How We Invest At Balanced Asset Management
1. The Balanced Asset Management Investment Process
We research 10,000 funds and select 100 we deem worthy of including in our Active Strategies.
2. Our top 100 possibilities
Our 100 selections represent 46 different asset classes. Each month we take a deep dive into 10 of these asset classes to ensure we have what we believe to be the best of the best in each asset class.
Funds in our top 100 are monitored daily
We keep at least one investment from each asset class in our group of 100 candidates. Asset classes are unique groups of investment types, such as Technology Stocks, Corporate Bonds or European Stocks. From larger, more important asset classes such as U.S. Large Cap Growth Stocks, we may have as many as five representatives. Once an investment is in our basket of 100, we monitor it on a daily, weekly and monthly basis for price fluctuations. Because we have at least one investment from each asset class in our basket of 100, we can spot trends early on in different types of investments. For instance, if Health Care Stocks start to do well, we don’t have to rely on reading about it or hearing about it, we have an investment in our basket that has already started to perform well.
Asset Classes are reviewed monthly
On a rotating basis, we review 10 asset classes monthly, which means every asset class is researched deeply at least twice per year. This keeps us current and ensures our basket of 100 investments represents each area of investing well. Because of this ongoing research we make 3-5 changes to our group of 100 each month. So the basket of 100 investments is ever changing and very fluid.
When we research an asset class we are evaluating many aspects of the investments within each class. Keep in mind, there may be 50 to several thousand investments to research in each asset class.
We start with the research basics
- What have the returns been over the past 1,3,5 and 10 years for each investment in the class.
- How aggressive or conservative is each fund. (We use 3 different methods to measure this.)
- How long has the current manager been in charge.
- How consistent has the stream of returns been.
At this point we start to see a small group of funds stand out and we go deeper into our research. We study their investment process and what mix of investments they currently own. Then we have a feel for what we consider to be the elite investments in this particular asset class.
We compare our new list of stand outs to the investments from the same asset class in our basket of 100. We decide to either keep the investment(s) currently in our basket of 100, or make changes.
Then we go on to the next asset class and perform the same analysis again until we have done so with all ten asset classes that month. By the end of the monthly meeting we have usually made the 3-5 changes to our list of investments. One month later, we start the entire process over with ten other asset classes.
If we have more than one fund in our basket of 100 investments in a specific asset class, we usually try to make each investment different from each other. For example, if we have three tech funds in our basket, it doesn’t make sense to have all three to be very similar to each other. So instead, one of the three might be very aggressive while the next might take more of a conservative stance when buying technology stocks. The third may buy smaller companies that are in the tech industry. We believe, by taking this extra step, we may uncover an investment that others may miss. It provides more balance to our approach.
The pick of the crop
Finally, when we have only one fund in our basket from a specific asset class and it starts to perform well, we invest in it. We take it from the basket of 100 potential options and use it in the “Active Strategy”. One of our rules in our process is then to back that fund up in our basket of 100 funds. We will revisit our research on that asset class and add another fund from that class to our basket. Our thought is if we just decided to buy a tech fund it would mean that tech is starting to perform well. If that is the only tech fund in our basket, we want to add another tech fund to the basket in case we want to add more tech into the “Active Strategy” in the future.
3. Next we select 10 funds to invest in that show positive growth momentum
This is the core of the Balanced Asset Management investment philosophy. Our research has shown that there is no such thing as one perfect investment that always does well. Investments tend to go through peaks and valleys.
Positive Momentum in Funds
We named our investment strategies “Active” because they’re always on the move, driven by financial market conditions. Most investments have cycles. Every day, we monitor our top 100 funds, representing 46 different asset classes, to observe which have positive momentum.
We do not predict, we simply follow the trend. Our goal is to allow those trends to determine which funds move in and out of the top ten and into your portfolio. We attempt to buy as a positive trend develops and sell after the trend turns negative as shown in this hypothetical illustration.
Risk is adjusted with our top ten fund selections. There’s a gas pedal and a brake pedal and we use both in the Active Strategies. We invest using the whole risk spectrum. When the financial markets are good, we take advantage. But when markets begin to show signs of trouble, we “slow down”.
4. At Balanced Asset Management we look for funds that:
- Have positive recent performance.
- Have a risk level in line with the direction we want to move the strategy.
- Don’t overweight the strategy too heavily in a single asset class.
- Have a solid manager with a proven track record.
- Have been producing a consistent pattern of results.
The impact of volatility
The goal of avoiding significant losses over time may have more of an impact on long term returns than capturing big gains. Limiting downside can potentially produce higher cumulative returns over the long term.
Snapshots of Active Strategy allocations over time
These past allocations illustrate our flexibility. The ability to change allocations continuously, helps us reach our goal of subduing volatility. This maintains a healthy balance in your investments even in a world that often changes rapidly under political and economic influences.
Investing in securities (including the strategies advertised herein) involves risk of loss. Further, depending on the different types of investments there may be varying degrees of risk. Clients and prospective clients should be prepared to bear investment loss including loss of original principal. The strategies advertised herein are not designed based on the individual needs of any one specific client or investor. In other words, it is not a customized strategy designed on the specific financial circumstances of the client. However, prior to opening an account using the advertised model, Cambridge will consult with you to determine if your financial objectives are appropriate for investing in the model. You are also provided the opportunity to place reasonable restrictions on the securities held in your account.