Investing: The Evidence – A RockWealth Documentary

One of the things that makes RockWealth different to other financial planning firms is the fact that our investment philosophy is based entirely on evidence.

Evidence-based Investing

When we explain our philosophy to new clients they often, understandably, express surprise that being evidence-based is a distinguishing feature at all. Surely all advisers make investment recommendations based on what has actually been proven to work? The truth, sadly, is very different. Many advisers still rely on hunches and guesswork, and most continue to recommend just the sort of products that have failed investors for decades.

To explain our evidence-based approach to investing, we commissioned Robin Powell and his team at Ember Regis Group to produce an online documentary about it, called Investing: The Evidence. The documentary will be available online and via our social media channels and could be the most important investment in your future financial security that you will ever make.

Here is a brief synopsis:

  • Active Investing
  • Passive Investing
  • Factor Investing
  • Risk
  • Behaviour
  • Advice
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Download Investing: The Evidence Booklet


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What do we mean by evidence?

Most investment professionals would claim to base their methodology on some form of evidence. So then, what sort of evidence can investors rely on? Generally speaking, reliable evidence has four main characteristics.

It’s independent

Too often, reports are produced, or else commissioned and paid for, by companies with a commercial interest in publicising the outcome. Most academics, by contrast, are independent. They don’t have an agenda or a point to prove; instead they leave it to financial practitioners to act on their findings or not.

It’s based on robust data analysis

We all know the old adage about lies, damned lies and statistics. Often findings are based on too short a time period or a sample that’s too small. Some times the fund industry ignores biases in the data, other times it compares returns to the wrong benchmark, or it quotes performance figures before the full impact of fees and charges.

It’s been peer-reviewed

Publishing research in academic journals gives other academics the chance to analyse the methodology, outcomes and conclusions of a study and provide their own review as to the reliability of the study. Caution is required — there are journals that are less credible than others — but evidence that has been properly peer-reviewed should carry far more weight with investors.

The results have been reproduced

The fourth and final characteristic of findings you can depend on is that they’ve been tested across multiple environments and timeframes. There needs to be a strong element of repeatability to demonstrate that the findings of a particular study weren’t just down to random luck.

The lesson, then, is to be very cautious about anyone claiming that a particular investment strategy is evidence-based. Even if it fails just one of these four important tests, it’s probably worth ignoring.

About Robin Powell

Robin Powell is an award- winning journalist, blogger and content marketing consultant, based in the UK, with specialist expertise in the investing industry.

He also campaigns for better investor education and for greater transparency in global asset management. He runs Ember Regis Group, a content marketing company working primarily with disruptive companies in the financial sector, and he blogs as The Evidence-Based Investor at

'On the topic of investing Robin Powell's new documentary is the best 45 minutes you will ever spend' CEO of the Vanguard GroupClick To Tweet

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If there’s anything that you’re unsure about and would like to discuss further, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.