Investment Management  Image

Investment Management

At the heart of our work with clients is our investment expertise.  With over 120 years of collective experience among our investment strategists and over 500 among our financial strategists, they work together to care for each client:

  • designing asset allocations intended to achieve targeted rates of return,
  • implementing and monitoring low-cost investment portfolios, and
  • regularly communicating our portfolio strategies and rationale.
But, just assembling an experienced team is insufficient.  Our standard practices (including disciplined, repeatable, and data-driven processes) are designed to help realize extraordinary results from their work.
An Introduction to Our Services

Investment Philosophy

Our philosophy of managing investments is based on the belief that a patient, disciplined approach grounded in the tenets of diversification is the optimal way for our clients to meet their investment goals. While we strive to achieve competitive performance, we also give equal consideration to managing the risks associated with investing.

Our goal is to produce the maximum total return for each client within an acceptable level of risk given a client’s need for growth and given their capacity (psychologically and pragmatically) to handle volatility.
 

Commitment to Clients

Our mission is to provide clients with diversified investment programs designed to provide better risk-adjusted return at all risk levels than otherwise available. Working with an individual or family and their personal wealth, a business's corporate or qualified plan assets, or a non-profit with their reserves or endowment funds, we begin with a commitment to fulfill the unique needs of each client. To help a client achieve their financial goals, we guide them through calculations of how much they need to save and what rate of investment return would be required. 

Our Investment Process

Investment Strategies

Our portfolio allocations are built on capital market assumptions which are our assessments of expected risk, return and correlations for each asset class in which we typically invest.  Annually we review our capital market assumptions for revision in anticipation of changing markets and economies.  Over the next 10 years, with what combination of assets do we believe will achieve the highest returns with the least risk?

Each client is guided to the appropriate investment strategy once their Advisor understands their investment objectives, tolerances for risk and taxation, targeted rate of return, and anticipated frequency and amount of regular cash flows into or out of their portfolio.
 
Our strategies employ low cost investment solutions which are an important contributor to improving our clients’ net investment return.  Investment expenses, which are not always transparent or easy to understand, are charged against returns.  We've been successful in total cost management which is evidenced by the expense of owning our typical investment strategies is lower than about 90% of all mutual funds.

 

Investment Tracks

Through active and passive investment tracks, we construct and oversee globally diversified portfolios ranging from aggressive to conservative and many points between.  These portfolios are typically constructed using a combination of individual stocks and bonds, index funds and exchange traded funds, and institutional class mutual funds.
 
Once we have narrowed the focus of our work with a client to a particular strategy, our efforts turn to deciding whether it is more appropriate for the client to pursue their targeted rate of return through an actively managed strategy or one that is passive relying on a thoughtfully constructed allocation of low cost, tax efficient index funds which will be periodically rebalanced as needed, generally annually.
 
Most of our clients engage us for active management which gives our six-person investment strategy team, with about 120 years of cumulative investment experience, an opportunity to make tactical decisions intended to increase returns and/or reduce a portfolio's risk.  As we are not market timers and work to minimize portfolio turnover, these tactical investments are typically implemented with 2-3 year time horizons.

Tactical Decision Points

While there is no one single metric that consistently indicates when to take risk in portfolios or when to allocate assets to various tactical strategies, we believe having a seasoned team of experts continually monitoring and assessing the meaning of a series of impactful data points will lead to better investment decisions.

We use economic indicators and market metrics to produce our assessments of the direction and outlook for domestic and international economies and valuations and outlook for domestic and international stock and bonds markets.
 
A variety of leading economic indicators are useful to help us assess whether we believe the economy is (and will continue to) expand or contract creating respective tailwinds or headwinds to support investment returns.
 
We monitor market metrics to assess valuations (i.e. relative to earnings, book value, and cash flow), income yields from dividends or interest payments, and estimated earnings growth rates of holdings within core domestic and international stock and bond indices against which we benchmark our own portfolio construction, performance, and risk.
 
We regularly review the construction and characteristics of our portfolios for alignment with our best thinking drawn from our observations of economic indicators and market metrics.  For example, does our stock to bond or domestic to international allocation reflect our outlook?

Investment Analysis

Once we have reviewed economic and market conditions and produced an assessment of our outlook and how we believe an ideal portfolio should be constructed, we then turn to our portfolios and the underlying individual securities to ensure we are in alignment with this best thinking.

Our individual securities each have their own valuation, yield, and outlook.  We use a granular review of our portfolios to identify the specific holdings either contributing to or hindering our ability to achieve our targeted allocations. When researching and analyzing individual securities for consideration in or removal from our portfolios we employ multiple methods which include quantitative, fundamental, and technical analysis.
 
Quantitative analysis is a useful set of initial, data-driven screens of companies and investment securities based on their current valuation, dividend yield, earnings growth, and other historic data points.  This approach allows us to narrow our focus from a very large universe of possibilities to those that meet our targeted criteria.
 
Fundamental analysis takes into consideration stories about the future.  This second level of analysis, which requires much more of our time and relies heavily on our experience as analysts, helps us evaluate the outlook for an industry, particular products or services, and corporate earnings estimates.
 
Once we understand what we want to purchase (or sell), through quantitative and fundamental analysis, we turn to technical analysis for guidance on the timing of our entry or exit.  It is important to take into consideration momentum and trends in securities prices.

Communication

To keep our clients informed about our assessments of valuation, outlook, and strategies, monthly we produce and present to our Advisors an investment update to be shared with clients who seek and value this kind of information.

Here's a summary of our client resources:

  1. Client portal: daily updated access to holdings, allocations, and performance calculations
  2. ClientBook: monthly summary of our themes and rationale for assessments and tactical deviations
  3. FYI: For Your Investment (periodic updates on extraordinary changes in markets or portfolios)
  4. Huddle (quarterly, summarized updates about markets…  quarterly looks back and forward)

Investment Management Team

Our investment strategy team includes expert professionals with an average of 20 years of portfolio management experience each, for a total of 120 years and counting...and experience overseeing management of billions of dollars. Complementing our investment strategists, we have an even deeper team of financial strategists with over 500 years of collective experience to help you align your investment portfolio with your overall plan to achieve "a good life".

Are you prepared for the future?

Of course, any of our advisors can help answer questions about our investment program; but for now, we'll share a series of short videos and content on our website to help introduce our story. We hope you'll be compelled to engage us in conversation about how we can focus our resources to help you. Ultimately, it's our work with clients just like you that we find most rewarding.