Investment Management

Today's investor is faced with a choice between three competing investment philosophy's; Conventional Management, Indexing and Evidence Based Investing. Conventional Management is based on the belief that markets are inefficient, enabling investors to outperform through superior stock or bond selection and/or market timing. Unfortunately, when we examine the record of Conventional Managers we find little evidence to support these claims. On the contrary, Conventional Managers as a whole consistently underperform markets by an amount equal to their inherently high costs and tax inefficiencies.

Indexing offers an alternative to Conventional Management.  Rather than trying to outperfom stock and bond markets, Indexing, by replicating popular stock and bond indexes, delivers low cost and broad diversification. Despite predictions to the contrary, more often than not settling for an index fund has led to above-average returns.  However, we believe that Indexing can be improved upon.

Gasber Financial Advisors, Inc. endorses a prudent alternative to Conventional Management and Indexing - Evidenced Based Investing. Based on rigorous academic research and over eight decades of empirical data, Evidenced Based Investing is an evolution of the traditional Passive/Indexing approach and is anchored on four important principles.

Markets Work. Securities Markets reflect the vast, complex network of information, expectations and human behavior. These forces drive prices to fair value. In other words, markets are efficient. This simple yet powerful view of market equilibrium has profound investment implications.

Diversification. Diversification is the most essential tool available to investors. It enables them to capture broad market forces while reducing the excess, uncompensated risk arising in individual stocks and bonds. By diversifying not only in the number of securities we hold (thousands) but in the range of markets we incorporate, we focus on the factors that drive investment returns and reduce excess and undesirable risk.

Risk Means Opportunity. Investors are rewarded in proportion to the risk they take but not all risks carry a reliable reward. By focusing on compensated risk factors (risk that carry the expectation of a reward) we build portfolios that create opportunities to build wealth over time.

Structure. Structure, or asset mix, determines most of the performance in a diversified portfolio. Capital markets are composed of many classes of securities, including stocks and bonds, both domestic and international. A group of securities with shared economic traits is commonly referred to as an asset class. We select asset classes to play different roles in a portfolio, always seeking to minimize risk while maximizing expected return.

At Gasber Financial Advisors, Inc. we adhere to a philosophy of risk minimization through broad diversification. This, in combination with our unique approach to asset class investing and close attention to costs and taxes has helped our clients avoid costly mistakes while providing them with the peace of mind that their financial future is secure. Our Investment Management service can be divided into five steps.

Step 1: Risk Assessment

Identifying a client's tolerance for risk is the first and most important step in a successful investment program. In order to insure an accurate assessment, we employ the FinaMetrica Risk Profiling System. Developed and tested in Australia over 4 years with the assistance of the University of New South Wales' Applied Psychology Unit, the FinaMetrica system has gained international recognition as a world's best practice since its Australian launch in 1998. Because risk tolerance can change over time, we retest clients on a three year cycle.

Step 2: Portfolio Design

Based on the 3 Factor Model of equity returns developed by Eugene F. Fama, Ph.D. at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (widely recognized as the "father of modern finance") and Kenneth R. French, Ph.D. at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth an equity portfolio is developed featuring broad global diversification with an emphasis on increased exposure to stocks of small and value companies. Investments in short term high quality fixed income and cash instruments are utilized to tailor the portfolio's volatility to the clients risk tolerance.

Step 3: Investment Policy Statement

A written investment policy statement is created and signed which describes the portfolio investment strategy, portfolio allocation, expected return and anticipated risk level, attitude towards taxation and the responsibilities of the investment advisor and client.

Step 4: Implementation & Management

With the investors tax status in mind Investments are selected and portfolios are invested. Once invested, the allocation will immediately begin to change. Left alone, the portfolio may quickly become more risky or potentially less profitable than originally intended. In order to limit this natural drift, GFA employs a contingent bi-weekly rebalancing discipline. Every two weeks, all portfolios are reviewed, comparing actual investment allocations with targeted allocations. Should an investment appreciate sufficiently to warrant the cost of trading, shares are sold to bring the actual allocation back in line with the target. This process frees up cash to purchase investments that have fallen below target allocation. Although no attempt is made to forecast market direction, this process results over time in a "buy low and sell high" strategy.

Step 5: Reporting

All client investments are held by a highly respected, financially sound 3rd party custodian that provides monthly position and transaction statements. Through our client portal on the GFA website we provide clients 24/7 access to a comprehensive suite of performance reports with asset values that are updated daily. In addition, GFA provides a comprehensive quarterly report package that includes recent and historical portfolio performance, market overview and commentary and details of fee billing. An annual report of realized gain and loss and potentially tax deductible management fees is also provided.