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Behind the scenes

Investing with Plan & Invest

Remember the value of investments can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invest.

The following videos feature a number of experts in our investments team who are responsible for managing your money. They explain some of the key characteristics of the investment process and how they work together to help you meet your long-term financial goals. Please note that these videos are most relevant for Plan & Invest customers with specific goals or timelines and may not be applicable to all investors.

Video 1: Strategic & Tactical Asset Allocation – How do we build our views?

Welcome to Asset Allocation, my name is Will  Hobbs, Chief investment Officer. 

At Barclays, we have an investment framework that structures how we manage your investments. 

One element is where our dedicated Asset Allocation team combine their forward-looking expert views with the characteristics of assets and they try and work out a robust strategic asset allocation. 

Asset allocation is about deciding how much money is invested into different types of investments.

The main types of assets for investing are shares across the world, government bonds, corporate bonds, and cash. 

Asset allocation is divided into two things.

One can  be strategic – the long-term view based on investment composition– or it can be tactical, the tactical adjustments, mainly based on our shorter term, three-to-12 month outlook.

Investing across a broad range of assets helps to spread the risk, as the overall investment return is not reliant on the success or failure of one single investment. 

Also, different asset classes perform differently in different market environments. 

Our senior investment professionals will select that mix that we believe to be the most appropriate to help you meet your long-term investment goals.

Video 2: Using your ‘financial personality’ to create your personalised Investment Plan

Hi, my name is Robert Smith and I’m Head of Behavioural Finance.

I use our knowledge of investor psychology and risk-taking behaviour to make sure we build a personalised investment plan that is right for you.

This is why you will go through a detailed planning stage, where we will use everything you tell us to work out if investing is right for you, how much you can afford to invest, and what sort of investment suits you best and will help you achieve your goals. 

To help work out the right investment strategy for you I need to understand your attitudes to risk, which means how you feel about taking risk, as these attitudes tell me about your likely emotional response to risk. 

I also need to understand how much risk you can afford to take. 

This is really important to make sure you have a plan that is suited to you, one you can stick to through the inevitable ups and downs of your investment journey, the good times and the bad.

Video 3: Fund Selection – How do we select the best fund managers?

Hi, my name is Evangeline Huang, and I'm a member of the Fund Selection team. 

My team aims to identify the best active funds for you. 

Unlike passive funds that merely seek to mirror a market index before fees, active managers aim to increase the returns on your investment through their research and express

their best ideas as they construct your portfolio.

Identifying such managers requires appropriate framework. 

Key to our approach is our investment due diligence process, which uses what we call our '5P' framework whereby five key areas, each starting with the letter P, are assessed. 

The first "P" Parent refers to the organisational structure of the external firms that manage the funds. 

Investment talent involves assessing the team dynamic and experience under the second "P" People. 

The Third "P" Philosophy refers to the market inefficiency a manager is trying to exploit. 

How the People apply the Philosophy day-to-day is addressed under the fourth "P" Process, things like risk controls, idea generation and written output. 

Finally, we look at the last "P", Performance to analyse past risk and style characteristics. 

We are rated by the United Nations for our Environment, Social, and Governance(or ESG) credentials within our 5P framework.

Equally important for finding the best active funds for you is our operational due diligence process, which aims to assess and mitigate unintended operational risks. 

It is important to note that our due diligence process is not a one-off exercise. 

We are constantly monitoring our funds, and if our view of a fund changes, we will remove it from the Funds List so that you always get access to only the managers that we believe are the best.

Video 4: Rebalancing and monitoring

Hi, my name is Ziad Abou Gergi, and I am a portfolio manager at Barclays. 

I help monitor your investment and to make sure you're always invested in a way that’s right for your personal circumstances.

My team and I regularly watch how your investment is performing and over time will make some adjustments to the mix investments to ensure that it remains on the target asset allocation.

We also make adjustments to take advantage of any market opportunities that may arise.

As you approach the target date for when you want to use the money generated by your investments, we'll adjust the mix and invest it according to your glide path.

While other advisers may offer a low-cost service, they are limited to passive, index tracking investments.

We believe that there is a benefit and, especially, value in active management and we have the capability and specialised expertise to select some of the top managers from around the world.

Hence, we include these strategies within your investment where it makes sense.

Video 5: Your goals-based investment strategy – what is a ‘glide path’?

Hi, I'm Hao Ran Wee, Senior Investment Strategist at Barclays Wealth and Investments. 

A 'glide path' is an investment strategy that's designed to reduce the risk of your investment holdings as your time horizon shortens. 

The logic behind such a strategy is that if the markets falls significantly over the short term, then there is less time for you to recoup these losses, if you need to cash in your investments soon.

Because of this, it's advisable to lower your risk when your time horizon shortens.

In practice, a glide path is implemented by dynamically adjusting the composition of your investment holdings over time, depending on your time horizon. 

For example, if you're a young investor with a long time horizon, you could start off mainly with investing in stocks. 

This comes with higher returns, but also more risk. 

As you get older however, your time horizon shortens. 

The glide path will gradually replace your stock holdings with bonds. 

Since bonds are less riskier than stocks, this will gradually reduce the overall riskiness of your investments over time.