Tim Peeters studied ‘Applied Economics’ at ‘Katholieke Universiteit Leuven’. During his university years he provided his fellow students with the practice of the market beyond the theory of the courses by creating a student union for investments. In his master thesis he stressed on forgotten asset classes such as gold within portfolio allocations.
After his studies, Tim started at BNP Paribas Investment Partners where he worked as analyst for the flagship fund OBAM. This experience gave some good insights in the operational management of the fund industry. In 2012 he moved to one of the biggest family offices in Belgium, where he became Head of the Investment Desk and worked for families and big institutional clients.
After these experiences, Tim founded his own family office, Miles Ahead Investment Company, where he assists families and firms with their investment decisions.
1. What made you want to pursue a career in the ﬁnancial industry? and what do you ﬁnd more attractive about working in the asset management industry?
I got passionate by the stock market at the age of 17. It interested me as there was no routine in an ever changing global business environment, with different sectors and regions. I studied hard to have all basic skills on investments as soon as possible. When I later arrived in university I was surprised that most of the courses didn’t go beyond the theory of investing in the market. That’s why I started a student education club to bring the practice of investing closer to the students. It was a nice experience. I felt that I liked teaching and training people to become better investors.
Somewhat later I started a student investment club with some friends in which we did some real investments. I learned the ups and down of the market, what helped me later on to have a better risk awareness in terms of allocating money. Next to that, I took advantage of my university years to start visiting banks and brokers to check for their quality, knowledge and fees. Although these were just my hobbies at that time, I actually laid the first stones of what I do now. Being the financial steward for families and firms. A trusted party on their side when investment decisions should be made.
The combination of helping families and firms with the fact that I can actually practice my hobby make me happy to be working in this business industry. Even more, most of our families work in different sectors too, which gives me a very broad view on what’s actually happening in all types of industries.
2. How does a normal day look like? How do you divide your different tasks?
Most days are very different. When the market is moving a lot and the relative attractiveness of sectors and regions are moving, a lot of time is spent on analysis. Based on that analysis we will contact and meet asset managers to check for their best funds to implement a certain strategy in clients’ portfolios. Other days are spent to meet clients and discuss the possibilities in their portfolio allocations. Next to these more interesting days, we also have days that we dedicate to administration and database management, as we want to have a precise reporting of all investments in a wealth report. After all, that helps clients and ourselves to make better investment decisions.
3. What is in your view the most important part of wealth management and advisory?
To achieve clients having the better investment results. As we always say ‘Performance First’.
4. Have you seen a change of the proﬁles of your clients? Would you say there has been a generational change in wealth?
Not really. When the market is in euphoria as over the last couple of years, we sometimes need to stress some clients to stick to their original risk profile. When market returns are good, some people think they miss out and want to increase risk. The inverse is true when the market falls. Therefore we must be a steward who protects the clients from these ups and downs in the market and the emotional reactions these might generate.
5. What are your clients asking for at the moment? And what would you advise in the current situation of the markets?
Mostly we see that in the end most of our client want to create stable returns over time, so that they can preserve capital in real terms for their children and grandchildren.
Creating strong investment returns is always possible and starts by buying assets on the market at a fair value or, even better, below fair value. Avoiding expensive assets in the portfolio is key to having good long term returns.
6. Which sectors and geographical areas do you think are particularly interesting at the moment?
In terms of sectors we can stress that all types of tangible assets, from soft to hard commodities and real estate investments will be quite interesting in this inflationary environment. These assets are really cheap relative to the broader market.
The energy sector will probably outperform. There has been a huge underinvestment in this space for years, creating an enormous deficit problem at the supply side. This will support energy prices for years to come. This sector will thus be a real cashcow. Lots of that money will be reinvested in renewables. You actually take one of the largest growth themes of the coming decade in your portfolio now, and that at steep discount.
7. How would you deﬁne yourself in 3 words?
Dedicated, precise and serious which are crucial as you work with clients’ money.