Our investment process consists of both a “top down” approach that results in our asset mix decision as well as a “bottom up” approach that is used to select the individual securities. The top down approach results from a review of major economies, interest rates, inflation, commodity prices and many other economic variables. Our asset mix team meets monthly to determine the best asset classes for our clients to own given current and anticipated market and economic conditions. If there is a market in which we do not think we will do well, we underweight it or avoid it completely. As in everything we do we filter all our decisions through the clients objectives to ensure the portfolio fits each clients’ specific needs.
As a growth manager the bottom up approach is also very important and is used to select the individual securities that make up our client's portfolios. “Bottom up” means the equity team does a great deal of fundamental research on each company we deem to be a worthy investment. We look for companies that will increase their revenue, earnings and cash flow over time, as this will translate into higher stock price returns. When analyzing any company we look at the following attributes, which consist of growth prospects, profitability, financial strength, management track record, industry growth, competitive positioning and valuations. We examine a great number of companies in order to make up a diversified portfolio that will meet our clients return and risk objectives.
For the equity portion of a portfolio we buy individual shares of companies in Canada and the United States. For international stocks we buy American Depository Receipts (ADRs), which are international companies listed on US markets.
On the fixed income side, we invest only in top quality Canadian bonds, which include Federal government, provincial or corporate bonds. We see owning fixed income securities as a way to generate cash flow and reduce volatility that may arise in the portfolio from the equity markets.