Wednesday 07 August 2019 by FIIG Securities General

Creating stability and security with Corporate Bonds

Having come to Australia from Scotland in 1970 with only $200 to their name, Dr. John Boulton and his wife Frøydis have worked hard to create a financial environment of stability and security.

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John had a 45-year career working in Paediatrics and Child Health in large teaching hospitals before his retirement from clinical practice. The pathway to financial stability meant dealing with the ups and downs of the share-market through some of its most turbulent times. “When the GFC hit, I felt that I’d been let down by the lack of prior warning of the consequences to the global equities market.”

Seeing a need to minimise the risk of future loss of capital, John looked into other areas of investing – corporate bonds - that, in his own experience, were less understood. “My anecdotal experience is that few have heard of corporate bonds, only government bonds, but I suspect that, as we heard in the royal commission on banking, this is because advisers are in lock-step with companies that own retail products that deal almost exclusively in equities and won’t mention bonds.”

This led John to move away from a typical mix of equities and investment properties and into corporate bonds. John turned to FIIG Securities with the goal of finding a defensive selection of bonds with the aim of minimising risk of loss of capital. “I sold my share portfolio and investment properties with the express intent of converting it to bonds”.

John relates his experience with bonds to his experiences as a medical specialist. “I expected that the parents of the child whom I was seeing as a patient would listen to what I had said and do what I’d recommended after suitable discussion and explanation. This was a mutual given”.

This model of reciprocity applies to John’s relationship with FIIG Securities Director, Ben Taylor. ”Ben is highly experienced in financial matters, and I greatly respect his expertise as well as his attention to the details of my portfolio."

Since first working with FIIG, John and Frøydis have placed their faith in the stability of corporate bonds. However, despite this approach John still sees diversity as being central to his investment philosophy. “All the funds in our family self-managed super are in bonds, which are themselves spread over a range of industries, but with the underlying predicate of safety.”

Dr. John Boulton - Biography

Professor John Boulton graduated from the University of Edinburgh and did his medical specialist training in Paediatrics in Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide. In 1980 he was appointed as Foundation Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health to the new medical school at Newcastle. When he retired from academic teaching and hospital practice in 2005, John spent nearly ten years as a senior regional paediatrician in the Kimberley. At the same time, John undertook formal post-graduate studies in Aboriginal History, Art, and Social Anthropology through the University of Sydney. The outcome of this was the book “Aboriginal Children, History and Health: Beyond Social Determinants” (Routledge 2016). In this, John describes the effects of structural historical factors that are critical in understanding the origins of what doctors see as illness in an individual today.

At present, John supports academic colleagues whose research is based on the understanding of the problems facing Aboriginal people at the interface of their society such as education of young people, parenting, and the prevention of malnutrition as a social justice issue.

John is also a member of Nobbys SLSC (Surf Life Saving Club) having joined the club in 1981. The clubhouse, being a heritage listed art-deco building from the 1930s, was very run-down. In 2016, John applied for and won a $0.5 million grant from the Port Authority via the Hunter Development Corporation for a refurbishment. The grant was generously matched by the city council, with a total contribution of $1 million. John has also contributed to the club as an active member doing weekend beach patrols where he enjoys the sporting and social network that this provides which also extends to ocean swimming year round.

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