Four Pillars of Investing
The first pillar is asset allocation. We seek to determine the proper asset allocation for our client’s unique circumstance, including risk tolerance, time horizon, and objectives. We believe that the proper asset allocation is the key to maximizing a client’s potential return for their given level of risk on their investments over the long-run.
The second pillar of our investment philosophy is diversification. Diversification is at the center of how our portfolios are managed. By diversifying client assets, we attempt to reduce volatility within a portfolio and keep our client’s on track to achieve their goals. We diversify our portfolios by investing in different asset classes, including those that are not directly correlated to each other. It is our belief that clients can achieve diversification without the use of illiquid securities, such as private placements, non-publicly traded securities, and other higher cost/higher risk securities. We find that the more complex and expensive investment vehicles are often not appropriate for individual investors.
The third pillar of investment philosophy is discipline. Investing discipline through bull and bear markets is critical to client’s achieving their long-term goals. It is easy to get over allocated to equities when times are good and subsequently lose those gains when the market corrects. Conversely, once a correction has occurred, it is easy to be fearful of increasing one’s exposure to equities. Re-balancing the account to its original allocation is key part of being disciplined as an investor. In order to be disciplined, one must block the outside “noise” and follow the investment plan with the understanding that over the long-term it ought to increase their likelihood of achieving their stated goals.
CONTROL THE COST OF INVESTING
The final pillar of our investment philosophy is controlling the cost of investing. We avoid high priced mutual funds as they tend to under perform their respective benchmarks over the long-run. It is our belief that attempting to pick a mutual fund manager who will outperform the markets over any period of time is a wasted effort and wasted expense. We also avoid thinly traded securities as a large bid-ask spread could increase the cost of investing over time. Our portfolios are built primarily with low-cost Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s), stocks, and bonds. We evaluate every client’s individual circumstances and determine what types of securities fit their needs. We take a “Client’s First, Financial Products Last” approach. There are times when financial products are necessary, such as life insurance, disability insurance, etc. When we recommend any insurance product, we remain a fiduciary for our clients.