Our process in managing investment portfolios begins with you. Through initial meetings to determine your return and risk objectives, we collaborate to develop strategies to guide you into specific or customized portfolios that are designed to meet your long-term goals. The onset of our relationship with you is the most critical component of successfully developing an Investment Policy Statement to construct your portfolio and guide it through different market environments, making pre-set changes where and when necessary.
Strategies developed are based on your ability and willingness to accept risk in search of return. Centered around agreed upon parameters, we use a four-step process to construct and manage your portfolio:
- Asset Allocation – factors most important in this step include but are not limited to: return objective, risk objective, account size, time horizon, income requirements, liquidity needs, legal and regulatory issues, tax considerations, holdings limitations, estate planning matters, special situations and outside account allocations.
- Asset Placement - Depending on the overall asset allocation, client profile and size of various accounts (taxable and non-taxable), asset allocations are strategically spread out among accounts for maximum tax efficiency. For example, it may be more efficient to place more fixed income investments in qualified or other tax deferred accounts to minimize the annual higher tax rates levied on gross income. Also, individual equities can be managed throughout the year to harvest losses to offset gains.
- Security Selection - Within the various asset classes, the specific investments are then selected to gain exposure to the risk and return profile of each. Depending on the size of your assets, it could be determined that any of our individual equity portfolios may be better suited to gain exposure to certain equity asset classes. In addition, fixed income and alternative securities (individual and aggregated) will be carefully scrutinized for inclusion.
- Investment Moat - The Investment Moat is the “fence” we place around specific investments as well as the overall portfolio. The objective is to insulate the portfolio from emotional and irrational forces that push certain markets up and down more than normal. It can be beneficial to hold individual stocks (instead of equity mutual funds or ETFs) as well as more illiquid fixed and alternative investments to prevent the unwanted influences of retail investors forcing traditional fund managers into forced liquidations.
Lastly, where appropriate, we have developed our own proprietary stock selection platform to invest in individual equities for your portfolio. The basis of this method has been in place for over 20 years and has guided our long-term clients through up and down markets. The strategies are heavily grounded in fundamental analysis and buys and sells stocks based on expected company growth vs. a valuation method which compares current market values with an internally computed fair value. We only buy stocks we feel have superior growth potential, but are only willing to take positions in portfolios if we feel the price is right.