Meet Our Team – Barney Hawkins Interview
Please note this blog post was published over 12 months ago and so may not include the most up-to-date information, for example where regulation around investing has changed.
Barney Hawkins joined True Potential in November 2016. As Investment Director, he is responsible for managing and rebalancing the True Potential Portfolios.
Here he tells us about his start in the industry, and his advice to anyone new to investing.
How did you get started in the industry?
I got a job with a firm of stockbrokers in Newcastle called Wise Speke in the summer of 1987. It was a few months before the stock market crash of that year and so an inauspicious time to embark upon a career in financial services. The privatisation of various state owned enterprises such as the electricity and water companies was in full swing, the City was still “self regulating” and, strange as it may seem now, Compliance hadn’t yet been invented.
Tell us about your area of expertise?
As well as interpreting financial markets and helping manage the True Potential Portfolios to accommodate changes in the investment landscape, a lot of what I do involves writing or speaking about financial matters: the Portfolios, international capital markets, political and economic developments. We live in an age of information overload but much of the commentary around financial services seems designed to complicate and confuse. There is an art to taking complex ideas and explaining them in a way that is easy to understand. While hardly unique, I aim to make my writing simple and effective.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Its changing nature and its interaction with the real world of business , commerce, economics and politics. I enjoy seeing the differing ways our fund managers position their investment portfolios in response to changing conditions. Above all, working within a close knit team of good humoured and talented individuals to build something of lasting quality is immensely satisfying.
What makes the company special?
The ability to innovate and adapt to an ever changing environment is a great strength. The financial services industry has changed markedly in the last 30 years and will change some more. The company has the vision and the flexibility to respond quickly both to changes in the way people invest and the regulations governing that process and it’s exciting to work for a company that is at the forefront of these changes rather than one that is struggling to keep up.
What are the most important things to consider for first time investors?
Start early. Invest for the long term. Invest in quality.
Beware get rich quick schemes, they typically have the opposite effect. Get rich slow schemes are generally more effective.
Investing is a journey. Have an idea of where you want to be in x years time, plan your route and check your progress against the map from time to time. Don’t try to get there immediately.
What are you most excited about in regard to the future of the company?
We have recently gone through the £3 billion mark for funds invested in the True Potential Portfolios-up from £2 billion in March – with over £6 billion on the platform now. There are various developments and products about to be launched which should propel us towards the £4billion milestone for TPP. However, the excitement comes from seeing how nimble True Potential is at adapting to rapid evolutionary change and from being part of a team that is itself initiating disruption in the financial services industry.
You can learn more about Barney’s work on the True Potential Portfolios here.