Let’s talk about investment performance…

Performance is about being active (vs. passive).

Investment markets are ever changing – our active style allows us to take advantage of opportunities

Performance is about actively managing risk.

Our Active Risk Management process mitigates losses – thereby enhancing returns

Performance is also about keeping costs low.
How do we do this?

We invest in individual securities from all over the world, (stocks and bonds),
so we help you avoid the fees and costs of mutual funds or exchange traded funds (ETFs).

TAKE A LOOK UNDER THE HOOD:
Individual Securities and Transparency

By investing in individual securities, you see the stocks you own.

By comparison, mutual funds and ETFs don’t offer anything close to transparent data.

Invest

Your personal circumstances, goals and wealth planning serve as the basis for our initial strategy and required rates of return. The result of our macro-economic research process completes the investment portfolio’s overall asset allocation.

Macro-economic history provides great evidence that, over long periods of time, there is a direct correlation between changes in the economy (the business cycle) and the performance of financial instruments. Over the long term, the macro-economic variables that drive the global economy – such as interest rates, inflation and corporate profits – affect the long-term direction of stock, bond and real estate prices. Therefore, our search for the best opportunities within the investment landscape begins with an understanding of the global economic climate and business cycle.

Global Equity Management

We believe that great investment opportunities can be found anywhere in the world. Therefore, our research has no geographic boundaries. Our universe of potential companies exceeds 9000 and covers 32 countries, 10 sectors, and 60 industry groups. The list includes the MSCI World Equity Index and Russell 2000 index of small companies.

Over the years, our research has identified a number of fundamental characteristics that lead to long-term, above average stock performance. These criteria include a company’s balance sheet strength, cash flow, profit growth and market share dominance. We endeavor to pay a reasonable price for the companies that fit our stringent criteria and accomplish this by correlating stock price valuation with profit growth.

In an effort to isolate great companies, we screen our entire global universe using a proprietary in-house software model that measures each company in terms of our criteria. Only the top 150 companies are considered for purchase and each is arranged by its respective economic sector and industry group. Those companies in declining industry groups are removed from consideration, further reducing our list.

The final phase of our stock selection involves our own “hands on” research as well as input from our Research Partners. The result of this extensive process yields a short list of companies that we believe are of high quality and possess superior fundamentals and management. Moreover, the final list of companies represents a number of strong industry groups from various countries and multiple market capitalizations. Diversification is key.

Since we serve a limited number of clients and manage each client’s portfolio separately, we can personally tailor your portfolio to include socially responsible screening, based on criteria you provide us. This process leverages some of what is, in our opinion, today’s best technology and research in the field of socially responsible investing. This screening can be employed on just a portion of your investments or your entire portfolio.

We do not believe that investors should sacrifice performance for tax efficiency. Our goal is to pursue an investment style designed to be highly tax efficient. Our average portfolio turnover is only 20% annually – significantly lower than that of most mutual funds according to Morningstar1. Most importantly, when successful, this allows you to retain a greater amount of your assets each year, which fosters the long-term compounding of your wealth. Since our fees are based on the value and performance of your portfolio, we are cost-conscious. Our use of individual securities, as opposed to mutual funds and other investment “products”, assists in keeping costs low and can reduce the possibility of hidden or layered fees. Additionally, we work closely with the custodian of your assets in an effort to keep your transaction costs to a minimum.

1Mutual Fund Turnover and Taxes, Bankrate.com

To ensure the continued quality of your investments, we monitor each position daily and review each client portfolio weekly. In addition, we repeat our screening process weekly. We sell stocks for a number of reasons, including: a company no longer meets our criteria; the economy changes; the sector or industry deteriorates; the price exceeds profit growth; or there is a change in management. Additionally, our Active Risk Management (ARM) may initiate the sale of a company due to deteriorating fundamentals.

 

Global Fixed Income

Over one third of our total assets under management are invested in fixed income markets. Our fixed income investments are dedicated to individual bonds rather than bond funds. These positions include US Treasury, government agency, corporate, and municipal bonds. As an independent advisory firm, we have established relationships with over 100 fixed income broker-dealers. This network allows us to search for and purchase fixed income securities at competitive prices, which has the potential to enhance your fixed income returns.

Our fixed income allocations are driven by our macro-economic and interest rate cycle analysis and by your income tax circumstances. We have strict credit quality requirements for the bulk of our fixed income management. In addition, we perform a process we call Credit Watch to continually monitor potential changes in credit quality of these investments. In the selection of corporate fixed income, we leverage our work in equity research to isolate opportunities in the corporate bond market. Depending on client circumstances we may enter the high yield market for a small percentage of the portfolio in order to enhance income.

Typically, fixed income is employed to provide supplemental income while mitigating the risk of an all-equity portfolio.

Global Fixed Income Alternatives

During periods when global equities or traditional fixed income do not represent value, our team may employ alternatives to these assets classes. These individual securities are intended to be less correlated to the global equity markets while providing above average yield, particularly in low interest rate environments. Depending on client preferences and the economic cycle, a well-diversified combination of preferred stock, real estate investment trusts and master limited partnerships may offer an alternative solution to investors seeking yield.

Global Preferred Stock

Depending on the economic cycle and your circumstances, preferred stock may be included in the portfolio to offer both diversification and yield. These securities are less correlated to global stock markets and combine features of fixed income and equity instruments, as they pay both a fixed dividend and have the potential to appreciate in value.

Global Real Estate Markets

Depending on the economic cycle and your circumstances, real estate investment trusts (REITs) may also be employed. These securities trade on open market exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange and allow you to participate in the real estate market with the benefit of daily liquidity that owning real estate properties does not offer. Our macro-economic research and interest rate cycle analysis, along with your tax circumstances, drive our REIT allocations.

Global Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs)

Depending on the economic cycle and your circumstances, MLPs may offer above average yield and provide the liquidity of a publicly traded company. These securities derive most of their cash flows from natural resources, commodities, or real estate which may help complement a portfolio’s diversification. Sector specific analysis combined with fundamental analysis at the company level allows us to identify opportunities in the MLP space.

Active Risk Management

We believe that successful long-term investment performance is the result of above average investment selection combined with careful risk management. Our Active Risk Management (ARM) is a process employed to manage potential downside risk due to factors that include global economic instability, economic sector or industry weakness, and deterioration in a specific security’s fundamentals. It includes tools and formulas that can affect a portfolio’s asset allocation, sector and stock exposure.

ARM is a process that is continually applied to your investment portfolio depending on the health and stability of financial markets. ARM may cause your portfolio to experience periods of reduced exposure to particular sectors, industries or individual securities, as well as increased cash and fixed income balances. Though risk management does not guarantee against investment loss, we believe that, over the long run, our ARM process mitigates risk and leads to above average investment results.