Member Focus - Trevor Webster
Managing Partner at Taylor Brunswick Group
Wealth Management Specialist, Retirement Planning, Asset Management
Can you introduce yourself to our members who don't already know you? And tell us a bit about your background in Japan and connection to Ireland.
I've been in Japan since 2004 advising global investors with regard to their financial plans and their investments. My connection to Ireland is through my mother who was born and raised in Dublin before moving to England where she met my late father. My Irish family which are left live near Maynooth, Co. Kildare home of 'The Curragh'.
You recently celebrated your third anniversary as Managing Partner for Taylor Brunswick Japan. What kind of clients do you typically work with?
We look after 80 families from all nationalities, walks of life, race, profession and creed. Our role is similar to a family office whereby we help our clients identify financial goals for the medium and long term. Typically retirement is the no 1 concern especially when we consider life expectancy for the majority of us is north of 80 years of age. If we then consider the years after retirement whereby we may need additional care, it’s a sobering experience to realise how much we need to live the lifestyle of our choosing. As part of our value proposition, we provide guidance on insurance and have an in house lawyer who specializes in international wills and estate planning.
At Taylor Brunswick, your aim is to “create certainty from uncertainty”. What kind of approach are you taking to help clients cope with the unprecedented level of uncertainty and anxiety that has come out of the COVID-19 outbreak?
First of all, one has to provide reassurance in such times. Fear and panic tend to prevail especially when we have so much uncertainty regarding COVID-19. However, the fact is this episode in life will end like all others; what doesn’t change is the need for us to plan our retirement, to set aside money for our children’s future financial needs and of course to ensure your estate planning is robust should the worst happen. By ensuring our clients have all of the above, they can be rest assured that they have done all that needs to be done so in good times and bad, they and their families are in the best place possible.
How would you advise those currently looking to invest at this time?
On the back of the pandemic we have seen equity markets go from bull to bear to bull markets in record times! The key for all is to stay calm during such times and look for opportunities. By working with a professional advisor such as Taylor Brunswick, investors can take advantage of such swings in valuations thus maximizing their returns. For long term investors, volatility is your friend. Those who have a diversified portfolio of assets will over time see a healthy return on their funds. It’s the time in the market that matters.
What kind of risks should small business owners be protecting themselves against in the coming months?
The first rule of financial planning or wealth management is to ensure you have enough ‘rainy day’ money for 6-12 months. If we assume that a family unit is a ‘small business’ this fact is as true for families and SME’s alike. Cash and liquidity are important for obvious reasons particularly during times of stress. However, we must be aware that given where interest rates are, holding money in cash is the biggest long term destroyer of wealth especially if we see a spike in inflation in the years ahead due to the amount of liquidity provided by central banks.
Is it different this time?
A line often used! Clearly, the virus is what would be termed a ‘black swan’ event whereby it’s almost impossible to predict with many unknown unknowns still ahead. That said the role of Taylor Brunswick is to continue to focus on the bigger picture and represent our clients in a fiduciary manner whereby they continue to plan for the future. Like all other times in history, this will become an event that brings about change. What will not change is the need for a robust financial plan in conjunction with a professional wealth management company.