Investment philosophy

It is no accident that our name and inspiration comes from the world of sailing. In the words of Benjamin Disraeli we are ‘prepared for the worst but hope for the best’.

What makes us different is that we do far more than typical investment advisers. A typical investment portfolio is managed in a way akin to setting the sails and making very few alterations to them throughout the voyage, come storm or fine weather, apart from swapping one brand of sails for another from time to time. Such a boat will struggle in stormy conditions, maybe even suffer damage.

At Mainstay, the assets within our core portfolios are actively and continuously adjusted with the singular aims of safeguarding our clients’ investments whilst ensuring that optimum performance is obtained. The funds are researched diligently and chosen carefully. We get to know the fund managers, and many of them know us, and each portfolio is tailored to the individual, not slotted into a standard model portfolio.

To invest is to make a journey and a good analogy is sailing a yacht. The skipper has at his disposal a range of sails each of which performs a particular function. These will be hoisted in specific configurations to meet the prevailing conditions and will be taken down if necessary to safeguard the boat. Each sail here illustrates a different type of investment and the role each plays within a portfolio.

yacht p lettThe largest is the main sail  and is responsible for providing the majority of the vessel’s thrust. Equities (Stocks and Shares) are typically the largest asset within a portfolio and are responsible for providing the majority of the investment performance long term.

Other sails, such as the jib, genoa or mizzen enhance the turning capabilities, stability and directional performance of the vessel and will be actively hoisted, adjusted or taken down throughout the voyage. They represent additional types of investment such as cash, property, fixed interest, derivatives or commodities.

Often clients wish to take a little additional risk and we will add some specific performance funds for a period, without disturbing the core structure of the portfolio. This can be best illustrated by the spinnaker. This is a big sail at the bow of the boat, often used in racing, or light winds as it traps a huge amount of wind and provides extra propulsion. While they are great on days with only light breezes, during strong winds they can be hard to control.

The value of your investment can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you have invested.