Our Investment Philosophy
Our investment philosophy is rooted in our overall focus – the goals of our clients. Once we have identified your goals, we develop an investment strategy that aims to reduce the amount of risk while still reaching those goals.
Sometimes a client’s initial risk tolerance does not match their goals, in which case we need to evaluate how to accommodate the difference. It is a good opportunity for discussion on whether there is any room for adjustment for the client’s goals or risk tolerance.
We feel a diversified portfolio is the best investment approach. We create portfolios that include a combination of stocks, bonds and alternatives to optimize the risk/return profile in the portfolio. This mix will look different depending on the client and the investment objective of the portfolio. An advantage of a goal’s-based firm is we avoid chasing returns during market extremes, which we believe, helps provide better risk-adjusted returns over time.
At retirement we continue to maintain diversified portfolios. Unlike some firms, we do not use only income-producing options at or near retirement. We feel our clients are best served by having a balanced portfolio that includes growth assets and alternatives during all stages of their investment life-cycle. There may be times when we will overweight certain asset classes, but we do not concentrate portfolios into only one or two types of investments.
The exception to diversified portfolios is when clients have a low risk tolerance and have a goal of matching inflation. For those clients we create mostly fixed income portfolios as a result.
For fixed income portfolios, we believe in thorough credit analysis to limit default risk. Reaching for high yields in fixed income can lead to increased risk and volatility. We feel bonds should mainly be used to provide income and lower volatility, not increase it. Clients with an all fixed income portfolio should understand that inflation becomes a risk and that this portfolio can limit future purchasing power. Due to their risk tolerance and investment objective, they may accept this potential risk over market volatility.
During the distribution phase, diversified portfolios allow us to have options because we have multiple asset classes to use to cover withdrawals during different market cycles. Using profits from stocks during periods of strong growth and taking distributions from fixed income or alternatives during market downturns provides us with flexibility and control which we believe could also provide our clients with potentially stronger risk-adjusted returns versus using any one asset class. At all times we strive to remain balanced and diversified and focused on the long-term.