Joined-Up Due Diligence 

ValidPath Members will be aware that we are in the process of migrating users onto the new version of DeFaqto Engage, or 'Core'.  The decision to make this transition has been based upon a cluster of quite practical themes and priorities, but overall the aim is driven by a desire to make our due-diligence (DD) disciplines more overtly focused on the nature of the outcomes we aim to achieve for our clients.  The idea of more explicitly quantifying the nature of financial outcomes seems to us to be an entirely desirable goal, and DeFaqto Engage Core is admirably crafted with that in mind.

However, for the time being, I am still running on the 'old' version of Engage - the one which does not, at this stage, have as part of its trajectory the eleven efficient, risk-graded models which comprise the ValidPath Investment Proposition, or VIP.  So, when advising a new client, and having discerned in earlier conversations that an inexpensive model portfolio solution would be appropriate, how would the legacy version of Engage fare, as the engine for conducting DD? 

As it turned out, surprisingly well.  The clients (husband and wife) completed their DeFaqto ATR, and we were able to feed the results through to the stochastic modelling tool, to demonstrate the relative probability of the most likely range of outcomes.  That planning exercise is added to the overall report, as are all subsequent steps.  It's not quite ridiculously easy, as you have to be intentional about the direction of your DD - but everything is absolutely intuitive.  The next step agrees the risk level, then opts for the most appropriate kind of investment solution (in this case a model portfolio) which allowed me to conduct my Platform research across all those providers which support the profile of the model which Engage had already identified.  That material is added to the overall report, as are the various sub-reports which help document in the clearest terms, the basis for selection.

The new version (Core) moves the whole thing along to the next logical stage, but I could not help thinking that, for the committed IFA, this is pretty much as good as it gets.  Nothing is contrived.  The system can be used in a genuinely objective way, without introducing manipulation.  The 'logic', in terms of the order of the various steps involved is robust, and the extensive Word report, generated as the primary output, is a rigorous and persuasive testimony to the suitability of the recommended arrangement.  I am the type of person who prefers to use a fountain pen in a notebook, to recording everything via a smartphone or tablet, but it's clear that this kind of joined-up, objective DD is a real game-changer.

Thankfully, every ValidPath Member has it as a standard component of their support package (and has done so since 2013).  And now it gets even better.

Kevin Moss, 14/03/2019