Investment Management – Our Approach
Managing your invested assets is an important part of our services. We consider the completion of a detailed financial analysis the first step in a process that concludes with a plan to properly manage your assets in a fashion that is mindful of your goals, and your ability to withstand market fluctuations. Nearly all our clients have us prepare this detailed analysis prior to the creation of an investment plan.
Designing a Portfolio
Portfolios are designed at the asset class level to minimize downside impact for a given level of return. We use Modern Portfolio Theory, a Nobel Prize winning method to create mixes of assets that are efficiently diversified and are less risky than those that are not properly combined. The average portfolio may have 10-13 asset classes that include, large cap stock, small cap stock, international stock, real estate, natural resources, etc. Trades are not made based on any attempt to “time” a market; instead we rely on asset allocation to reduce risk.
We lean towards the use of index funds since few active managers can consistently beat the market. In fact, during 2016, two-thirds of active managers of large-capitalization U.S. stocks underperformed the S&P 500 large-capital index. More than 90% of active managers underperformed their benchmark indices over a 15-year period. Active management also increases the cost to the investor and typically makes the investment less tax efficient. We are an approved provider of DFA funds, (Dimensional Fund Associates) a fund family well known for their index funds and low fees. We also utilize many Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) for their low cost and tax efficiency.
The bond portion of your portfolio typically consists of individual bonds which enables us to better manage the effect of interest rates on your portfolio and reduce costs.
We continually analyze both the performance of all client held investments and associated costs.
Review and Rebalancing and Tax Efficiency
We continually review the performance of our client’s portfolios and their holdings. Our sophisticated software allows us to test all client portfolios on demand so that they may be properly rebalanced when your holdings stray far enough from the model. One important part of our approach is the methods we use to maximize tax efficiency. We do that through asset placement and vehicle selection. Asset placement means choosing the location of an asset class based on how it is treated from a tax standpoint and vehicle selection can enhance tax efficiency as well.
Closing the Loop
An important part of the investment process is also monitoring your circumstance on a regular basis. We are strong advocates of renewing and revising your financial plan frequently. Those revisions enable us to see if adjustments in the management of your invested assets is warranted.
You are provided a detailed performance report from us quarterly. That report compares your performance against several benchmarks and provides an analysis of your performance over many time periods so you will know exactly how your portfolio is doing.