As children we all heard of the princess who kissed the frog that turned into a handsome prince.
I often claim one of White Oaks’ distinct advantages is that we have kissed thousands of frogs to find just a few great fits for portfolios that will help clients meet and maintain the financial goals of their dreams.
While many advisors and advisory firms prefer to stop their search with simple off-the-shelf solutions, we know that adding more asset classes and solutions to a portfolio will increase its effectiveness considerably.
Previously we explored the Three Legged Stool and the importance in reducing volatility for those who use the money in their portfolios to meet ongoing needs. Most firms stop at the “Core Leg”, preferring to use obvious off-the-shelf options. That approach can only take one so far, as pointed out in Pick Your Poison. ETFs and index can only take an investor part of the way.
Principles for selection
In 7 Principles for Selection, I identified several precepts to start consideration of non-traditional investments:
- Does this alternative investment operate in a specific niche that is inefficient?
- Does the strategy have broad-based diversification or is it in a single or limited number of choices?
- Do the principles of the alternative strategy exhibit sound business practices and solid personal character?
- Has the concept been tested over time?
- Who are the strategy’s service providers?
- Does the strategy add value to the portfolio?
- Are the fees for the strategy reasonable?
Answering all of these is part of the pre-frog kissing part of the process. After all, you don’t want to kiss every frog do you? I don’t!
White Oaks subscribes to databases and conducts internal research, but we also attend conferences for even more opportunity to screen for portfolio solutions. I recently attended the Context Summits conference in Miami. Thousands were in attendance- family offices, “allocators”, and investment firms were all there, pitching ideas.
The conference process is much like speed-dating- 30 minutes meetings where a presentation is made and a few questions are asked. No decisions to “kiss the frog” are made as a result of a 30 minute meeting, but maybe a “next date” for more interaction could be in order.
All in all at Context Summits, 17 meeting were had, with 2-3 potential next dates.
Maybe one of the frogs will be kissed? We’ll see!