These people have taken to heart the message Wall Street has conveyed for decades: giving investment advice comes down to making a forecast — they want an advisor to look into a crystal ball and predict the future.
I have found that our clients are not well served by this type of advice. I owe it to them to consider an approach that makes no predictions, but that uses principles grounded in academic finance. An approach that avoids the risk of speculation and is based on solid theory and decades of empirical research.
I embrace 4 core beliefs:
1- Capital markets work and security prices reflect all publicly available information. Any investor has the chance to capture the same capital market returns.
2- Broad diversification across a range of asset classes that are most appropriate for a person’s individual goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk, is crucial. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
3- The best way to add value over benchmark returns is by structuring portfolios around dimensions of expected returns. A dimension is a factor that explains persistent & pervasive differences in returns through time.
4- Our philosophy strives to provide a better investment experience by focusing on things we can control, like reducing costs and taxes, and wrong guessing.
A financial advisor’s role is not just to deliver investment performance, but to build relationships based on trust. The best way to build trust is by helping clients make smart decisions about their money. Speculating about the future is not a smart decision. Advisors cannot promise accurate predictions of securities prices or manager performance and trying to build a relationship based on promises you cannot keep seems foolish.
A strong belief in markets frees us to think and act differently about investing. By evolving with advances in financial science, we strive to deliver long-term results for investors.