"Since our founding we have built portfolios based upon our independent, risk-aligned, value-oriented investment philosophy...for the purpose of delivering client outcomes."
In short, we believe that all investing is done for the purpose of delivering a stream of cash flow to fund desired outcomes, either now or in the future. For this reason we focus on various cash flow metrics (P/CF, CFPS, etc.) when evaluating potential investments. Investments are then selected based on the likelihood that they are able to deliver consistent and rising value relative to the amount of risk associated with owning them. Once outcomes are quantified, client portfolios are created by matching the appropriate risk-adjusted strategies to target client outcomes.
WE ARE ORCHARD FARMERS
When we design an investment portfolio, we look at it from the perspective of building an orchard. A properly designed and tended orchard can yield bountiful crops of fruit, season after season, for generations. Unfortunately, most people miss the deeper and most powerful aspect of the orchard analogy; they are so focused on how much the entire orchard might buy or sell for that they never get around to applying a more fitting perspective to the issue. The proper question is not, what is the market valuation of the orchard? The really important question is, what is the utility of the trees in the orchard? The value of a portfolio is in the fruit it produces. It is not the price of the orchard, but rather the fruit that is being planted, watered and grown, year in and year out.
Our goal as an investment management firm is to help to increase the yield in the orchard, to increase the production of the existing trees, to add more trees, to diversify the location of the trees and the type of trees so we build a portfolio–an orchard– that, regardless of weather conditions, will consistently increase the crop that is coming out of that orchard.
In the marketplace the orchard is perpetually being auctioned off, minute by minute. As soon as someone buys it, it is immediately back up for auction. When we look at market prices or the balance at the bottom of a client’s statement, that is what it is referring to. It is not referring to the utility in the short-term. Over time, of course, the value of the portfolio / investment will be reflective of the utility. But in the short term–which can be one to three years–there will be times when the market price is not going to reflect the real utility. We cannot control that. Instead, we focus on factors over which we have some control and we can exercise a lot more control when we focus on the utility and the crop that is coming from the portfolio. That, in a nutshell, is our philosophy when it comes to designing investment portfolios. The orchard analogy is one we share with both the advisers and the clients whom we serve. It helps to orient them from the start to the perspective that guides everything we do.