My investment philosophy deviates significantly from most other traditional financial advisors. Before working with me it is important that you understand the differences in my approach.
Usually, the mass media, public at large and too many financial advisers are most interested in "hot" or "in the news" ideas which leads them to be emotional and unfocused. I seek a less emotional and more analytic approach to investing. Very often I will want to buy what others are selling, and sell what others are buying. This approach allows us to ebb and flow into "buy low" and "sell high" opportunities.
To achieve my goals, I have incorporated a large amount of technology into my investment process. I also lean heavily on a network of brilliant financial minds from around the world that I was lucky enough to meet over they years due to my media exposure.
A 4 Step Investment Approach
I use a structured 4-step method for building smart asset allocations and selecting the investments for your asset allocation. This method, largely borrowed from great investors, includes these four steps to finding investments:
- Secular Trends: Understand the big long-term trends within the global economy.
- Government & Central Bank Policy: Analyze how governments and central banks can impact outcomes and timeframes through policy.
- Fundamental Analysis: Bottom up analysis of industries and companies to help understand approximate fair value and financial outlooks.
- Technical & Quant Analysis: The markets give us clues through the pricing of assets about industry and corporate strength, as well as, investor sentiment.
Using this step by step approach eliminates most of the guesswork. What we are left with is a more structured Bayesian mathematical approach. When the math gets too hard, we take Charlie Munger's advice:
“We just throw some decisions into the 'too hard' file and go onto others.”
(Charlie Munger is Warren Buffett's partner at Berkshire Hathaway)
In other words, I don't try to be a hero. If I can't figure something out, I move on. There's always another opportunity.
Build A Margin Of Safety
Building a "margin of safety" is a the core element underlying all investing. It simply is not true that more risk leads to more returns.
The reality is that keeping risk as low as possible within a strategy is what leads to better returns. So, when I invest in stocks, which are inherently risky, I look for ways to invest that will reduce that risk.
Of course never losing money is impossible. But, as Packer legend Vince Lombardi said:
“Gentlemen, we will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch excellence.”
That is my goal with investing, the pursuit of perfection to be excellent. Being excellent starts with building a margin of safety in order to manage risk.
In Search Of Alpha
Alpha is the excess return on investment relative to benchmark of similar risk. For most equity investors, the frame of reference is the S&P 500 stock market index. If you are an equity investor, that is the risk that you must be willing to assume.
My goal for you will depend on the type of investor you are.
- If you are a defensive investor, then we will seek to have less risk than the stock market, but try to get as close as possible to a stock market return for your risk tolerance.
- If you are an offensive minded investor, then we will seek to have about the same risk as the stock market, but make more total return.
There are no guarantees that we will achieve our goals, but we will have a plan and that's better than not having a plan.
Investing Vs Trading
There are two sorts of asset allocation:
- Strategic which is your long-term targets, i.e. 60% stocks, 20% alternatives, 20% bonds.
- Tactical which is what you do in response to market conditions in real time.
When volatility is low for an extended period of time and markets become overvalued, that is generally a good time to become tactical. During these times you will move away from your strategic asset allocation to become more defensive.
When volatility spikes higher and asset prices fall, that is generally a good time to become tactical. During these times you will move back towards your strategic asset allocation and even become more offensive, or aggressive, in your asset allocation for a time.
When the stock market is "in the middle" and we are seeing slow steady growth without a mania, then we will do almost nothing and hug your strategic asset allocation, often for years.
Working With Me
It is probably important that you know I take my job personally. I have a chip on my shoulder about being one of the best. I spend a lot of time reading research and doing my own to make us money.
For that reason, I only take clients who read what I publish on this site. We need to have a common frame of reference so that I can keep focused on doing my job, which is making you money, versus repeating myself on phone calls. My phone calls are all scheduled as well to maintain efficiency.
I have learned that most prospective clients who contact me have thought for a long time that there is a flaw in the way they are told to invest by the financial industry and press. I seek to be validation for you, because I think you are right.
In my opinion, the broad investment community, think 4 out of 5 financial advisors, are not worth their fee. My goal is to be worth a lot more.
When managing money, I look to the great investors for guidance and direction, not the financial industry sales machine or the washed out media talking heads.
I am a fee-only Registered Investment Adviser. I do not charge commissions. I act as a fiduciary with your best interest as the mandate for providing services.
My offer to you is this: I will do my best to be your funnel for finding the right investments for your portfolio, so that you can protect and grow your financial freedom, live your life to the fullest and build a legacy.