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image of cedallion standing on the shoulders of giant Orion

Standing on the shoulders of giants

Clan Capital was founded to manage our family’s financial affairs, and to offer other families the benefit of our experience. We aspire to being the financial advisor we would wish our family could find, in the event that we weren’t around. We believe that families need to take control of their financial decision making, by understanding what matters, who to trust, and how to go about adapting to changing circumstances.

What matters

We believe that what matters in the financial world is 1) the objectives and situation of the investor 2) the opportunity set provided by the markets and the environment 3) the skill of the investor or his advisor(s). These three aspects need to be integrated into an approach that incorporates respect, diligence, and focus.

Howard Marks, of Oaktree Capital Management wrote in his book, The Most Important Thing:

Successful investing requires thoughtful attention to many separate aspects, all at the same time. Omit any one and the result is likely to be less than satisfactory.

What matters at any point in time is therefore highly dependent and varying, but must be built upon a foundation of understanding. Every family needs to establish the basis upon which they currently make financial decisions, and commit to enhancing their process. You need to invest in your financial expertise, even if you make use of multiple advisors and financial experts.

Who to trust

Trust is a very personal thing, and we agree with those who say it is earned – through hard work, consistency, and quality that epitomises value meeting expectations. In our view, quality of management is the essential assessment skill that all investors should cultivate. It is the cornerstone of our business, and our process is designed to test for key characteristics or fatal flaws.

The financial industry is sophisticated, competitive, and evolving. However it also suffers from excessive use of jargon, overwhelming choice, and behaviour that doesn’t put the client’s interests first. It is exceptionally for the layman to be confident in the claims, behaviour, and outcomes that many financial advisors deliver.

Authenticity is the key to building trust – “what you see is what you”, “our word is our bond”, and critically there must never be a hint of suspicion that important information is being withheld or manipulated.

Never trust someone who lies to you.
Never lie to someone who trusts you.

Adapt or die

We live in an environment that is guaranteed to change materially, with important implications for our previous understanding and behaviour. There are certain fundamentals that should stand the test of time, and there are many rules of thumb and received wisdom that is being exposed as flawed on a regular basis. Without a framework to assess which is which, all decision making becomes instinctive, emotional, and behaviourally susceptible.

Our approach is to “stand on the shoulders of giants”, discovering truth by building on previous discoveries. We have built a comprehensive wealth management framework with financial planning, retirement planning, investment management, and estate planning informed by the work of giants within our industry. We populate our client specific solutions with modern day giants, who display the proactive ability to adapt to changing circumstances, to enable our clients to do likewise. We are focused on constantly assessing their ability to adapt successfully.

Our message to prospective clients

Every family has a story, welcome to ours!

Every investor starts their education somewhere, and our wish is that every client of ours builds upon that starting point, by making use of what we have to offer, and adapting to suit your own particular needs.

John of Salisbury wrote in 1159:

Bernard of Chartres used to compare us to [puny] dwarfs perched on the shoulders of giants. He pointed out that we see more and farther than our predecessors, not because we have keener vision or greater height, but because we are lifted up and borne aloft on their gigantic stature.

We can lift you onto the shoulders of giants, help you see the financial world from a different perspective, and  focus on what matters to your family.

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