Our Investment Philosophy, Beliefs and Strategies

Our Investment Philosophy is to preserve and grow client wealth by managing risks and aiming to keep returns comfortably ahead of inflation. 

Our team has significant investing experience. Based on that cumulative knowledge and experience, our Investment Beliefs are:

  • There are many ways to strive to create investment gains: value, growth, momentum, commodity or options trading... even day-trading. Our conservative values lead us to the conclusion that “Value Investing” works well for us and our clients.  An awareness and recognition of investment valuations relative to historic norms and expected future growth rates are primary drivers our investment behavior. We are usually more aggressive buyers when valuations are near the lower-end of their 5-10 year historic valuation range and we become increasingly more risk-averse (and more likely sellers) as valuations rise.  While this strategy does not completely eliminate systemic stock market risk, we believe this discipline acts as a meaningful shock-absorber when stock markets turn lower – helping to better insulate our clients’ investment values during market downturns.

  • One of the goals of our equity research team is to discover situations where the risk/reward balance has been tilted strongly in our favor.  Buying low often involves buying into a situation where something has temporarily gone wrong with the company, the industry or the market.  This creates a longer-term mispricing relative to our perception of the long-term intrinsic value of the target company.  Once that problem has been corrected over the next 1-2 years, we often find ourselves in a position where we were able to buy “low” and ride the stock back into favor to a higher level, while limiting potential downside risk.  While Wall Street may have a quarter-to-quarter view, our investment horizon is 3-5 years.

  • It is impossible to predict stock prices in the short-term (12-18 months).  Over the longer-term (3-5 years), stock prices correlate well with earnings growth.

 

  • “Buy low and sell high”. The price you pay for an investment has a strong correlation to how it ultimately performs.

 

  • We are not index huggers. We believe in diversification to the extent that there are investment opportunities with favorable potential future expectations.  We do not believe that the premise of owning all asset classes espoused by Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) will reduce risk as well as being mindful of valuations and avoiding bad risks like buying investments that are valued at or near historically high valuation levels.

  • Bear markets cannot be avoided and market timing does not work. We set long-term asset allocation targets that are derived through in-depth discussions with our clients and then manage around those targets, depending on market conditions.

 

Our clients largely fall into one of the following three strategies.  However, in cases where our clients’ needs fall outside of these three generalizations, we will customize your portfolio to what you need.

Private Harbour Core Equity Strategy 

The Private Harbour Core Equity investment strategy is for clients who want a portfolio entirely in common stocks but with a conservative bias.

 

We invest in companies that we believe will deliver steady, consistent long-term growth in revenues and earnings – either now or at some point in the future.  We strive to build portfolios that attempt to moderate the risk of permanent principal loss. We typically screen for investment candidates in one of two ways: 1) well-established companies with a long-term track record of earnings growth, high return on capital and increasing dividends or 2) good companies whose stock prices have declined so much that we believe the company’s stock represents an excellent potential value from a turnaround standpoint.

 

Private Harbour uses fundamental and technical analysis to identify the companies and the target entry and exit prices we believe in striving to provide a healthy margin of safety. Experience has taught us that this value-bias helps limit portfolio downside during the more challenging conditions when the stock market unexpectedly declines.

 

If you seek an all-stock investment-approach while striving to soften the market’s volatility, please let us know that you feel our Core Equity strategy is appropriate for you.

Private Harbour Balanced Strategy 

The Private Harbour Balanced investment strategy blends the Core Equity approach with client-specific allocations of fixed income investments.  We design custom portfolios in order to match portfolio risk with our client’s risk tolerance.  Both individual and institutional clients can benefit from our approach to risk management versus an all-equity portfolio.

 

Depending on your circumstances, our fixed income allocation can incorporate default-risk-free taxable treasury bonds or certificates of deposit, or the relatively more risky corporate bonds, tax-free municipal bonds and preferred stocks. Additionally, should there be a specific time-constraint on the withdrawal of your funds, we can also blend that with our sense of the best available values given the currently available rates on the yield curve and interest rate spreads.

 

If you are interested in further reducing the volatility of your portfolio relative to our all-equity Core Equity approach, please let us know that you feel our Balanced Strategy might be for you.

Private Harbour Income Generation Strategy 

You might need more current income than can be reasonably expected from a balanced investment approach. In these situations, we strive to generate significant current cash flow while giving considering the many risks inherent in such a strategy.  Maximum cash flow must be balanced with a number of risks: default, interest rate duration and inflation.  This strategy might be used to generate sufficient income on which to live or to enhance the long-term return on a corporate cash account.

 

If you would like to maximize your current cash flow, please let us know that you feel our Income Generation Strategy might be for you.