Hoping that you all had a wonderful Family Day. My family provides me with my daily dose of inspiration: each day they plow so much energy into their lives, it truly does leave me in awe! It is all that I can do, just to keep up.
My life's work, to help other families reach their goals, especially their financial ones, is what drives my day to day existence and it is what I pour my energy into: trying to make their experience working with us as rewarding and fulfilling as possible.
This weekend, we (at High Rock) spent some of our time ruminating over how our commitment to our clients culminates in exactly how and why we interact with them.
First and foremost is our duty to, at all times, act for the benefit of our clients: we must always put their interests ahead of our own (which means that we can not have any conflicts of interest).
Of course we do need to be paid for our work (we have expenses to cover and tables to put food on), but it should be completely transparent to our clients as to what they are getting for the fees that they pay.
Our investment strategy for each client and client family needs to be specific to their particular circumstances: their objectives, their tolerance for risk, the time horizon required to achieve their goals, their need for liquidity and cash flow, any financial constraints or other relevant information that might affect their investment policy.
We call this preparation a Wealth Forecast (and I have written frequently on the need for a plan and the fact that without a plan, it is not possible to properly create an investment strategy).
This is what drives our High Rock mission statement: that "managing a family's wealth is about three things and we strive to do all three extremely well".
Planning is the beginning.
Investment management is the essence of what we do: based on deep fundamental research (both micro and macro) and keeping our "ear to the track". We act with skill, competence and diligence to have a reasonable and adequate basis for all of our investment decisions.
This is not financial or investment advice. It is portfolio management, which at all times is based on getting the best possible risk-adjusted returns (another topic which I have come back to on numerous occasions in this blog) for our clients within the framework of their Wealth Forecast.
The only way we can create credibility for our actions is by investing in the exact same assets as our clients. If we don't buy them for ourselves, how could we justify buying them for our clients if we truly put their interests ahead of our own.
Just to ensure that we do what we say, we have an Independent Review Committee that reports directly to out clients each quarter to provide this comfort.
To deal fairly and equitably with every one of our clients, all transactions occur simultaneously for everyone and clients receive their "fills" before we do.
The third and equally important facet of our responsibility to our our clients is communication:
To make it relevant, a Wealth forecast needs to be monitored, reviewed and updated. At a minimum this should happen twice per year. At the same time, a client's investment strategy has to be reviewed and adjusted accordingly.
Quarterly portfolio summaries and client notes are part of the communication process as are frequent blogs and our 24 /7 availability.
There you have it, a lot of what makes us unique (different and better), inspires trust and drives our effort to be the best that we can be for our clients.
Our conduct is how we roll. That is our discipline.
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Scott Tomenson,CIM Managing Partner, Chief Investment Strategist