty Settlement Entities, Authorities, Trusts and Incorporations, Institutions, SMEs (small-to-medium sized enterprise) businesses and individuals.
Welcome to the team Bryce and Brigette – great to have you on board!
2019 Financial Review Released
Presented by Scott Rainey CFA, CFPcm, AFA Senior Adviser
At the start of 2019, much of the world was in a state of turmoil. A lot of the big issues weren’t resolved by year’s end either. It might have been logical to expect financial markets to perform badly as well.
But, as Cambridge Partners’ Adviser Scott Rainey points out in this informative 4-minute video, what actually happened could not have been more different.
And if you have any questions please feel free to give Scott or any
of our Advisers a call on 0800 864 164.
Cambridge Welcomes Two New Partners
Congratulations to Pip Kean and James Howard, our newest Partners.
Pip has worked at Cambridge Partners for many years, working initially with our risk management team before moving to wealth management.
James joined us in 2018 after spending eight years at one of the big four accounting firm, and working as a senior manager in their international tax and transfer pricing team.
Everyone at Cambridge Partners is delighted that your hard work and commitment to the company and your clients has been acknowledged in this way. Congratulations to you both.
Why You Should Forget the Pecking Order at Work!
Following a weekend that saw New Zealand sporting teams reign supreme, this article from Andrew Nuttall, which ran in last month’s local law society publication ‘Canterbury Tales’, seems particularly relevant!
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Wayne Smith speak about his rugby coaching career and some of the factors that had contributed to the All Blacks successes. He cited a study about Super Chickens which led me to Margaret Heffernan’s Ted talk.
Margaret Heffernan talked about an evolutionary Biologist at Purdue University named William Muir who studied chickens. He was interested in productivity, which I think is something of a concern to us all, but it’s easy to measure in chickens because you just have to count the eggs! He wanted to know what could make his chickens more productive, so he devised a simple experiment. Chickens live in groups, so first of all he selected an average flock and left them alone for six generations. He then created a second group comprising the individually most productive chickens. The flock of super chickens was bred using the most productive birds in each generation.
What did Muir discover after six generations? The first group of “average chickens” were doing just fine. They were all plump and fully feathered and egg production had increased dramatically. Sadly the second group of “super chickens” had not done so well. All but three were dead as many had been pecked to death. The individual “super chickens” had only achieved their successes by suppressing the productivity of other chickens.
Margaret Heffernan, a successful CEO, entrepreneur, writer and speaker contends that over the last fifty years many organisations and some societies have been run along the Super Chicken model. Too often it has been assumed that success was achieved by picking super stars, the brightest people, and giving them all the resources and all the power. All too frequently the result has just been the same as in William Muir’s Super Chicken experiment. Aggression, disfunction and waste.
Margaret Heffernan believes that the most successful teams do not necessarily have members with the highest individual IQ’s or the highest aggregate IQ. She suggests that the most important ingredients to creating successful organisations are groups that have a high degree of social sensitivity and empathy towards each other. Successful groups give equal time to each other so that no one voice dominates, but neither are there any passengers.
What can we do in the workplace?
- Create a culture of helpfulness and get to know each other.
- Ban coffee cups at desks and hang out in the office cafe and talk to each other. Synchronise coffee breaks to help facilitate.
- Look for people who are outstanding collaborators and build teams where everyone matters.
Franklin D Roosevelt once wrote.
“Competition has shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but co-operation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.”
October is Carbon Saving Month at Cambridge
Even though we all know we need to do more to help reduce waste and carbon emissions in our work places, often nothing happens until some brave, committed soul steps up. In our case it’s Senior Paraplanner Georgie Lang who has taken the lead – and is doing a superb job in helping ensure we all ‘walk the talk’.
Georgie’s commitment (and a little bit of nagging!) have ensured that we now all use our own coffee mugs, not single-use takeaway cups, when we pop down for our mid-morning caffeine fix at our favourite local café.
Now she’s taking us to the next level by making October Carbon Saving Month at Cambridge Partners, starting with how we get to and from the office.
“When I started looking into what areas offices can look at terms of sustainability, one of the key aspects in terms of reducing our carbon footprint is how people get to and from work,” she explains. “So I talked to the team and we thought ‘let’s have a go at seeing if everyone can make some changes for the month of October’.”
Georgie has set up a Commuting Challenge Board so staff members can track what they’ve been doing. “Many of us are ditching our cars and travelling to work by bus or bike, or car-pooling. We’re only into the second week, but interest is definitely growing.”
So committed to sustainability is Georgie that she has also started taking home all the office’s organic waste so it doesn’t just go into the landfill with everything else. “Not such an easy task when you’re travelling by bus!” she says with a laugh.
Happily, when Georgie looked into what could be done to reduce energy use in our building, Te Uruti, the answer was ‘nothing’. That’s because the building, with its heat exchange system and photovoltaic panels, is already exceptionally energy efficient.
Second Quarter Market Update Released
Another three months have flown by, which means it is time for another one of our Adviser Scott Rainey’s much-anticipated quarterly market updates.
In this informative video you’ll learn:
- Why New Zealand isn’t just a great place to live, but the NZ Sharemarket has also been good place to invest
- How two record OCR lows in a row may not be the end of interest rate drops
- Why the last 12 months have been very much a year of two halves, and what this has meant for investors
- Plus plenty more interesting, informative and useful information
So grab a coffee, take 12 minutes, and have a look.
Is Your Will Up To Date?
As a regular contributor to the Christchurch law society magazine, one of our Directors, Andrew Nuttall, has recently written a thoughtful article about wills.
Although aimed primarily at the legal profession, there is some great information here for all of us on a topic that, although none of us really want to think about it, is vitally important for us and those we will leave behind.
Over the last 30 years I have met with many prospective clients who do not have an up-to-date will. How much family tension have you seen that could have been avoided if clients had taken more care with their estate planning?
We have all come across people who need a will but are reluctant to contemplate their demise. We are all, however, going to need a will and having a relevant one makes it easier on those left behind. The inability to admit that their death will occur cannot be the only reason many are reluctant to have an up-to-date will. It has to be something more than that.
Historically, some lawyers have often given wills away for nothing – a mistake in my opinion by the way. Has this created a reluctance to pay for what is a valuable service? Why is it that people fail to address their estate planning appropriately?
» Have you subconsciously determined the objections to paying for a will are too pronounced to justify spending sufficient time with your clients to help them think carefully about their estate planning?
» Are your clients failing to recognise the value and peace of mind they will gain by having well-drafted wills and estate plans?
» Are you not recognising or underestimating the value and peace of mind you provide your clients by encouraging them to think about their estate planning?
» Has the importance of having an up-to-date and well-drafted will been under-mined by offers of “free” wills?
Wills are one of our most important documents, we are all going to need one.
Below is a list of, what I hope are, helpful suggestions that I have picked up over the years from estate planning lawyers:
» Have your client list their assets and liabilities, family members and any friends or organisations they might want to recognise – this may help them realise quite why they do need a will.
» Ask your client the following question. “If you had passed away yesterday what would you want to see happen to your assets tomorrow?” There is nothing like confronting your own mortality to get us thinking.
» Ask your client who would be the best people to be responsible and ensure their assets ended up in the right hands and their wishes are implemented? The prospect of their incompetent uncle making decisions can create some intent.
» Do not post out a draft will and wait for it to be signed and returned. Many people have neither the ability nor inclination to read a legal document – it ends up sitting on the kitchen bench, unsigned. Why not, at the conclusion of your initial meeting, make a time to meet again – a call to action and a commitment to do something all in one?
» If your client is reluctant to sign the newly-drafted will, urge them to do so as it is likely to be better than their existing, out of date, will or the non-existent one.
Where will you be in 25 years time?
Make A Noise For The Boys This Sunday
At 11am on 11 November 1918, after four years of brutal conflict, the First World War finally came to an end. When news of the Armistice reached New Zealand it was met with widespread thanksgiving, celebration and a lot of noise.
“There were songs and cheers, miscellaneous pipings and blastings, and tootings and rattlings—a roaring chorus of gladsome sounds.” – Armistice celebrations in Wellington described in The Evening Post, 12 November 1918
100 years on, organisers of the Armistice Centenary Commemorations want to recapture this energy.
On Sunday 11 November, a two minute silence will be observed at 11am to acknowledge the immense loss and hardship endured throughout the war. Following this, they encourage organisations and communities to gather whatever ‘instruments’ they have at hand, and help create a roaring chorus of jubilant sound that once again celebrates peace and hope for the future.
The brief is wide open, you could ring bells, sound sirens, or toot horns. You could sing a waiata, beat drums or play music. You could incorporate something upbeat into an event you already had planned or do something stand alone. Anything goes because all that really matters is that we remember those who paid the ultimate price for us 100 years ago.
Cambridge (Partners) goes to Oxford
Cambridge Partners Principal Adviser, Jacob Wolt, is on his way to Oxford University to take a major role in the annual conference of GAIA (The Global Association of Independent Advisors). This is a hugely significant event on the international financial scene and will be attended by major, independently-owned investment advisory firms from around the world.
The global conference will be held this Wednesday and Thursday and, on Friday, Jacob will be chairing the Australasian session, which is traditionally attended by member companies from other parts of the world as well. “It is an enormous honour and privilege to be chairing this event,” Jacob explained on the eve of his departure. “GAIA firms are identified by their independence and their over-riding commitment to fiduciary excellence and to ensuring they always put their clients’ needs first. So these get-togethers are always an opportunity to learn from the world’s best and to reinforce our commitment to unified global thinking.”
Cambridge Partners are the only company in the South Island with GAIA membership, and one of only two New Zealand wide. GAIA membership is limited to those companies who meet stringent standards of total independence and transparency in wealth management practices. GAIA member companies must also be certified by CEFEX – an equally demanding independent global assessment and certification organization which provides an independent recognition of a firm’s adherence to a defined standard representing the best practices in the industry.
Everyone at Cambridge Partners would like to wish Jacob safe travels and all the best for this demanding and prestigious role – we have no doubt he will do us all proud.
Calling Today’s – and Tomorrow’s – Seniors
|It’s not too late to have your say on the development of a new strategy to address the needs of our ageing population.
Between 29 June and 24 August the Government are consulting with people throughout New Zealand to find out what matters to you.
The last strategy was developed in 2001 and since then people are living longer and healthier lives. People of all ages are becoming more concerned about things like housing, secure employment and climate change.
While the new strategy will reflect many known changes and challenges, policy-makers want to know what today’s seniors think. They also want to hear from tomorrow’s seniors, people aged in their 40s and 50s now. After all, it’s projected that by 2036 one in four Kiwis will be aged 65 and over.
What are your ideas and concerns? Your priorities and expectations for how you live now, and how you want to age in the future?
Submissions close on 24 August so there’s still time to give your views. If you’d like to be involved, or make a submission, go to the website: www.superseniors.msd.govt.nz/ageingpopulation The Government are welcoming comments and contributions from individuals as well as more formal submissions.
Andrew Nuttall – more than just a great Financial Adviser!
We’re a pretty sporty lot at Cambridge Partners, and noone more so than one of our partners, Andrew Nuttall. Andrew has been playing cricket since before he started primary school thanks to his grandfather and uncle, who were both cricket mad. “My mother often talks about how many great people I’ve met through cricket and how many fantastic experiences I’ve had, and she’s right” he recalls. “What’s even more special is the fact that it’s still happening, even though my school years are now a long way behind me!”
There was a point, however, when cricket had to take a back seat for Andrew. The arrival of his twins meant the Nuttall household was home to four children under five years old. Not surprisingly, Andrew’s weekly cricket commitments were somewhat curtailed in the short term! However his love of cricket continued, and was passed onto his children.
Considered one of the best age group cricketers in New Zealand, Andrew has just left for a cricketing tour of England. “This is going to be a fantastic trip,” he explains. We are going to historic places like York, playing a game at Ripley Castle within the grounds there, then traveling down to Cambridge and on to Windsor where we play at Eton College. Then — every cricketer’s dream — we get to play at the nursery ground at Lord’s and then have a dinner there, so that’s very special and something I never thought I’d get the chance to do.”
A measure of just how good a cricketer Andrew is, is the fact that not only did he play for the winning Canterbury Over 60s team in the national tournament last year, and also for the New Zealand over 60s team against several regional Australian teams in 2017, but this year he is also in the New Zealand over 50 team! They will be playing in a World Cup from mid November to early December which includes eight teams from around the globe including England, Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
“Those are some pretty high powered teams, which will include some very fit and motivated ex-internationals. But we’re not letting that daunt us, we have a goal, and that’s to bring home the trophy!”
Everyone at Cambridge Partners would like to wish Andrew all the best with his sporting endeavours, and look forward to hearing about his team’s successes.
“I’m at the top of my game – and I don’t feel old!”
Here’s a very interesting interview from retirement commissioner, Diane Maxwell, which screened on TV3 this morning. Well worth a read or watch in its entirety, but here are some of the key points:
– Most ‘retirees’ don’t feel old – ‘they are fit, healthy and active and want to get up in the morning and do something’.
– Most kiwis want to retire when they are aged between 68 and 72 NOT 65
– 63% of people don’t believe they will have enough to retire on when the time comes
Diane Maxwell was reluctant to put a figure on just how much any one person needs for retirement as needs and expectations vary. But she did suggest that one of the key tools to help was to always have a three month buffer – in other words enough money in the bank to tide you over for three months if you weren’t able to earn money during that time.
This was necessary regardless of age because it helped protect against a downward spiral of additional debt which could happen at any time, and seriously compromise long-term savings plans.
And what was the message she was getting back from those she talked to who had either reached or were close to retirement? “Don’t write me off – I’m at the top of my game, and I don’t feel old!”
Read or watch the full interview here
June 1st – the day of Gypsies and Queens
Today is Friday June 1st. For most of us this year it’s the day before Queens Birthday – the last opportunity to enjoy a long weekend for over four months. But for the country’s dairy farmers, 1st June is gypsy day – the day every year when any dairy herds which are shifting prior to the next milking season change locations.
Whether the herd is moving down the road on foot to a neighbouring farm, or across the Cook Strait on a truck to the other end of the country, this year the transition will be a little more fraught than usual, with the threat of micoplasma bovis hanging over the entire industry – and therefore the whole country.
At around 37% of our total exports, farming is still by far our greatest export industry – which makes it a major contributor to our way of life. So even the most urbanised city-dweller is affected by the state of our farms – undoubtedly among the most efficient and productive in the world.
So if you are a ‘townie’, spare a thought for your rural kiwi brethren while you’re putting your feet up this weekend – for many of them it will still be business as usual. And if you’re a farmer, particularly one in the beef or dairy industry, know that the rest of New Zealand are thinking of you and wish you all the best.
Welcome to Our New Home
As of tomorrow (Friday 4th May) Cambridge Partners will be operating from our new home in the innovative new Te Uruti building in Hereford, just a short hop across the river from our current offices in Oxford Terrace. We’re all delighted to be making the move for a number of reasons, one of the main ones being that this will be the first time all CPL staff have been under one roof since the company was formed through the merger of Bradley Nuttall and iQ2 late last year.
Another reason we are all looking forward to the move is the knowledge that this will be our permanent home – the first we have enjoyed since the earthquakes. Being a very proud Canterbury owned and operated company, post quake Bradley Nuttall were determined to stay working in the Christchurch CBD as part of our commitment to the area – not an easy decision to stick to. Immediately after the the February quake, when we had to evacuate our named building in Oxford Terrace, the majority of the team worked from the home of one of our partners, Andrew Nuttall.
We set up his lounge and rumpus room as offices and also used the kitchen and living room during the day. The garage housed work related papers and files, and three team members worked from their own houses. Our IT people did wonders to make our communications work, and we were very grateful that our databases were cloud based.
In late May 2011, BNL moved into an office in The Aged Concern Building, Cashel St opposite the Bridge of Remembrance. But that was a very ‘short shift’ indeed! Following the June earthquake these offices were no longer suitable either, so back to Andrew’s we went. Eventually we secured space above the iconic Tiffany’s restaurant on the banks of the Avon in Tudor House, where we have been ever since.
Our colleagues from iQ2 faced similar challenges, moving around from the CBD to a couple of fringe locations before being becoming one of the early returnees to the city following their move into the Tavendale and Partners Centre.
But now it’s time for all of us to enjoy our fantastic new premises on level 4, 48 Hereford Hereford Street on the site of the former King Edwards Barracks. We’re very much looking forward to this new chapter, and to being able to host clients and associates in such wonderful surroundings. Click here for a map of our location, and details of the free carparking available to clients nearby.
Songs My Mother Taught Me
Cambridge Partners are delighted to be a sponsor of The Jubilate Singers first concert for 2018. This very special afternoon event is called ‘Songs my Mother Taught Me’ and, as the concert is one week before Mothers’ Day, it would make the perfect early Mothers Day present.
As their regular Musical Director, Susan Densem, has taken sabbatical leave for the year, the Jubilate Singers have taken the opportunity to offer the role to special guest musicians. First up for this concert is Matthew Everingham, Christchurch based musical director, conductor, composer and pianist.
Michael has put together a wonderful programme of choral music written for, by and about mothers – from the Renaissance to the present day. It features composers Aleotti, Finzi, C Schumann, F Mendelssohn, Whitacre, Lauridsen, Sondheim and Lennon and McCartney, among others.
Matt attended St Bede’s College, the University of Canterbury and Trinity College, London. Matt’s first encounter with the Jubilate Singers was with the Court Theatre’s production ‘The Events’ in 2016. He recently completed a successful season at the Court as Deputy Musical Director for ‘Chicago’, and is currently performing in the Showbiz production ‘Wicked’.
‘Songs my Mother Taught Me’ will be performed at 2.00pm on Sunday 6 May, 2018, at the Piano Centre for Music and the Arts, 156 Armagh Street, Christchurch.
Tickets are $25 ($20 unwaged and retirees), children are free. This includes afternoon tea. For bookings please phone Steve French 3586161 or email email@example.com
Welcome to James Howard
We’re delighted to welcome James Howard to Cambridge Partners. A Canterbury local, James received his BCom at University of Canterbury majoring in accounting, finance, management and information systems.
Following his graduation, he joined EY, working in the International Tax and Transfer Pricing department. His involvement with the company spanned almost a decade, and included three years in the Netherlands working in the Operating Model Effectiveness team.
Along with New York, London and Singapore, the Netherlands is one of EY’s key hubs for Operating Model Effectiveness, so this was an excellent opportunity for James to challenge himself and gain valuable professional experience in this area. On a personal level, it provided him and wife Kate with an opportunity to fulfil a dream to see more of the world.
“I had a blast and learnt a lot and, to be honest, if it was a bit closer to home we might have stayed,” he says with a smile. “But ultimately the 26-hour flights home become a bit much for both of us. And, as much as we loved our time overseas, we’re very happy to be back in Christchurch closer to our family and friends.”
After initially returning to EY in Christchurch on his return home, James moved to Otakaro Ltd – the crown-owned entity which is responsible for delivering the anchor projects currently underway as part of the Christchurch rebuild. Here James provided Commercial and Economic Advisory in the Strategy and Planning team. “It was great learning and a good experience but ultimately not what I was looking for” explains James. “I missed developing relationships with clients and working with those clients to create value and achieve their goals.”
James loves skiing, mountain biking “Basically any outdoor activities. I also used to be an avid rower, however it’s been a few years since I’ve sat in a boat…” He is still involved in the sport though, as he sits on the board of Southern Rowing Performance Centre.
Phillippa Wilberforce, you will be missed
It is with great sadness that we inform you, that after a short illness, Phillippa Wilberforce has lost her battle with cancer.
Phillippa was CEO at Cambridge Partners (formerly Bradley Nuttall) from October 2014 to November 2017 when she elected to take medical retirement due to ill health.
Phillippa was a well-respected and inspirational leader. Her passion, drive, expertise, hard work, determination and genuine concern for the well being of her team both professionally and personally are hugely missed.
She was instrumental in the significant growth of our company over the last three years, including leading the successful merger of Bradley Nuttall and IQ2 Private Wealth to establish Cambridge Partners.
Sadly, Phillippa’s life has been cut far too short but she has left her mark on all in our team and all those she came in contact with, for which we are all better off.
We will all miss her greatly and our thoughts and prayers are with Phillippa’s husband, Sebastian, and two children, Aurelia and Hugo, at this very sad and difficult time.
The Cambridge Partners Team
Bradley Nuttall Has Merged With iQ2 Private Wealth to Form Cambridge Partners Ltd
Spring is traditionally a time of new beginnings, and this year Bradley Nuttall has some exciting news, which carries on the tradition of innovation and leadership that has characterised our 23 year history.
We are pleased and excited to announce that Bradley Nuttall Ltd (BNL) are merging with iQ2 Private Wealth Ltd to form a new entity called Cambridge Partners Ltd.
Both firms share the same values, investment philosophies and aspirations. We have also invested the time needed to develop a clear shared mission and purpose for Cambridge Partners – to help our clients prosper through our role as investment fiduciaries and financial stewards of their wealth.
Cambridge Partners will be one of the largest independent, fee-only financial and investment advisory practices in NZ with over $500m of funds under management on behalf of over 600 clients. It is one of only a few DIMS (discretionary investment management services) licensed firms in NZ and holds the prestigious Centre for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX) certification for global best practice standards in investment management.
The formation of Cambridge Partners will help to create a more secure future and broader range of services for clients and professional colleagues.
Interesting Observations on US President’s Impact on US Markets
We’ve all now heard the result of the election. Given the polls just before election day, the outcome was a surprise, to say the least. The result has been compared to Brexit, which was one that was similarly surprising.
Perhaps we are less sceptical. Living in the world of financial markets, we know that probability is only ever as the name suggests. It represents the likelihood of something occurring, and is a very different word to certainty.
Markets have adjusted quickly since the election result, as reality set in. Initially, it appeared as if markets would go down. However, since the election result, as at the time of writing, the S&P 500 is up 1.2%, the Nikkei up 2.9%, the CAC 40 up 0.7%, the S&P/NZX 50 up 1.1% and the S&P/ASX 200 is up 3.7%.
All this means is, ironically, that investors don’t know what this means. Will the American business community or Congress rein Trump in, or will he be allowed to follow through on his election campaign promises? Trump won’t be able to pass law by himself, but he will be able to block trade deals (such as the TPPA), for example. Many New Zealanders who are anti-TPPA would also be very anti-Trump, and yet he’s very likely to kill the deal that they didn’t like. It shows how complicated this election really has been.
From the perspective of an investor, it’s interesting to look at the relationship between the US president’s political party and investment returns. Historically, markets have done better when a Democrat is president rather than a Republican (9.7% growth as compared to 6.7%). However, the same data shows the markets do best when the Republicans have controlled both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Source: How the Election Will Really Affect Your Investments
Following this election, the Republicans will control the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Presidency.
But there is always more data. For example, when the US president has had a negative approval rating markets have done 4% better than when the president has had a positive approval rating.
These two somewhat counter intuitively, contrasting apparent causal relationships actually indicate that the relationship between investment market returns and the Presidency is a fairly weak one. What drives markets are businesses that innovate, solve problems and continually provide better goods and services at lower prices. Businesses have been doing this for hundreds of years and will continue to do so for many more.
Someone almost universally regarded as being one of America’s worst Presidents was Warren Harding, the 29th US president (1921-1923). Amongst his many blunders, he appointed a number of corrupt officials. One of his cabinet secretaries went to prison for corruption in the Teapot Dome scandal.
How did he get elected? Author Malcolm Gladwell suggested in his book Blink that people believed Warren Harding would be a good president because he appeared stately and Presidential. It was a “blink” decision.
Why do we bring this up? Only because between 1921 and 1923, the Dow Jones returned around 32%.
An article in US magazine Money put it well:
“Conventional wisdom says a President’s economic policies matter greatly to Wall Street. But… investors since the Great Depression have managed to make money in war and peace and under successful and failed administrations.”
Many investors are invested in portfolios built to last 20 to 30 plus years, our clients certainly are. Over that time frame, both good times and bad times are a given. That is the nature of capitalism which funds both worthwhile and worthless economic ventures the ultimate nature of which is only discernible in retrospect. We believe history shows that a globally diversified, low cost portfolio is a ship that can and will survive the storms of politics, because it is founded on the success of business.
Presidents come and go, but business in aggregate has never gone out of business, and won’t in the future, whatever President-elect Trump does.
So we encourage you to relax, tune into the news out of interest, but know that your long term plans are based on something much more solid and stable than politics.
This document has been provided for general information purposes only. The information is given in good faith and has been prepared from published information and other sources believed to be reliable, accurate and complete at the time of preparation, but its accuracy and completeness is not guaranteed.
Any information, analysis or views contained herein reflect our opinion at the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. To the extent that any such information, analysis, views or opinions may be construed as advice, they do not take into account any person’s particular financial situation or goals and, accordingly, do not constitute personalised advice under the Financial Advisers Act 2008, nor do they constitute advice of a legal, tax, accounting or other nature to any persons. Past performance is not indicative of future results, and no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding future performance. To the maximum extent permitted by law, no liability or responsibility is accepted for any loss or damage, direct or consequential, arising from or in connection with this document or its contents.