Your Personal CFO
As your personal CFO, it’s Avondale’s responsibility to be the quarterback of all of your financial needs. Avondale takes a high service, high value, concierge approach to wealth management. We will coordinate as much of your personal finances as you require, including working with accountants, attorneys and other professionals. Clients hire wealth managers so that they don’t have to spend time thinking about their finances. We understand that and look after your wealth so that you are free to worry about other things.
More importantly, we will also work with you to gain a deep understanding of your personal financial goals and leverage our resources and expertise to help you achieve those aspirations. We are your teammate in your financial life and will look beyond standard solutions to help you get where you want to be.
We believe that an individual’s life savings is too important to trust to an algorithm and too dear to trust to any one individual. For these reasons our wealth management philosophy is to identify great investors to manage your wealth and diversify it among those managers.
Unlike other wealth managers, your portfolio will not be beholden to just our view of the best investment opportunities. It will reflect the consensus opinion of multiple great investors.
Warren Buffett is an example of one investor that we allocate a portion of client portfolios to (through Berkshire Hathaway). Warren Buffett is the Michael Jordan of investing yet most wealth managers ask you to let them play basketball for you instead of handing the ball to Buffett. We hand the ball to Buffett and look for other great investors to invest for us as well–ones that we believe are on par with Steph Curry, Lebron James and Shaquille O’neal. These investors help round out your investment team.
In assessing investment managers, we look for investment funds that meet seven key criteria. We believe that these criteria are indicative of investors who put clients first and lead to a better quality investment portfolio:
1) Flexible Mandate: The mutual fund manager should have an absolute return focus and a flexible mandate to invest in a variety of asset classes. This gives the manager the ability to only pursue investment opportunities that will build wealth over time rather than just beat an index. A focus on absolute return is more consistent with your financial goals.
2) High Manager Ownership: A fund manager should have a high percentage of his or her own net worth invested in the mutual fund. Investors should demand that the manager of a fund “eat” his or her own cooking. Having a significant amount of capital invested in the fund helps to ensure that the manager is properly aligned with investors and will not take risk with investors’ money that he or she wouldn’t feel comfortable assuming for himself or herself.
3) “Real Business” investment philosophy: Many portfolio managers view stocks as pieces of paper. Good ones know that these pieces of paper represent an ownership interest in underlying companies that have obligations to customers, employees and shareholders. Avondale believes that the only responsible way to invest is to analyze and understand companies.
4) Low Turnover, Long Time Horizon: Real sustainable growth doesn’t happen over night. It takes years and decades of commitment to excellence. Investors who aim for short term gains are missing the forest for the trees. Not only is a low turnover portfolio more tax efficient, we believe that it will also lead to better long run performance.
5) No shorting, no derivatives, no leverage: We believe that these are tools that are used by Wall Street not investors. Use of these tools demonstrate that the portfolio manager tends to be short term focused and does not take a “real business” approach. Furthermore it demonstrates an anti-partnership mentality. There’s no need to actively bet against someone achieving their goals. Our view is that if we don’t like something, we don’t buy it.
6) No Load, Reasonable Cost: There is no reason in today’s financial system that an investor should ever have to pay a “load” to invest in a mutual fund. Mutual fund companies that issue multiple share classes are saying that they place raising assets above managing the assets. This is a substantial red flag as to the values of the organization that is managing the money.
7) Relatively concentrated portfolio: An investment manager can truly keep track of about the same number of investments as the number of students that a teacher can keep track of in a classroom. A concentrated portfolio demonstrates that the manager is trying to do what he or she has been hired to do: find only great investments. In order to diversify your own portfolio, own multiple funds. This is better than having individual managers spread too thin.
Avondale’s standard wealth management fee is 1% of assets under management. We believe that this is an excellent value for the service that we provide. If you are interested in a lower cost solution, please see our investment management offering.