Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Individuals should be unafraid of investing, says expert

Investing in stocks and shares is a minefield for many, but Phil Organ a senior investment consultant for Coutts in Newcastle is keen to dispel many of the myths associated with this practice.

Phil joined Coutts in October 2011, he has nearly 30 years’ experience working in investments, most recently with Barclays Wealth. Phil has previously specialised in Charity and pension-related investments whilst maintaining a significant book of private clients.

“The past few years have been particularly turbulent,” he explains. ’Especially after the markets fell in the fourth quarter of 2008 - since then there has been non sustained recovery from the depths of the crisis.”

Since the beginning of this period, many people’s attitudes to investments have changed. People are far more cautious, but Phil believes that they should not be afraid of investing their money.

“It’s important for individuals and businesses to understand their own risk tolerance, but it is a difficult time and with the combination of above-target inflation and low interest rates, individuals could be losing almost 5% of the value of their money by doing nothing.

“Equally, people are often more tempted to sell when there is bad news, but they need to remember that when they buy near the top, a lot of good news will already be reflected in the asset price.”

Phil is also keen to stress that Coutts take a personalized approach to investing,

“What we try to do at Coutts is align an individual’s risk tolerance with investment solutions suited to them.”

As well as working with those looking to invest, Phil works closely with entrepreneurs, who are often more adept at managing risks.

“Particularly in the North East, entrepreneurs are prepared to deal with the market ebbs and flows, whilst also taking in new business.

“At Coutts in Newcastle, nearly 80% of our clients are entrepreneurs, and see a lot of good news stories about entrepreneurial successes.

“With so much negative news highlighted in the media we must be careful not to portray things as all bad.”

Nonetheless, Phil believes that things will not get easier for some while, but encourages businesses in the North East to keep focused on their goals.

“Next year we will be facing low growth, high levels of government debt, private sector de-leveraging as well as the economic and political effects of the euro zone crisis.

“We are at a competitive advantage in the UK, but European issues could still stifle growth.”

“However, while it is important not to play down the issues we are facing, In the UK, we are still global leaders in certain technology based areas, such as biotech and cleantech, and we should now play to these strengths.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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