Advisors are always looking for time for high impact client interface. I can free that time up taking on the most time-consuming (and sometimes least liked) investment-related tasks. Many also share a sense of relief that comes from knowing they are collaborating with a trusted expert who has their best interests in mind. Moreover, they have begun to experience the benefits that accrue from an optimally designed investment management program, and they want to make sure those benefits continue accruing.
My goal for you is a functional, efficient, and stress-free investment management service you can be proud of. One that reflects your core values and philosophy, fulfills your fiduciary responsibilities, and one that is profitable for both you and your clients.
This can be achieved as either a defined Project or in a customizable Retainer Service. Serving the High Net Worth Client requires special attention. I enjoy the challenge of helping my clients win the business of large clients and love to hear the good news that a prospect has become a client.
All advisors have an Investment Philosophy: some just have not documented it or articulated so their clients really understand it. I have helped them and I can help you to define, refine and explain your Investment Philosophy so your clients truly “get it”.
Translating Investment Philosophy into a coherent strategy takes some thinking, reflecting and brain storming. Frequently a sounding board is called for to bounce ideas off and get another perspective. I work closely with my clients to help them translate their world views on investing into sound, consistent and most of all, executable strategies. Once the strategy is defined, we go to work putting together the asset allocations and holdings to get your clients’ money working for them.
I have learned that while the markets are not the economy, in time, economic reality is reflected in asset performance. I track the domestic and international economies and consult other experts and proven forecasting services. We research the connection between the business cycle and the S&P sectors, developed market and emerging market equity as well as fixed income categories.
I am a keen observers of the Federal Reserve and monitor the Beige Book and the speeches by the members of the Open Market Committee and other Governors.
My aim is to gain investment insights and know when to dial in defensive, aggressive or neutral postures. To hold an informed opinion about where to be over or under-weight means to be in front of, not behind economic fundamentals. On a quarterly basis we will review the economic landscape and assess whether adjustments to your Investment Strategy are warranted.
Developing robust portfolios is a two step process.
I utilize institutional grade Modern Portfolio Theory asset allocation tools to build optimized models and one-off portfolios for individual accounts. We start with asset classes you are comfortable with and then I will identify suitable asset class proxies. These could be comprised of indices, fund proxies or asset classes and capital market assumptions provided by institutional partners. The capital market assumptions provide the inputs to asset optimization software that will generate the efficient frontier.
Models are selected along the frontier that correspond to the risk profile of your clients and that exhibit low tracking error with the bench marks you are comfortable with. Holdings are generally ETFs or Mutual Funds. I have a proprietary screening process that takes into account multiple measures of merit that results in fund candidates that have demonstrated best in class performance. It also identifies where active management justifies the cost.
You will have total control of how the models are built, and I will coach you through the process of matching your clients' plan output to the correct benchmarks and risk-return parameters. In the end you will have models you understand and can explain to your clients, all the while knowing they are analytically rigorous and on- par with the largest institutional money managers. To that point, I routinely have models reviewed and critiqued by my client's custodian and other institutional money managers.
I can build everything from conventional active and passive allocation models to style-size, sector, factor and purpose-based models. What I believe is critical, is to build a portfolio that has the best chance of meeting your client's goal. That may mean taking a more aggressive posture. It may also mean dialing back the risk. Models are the starting point to meeting those goals. The good news for the advisor is that we can adjust the models during the rebalancing process to dial up the return potential or scale back the exposure to a down market. If a down-market seems to be developing, we can make adjustments at about any time. We help the advisor explain the facets of risk and return to the client and how efficient portfolios are used to manage risk.
Once you have selected your model portfolios, I proceed with screening and researching actual holdings for each of the asset classes in the models. Typically this is a mix of Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) and mutual funds, but can include core stock and bond holdings and alternatives. I tend to be agnostic on the question of active versus passive. What matters is that the holdings be best in class and have a strong track record. I use multiple measures of investment merit, including Sortino Ratio, Alpha, Upside-Downside capture, Risk versus Return, Expense Ratio, Yield and Price Earnings Ratio. The holdings compete for representation of the asset class, often the passive option is the winner, but there are situations where actively managed funds demonstrate superior performance. I give preference to funds with a long track record, but will consider and frequently recommend a newer fund if the manage demonstrates superior performance. While past performance is no guarantee of future performance, track record is the best indicator of the manager's capabilities. If performance slips we are fully prepared to substitute another fund in that asset class.
Once the candidates are selected, I evaluate the portfolio using Morningstar tools to examine overall performance against the benchmark and internally. In particular, I seek holdings with low correlations. While we try to have an informed view of the future, we must also recognize that the future is unknowable. Thus a diversified portfolio will be more resilient to unexpected shocks. I stress test the portfolios against economic forecasts and potential downside surprises. I review the results with you such that we are both prepared with a "Plan B" if necessary.
Advisors typically are not market timers. However, being mindful of market trends and turning points is helpful identifying entry and exit points. I have years of experience using technical tools in the energy commodity markets. These tools can be helpful identifying market trends and turning points for both broad indices and individual holdings. Signs of continuing strength suggest taking a position sooner than later. Alternatively, signs of an impending pull back would suggest waiting. In the absence of either a trend or a turning point dollar cost averaging has proven the test of time.
Managing through multiple business cycles means I have earned some degree of wisdom. I keep an eye on the big picture macro events and do my best to discern their impact my client's models. I set alerts for internal changes in the holdings, such as management or investment policy changes, style drift and adverse events with the top underlying holdings. It is important to ensure that the portfolios reflect the investment strategy and the strategy is consistent with the phase of the business cycle. For you this means having a partner that keeps you apprised, understands the options and has recommendations when action is indicated.
Rebalancing can be a significant contributor to long term portfolio growth. Harvesting gains when holdings exceed their threshold will lock in those gains, while adding to undervalued holdings is one of the more proven methods for asset growth. Rebalancing should be assessed at regular intervals, usually annually. However, events drive rebalancing decisions. A significant change in value could trigger a threshold breach alert. That could mean a signal to reduce a position in an overvalued holding or add to one that is below fair value.
Tax loss harvesting is becoming ever more important, especially for high net worth individuals. We use the best rebalancing tools in the industry and will guide you in holding locations for the most advantageous tax strategies for non-qualified accounts.
I use a variety of platforms to provide you with of graphs, charts, and tables to help you visually illustrate investment-related concepts, statistics, and performance results. One of my core beliefs is best to work with an informed client. If your clients have an understanding of what you do for them, they will value your service more and be less likely to make a change. I believe I have a role to play in helping you educate your clients. To best serve you, I work with you to provide client centered materials that you can use to brief your clients on how their money is being managed.
I have an ability to explain complex concepts, illustrations, and statistics a valuable skill supporting your efforts in helping your clients "know what they own."
I make economic and market developments understandable through crisp, to the point and interesting newsletters, reports and commentary. All of this work is available for you to brand as you wish. I will even prepare custom reports, newsletters and blog posts that reflect your philosophy and views
From initial set up through continuous monitoring of your model portfolios I am “on call” for investment-related issues you need help with. Frequently a financial plan update requires a updated performance report on the client's portfolio. As clients near retirement and cash planning becomes critical. Whatever the need, I am available to assist. As your advisor, I need to be as responsive as you are to your clients. My retainer service makes me your behind-the-scenes partner. I generally plan on about once a month and price accordingly. If you feel your needs are more or less, we can adjust the fee to reflect that.