"We eat our own cooking. Our portfolios, while customized to our personal financial situations, contain the same investments that are in our clients' portfolios."
We are value investors. A stock is the only thing we know of where the more expensive it gets, the more attractive it seems to be to the popular buyer. We instead like to find quality investments for our clients when they are "on sale."
While it is impossible to predict future investment performance, it is possible to do analysis of stocks and bonds and real estate to sum up whether the business that is being purchased appears solid. With a well-researched estimate of value, one can buy at a discount to improve the opportunity for a positive outcome, and to minimize investment downside. This is the discipline we follow and the opportunity we seek for our clients. We seek to buy good businesses on sale.
This value discipline can produce a contrarian result: we tend to become cautious when others are more ebullient, and we sometimes find ourselves more interested in certain types of investments when the crowd has decided they are unattractive. Sticking to this discipline year in and year out is what we think gives us the highest possibility of achieving our clients' investment goals.
We invest primarily with managers who share our investment philosophy and who have developed distinguished track records using a value investment discipline. Most of the managers we invest with have a great deal of latitude to make investment decisions, including seeking opportunities outside of their primary asset class, and to take measures to protect capital when caution is warranted. We believe that the highest value investment work we do for our clients is manager selection.
We diversify assets across asset classes in most client portfolios, as appropriate for each client. Owning a balance of different types of assets, such as stocks, bonds, cash, gold and real estate, will generally smooth overall volatility and create a higher likelihood of a positive return over a given time period.
We also have shorter-term viewpoints on the relative attractiveness of particular asset classes. Over an intermediate-term time horizon, we think it is possible and appropriate to have an intelligent and actionable viewpoint on an asset class — and to emphasize it or de-emphasize it in client portfolios accordingly. We believe radical tactical shifts in portfolios are not as effective as more gradual changes, and we therefore follow a discipline of moderation in tactical asset allocations.
Monitoring and Ongoing Research
We maintain connections and conversations with the management teams where you are invested, and monitor both these and additional funds for ongoing performance analysis and selection. Our Investment Committee meets regularly and reviews investment models, fund information, analysis and performance, the macro economy and other matters. Feedback on the economy and on the market environment from the management teams themselves prompts and challenges our own investment thinking, so clients benefit from ongoing intelligent input from the teams that have philosophies aligned with ours.