I managed portfolios for clients from 1993 to 2015. This information site is maintained to provide guidance for people who are evaluating their investment management needs.
It is very important to make sure the investment manager you choose is unbiased, and has interests that are aligned with yours. He or she should have a record of providing long-term tax efficient growth of capital. The approach used should minimize risk by investing in well-managed, financially sound companies. Taking big risks may be exciting, and may pay off from time to time, but it is not a path to continued success.
I learned my most important and lasting investment lessons from Warren Buffett. The two that stand far above all others are to always evaluate the downside risk first; and to stay within one's circle of competence.
Mr. Bufett has a sign on his wall that says "Two rules of investing: Rule #1 Don't lose money. Rule #2 Don't forget Rule #1." Protecting against losses is first and foremost. And investing in something you don't understand is like playing roulette.
Taking on excessive debt has similar pitfalls. Leverage works most of the time, but the one time it doesn't, its over.
I began investing in 1973, and worked in financial professions for nearly 20 years before becoming an investment advisor. I used much of that time evaluating and studying the best resources available. Long-term value investors with superb track records were found to be the most valuable source of information. Their results were superior to hedge fund managers, momentum chasers, chartists, market timers and the like. There are no short cuts to the hard work involved in consistently finding good investments.
Markets are emotional and focus on the short term, overreacting to positive and negative news. These reactions present opportunities. If in-depth fundamental research on individual companies has been done, it will be relaively easy to find attractive investment candidates when stocks go "on sale", and will provide a much greater margin of safety than buying the broad market.
Having said that, most investors who do not have top level investment advice or the time, background and inclination to do in-depth research have historically done fine by investing in an S&P 500 index fund that charges low fees. Their performance has matched that of the overall broad market which has done quite well over time and which most money managers, unfortunately, do not match. Past performance is no guarantee of future results, though. And that approach does not allow the investor to invest only in companies that he/she personally values.
High standards of business excellence and ethical behavior were also important considerations in the investment selection process I used.
More details are provided in the following pages. The opinions and views expressed are not to be construed as recommendations to buy or sell securities or to engage in any specific method of investing. Rather, this site is a discussion of my personal views and experience. Investors should explore multiple sources of information and come to their own conclusions about the approaches they are most comfortable with.