Life changes over time and, yes, so do financial markets. Towards the end of the 18-year bull run that began in 1982, many investors anticipated the next economic downturn. We reassured ourselves that we had our clients covered. After all, we had applied the latest and best thinking relative to diversifying client portfolios through stocks, bonds and REITs.
In March 2000, financial markets began to change. The tech bubble burst kicking-off a 52% decline in the S&P 500. This began a painful three-year recession during which the value of stocks, as well as real estate, were severely damaged.
So were our client’s well-diversified portfolios. We saw first-hand, the financial and emotional devastation, the changing and halting of plans and dreams, and, finally, ultimate acceptance–as though this sort of investor experience was just an unavoidable part of growing a portfolio. After all, this sort of thinking was and still is, taught by business schools and financial advisors everywhere, including, at the time, ourselves.
The effects of the 2000-2002 tech recession were too significant to ignore. We spent months researching alternative models and asking questions. Over time, we started to think differently about the best way to allocate portfolios to create true diversification for all market conditions. We slowly brought protective alternative investments into our practice starting late 2001.
The recovery began in 2003 but conditions were volatile for the next several years. Our re-allocated portfolios began performing better, but it was the alternative portion that performed the most consistently. We were encouraged. By 2005 we had learned enough to offer 10 private alternative investments. These investments all utilized a mechanism called “shorting,” a primary “hedging” tool.
Our alternative approach was put to the test when values on subprime mortgage-backed securities fell dramatically initiating the recession of 2007. A two-year recession followed causing a 57% loss in the S&P 500, a 37% loss in 2008 alone. Our alternative managers fared significantly better. Eight of our ten managers produced positive returns for 2008, with the remaining two ending the year slightly negative. All managers experienced significantly less downside volatility compared to the unprotected S&P 500.*
To better our client’s lives, both financially and, in turn, personally, by thinking and investing differently.
Seasoned, accredited investors looking to protect and grow their wealth throughout all market cycles.
Thinking differently has led us to research and provide out-of-the-box financial tools providing clients with maximum control and freedom to shape their lives. In addition to more traditional investments, our solutions include:
Our minimum requirement is $1 million, as this amount enables us to create a diverse, defensive, and productive portfolio by diversifying through 8-10 separate managers. Most managers require a minimum investment of $100,000. Dollars are investable through both retirement and non-retirement accounts. We will be pleased to discuss exceptions and alternative solutions on a case by case basis.
Well researched and selected AI’s have the potential for performance in both bull and bear markets. With this mix, a portfolio can limit losses, and this can allow growth through compounding when markets are positive.
We have been a registered fee-only advisory firm from our inception in 1997. Fees charged by fee-only firms grow only as their client accounts grow. They must also act as fiduciaries, meaning they must always prioritize their client’s best interests over their own. We chose this route because this is the only way we, as individuals, would choose to be served. Secondarily, the fiduciary standard is a legal requirement for individuals with CFPs, and for firms registered with either their respective state or the SEC, as we are.