February 2018: News Update
Sometimes, it's just helpful to flag up some of our current developments, just in case anyone is interested! Here's a brief overview of some salient points...
(1) Financial Strength
At ValidPath, we've always worked very hard at our internal financial resources, because we think that it's in all our Members' benefit to emphasise this area of capability, especially when markets turn sour, and people begin to hurt a bit. The following screenshots are taken from the Experian/Risk-Disk platform (as at 13/02/18) and hopefully are self-explanatory:
We have condensed the second image, in the interests of space, but this is intended to show the stability of ValidPath's credit ratings since the beginning of 2017 (a pattern which extends over the past decade). In addition, Experian shows that ValidPath are one of the fastest bill-payers around - another indication of financial strength. Recently, one firm we deal with told us that we'd established a new record - 7 mins from sending the invoice to the funds being transferred by BACS!
Other 2017/18 financial waypoints
On budget for turnover and profit for y/e 31/03/2018 - steady increase from y/e 31/03/2017
Maintained PII premium at renewal, as percentage of turnover
'Best ever' weekly payout to Members in first week of February 2018
(2) Due-Diligence Comes of Age
We are on target for a formal launch of the ValidPathDD website for the end of February. This has been a long, long project, which has mushroomed in scope as we have got further into it. Chris Pearce is currently working on the 'granular data' for a number of BPR schemes, but the functionality is all there - and it is a quantum leap on from anything else out there. Following extended engagement with the widest range of providers, we are considering launching the 'ValidPath Opacity Rating' to help identify those companies that are reluctant communicators when it comes to critical financial data - the kind of data that we think introducing IFAs need to know before they put clients into these schemes. And, en-route to our end goal, we've had some surprisingly positive encounters with providers who 'get' what we're about and see the value of it.
Furthermore, after a few false-starts, and a great deal of soul-searching, it seems that we may now be close to launching our own, in-house paraplanning support service. There's still quite a bit of detail to work through, but we are hoping that it will exemplify the following characteristics:
Highly competitive fixed fee per case
Initially a limited range of discrete paraplanning assignments, but extending as we get into our stride
Guaranteed output in each case, delivered straight to the Member's Clarity system
Quick-check on compliance to date included
Web-based instruction to paraplanner, with agreed timescales for completion
(3) ValidPath Investment Proposition (VIP)
We completed our formal annual review of our centralised investment proposition on the 31st January, and a very positive experience it was too. It turns out that all of that extensive research and pre-testing, prior to launch in 2011, has held us in very good stead. The kinds of tweaks that have occurred over the years have been relatively minor, and have usually involved the steady transition to ultra-low charging institutional share classes - meaning that our eleven risk-grades are remarkably inexpensive as well as being demonstrably efficient.
I wanted to apologise that it has been taking us longer than usual to publish the updated User Guide (for 2018), due to an influx of other work over the last fortnight. We hope to be in a position to make this available next week. In the meantime, you can read here about last year's review, if you need reminding!
(4) Last dibs for 'MiFID, Models & Methods'
Here's the page advertising our next CPD-able training event. This is just a last reminder in case you fancied attending, but were too busy to register.