Investment success is about investor behavior. Many people tend to get caught up in the theme or worry du jour. It’s only human nature. The tech craze of 1999 - 2002 was a great example: the more something went up in price, the more people wanted to buy it. Investment professionals call this ‘driving by the rear-view mirror’.
I provide a solution to this problem. My job is to manage the fear and greed that so often drives markets. I say I’m an emotional counterweight for the client.
Having good investments is one part of successful investing, but the far more important part is how you fly the thing over time, say 10 or 20 years. That is why you need to have someone up on the flight deck who not only has the experience to know the right thing to do, but also has the courage and honesty to talk to you about it, when you may not want to hear what he has to say.
Giving people good advice, in a way they can use it, is a very difficult, but very rewarding thing to do. I love it.
Very good. I can actually demonstrate performance, as I have a number of accounts where performance has been calculated over more than 10 years. Very few advisors can point to concrete evidence of client success.
I am an Advisor, which means that I give the client both sides of an issue, so they can weigh the tradeoffs. Related to this is that I have the courage to tell the client something that he may not want to hear. It’s the difference between true advice and just selling something.
One thing that is virtually unique is that I tend to change a portfolio very little over long periods of time. I have clients that have been with investment managers for 10 or 12 years – they have returns of 3 and 5 - fold. It's professional management. Many advisors talk long term but few actually walk long term.
Another key to my clients’ (and my) success is I actually do downside risk testing with the client – I call it The Lifeboat Test – we simulate the portfolio’s potential to decline in a bad market. The benefit is that the client knows what to expect when we hit the inevitable storm.
One industry person said that I actually do what good advisors are supposed to do.
Successful investing requires a blend of economics, psychology, and experience to make the judgments that are required. Investing is complicated, and it is foolish to try and simplify it. The markets tend to be unkind to those who try and invest by rules or rigid criteria.
My average account is over $1 million so I try and limit new accounts to that range.