"My adviser should place more importance on my long-term interests than his bonus"
Dec. 15, 2010
In our series of portraits of MyPrivatebanking Members we interviewed Geneva4 on his portfolio management and investment philosophy. Geneva4 is in his late 50s, a Swiss national and lives just outside Geneva. He took over a small family business in the field of industrial equipment in the 1980s and grew it to a substantial enterprise with offices and manufacturing plants in several countries. A couple of years ago he sold his stake to a private equity company.
MyPrivateBanking: How do you invest your money?
Geneva4: As I get older my willingness to take risks goes down. Consequently, with the majority of my capital I prefer to stay safe and target an average return of 4-5% per year. Real estate and bonds comprise about two-thirds of my portfolio. About one-third is devoted to stocks, private equity and hedge funds.
MyPrivateBanking: Who do you trust to manage your wealth?
Geneva4: Having spent all my professional life far away from asset management, I didn’t find it easy to get up-to-speed. I think I now have a basic understanding, but I trust my advisers with the details. Although I had to switch advisers a few times, I now feel that I am in good hands with a small, independent adviser and a large Swiss private bank. However, I’ve come to realize that I need to be involved almost on a daily base, both to understand what they are doing and provide them with my input. For instance, I only buy individuals stock of companies I knew in my previous work.
MyPrivateBanking: Which characteristics do you value in an adviser most?
Geneva4: Listening carefully to what I say. And my adviser should place more importance on my long-term interests than his up-coming bonus.
MyPrivateBanking: What is your most important advice to your fellow investors?
Geneva4: 1) Don’t be too greedy: above average returns come with higher risks. 2) Don’t just nod if your advisers tell you stuff you don’t fully grasp. Grill him until you know what he is talking about. 3) As in every industry there are good suppliers and bad suppliers. Talk to many advisers before you choose one and always have more than one.
MyPrivateBanking: Are you engaged in philanthropy ?
Geneva4: Indirectly. I support the concept of micro-credits and believe that giving while at the same time earning money is possible - and in the long-run better for all parties.
If you are interested to see Geneva4´s portfolio please check his full profile.