How We Make Sage Investment Decisions For You.
The most important take away about our Sage approach – Your goals and financial plan drive the investment strategies. Market conditions and outlooks are important, however, they do not drive the investment process.
Before we begin developing your investment strategy, we take a good, hard look at where you are today and where you want to go. We assess your investment goals, available resources, desired rate of return, time horizon, taxes, risk tolerance, and special circumstances. Developing an in-depth profile allows us to tailor a customized plan that fits your specific needs and situation.
Then, we draft a unique blueprint – Investment Policy Statement – that serves as a guideline for investment of your funds. Once that blueprint is in place, we provide personalized investment advice and management which places heavy emphasis on both prudent investing (long term investing vs short term trading) and asset allocation (diversification).
Asset allocation is the process of allocating investment funds into different asset classes with the intention of earning your expected return, but also smoothing out the “ups and downs” of the investment markets. Studies have shown that over long periods of time, asset allocation is responsible for over 90% of the variation in portfolio performance – so determining “how to slice the pie” is one of our top priorities.
We focus on what really matters – achieving your financial goals – and controlling investor behavior – stay on track with savings goals and hanging in there when the markets get tough. We are not market timers, trend groupies, or traders – we don’t know any “timer” who has consistently outperformed the markets over long periods of time. We can’t predict when or the direction of the next 20% market move; however, we are very confident the direction of the next 200% move. When you are planning three, five or even more decades of investing, it’s the long term that’s important.
And while most investors “get it” when it comes to long term investing, the periodic short term declines often give them grief. Hence, we focus on managing risk. We tend to use a combination of actively managed and index funds for equities, with less emphasis on individual stocks. In some markets, we invest in the market index because few active managers, if any, have consistently outperformed the market. Index funds also offer other advantages including low management and operating expenses, less tax consequence as portfolio turnover is low. However, there are some markets and strategies that we believe active management adds value – we employ experienced active managers in those select markets and strategies. We use a comprehensive evaluation process to identify and screen equity managers. We have found that these investment strategies instill discipline, eliminate the emotions of investing, and better enable our clients to achieve their financial goals.
Finally, our interest in your success doesn’t stop there. Once your strategy is established, we carefully monitor its progress, providing you with easy to read quarterly reports. We make periodic adjustments to both rebalance your portfolios and to reflect changes in your situation (after all, life does happen), thereby ensuring that our strategies stay on track to your needs.