A new web-based version of Merlea Investments’ risk models is being tested now and will be rolled out in February next year.

Developed by Adelaide planner Brian Nash, founder of Merlea Investments, the four models are simple asset allocations set with the 10-year bond rate as the designated riskless rate of return. Each model is dynamic with asset allocations re-weighted by the Merlea Investments team according to the movement in interest rates. Each week an email is sent to the 100 planners that use the models with recommendations of product and asset re-weightings. Planners are not compelled to move or re-weight funds but receive the updates as part of the service. Merlea runs seven economic models across its database of 3,000 products on a weekly basis, producing buy and sell recommendations on stocks, managed fund products and funds managers. A yearly fee is charged to planners who use the products and Nash meets with local planners fortnightly, and interstate planners quarterly, to discuss the recommendations. Built on internally developed software the second phase of the models, the web version, is being tested now with a projected roll-out of February 2006. A new company, Quantitative Investments Services, has been formed with four other external shareholders to fund the new development. “We developed this because we didn’t like the methodology that was used by the research houses, we thought it was too driven by funds managers,” Nash said. Planners can also back test their recommendations by using a spreadsheet on the Merlea website.

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