Investing first piqued my interest back at school and today, as I fast approach the end of my fourth decade with Investec, I enjoy it more than ever. It’s a job that requires me to be very responsive to what’s going on; I can come in first thing with a plan for the day and have to tear it all up before I reach my desk. That’s the unique challenge of investing people’s money in the markets.
The stock market is continuously changing – you need to adapt to the conditions and always be ready to manoeuvre when necessary. Any number of external factors can impact the markets or a particular stock or fund at any time, so there’s no room for resting on your laurels in this job.
It’s a very fast moving working environment, so away from the office, on holiday I’ve always enjoyed sailing when the sun’s out and enjoying a rare opportunity to slow down!
Getting the appetite right
Our main aim is to match someone’s appetite for risk with the right investments. Historically, these conversations would take place face-to-face or over the phone, but with Click & Invest we’ve put a huge amount of work into translating this service to an online financial questionnaire.
This has been tested and fine-tuned many times over– I think three quarters of what we started with has been discarded – but it’s now ready to be rolled out and I can’t think of anything I’d do differently.
Customer communication and transparency are important to us. If we change our position on a stock or fund, we want to share the thinking behind our decision with our clients, as we feel it’s important to make the effort when we’re investing people’s money.
The art of science
I get a buzz from applying scientific measures and controls to the investment process. After 36 years, I’m still motivated and love solving new challenges in a rapidly-changing environment.
Being part of bringing this service to market has been right up my street. I’m always inspired by business people who take responsibility and put things into action rather than just talking about it and waiting for someone else to pick up the baton.
Opinions given within this article are my own personal views. My views and opinions are effective from the date of publication but may be subject to change without notice.