Investment Management

Our Management Process

The portfolios we use are designed to have the proper balance of risk and return. A bulletproof investment plan starts by clearly understanding your objectives and your constraints. 

Each plan fits the investor and trying to mimic something you heard on television or through social media will only lead to poor performance. The plans that we want are built for the long-term with the ability to adapt to changing market environments and provide flexibility if life changes. 

Think of the investment strategy as a long freeway cutting through the center of your home state. The freeway is a major mode of transportation BUT is has off ramps. Those off ramps don’t stop the freeway, it just is a different route that you could take for a quick stop. That is your investment strategy. It is a freeway and your financial goals are just stops along the way. 

Examples of Objectives and Constraints:

Objective: Save up $5 Million so I can retire comfortably and not outlive my money.

Constraint: I am not saving enough and I have a low risk tolerance. 

Elements We Focus On

Balance

Asset allocation and diversification are the two principles that merge to create a balanced portfolio. All investments involve risk and it is hard to avoid, we just need to prepare for it. Yes, even cash has risk. It is called purchasing power risk, or inflation risk, and that is when your dollar will be worth less in the future due to inflation. 

Asset Allocation: this is a portfolio’s combination of equities, fixed income, and cash. This mix will determine the returns and variability of returns within a given portfolio. The asset allocation will be built based on goals and risk tolerance. 

Diversification: here we start to decide what types of asset classes to hold. Do we hold large, mid, or small cap? Domestic or international securities? Long-term, intermediate-term, or short-term bonds? What about REITs, emerging markets, or commodities? This is where we start to build the specific holdings that will create that balance. 

Cost

This is simple. This lower the cost, the larger the share if the investment return you get to keep. There is no definitive evidence that shows higher cost investments will perform better than lower cost investments. 

You can see from the chart that a lower expense ratio can positively impact your performance. If you hold all things constant, a lower cost fund will outperform.  I am specifically referring to expense ratios. 

Expense Ratio: Mutual funds, ETFs, Index Funds, and UITs, to name a few, all have fund managers that are monitoring the underlying investments. There is an annual expense that comes out of the fund. Some funds charge more than others on an annual basis. Reducing this expense ratio can lead to higher long term returns. 

 

Taxes

Taxes are another significant planning opportunity when it comes to investment management. Monitoring taxes can help reduce costs which also increase return. The less you have to give to Uncle Sam, the more you get to enjoy! A couple areas that we look to optimize are asset location and tax-effiecient investments. 

Asset Location: This is the idea of allocating the proper investments to the correct taxable or tax-advantaged account. A lot of times, it is best to put high interest, income, and dividend investments in tax advantaged accounts to remove the current year taxation of these activities. This can include high capital gain distribution mutual funds. We try to use the taxable accounts for places with high growth and less income to reduce our year over year tax liability. 

Tax-Efficient Investments: Let us use “actively managed mutual funds” as an example. The fund managers in these investments are actively buying and selling underlying securities and those capital gains can pass on to investors. This impact can effect your taxes. Using low turnover investments like ETFs or index funds can help with tax efficiency. 

 

Ready to talk more about Investment Management?

 Let’s start a conversation. Send us your contact information and we’ll be in touch to go over your finance goals.

Tools We Use