Friday, 28 April 2017

The Investment Policy Statement

The Investment Policy Statement (IPS)

An investment policy statement is an invaluable planning tool that adds discipline to the investment process.

Before developing an IPS, an investment manager must conduct a fact finding discussion with the client to learn about the client's risk tolerance and other specific circumstances.

The IPS can be thought of as a roadmap which serves the following purposes:

  • It helps the investor decide on realistic investment goals after learning about financial markets and associated risks.
  • It creates a standard according to which the portfolio manager's performance can be judged.
  • It guides the actions of portfolio managers, who should refer to it from time to time to assess the suitability of particular investments for their clients.

Major components of an IPS
  • An introduction that describes the client.
  • A statement of purpose.
  • A statement of duties and responsibilities, which describes the duties and responsibilities of the client, the custodian of the client's assets, and the investment manger.
  • Procedures that outline the steps required to keep the IPS updated and steps required to respond to various contingencies.
  • The client's investment objectives.
  • The client's investment constraints.
  • Investment guidelines regarding how the policy should be executed (e.g., whether use of leverage and derivatives is permitted) and specific types of assets that must be excluded.
  • Evaluation and review guidelines on obtaining feedback on investment results.
  • Appendices that describe the strategic asset allocation and the rebalancing policy.

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