The first thing Mischa Anand says when asked to describe himself is: “I really like bringing people together.” As the head of Julius Baer’s Investment Advisory and Investment Partners teams in Zurich, he puts this skill to good use: his teams leverage the whole organisation to find the right investment solution for you.
The ‘magic triangle’
Mischa calls the dynamic between clients, investment advisors and relationship managers the ‘magic triangle’.
“Having everyone at the same table with a strong communication culture is a fantastic set-up. It makes us really effective in trying to achieve your investment objectives.”
With a team of 29 people, one could be forgiven for thinking that Mischa now manages his teams more than doing anything else. But this is not the case: “I think it’s important to walk the talk. I still manage and advise clients and would never want to give that up. It keeps my finger on the pulse.”
After nine years at Julius Baer, Mischa has navigated countless market situations and worked with people from a broad range of personal and professional backgrounds, all with different views. Here are some of the golden rules for investors that he has identified based on the sum of his experience:
1 - Communicate
“I can’t stress the importance of communicating with your bank enough. At any point in time we need to truly understand you, and the best way to achieve this is through a healthy and open dialogue. This dialogue needs to unfold in two ways: First of all, I tell my team members to call you when something out of the ordinary happens and guide you through it. You should feel assured that somebody looks at your portfolio every day. Secondly, it is very important to me that you know you can contact us at any time. If you are unclear about an investment, or have concerns, you shouldn’t hesitate to pick up the phone, send an e-mail or set up a meeting with us to discuss.
There is another, but maybe less obvious aspect of communication that I think is vital: I believe it is our role to challenge you and vice versa. That’s how great ideas are born, and it helps us to understand each other even better.”
2 - Pursue a core-satellite approach and stick to it
“You should invest with a core-satellite approach. In other words: have a core asset allocation with a strategy you truly believe in and then add ‘satellites’. A satellite could be a special focus on an exotic theme, more volatile stocks, or perhaps an options strategy. The core strategy should remain in place long term, while the satellites can be short-term investments that allow you to take advantage of opportunities as they arise in the market.
Having said that, it is completely understandable if investors get nervous when markets drop or if high volatility kicks in. Nevertheless, it is very important to stick to the core strategy that you committed to. In the long term, this is much more profitable for a portfolio than flip-flopping or going to extremes.”
3 - Determine your personal risk appetite and compare apples to apples
“Take the time to find your personal risk profile as it (amongst many other important aspects) gives you the best guidance on your return expectations. When you compare the performance of your portfolio, it’s important that you compare it with one that has a similar risk profile. Comparing apples to oranges can leave you with the feeling that your performance was not in line with the market - even if it was or maybe even exceeded it.
Mischa’s passion for bringing people together extends far beyond his work. He is the go-to person when his friends are looking for a car dealer or even diving resort. If they ask him about a good Indian restaurant, he however recommends himself: “I learned cooking with lots of spices and chili from my father (his origin is India) and already prepared Indian dishes for my friends at university.”
Does he never get tired of managing so many people? “In the evening I love to spend time with my wife and two daughters who manage me”, he replies with a wink in his eye.
This portrait is part of the 'Wealth Architects' series in which we introduce you to our employees. All of them have practical tips and tricks in their area of expertise for you.