FACES OF FINANCE: ALAN MILLER of SCM DIRECT
Welcome to invstr meets, where invstr introduces you to big names within the business world ranging from investors, market commentators and top level analysts, to entrepreneurs, authors, professors and more.
Lea Jakobiak meets Alan Miller, CIO of SCM Direct, a fund management company based in London and finds out about his working day and life in the finance industry.
Alan has an impressive and long track record in fund management. He began one of the U.K’s first hedge funds ever almost 20 years ago in 1997, and had a starring role at Gartmore – the British-based investment management business, Jupiter Asset Management and New Star Investment Trust PLC.
A rundown of SCM Direct
“Born out of the 2008 financial crisis and a desire to challenge the status quo, SCM launched in 2009 offering investors fair fees and access to high end, modern, totally transparent investment solutions
The simple fact is that many of the huge institutions with expensive research experts, analysts and fund managers were helpless in the last financial crisis. So we started with a blank sheet of paper, reviewed everything afresh through a lens of evidence, experience and ethics, and concluded that the most common-sense way to invest involves a smart, contrarian, modern mindset that balances Cost, Risk and Returns.”
Alan Miller outlines the SCM Investment Process in several sections. First comes simplicity, “Simplicity really comes from two sides, firstly in terms of clients, what we believe is the opposite of most fund managers. Most fund management companies are trying to make things as complicated as possible, because with this kind of complication and mystique, there is the ability to charge huge fees because the client think’s if it is that complex, it must be very hard to do so I should pay a higher fee. We believe that clients should be able to understand what they are investing in.” He adds, “You should give them all the information about their investment and how you manage it.” Miller says that SCM Direct advocates an active fund management policy and keeping the number of funds limited to prevent over-complication on both sides, for the client and the fund manager.
Secondly they describe long term focus. Miller says, “Anyone who says they can predict what’s going to happen tomorrow or the day after is fooling themselves and fooling you” – and this is important to take into account when choosing a diversified portfolio. This is something we agree with at invstr, which is why we encourage users of our app to spread their investments across different asset classes like commodities and currencies – not only stocks!
Miller strongly recommends diversification so that investors can avoid panic and dodge the volatility in the markets with a balanced approach. He also says that SCM has a disciplined approach to it’s investments of choice, sticking by them when there is no need to chop and change for solid returns.
SCM Direct has been a joint project between Alan and his wife Gina Miller. Gina has campaigned since the EU referendum in June 2016 for the British Government to be held to account by the rest of Parliament over how it should trigger article 50 – the process by which the United Kingdom exit’s the European Union.
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