dexterity is principally for people the regulator calls ‘self-directed retail investors’; women and men who like to gather information, make their own decisions, look after their own investments. I bid trustees of charities and some financial advisers may also find it helpful.

The FCA divides self-directed investors into three types: hesitantly hopeful, eager learner and confident self-starter. At dexterity I encounter those groups like this:

Hesitantly hopeful novices normally ask for tuition about using an online stockbroker, as well as about investment and self-managing. I invite them to begin with a simple portfolio, using both active management [investment trusts] and index-tracker funds. Together, the client and I set up a portfolio to buy-and-watch. We review it together at intervals of the client’s choosing, until the client feels ready to take responsibility alone.

Eager learners are usually early adopters, and have gathered some investment experience. They’ve perceive the benefits of self-management. Some confer with me about their financial planning; to satisfy themselves they haven’t missed something important. Others invite my opinion of their portfolio; lest there be either something amiss, or scope for unpleasant surprises.

Confident self-starters are already familiar with index-trackers and investment trusts. Innovative by nature or by profession, they usually want time-saving help they can’t get elsewhere. Some subscribe to my Autocue service; by which I offer a simple ‘smoke-alarm’ warning when indices drop to 50- or 200-day averages. Other subscribers commission me to research funds to meet their criteria.

I use these descriptions only for illustration. Every client is different, and to each I make my service as bespoke as FCA regulations allow.