"When it comes to compounding, don't trust your intuition - you have no idea how powerful it is."
- Manoj Arora, From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom
The Core Portfolio consists of individual common stocks and bonds. Like most of the portfolios we manage, we integrate a top-down approach to managing portfolios (asset allocation) with a bottom-up approach (individual stock and bond selection). We will increase the percent of assets invested in equities when our disciplines tell us "times are good" and reduce the percent in equities when our disciplines tell us that "times are not as good". Preserving capital when times are not good is an important goal of our approach. We generally own about 40-50 individual stocks and a number of individual bonds. We diversify the stocks among the different market segments and only buy higher-quality issues. Both steps are designed to reduce the risk of the portfolio. Diversification is further enhanced by buying some mid-sized and small capitalization and some international equity positions.
For clients that prefer to avoid the potential volatility of individual stocks we offer a series of portfolio strategies that only use indexes (Exchange-Traded Funds) rather than individual stocks and bonds. As with all Core Portfolios, we use a top-down approach (asset allocation). The risk of these portfolios is somewhat less than the risk associated with the Core Portfolio with Individual Stocks because greater diversification is built into the indexes. The fees that we charge are also lower.
Our Athena Dividend Strategy is an all-equity portfolio emphasizing lower portfolio volatility through dividend paying stocks including those with a global footprint. We look to purchase world class companies with a compelling margin of safety. These businesses generate excess cash that management can return to investors in the form of dividends. Unlike other dividend portfolios that focus mostly on income or yield, our higher than market dividend yield is a by-product of our investment process. The portfolio is well suited for clients with a long-term time horizon focused on absolute returns.
The most important objectives for our fixed-income portfolios are: stability; above-benchmark returns; and avoiding negative returns in any given 12 month period. Our strategies are conservative because we use only investment grade bonds; we do not buy long-term bonds with higher "interest rate risk", and all fixed-income portfolios are well-diversified.
We actively manage our fixed-income portfolios. Our specialized fixed-income team, with decades of experience, actively adjusts the Government bond-Corporate bond mix in the context of the business cycle stage. Our team adroitly exploits pricing distortions that may occur in times of emotional extremes.
Our high yield fixed-income strategy is designed to deliver high yield/income from a portfolio of eight diversified higher yield, higher risk strategies which are structured using liquid marketable exchange-traded funds. The allocation to the eight strategies is adjusted in response to the changing environment.
The objectives of our cash and short-term investment management programs are: preservation of principal, liquidity, maximum yield, in that order of priority. Client portfolios are individually designed to match each client's unique circumstances. Portfolios are creative and effective solutions to client challenges. We always use competitive execution. Our fixed-income trader "shops" the major Broker/Dealers for the best deals. We provide client reporting that is both timely and flexible.