With the Masters now well and truly in full swing, Steve Plowman spoke to Matthew Hunt about what is keeping Prospect Wealth Management safely on the fairway...
Twenty years ago, Tiger Wood’s first Masters victory changed the face of golf. There have been many changes to the wealth management industry since then, but what would you say was the industry’s ‘Tiger moment’ and why?
Twenty years ago income drawdown was introduced in response to falling annuity rates, spawning the explosive growth of the Sipp market and opportunities for wealth management. In the bad old days clients would have had to buy an annuity, but now they have the opportunity to improve their financial prospects in old age.
As a fan of golf, what does the Masters represent to you?
To me the Masters represents the start of a long summer of sporting events. The birds chirping, the lush green grass and the magnificent azaleas all herald the end of winter and the promise of better things to come. And, of course, the excitement of the last nine holes on Sunday when the pressure starts to show and something dramatic always seems to happen.
If Prospect Wealth was a major tournament, which would it be and why?
If Prospect was a major it would be the Open Championship. The Open is played on links courses, which combine traditional values with the need for imaginative play – innovation and creativity are similarly the hallmarks of Prospect, along with traditionally high standards of service. What is more, my father finished third in the 1960 Open at St Andrews with a 66 in the final round so I have always had a fondness for this tournament.
Who are you tipping to wear this year’s Green Jacket come the end of the competition?
Following Danny Willett’s win last year, we are hoping for a return of the late 1980s when Brits ruled the roost with consecutive wins for Lyle, Faldo and Woosnam. So let’s hope Lee Westwood can finally win his first major after his second place finish last year.
How will you position portfolios to outperform in Q2?
With the expectation that the European players will loom large on the leader board, it is appropriate that we are overweight in European equities. Fears of a victory from Marine Le Pen have been overstated and with the European Central Bank showing few signs of tightening policy we expect growth to continue to accelerate in Europe.Market valuations are not excessive and we see further upside potential. In contrast, US equities are overrated and due for a setback. Trade frictions with China could be a bigger threat to the US stock market than Chinese golfers are to the US challenge for the hallowed Green Jacket.