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Investment Strategies

Understanding each client’s situation underlies our investment management process. While we have developed broad categories of investment strategies, each portfolio is customized to the needs of each client. We factor in risk tolerance, investment objectives, time horizon, tax sensitivity, ethical considerations and any other factors that might be important to you, and then select from a variety of portfolio paradigms:


Indexed:

Indexed Portfolios are based on the efficient market hypothesis: that the current pricing of assets reflects all available information and, therefore, markets are priced appropriately. An indexed portfolio simply mirrors how the average dollar is invested across the globe. Our indexed portfolios attempt to replicate that. The benefits of this approach are that indexing is very inexpensive and generally exhibits very little turnover and trading, thereby minimizing your tax burden and ongoing cost. Depending on your risk tolerance and objectives, we can scale up or down the equity and fixed income exposures to make a more aggressive or more conservative portfolio.

In addition, for some clients, we may overlay “factor weightings,” using index funds that tilt toward various factors that have historically led to greater performance, like momentum, value, size and volatility.


Traditional:

Our Traditional Portfolios find their basis in an indexed approach, to which we add the statistical underpinning of Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT). MPT constructs portfolios based on capital market assumptions regarding the expected return, volatility and correlation of the assets in the portfolio. We modify the weighting of holdings to reflect our current expectations in an attempt to create portfolios that optimize the trade-off between expected risk and expected return. We incorporate a moderate weighting to asset classes that have historically exhibited a low-to-negative correlation with both stocks and bonds. We populate the portfolio with a combination of indexed and actively managed approaches, using active managers where we believe they are likely to add value, and indexed strategies where we feel the odds of outperformance from active management are lower.


Strategic:

Our Strategic Allocations take the portfolio design process a step further by incorporating our longer-range views of the market and marrying them to clients’ objectives. Rather than trying to match the performance of the market or an investment benchmark, our strategic allocations are designed to align with your objectives: being able to retire, fund an education for your children or grandchildren, or fund a charitable bequest, for example. While our strategic allocations incorporate equity and fixed income investments, we weight those allocations based more heavily on our capital market assumptions and incorporate a variety of alternative investments designed to create more consistent and stable performance.


Objectives Based:

Our Objectives-Based Portfolios are focused on achieving a particular purpose. Certain clients may want to generate income from their portfolio; others may want consistent returns. We design portfolios specifically for these objectives.


Dynamic:

Our Dynamic Portfolios are a combination of strategic and tactical approaches. They combine asset-allocated portfolios with technical analysis, adding dynamic inputs to modern portfolio theory. Doing so creates portfolios that have historically produced higher returns with less volatility, and that are more resilient in turbulent markets.


Our All Weather Portfolio analyzes price trends on a monthly basis and exits asset classes when they show evidence of a broad-based decline, or negative absolute momentum. By doing so, the strategy has historically produced better returns than a static “buy-and-hold” portfolio with lower volatility and has significantly limited portfolio “drawdown,” or peak-to-trough loss.

Our Momentum Portfolio uses the same asset classes but selects on a monthly basis those with the highest momentum. The strategy requires that the components exhibit positive absolute momentum and selects the asset classes with the strongest relative momentum. This has produced returns that have generally outperformed our All Weather Portfolio, but with greater volatility and increased downside risk.

When appropriate, we employ a “goals-based” approach to combine multiple strategies, each geared toward a specific objective and engineered to work together.


Our investment strategies are designed to work on a stand-alone basis or in combination. We apply a rigorous data-driven process that incorporates both quantitative and qualitative elements, designed to meet your specific objectives.