When it comes to money management, what we’ve learned over the last 25 years of running money for others is that times change and so does what works. When Peter Lynch was managing the Fidelity Magellan Fund, he was the prime beneficiary of macro-demographic trends that favored strong consumer spending from the early 1980’s until the year 2000. Back then, you could just pay attention to the places you shopped, pick stocks of companies whose stores were busy and then you could’ve made some money. Of course, that all changed in the year 2000, when the combination of Y2K and the bursting of the tech bubble took many investors down, along with their retirement nest eggs. You could make an argument that the world for investors has changed more in the last five years than it did in the previous 50. Today, you need to understand global geo-political risk, what central bankers may or may not do, the impact of currency fluctuations on stocks and bonds and how computer algorithms affect trading – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Ultimately, risk management should be at the top of the list. In just a few months, a bear market can wipe away returns that it took the bulls years to make. Information travels much faster today than it ever has, which increases risk as investors also react more rapidly. That’s why you need to determine your “why” for investing. Are you investing because you enjoy competition and your goal is simply to get the highest returns possible? Are you hands on and want to be actively involved in every decision? If so, our approach may not be a good fit for you. Our clients hire us because they are goal-driven; they want solid expert advice that keeps them on track to meeting their most important goals, based on their most deeply held values, for the reasons that are important to them. Most importantly, they are financial delegators and they have better, more interesting things to do than be a slave to their investments.
What they are looking for is confidence, the knowledge that they are going to be fine. Wouldn’t it be nice to be in a place where whatever is going on in the world, from politics, to terrorism, to unpredictable weather patterns or any other uncontrollable situation that comes up literally has no significant impact on your lifestyle? That’s the goal of every portfolio we manage, to deliver a zen-like peace of mind, for our clients to be free to live the life they’ve planned for and dreamed of.
Portfolio management actually is rocket-science these days. Believe it or not, today Wall Street hires more computer programmers and engineers than lawyers and brokers. The point is computers have entirely changed the way money is being managed. Investing has evolved, and in our view, buying an index fund is not the answer. Bear in mind, computers can’t do everything. For example, if on any given day the Federal Reserve Chair decides to alter Fed policy significantly, it changes the entire playing field and renders any previous strategy potentially obsolete. It takes a variety of resources and we combine our 25 years of experience along with relationships we have developed with independent research outlets that have a proven, reliable track record. The key being independent; in other words, guidance coming from companies that have a vested interest in selling you something doesn’t count. We also leverage highly sophisticated computer technology to identify trends in the market to either avoid risk or take advantage of opportunities. The days of being able to do everything on your own are over. We bring to bear all of these resources to deliver institutional-quality investment management, on a personal level and from people who know you and your goals on an intimate level. The end result is a comprehensive investment approach that is driven exclusively by your most important financial goals, based on your most deeply held values, for the reasons that are important to you.