Team

Interview With Our In-House Investment Analyst: Massimo Vanni

KLOFinancial |

At KLO Financial Services, our financial planning is supported by in-house investment analysis. As a fully independent team of financial advisers, this is particularly beneficial, as we can get direct access to analysis that supports our clients’ financial goals.

We spoke with our Investment Analyst Massimo Vanni to discuss why in-house investment analysis at KLO Financial Services benefits our clients. We also asked Massimo about his role, and what interests him about the financial world, as well as what savers and investors should look out for in the near future.

Why did you decide to become an Investment Analyst?

“For someone who has always had a keen interest in economics, financial products and financial markets, the role is absolutely ideal as these are exactly the areas one deals with every single day in the role.

The role also provides the opportunity to be involved in a wide range of research activity in order to gain valuable insights into economic trends, and in order to assess the positive investment potential of an heterogenous range of financial products.

This requires the full deployment of analytical, research and statistical skills which I enjoy applying in my daily work and when involved in longer term projects, thus providing high work satisfaction.”

What does a regular day as an Investment Analyst look like?

“The day invariably starts with an almost religious gathering of the main financial, economic and political news that might affect markets and with observing the price action in markets, both from the previous business day and ongoing. This is essential in order to form an understanding of how these developments, actual and potential, are going to impact our portfolios and investment solutions.

This monitoring activity is then coupled with the paramount and continuous process of due diligence on the providers of various services and products used by the Firm as well as on new products and services available in the marketplace, which could be used in the future.

This task can take many forms, from on-line webinars to examining the literature and the documents relating to these products and services and attending video conferences with fund managers and business development managers.

Time is also dedicated to various projects such as the production of marketing material and the writing of research notes and commentaries. This in general runs parallel with working on any ad-hoc request from our financial planners arising from their servicing of current clients or engagement with new prospective clients.

Last, but not least, there is also the requirement of keeping abreast of any new rules and regulatory development affecting financial markets, by attending on-line seminars and studying the relevant material. There is never a single boring day in this role!”

What interests you most about Investment Analysis?

“Acquiring knowledge about the inner workings of investment solutions and products, their upside potential and strengths as well as their possible drawbacks, is fulfilling in itself as a purely intellectual challenge. At a higher level, almost a philosophical one, it is amazing to see the “invisible hand” of markets at work every day in the price action of financial markets, trying to understand how, why and where capital is deployed, and the economic forces at play as well as the psychology of investors which impacts the performance of financial markets.

There is also the ever-present awareness that financial markets are inherently risky, thus risk management, trying to have systems and processes in place to face what, in the memorable words of former US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfield are “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns” is a great challenge, which I enjoy facing.

As one example of the former, think Brexit (we knew it was going to happen but the consequences on markets were uncertain), and as an example of the latter, think Covid 19, something completely unpredictable coming out of the blue. In the effort to try and balance investment returns and risk, this unpredictability makes the role at the same time very tasking and extremely fascinating.”

What do you enjoy about working at KLO Financial Services?

“I love the culture of the Firm, based on a collaborative and friendly approach, always open to embrace change and innovation when required. At the same time, completely laser focused on helping our clients to achieve their desired goals and objectives with a dedication and an in-house expertise on the part of our financial planners, second to none.

It feels like being part of a big family and the Firm is always very supportive in terms of work flexibility with a family friendly approach, which is fantastic. The Firm is also totally independent, not restricted in the range of financial products and services that can be used in terms of financial planning solutions, making working here exciting, as the scope for researching and analysing financial products is very wide and unconstrained.”

How does in-house investment analysis benefit KLO's clients?

“Being an Investment Analyst requires the deployment of research skills and the ability to work independently on projects, thus providing the latitude to exercise personal judgement on current and proposed investment solutions, based on researched data. This is a fundamental background role which helps advisers to fully focus on providing the best financial planning for their clients, pre and post retirement, safe in the knowledge investment products and solutions have been thoroughly researched and screened as part of a robust in-house investment process.

As the needs and objectives of each single client are diverse, this research, analysis and screening work helps our financial planners to be client centric in their focus and to devise bespoke, personalised solutions for our clients every time they are required. There is added value for clients in gathering, researching and analysing information to ensure investment portfolios and solutions are managed to the best of our ability and understanding, so that investment opportunities are highlighted, and investment risk is managed as much as possible.”

What should clients be looking out for in the next few months?

“After a quick polish of my crystal ball, the expectation is for a worldwide synchronised rebound in economic activity, thanks to the successful roll out of mass vaccination programs especially in the UK, China and the US. Economies are expected to grow above trend and to go back to pre-pandemic level of activity by the end of this year or the first part of next year.

Barring the emergence of a new variant of Covid 19 resistant to current vaccines or the sudden appearance of yet another “unknown unknown”, equity markets are expected to deliver positive returns, albeit not necessarily across the board but mostly in those cyclical sectors exposed to the rebound in economic growth and more immune to rising inflation or even benefiting from it, such as Oil & Gas, Financials, Industrials, Basic Materials & Commodities and Energy.

On the back of the prospect of re-opening economies, coupled with continuing expansionary fiscal and monetary policies implemented by governments and central banks of the major developed economies, inflation expectations have been steadily on the rise and yields on government bonds have increased sharply.

This has generated major headwinds for growth and technology stocks, as well as for long duration government bonds whose prices have trended lower since last November. On the other hand, this rise in inflation expectations has proved to be a tailwind for the sectors benefiting from the re-opening of economies. 

Perhaps counterintuitively, what is traditionally considered to be a natural inflation hedge, namely gold, has also been very negatively affected by what has been conventionally termed the “reflationary trade”, and the reason for this has mostly to do with the rise in real yields, which tend to be negatively correlated with the price of gold.

This overall trend in markets is expected to last for at least for another 1-2 quarters. However, these are very uncertain times and extrapolating from the recent past might be risky and a reassessment of the macroeconomic outlook and its impact on financial markets will probably be warranted in the not too distant future.”

KLO Financial Services

Our team are truly passionate about helping clients achieve their financial goals. This is why our service is completely bespoke and tailored to each individual, with friendly and regular communication from highly experienced and knowledgeable financial advisers.

If you’d like to learn more about any of the topics mentioned by Massimo in this article, please contact us by calling 01926 492406 or email enquiries@klofinancialservices.com.