I have been consulting to Custom Accounting since before the inception of their Recommended Portfolio in 2001. As a broker and adviser for 35 years I have seen a lot of client portfolios most of which are the product of financial advisers who are happy to deliver average performance less their premium fees.

Anyone who knows Stephanie O’Connor will know that being average and delivering average is not something she would ever tolerate or hope to deliver to her clients and a dynamic approach to managing her clients’ investments is the result.

Diversification through a mindless selection of top 50 stocks is not enough and over twenty years Stephanie has developed an investment process that has stood as a framework for individually tailored client portfolios. Some of the notable characteristics of that investment process include:

  • Taking an asset allocation approach including all major asset classes. Investment is not simply about constructing an equity portfolio.
  • A tacit understanding of the need to protect capital through suitable asset allocation which is constantly adjusted to suit market conditions.
  • A refreshing independence of mind which means not feeling the need to hold large underperforming stocks just because everybody else does.
  • Cultivating top level industry contacts for portfolio advice, market insights, themes and individual stock guidance. Custom Accounting have developed an enviable network of professional industry contacts that provide a unique advisory role in the investment process.
  • Stephanie possesses a confidence, experience and awareness to invest beyond Australia which means investing in unhedged international funds and individual international stocks with significant, compounding, success. Only 1% of the average SMSF is currently invested in international shares, it is over 25% of Custom Accounting’s portfolios.
  • Providing access to and administering corporate transaction in stocks held.
  • Picking stocks individually on their merits. Most financial advisers take the easy route and advise their clients to buy the ‘moron portfolio’ – a diversified portfolio of top 50 stocks anyone could pick. Not at Custom Accounting.
  • Timing. Many stock markets advisers say it can’t be done. Custom Accounting focuses on picking and selling stocks in a timely manner. It goes beyond simply buying big stocks. It includes timing them as well.
  • Selling. Hard for most advisers to do but Stephanie constantly assesses and sells stocks that don’t perform. It is one of the toughest jobs in investment, clearing out the under-performers, but Custom Accounting does it in an unemotional and disciplined manner.
  • For many wealth advisers, delivering structural advice is the value add, and the investment process is an afterthought. Custom Accounting understands that in a world in which the average return is ever more accessible through managed funds, exchange traded funds and listed investment companies, there is little point a client paying for a financial adviser to manage their investments unless they add value and deliver a trusted personal experience. Stephanie certainly does that.

To succeed in the investment markets you need both passion and interest. Stephanie has both.

They say in financial services that clients will forgive mistakes just so long as they are well serviced. I know Stephanie’s impeccable service ethic but I have yet to see the mistakes.

Marcus Padley