Custom Investment Management
Generally speaking, the only good portfolio is one that fits the needs of the investor. We believe any good result will directly manifest from a solid understanding of goals, objectives & risk tolerances. We begin by listening. A thorough understanding forms the foundation upon which can be built a proper asset allocation and investment selection process.
Asset Allocation is considered by many to be the most critical decision an investor can make. According to studies it is the primary control over risk and return and can account for over 90% of long term return*. Once we have achieved the appropriate asset allocation framework we then begin the portfolio construction process.
We begin the search for new investments with the formation of a top-down consensus of domestic and global economies. The strong inter-relationships present in our global marketplace necessitates a strong world view. This consensus will leverage external inputs from industry leading data providers in concert with our internal forecasts. These metrics allow for the construction of an opportunity matrix of geographies and industry sectors within those geographies. Our asset allocations and portfolio weightings begin their formation with this exercise.
We then begin a bottom-up look at industrial sectors and the individual companies within. We employ several proprietary screening techniques to measure relative quantitative opportunity present between these companies. Additionally, we seek out any qualitative facets possessed by these companies that will provide them the ability to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. These combined efforts seek the ultimate catalysts that drive performance. We identify opportunistic ideas and place our clients on a path to intersect them.
Client objectives represent the final and most critical piece of the portfolio construction effort. Our process must possess the rigor and discipline to meet the demanding performance requirements of tax exempt endowment & foundation portfolios, while maintaining the requisite breadth to meet the highly sophisticated and nuanced needs of wealthy, taxable investors.
We are no longer an insular economy, but an active and critical part of an ever-changing global market composed of interdependent nations. Our top-down analytics manifest in an outlook for the world, significant geographic regions and countries, most significantly the United States. From this foundation we build consensus forecast for the economy and more specifically how they will impact interest rate trends and Federal Reserve activity.
We develop a yield curve forecast for U.S. Treasuries and based on that we construct an opportunity matrix that weighs the opposing forces of quality and duration. The quality of issues we will utilize will be based on their relative attractiveness or spread between the appropriate benchmark treasury and other instruments, most specifically government agency obligations and corporate issues. Client parameters form the last hurdle for portfolio inclusion. The same process then examines duration risk, or the maturity opportunity we will seek in a given interest rate environment. This effort will focus on the most relevant client-focused benchmark and whether, given that outlook to seek more opportunity than the index, or to seek more shelter.
The ultimate goal of this, or any portfolio exercise, is to arrive at a risk and cash-flow structure that is matched with client needs, or has a strategic departure designed to exceed them.
* "Determinants of Portfolio Performance," by Gary Brinson, Randolph