Prosperity’s Investment Seminar

Left to right: Richard Dunbar (Aberdeen Asset Management), Mary Hemingway (Prosperity), Gareth Howlett (Brooks Macdonald) and John Ewart (Aubrey Capital Management).

Written by Chris Brown

We were delighted to welcome a trio of investment managers to a seminar yesterday at the Carfraemill Hotel near Lauder in the Scottish Borders, to talk to clients and professional connections about the impact of Trump and Brexit on the financial markets.

After tea and coffee, Gareth Howlett (Brooks Macdonald) kicked things off with an excellent talk headed ‘The UK & European Markets: Investing in a Post-Brexit world.’ Through his in-depth knowledge of European politics, Gareth explained that while the continent is sometimes seen as a muddle politically, economic strength is returning and equity markets remain cheap relative to both the US and their historical averages. Turning to the UK, Gareth said the present forecasts mean we are likely to ‘get rich more slowly’ rather than suffer an actual economic decline. However the UK equity market isn’t expensive and dividend yields far exceed the yields realised on government bonds. Gareth also gave an insight into some of the European and UK companies in which his company invests.

Richard Dunbar (Aberdeen Asset Management) then spoke about the impact of Trump on the US market. Richard is a regular guest on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and began by running us through his global context, both politically and economically. Central banks remain supportive with only certain pockets of monetary tightening, and Chinese concerns have abated, providing impetus to the ‘Trump reflation trade’ which has recently propelled markets higher. Richard believes the US remains the most innovative market in the world, regularly producing companies such as Facebook, Netflix and Amazon. He also reminded us not to focus solely on ‘downside’ risk – there could also be positive surprises such as a productivity rebound, Europe pulling together or Trump’s stimulus package turning out better than expected.

The third guest speaker was John Ewart (Aubrey Capital Management) who gave an interesting presentation focused on emerging markets. Brexit should have little impact here and Trump has left behind his campaign bluster to make conciliatory first steps with several world leaders. John pointed out that emerging markets contain huge investment opportunities over the following decades. More than half the world’s population now lives in South and East Asia, based around India and China respectively, and these two economies should overtake the US within roughly 30 years. A repeatable pattern of consumerism presents huge opportunities for companies in these markets over the medium to long term. John talked us through one of their funds and some of the ‘domestic champions’ held within it – home-grown companies which have emerged within these economies to rival their developed market counterparts.

At this point Prosperity’s Financial Advisor, Mary Hemingway, rounded things off by explaining how she works with these investment managers on behalf of her clients, by using her own expertise to enhance investment returns and reach the best possible outcome depending on the client’s individual circumstances. Mary left guests with the assurance: “I can’t predict the future, but I can prepare for it.”

We were pleased to see the majority of guests staying on afterwards to take advantage of an excellent lunch buffet and take the rare opportunity to discuss things directly with the fund managers and the Prosperity team. Feedback has been very positive and we look forward to hosting more events in the future.

A final thank you to our guest speakers from Brooks Macdonald, Aberdeen Asset Management and Aubrey Capital Management, for helping put together such a successful event.

Should you wish to register your interest in future events please send your contact details to and we will ensure an invitation is sent out to you.

The opinions and information provided in this article are not the views of Prosperity Independent Financial Advisors & Stockbrokers Ltd and therefore should not be taken as advice. Independent financial advice should be sought before making any decisions or reaching conclusions.

Prosperity Financial Advisors & Stockbrokers Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (507580).