Understanding where you’re trying to go will help you determine how to get there.
A plan – whether it be a broad-based financial plan or a specific investment strategy – should be driven by your objectives. Let’s spend the time to understand what those are.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Chances are you didn’t get where you are overnight but by hard work, intelligent decision making, perseverance and patience. We think your investments should be managed the same way.
Fortune smiles on those who are prepared.
We’ll take luck over skill any day, but let’s not rely on it. We try to make smart decisions, and to position portfolios for the best odds of success. We can’t predict the markets, but that doesn’t stop us from trying to understand them. We read, we study, we analyze, but we try not to succumb to hubris. We try very hard to be smart, but not too smart.
Sometimes conventional wisdom is only the former.
There is nothing wrong with widely accepted principals. But simply because they are widely accepted doesn’t make them right. We spend a great deal of time trying to understand and question the basic, foundational principals so that we can discern when conventional wisdom is right and when it isn’t, and help you make financial decisions that thoughtful and well-considered.
Engineering returns requires managing risk.
We can’t eliminate risk, but we can seek to manage it. That requires first understanding it. We try to understand what the risks are and where they are hidden so that we can take prudent ones that are likely to be compensated with higher returns.
Invest with conviction.
We use investment managers who run concentrated portfolios of their best ideas. Statistics show that they tend to outperform. And we want managers who eat their own cooking. If they aren’t invested in their own funds, we don’t want to be either.
Less drag = greater efficiency.
Reduced expenses lead to improved financial performance. To the degree possible, we seek to reduce portfolio expenses from:
- Manager expenses:
- Where we don’t believe managers are likely to add value, we don’t use them, and we merely seek to mirror an index. By doing so, we can reduce fees significantly.
- Where we do think we can find managers who are talented and possess skill, we make sure their fees are reasonable.
Trading has a cost. Where possible, we seek to minimize that cost, and we use managers who tend toward less trading rather than more.
Taxes have the potential to eat up more than half of your returns. Taxes shouldn’t be the only factor in investment decisions, but they can be a big one.
We need to get paid for the work that we do. But not excessively. We have tried to develop a compensation schedule that is clear, rational and fair. If you have any questions, please ask. After all, it’s your money, and the less you pay, the more you keep.
Download Aspect Partners' investment management principles.