FEG’s Investment Philosophy serves as the basis for the investment solutions we provide our clients and is predicated upon the following four philosophical tenets:
- Investment decisions should be made with a long-term perspective
- Portfolios should be constructed to achieve diversification by global risk factors
- Valuation considerations should drive investment decisions
- Skillful active management has the potential to add value
Forged from decades of experience, we approach investing with patience and discipline, focused on long-term goals, understanding that short term price fluctuations do not always reflect true values. We rely on fundamental truths of investing that are exhibited over long periods of time. We do not simply define risk as short-term market volatility, rather we accept and view volatility as an opportunity to confirm our long-term view and capitalize on mispricings.
Diversification by Risk
Investments can be categorized in a wide variety of ways, but the primary means of creating effective portfolio diversification is the understanding and thoughtful allocation to differing risks. The table below illustrates the four categories among which investors should diversify. Additionally, diversification within each category should be sought, and portfolios should be diversified globally.
FEG pursues a valuation-oriented approach to investing. In short, price matters. Value investing can lower a portfolio’s risk by building in a margin of safety, as assets are purchased below their true value. In some cases, value investing requires a contrarian position. We recognize that investing against prevailing trends is not always comfortable, but we believe achieving long-term investment objectives requires a willingness to do so.
Opportunities exist for managers with unique strategies and competencies to add value to a portfolio, beyond that of a passive representation of the market. Thus the search for alpha leads primarily to inefficient markets and unconstrained mandates. Resisting the temptation to constrain managers may provide opportunities for investors who rely upon a skillful manager’s knowledge and agility. Further, we believe that managers who are properly incentivized by aligning their interests with that of their clients will outperform. While past performance is worthy of review, managers must exhibit strengths in critical qualitative measures as outlined in our investment manager research philosophy, which includes: conviction, consistency, pragmatism, investment culture, risk management, and active return.