Stocks

 

We seek opportunities to build equity stakes in higher-quality companies (both in the U.S. and abroad) that are still in the growth stage of their operational lifecycle.  These companies may be dynamic small- or mid-cap names or well-established, larger firms with managers who have found innovative ways to stay on top.  We prefer to buy stocks when they are out of favor with the investment community—and are therefore trading at what we feel are more reasonable prices. This requires discipline, patience, and courage.

 

In select cases, we may also pursue modest stakes in companies with the potential to benefit from a turnaround in operational effectiveness, management, ownership structure, and/or market recognition. We generally aim to acquire shares in such companies at a discount to our estimate of their fair value. Moreover, we may use low-cost index funds or exchange-traded funds to gain exposure to sectors or countries where we feel long-term valuations appear attractive.

 

Our investment approach typically produces an annual turnover rate of roughly 20% or lower, which translates to a holding period of five years or longer on average. Low turnover is efficient not only from the standpoint of reducing taxes; it also lowers transaction costs.

 

Investors should consider index and exchange-traded funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses carefully before investing. The prospectus, which contains this and other important information, is available from your financial advisor and should be read carefully before investing.

 

Bonds

 

Our approach to bond selection hinges on your tax situation and income needs.  We tend to buy short-to-intermediate-term bonds with an eye to holding them to maturity.  Generally, our preference is for the highest quality investment-grade bonds, including high-grade corporate credit, municipal bonds (both tax-exempt and taxable, as appropriate), U.S. agency issues, and traditional or zero-coupon U.S. Treasury issues.  At times, we also make use of Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (“TIPS”) or other inflation-indexed bond instruments, which help to mitigate inflation’s impact on a bond portfolio’s principal value.

 

When we feel potential interest rate trends warrant it, we are willing to invest in intermediate- to longer-duration bond holdings. We may also employ select foreign sovereign debt instruments to capture attractive inflation-adjusted yields and guard against weakness in the U.S. dollar. Moreover, we may invest in low-cost bond index vehicles or actively managed bond mutual funds to gain diversification and balance where appropriate.

 

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values and yields will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

 

Alternative Assets

 

We search for opportunities to invest in asset classes that exhibit low or negative correlations to traditional stocks or bonds, and thus have the potential to enhance your portfolio’s risk-return profile. Such investments may include timber, commodity-related vehicles, real estate, or other alternative assets. We look for investments with reasonable costs and compelling long-term dynamics, and we place an emphasis on publicly marketable securities.

 

Alternative investment products involve a high degree of risk, often engage in leveraging and other speculative investment practices that may increase the risk of investment loss, and can be highly illiquid.