What Is The Difference Between Investment Management and Stockbrokers?

The investment services industry can be daunting and ambiguous for individuals who seek a return on their capital. After working hard earning your wealth, it is important to understand the different services offered by professionals and what solutions fit you personally. One of the main questions we get asked here is:”What is the difference between investment management and stockbrokers?”Firstly, let’s discuss what stockbrokers are – we all have a much better, clearer, idea of what they do and who they represent. Stockbrokers are regulated firms that offer financial advice to their clients. A stockbroker buys and sells equities and other securities like bonds, CFDs, Futures and Options on behalf of their clients in return for a fee or commission. A brokerage / stockbroker will receive a fee on each transaction, whether the idea is profitable or not.A brokerage can specialise in any investment niche they wish for example:
FTSE All-Share stocks,
AIM stocks,
European Stocks,
Asian Stocks,
US Stocks
Combinations of the above
Straight equities,
Straight derivative trading (CFDs, Futures & Options)
The main reason why investors choose stockbrokers over any other professional investment service is simply down to control. Due to the nature of a brokerage firm, they can only execute a trade after you instruct them to do so. This means it is impossible for a brokerage to keep buying and selling securities without you knowing – known as churning for commission. This doesn’t however prevent stockbrokers providing you with several new ideas a week and switching your positions to a new idea.However, there are natural flaws with the brokerage industry is that because trading ideas can only be executed after being instructed to list a few flaws;-
you may miss out of good opportunities due to moves in the market,
you may get in a couple of days later because you were busy and not make any money after fees,
you may receive a call to close a position but unable to without your say so.
The above are examples that can happen when investing with brokerage firms, but this is due to the reliance of gaining authorisation from their clients. So if you are ultra busy or travel a lot then you could potentially miss out on opportunities to buy or sell.What are investment managers?Now we understand what stockbrokers / brokerage firms are about, let’s discuss what investment management services can do for individuals.Investment management firms run differently to brokerages. The core aspect to these services is that the professional investment managers use their discretion to make investment decisions. As a client of an investment management firm you will go through a rigorous client on boarding process (just like a brokerage firm) to understand your investment goals, understanding of the services being used, risk profile, angering to the investment mandate and allowing the service to manage your equity portfolio. The sign up with the service may seem long winded but it’s in your best interest to ensure the service is suitable and appropriate for you. In reality, it’s not a long winded process at all. Once you agree to the services offered then you will only be updated on the on-going account data and portfolio reporting in a timely manner. This means no phone calls to disrupt your day-to-day activities and allows the professionals to focus on your portfolio.Investment management firms usually have specific portfolios with a track record, into which you can invest your capital according to you appetite for risk. These portfolios will focus on specific securities, economies, risk and type of investing (income, capital growth or balanced). All of this would be discussed prior or during the application process.Another method used by investment management firms is different strategies implemented by their portfolio managers. These strategies are systematic and go through thorough analysis before investment decisions are made.The fees usually associated with investment management firms can vary from each firm. There are three common types of fees and are usually combined, fees can be;-
Assets Under Management Fee – This is where you pay a percentage of the portfolio per year to the firm, usually an annual fee. E.g) 1% AUM Fee on £1,000,000 is £10,000 per year.
Transaction Fee – This is a fee associated with each transaction made through your portfolio – similar to the brokerage firm’s commission.
Percentage of Profits Fee – This is where any closed profits generated over a set time will be charged to the firm. E.g) 10% PoP Fee – the firm generates you closed profit of £10,000 in one quarter – you will be charged £1,000.
The main benefits provided from investment management firms is that after the service understands your needs and tailors the service around you, it is their job to build a portfolio around you. It is also the job of the investment management firm to adhere to the investment mandate you agreed on, we’ll take about this later, so you understand of the time frame given what you should expect. Another bonus why high-net worth individuals choose investment management services is because they are not hassled by phone calls every other day with a new investment idea.The difference… The main difference between investment management and stockbroking firms is:
Investment Managers offers discretionary services; no regular phone calls about stock ideas.
Stockbrokers give you more control as you can personally filter out ideas you think won’t work.
Investment Managers offer an investment mandate; this is where the investment management service provides a document of what they are offering you in return of managing your portfolio. You will understand what exactly they are targeting over the year, based on what risk, and should they achieve it – then they have fulfilled their service. E.g) the mandate could state that the strategies used and based on 8% volatility (risk), they seek to achieve 14% capital return.
Stockbrokers do not offer an future agreements but look to deliver growth during the time you are with them. They are not bound by their performances like investment managers.
Investment management firms have a track record for all of the strategies and services used, stockbrokers do not.
Which to choose?Both services provide professional approaches to investing in the stock markets. Stockbrokers are chosen over investment managers by people who like to be in control and receive financial advice. Stockbrokers generally do not have a systematic approach to the markets but use selective top-down approaches to select stocks.Investment managers are chosen by investors who want an agreement on their performances over the year and understand the risk up-front. Usually more sophisticated investors that wish to take advantage of the track-record and gain an understanding of the systematic approach used by the investment management firm.Feel free to learn more.DISCLAIMER: The above is not considered financial advice or any endorsement to use any particular service. If you wish to use any of the services mentioned, please seek independent advice.RISK WARNING: Spread betting, CFD, futures and options trading carries a high level of risk to your capital and can result in losses that exceed your initial deposit. They may not be suitable for everyone, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved. Past performance of a managed service is not a guide to future performance.

Top 5 Spas and Health Retreats

If you like the idea of spending some time relaxing at a top spa or health retreat, why not go all out and really indulge your senses. To help you choose which one to visit, here is a list of what we believe are five of the top spas and health retreats in the world.1. California Health and Longevity Institute, California, United States:This is the ultimate in opulence! The California Health and Longevity Institute offers a wide range of holistic therapies, combining ancient Asian wisdom with Western awareness. This is a world-class facility where your personal Life Advisor will help you to devise a plan for your life, health and rejuvenation. Complete with numerous experts on hand including a health chef, this venue has an amazing 40,000-square-foot spa where you can be pampered to your heart’s content.2. Chiva-Som International Health Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand:The Chiva-Som International Health Resort is a stunning resort that is perfect for a luxury Thailand holiday. This sanctuary offers a variety of spa treatments along with physiotherapy, iridology, live blood analysis and electro-dermal screening. They also provide US qualified doctors, nurses and naturopaths enabling visitors who feel like a total rejuvenation to have specialist treatments such as botox injections and laser resurfacing. While in Thailand, make sure you rejuvenate your soul too by exploring some of the mystical ancient temples or meditating with monks.3. Lausanne Palace and Spa, Lausanne, Switzerland:This exquisite resort is sure to leave you spellbound! Imagine spending a week or two of total bliss in this spectacular palace, with breathtaking 360o panoramic views of the Swiss Alps and Lake Geneva. There are various refreshing treatments available here, from wellness, fitness, beauty – even an Aveda hair spa. To complement these treatments, the Yogi booster programme offers nutritional advice to help you create total health balance.Enjoy an aromatic massage and rejuvenating facial treatment before venturing into the nearby town to explore the city and enjoy some well-deserved shopping. Make sure you add the Lausanne Palace and Spa to your luxurious travel itinerary.4. The Grove, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom:This prestigious escape is sure to impress even the most discerning traveller. An extraordinary estate, The Grove leaves most five star resorts way behind. Just a short drive from London, this Cosmopolitan Country Estate is located upon 300 stunning acres. The services offered at the award winning The Grove include state of the art leisure and sporting facilities such as an 18 hole championship golf course and a world class health and fitness centre. For your total pampering, spa treatments incorporate a delicate blend of aromatherapy, hydrotherapy and Ayurvedic philosophy. This is an ideal retreat that is adored by men and women from all over the world.5. Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa, Gold Coast, Australia:For the ultimate in 5 star resorts you can’t beat the Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa on the gloriously sun-drenched Gold Coast. This oasis retreat is nestled amongst 37 lush, tropical acres alongside azure waters and golden beaches – just the right atmosphere to begin your relaxing vacation. This resort boasts a spectacular 2.5 acres lagoon – as well as smaller lagoons hidden throughout the resort – a variety of elegant suites or villas to choose from and several award winning restaurants and bars. For your pampering, the resort’s Golden Door Spa and Health Club provides an array of sumptuous treatments. Once you are feeling re-energised and refreshed, you can enjoy an invigorating workout in the gymnasium, a game of tennis, swim in the lap pool or just put your feet up in the relaxation lounge. If you are planning a wedding, the Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa would be the perfect place to spend a luxury honeymoon.There is no doubt that we all need some time out now and then, and what better way to refresh than by spending time at one of these exclusive health retreats? If you can’t decide which one to go to, perhaps you can take an extended vacation and visit them all!

Part II: The Mind-Body-Faith Phenomenon: The Physiology of Optimism, Hope and Prayer

When striving to make positive health and attitudinal changes, it is important to remember that ones’ physical health, mental health, and spiritual health may depend on putting aside negativity and opting for a more positive lifestyle. This is not to say that all illnesses are controlled by the mind; they are not. But as an RN, I am hard-pressed to find a single medical condition that is not affected in some way by stress beyond the appendix. With that said, when the mind is worry-free and fear-free, as is the case when one prays, it is subsequently possible to adopt a more optimistic, hope-filled perspective, as endorphins are released into the body and travel across the brain and body to promote mind-body healing.We have all heard the saying, “It’s all in your head.” Well, that is a very harsh thing to say to anyone, let alone someone who is not feeling well. However, when we recognize the mind as the ‘head of the mind-body connection,’ it pulls a lot of weight, as it challenges us at times to change our thinking, and adjust our attitude for maximal wellness in body, mind and spirit.Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, a glum, negative outlook will likely reap poor results-socially, emotionally, mentally, and physically–especially in terms of general health and wellness. If you suffer from insomnia and say aloud you know you won’t sleep that night, you probably won’t. If you are given a new medication and are convinced it won’t work, the same is true as you may be allowing negativity to enter the situation. Positive thinking is central to realizing positive health outcomes. What we think and say matters, as they both affect our belief system, and the ability to heal.On the other hand, positive thinking is necessary for optimal health and wellness in body, mind and spirit. With a positive attitude, you are able to look ahead with hope and certainty. A positive outlook, fueled by prayer, can allow a person to believe there is a power greater than themselves to help them at every turn, and to heal. It allows people to look forward with hopefulness rather than hopelessness and despair. This new found optimism not only opens wide the gates to improved health and quality of life, but it has, time and again, changed people’s body chemistry and promoted healing.Adopting a positive-thinking lifestyle can allow almost anyone to change their perspective and be more at peace, hence boosting their metabolism and ability to heal. To a large degree, positive thinking alters body chemistry, and decreases the amount of cortisol in the body, effectively promoting maximal health in mind, body and spirit, hence the Mind-Body-Spirit Phenomenon, thus enhancing overall health and the promotion of maximal health.