We believe the coming decade will be a challenging one for investors. A demographic wave, in the form of millions of retiring Baby Boomers, will have a profound impact on our economy and the types of investments that will do well. Income-producing assets, particularly those that can keep pace with inflation, will become all the more dear.
Our investment approach starts with a set of macro scenarios. We then review valuations of the various asset classes to see how to best express our views. This methodology will frequently lead us to a portfolio allocation that is different from the traditional 60% stocks, 40% bonds portfolio many advisors implement. Our value bias tends to steer our portfolios towards more conservative investments.
Where appropriate, we allocate a portion of the portfolio to “alternative investments”. Some examples include oil & gas or real estate limited partnerships. We believe carefully chosen managers in these sectors can offer unique return and diversification opportunities. Some of our relationships with these funds go back nearly 20 years, so we are able to participate in investments that other investors would not have access to.
No Conflicts of Interest
Briaud has never worked for commissions, so the advice we give is entirely based on what we believe to be best for our clients. Many advisors and investment brokers are compensated by mutual fund or insurance companies, so it is difficult to know the motivations behind the investment advice given.
For more information about the fee-only, fiduciary model, please see our page on fee-only vs. fee-based.
403b and 401k Plans
Many advisors refuse to manage employer retirement plans, due to the limited investment choices and more complicated logistics. We have built our business around these types of plans, particularly the 403b plans available to university employees, so we have the capability to integrate these assets into our investment approach. In fact, retirement plans often have unique investment opportunities not otherwise available to retail investors, so we are glad to work with them.