Financial and Investment Advisors to Families

In a financial world where clients have become mere account numbers, and the new emphasis rests on mass-marketing investment products and gathering “Assets Under Management,” we continue to deliver the attentive personal service of a knowledgeable and dedicated family advisor.

We believe that we are better investors because of our heritage as advisors to families and the long-term perspective it requires, and we are better family advisors because we possess the deep understanding and experience of real-life, active investing.

Articles

In Search of Permanence

January 14, 2021

As we close one year and excitingly unwrap the new one, it’s an interesting moment to look back and look ahead. In life and investing, there are at least two categories of events and experiences. The first one, the more desirable, is that one we would like to keep forever. It could be a perfect sunset walk or this incredible investment that continues to surprise us on the upside. The other one, the unwanted one, could be that dream trip that turned bad or this lemon of an investment that we can’t sell fast enough. In the first days of 2021, we might be all thinking about how we’d like the COVID reality to be behind us and see it turn into a fading memory as fast as possible. We also realize what we would like to keep forever, what we cherish, and what we value. It’s the latter that sends us on a path in search of permanence.
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A Personal Touch

December 17, 2020

In this increasingly transactional, impersonal, fast-paced world, as an investment practice, we aspire to maintain our most significant advantage: a personal touch. This year has been full of surprises. It took Megan and me on a journey. Since we left the city comforts in the early weeks of the pandemic, we have stayed in the woods most of the year and in a quaint fishing town most recently. We got closer to several small local businesses on our path, and we stayed in touch with others that served us well in the past. We realized that what sets them apart from all the others is the personal touch they offer day in and day out.
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Beyond The Headlines

The Three Disconnects

November 18, 2020

I often ask my partner and mentor, François Sicart, to share more about investing in the 1970s and the 1980s. We both like to find themes, parallels, lessons in the past that may help us understand today and the future. I can picture a younger client, or portfolio manager asking me in 2050 to tell him or her more about 2020. I will be a young 70-year-old at that point. I will refresh my memory and look for a theme or maybe even just one word. That word will likely be – the disconnect. There are at least three major disconnects occurring this year. First, the stock market has decoupled from the real economy. Second, a handful of mega-cap tech stocks took off and left the rest of the market behind. Third, those who were able to work from home have experienced a very different year than those whose jobs were lost because their work depends on the face to face interactions.
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The Other Unicorns

November 12, 2020

A unicorn might be the famous mythical creature with a spiraling horn projecting from its forehead, but in the investing vocabulary, a unicorn is a privately held startup priced at over $1 billion. The unicorn as a term with its Latin and Ancient Greek roots signifies something desirable but hard to find. CB Insights lists 495 unicorn companies in the world. There are 500 companies in the S&P 500, the US stock index that includes the 500 largest companies. If there are almost 500 unicorn companies, are they still that rare and hard to find? This revelation made me think of the other unicorns. Not the highly-priced new exciting companies that have yet to prove their business models, but the older, more established companies that trade at low valuations (less than ten times their annual earnings, for example). There aren’t many of them to be found.
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