Our long-term investment approach involves constructing and managing individual portfolios for our clients, which allows their wealth to grow long-term after taxes, fees and inflation.
Our goal is to ensure that wealth becomes positive influence in our clients' lives and in the lives of their families. By addressing concerns and asking the questions they may not have considered, we partner with our clients to allow them to both "sleep well" and "eat well".
Often times, the most important determinant to success is how assets are "structured" or owned, not how they have performed. Consequently, we utilize multiple account types for the same client, including the following:
- Individual Agency Accounts
- Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts
- Retirement & Pension Accounts
- Custodial Accounts and Educational Trusts
- Foundations & Charitable Trusts
- Endowments for Small Non-profits
Our approach emphasizes the use of individual securities to construct portfolios augmented by mutual and exchange traded funds to achieve the desired level of diversification. We seek to balance growth of assets with the preservation of capital, being mindful of the role current income plays in any investment plan.
Typical asset classes include the following:
- Domestic Equities
- International Equities
- Municipal Bonds
- Corporate Bonds
- Treasury and Agency Bonds
- Inflation Protected Bonds
- Venture Capital
- Direct Private Investments
- Hedge Funds
After the appropriate accounts are opened, portfolio construction begins with the development of an Investment Policy Statement (IPS) for each client/family. The IPS is created through collaboration between our clients and the portfolio manager with primary account responsibility. The IPS balances a variety of factors such as income needs, risk tolerance, tax and legal issues and future cash flows, to ultimately determine an appropriate asset allocation. The result is a "road map" that guides both the portfolio manager and client. The IPS also allows for the disciplined management of client portfolios, incorporating changes in client circumstance/goals and the dynamics of the investment environment. The portfolio construction process is sensitive to the tax ramifications of any changes that are made in specific accounts, further highlighting the importance of owning individual securities where the tax consequences of any transaction can be controlled.
While each account is unique, we utilize four Model Portfolios which help guide and lend discipline to the portfolio construction process.
- Aggressive Growth
- Growth & Income
With most clients having multiple accounts, we look at a client's consolidated portfolio when rebalancing against a model, while placing individual securities in the accounts where they are likely to generate the best after-tax return or where they lighten the administrative burden of tax reporting.
Our clients take comfort in the fact that the portfolio managers who manage their portfolios are also those who conduct the underlying securities research. Our approach to investment research is collaborative, and draws upon our portfolio managers' unique backgrounds and experience, including specific industry knowledge or expertise related to a certain asset class. Every portfolio manager is assigned specific research responsibilities, and ideas are shared and decisions made at weekly Investment Committee meetings attended by all portfolio managers. The result of this vetting process is to identify securities that can be held by most if not all accounts, so as to have all clients benefit from this collective knowledge and expertise.
In addition to our own research, we receive research reports from numerous Wall Street brokerage firms with whom we have long-standing relationships. We also benefit from our downtown Boston location, which affords us the opportunity to meet with company management and industry analysts.
Equity Selection Process:
Our equity selection process centers on identifying companies with the following characteristics:
- Superior earnings and dividend growth
- Dominant market share
- Sustainable competitive advantage
- Conservative financial structure
- Management strength and ownership with a consistent track record of success
- Attractive valuation relative to earnings potential
Fixed Income Selection Process:
For fixed income securities, we look for:
- Credit Quality with a focus on safety of principal
- Sustainable, recurring cash flow
- Balance sheet strength
Venture Capital and Direct Private Investments:
The founding family began investing in venture capital in its early years, forming a number of fruitful relationships with some of the top firms in this sector. Not all of our clients are willing or able to take on the illiquidity and risk associated with this asset class, but for those where it is an appropriate investment, we target a prudent allocation to this higher-growth asset class. While regulatory and risk tolerance constraints limit the number of clients who can directly participate, all of our clients benefit from our view into nascent technologies and products as it informs our analysis of current core holdings and generates new investment ideas.