The world of finance is a very ambiguous place. The more I try to learn the more I recognize how much there is to learn. Over the last 16 years of my career in financial services, I have gone through evaluations and inferences about capital markets which seem to continue to change as the world around us evolves.
An important lesson learned is that the only thing permanent in this world is change. This is applicable in any facet of life including the dynamic world of finance. Therefore, I made a decision to start an Advisory Company which would not pigeon hole itself to a specific type or style of portfolio management. Continuum Global Asset Management LLC was formed with one thought; to continue to change and evolve as the economic and capital dynamics of the world change. This is easier said than done, but then again, if we do not change we do not expose ourselves to new learning.
Another important lesson in this profession I learned through interactions with clients was that client psychology plays a very important role in how their portfolio consistently performs. If an analysis of the returns of a category of Mutual funds is undertaken, one will observe that there is significant variation in returns for short periods, but the returns of majority of the Mutual funds will tend to converge as the time under consideration starts to increase. In other words, investments products go through cycles and majority of clients would benefit if they just choose a discipline and stuck with it. This is nothing new you are hearing, as Jack Bogle, the founder of Vangaurd and many others have been preaching this concept for ever. But because markets are based on fear and greed, it becomes very difficult for investors to separate their emotions from logic when markets test and challenge them.
One of our priorities here at CGAM is to consistently communicate with clients and understand how they feel about the discipline, the methodology and the prevailing market conditions. This allows both parties to educate each other which significantly increases the probability of client’s adhering to the discipline and not be distracted by short term market fluctuations.
I believe that if we can amalgamate psychology with a good methodology, we truly increase the probability of success. That is not only applicable to a client’s portfolio but also in our lives.