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ARIA Capital Management is a trading name of Absolute Return Investment Advisers (ARIA) Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The firm has offices in Guildford in the UK, as well as international offices in Dubai, Malta and Cayman.
ARIA Capital Management offer their professional investment management services to individuals (in contrast to many competitors who will only use financial advisers as sales intermediaries).
Although the personal service is offered, ARIA still recommend working in conjunction with advisers.
ARIA use building block funds rather than buying specific equities, which they claim reduces costs for all portfolio sizes (brokerage fees). However, costs of underlying funds may still be significant compared to alternatives.
ARIA Capital Management’s claims, as part of its core philosophy in absolute return investing, to utilise alternative investments such as hedge funds and structured products in portfolios.
ARIA has its own funds which it uses as part of the ‘building blocks’ strategy of which some are alternative products including commodities or structured products and some are more traditional.
Regarding ARIA’s belief in alternative investments it is stated, “We seek to find investments which are not solely reliant on stock markets going up in order to generate positive returns”.
This translates as follows; ARIA believe that they can analyse and understand which geographies and asset classes are undervalued and that they can make alternative investments e.g. not linked to the standard S&P 500 or FTSE 100.
A wealth of evidence over the years suggests that outperforming the combined wisdom of even the secondary markets in less commonly traded assets is highly unlikely.
Other risks in alternative investments are also left unaddressed in the company’s literature - however the ‘safer’ investment portfolios do include ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds) which can be low cost and generate the best returns in the long run if managed correctly.
In this, ARIA claims to subscribe to Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) which seeks diversification across asset classes within a fund.
Annual Management charges for ARIA’s DFM service are 1% per annum, but ARIA state that this depends on “service line chosen”, so could be higher.
Additional charges may apply where they are requested to pay your financial adviser for their work in reviewing the portfolio’s performance and providing an independent review of “how we are doing” for example.
The underlying funds within the portfolio will also levy fees, a portion of which will be paid to ARIA. These fees will be around 1.5%.
Dealing charges arise each time an investment is bought or sold. In minimising these, ARIA cap them at 1% or £50, whichever is lower.
All in, you can expect to be paying between 2.5% and 3.5% per annum, and possibly more.
I did my research and was sold on Aria's bold claims about their reputation...but everything's worked out really expensive and honestly I don't know what they've done for the money.
Whilst ARIA Capital Management is a respected name and they provide a range of international actively managed DFM solutions, we believe that there are still better and more cost-effective alternatives for expat investors.
If you already have a Discretionary Managed Portfolio with ARIA Capital Management and it is worth £50,000 or more, we recommend you get a X-Ray Review™ conducted to give you the information you need to make a decision on the best way forward.