Market insights and analysis

How dynamic, risk-managed investment solutions are performing in the current market environment

3rd Quarter | 2021

Market insights and analysis

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Updates on how dynamic, risk-managed investment solutions are performing in the current market environment.

Why dynamic risk management is right for investor portfolios

Since I began investing in the late 1960s, I have always been in the active investing camp. When I started Flexible Plan Investments, Ltd., in 1981, the only investment services we offered were active management (and that is still true today). I thought an investment manager should be “flexible” rather than locked into a rigid buy-and-hold approach.

Is your portfolio ready for takeoff?

Before the pandemic, we used to invite financial advisers to visit our home office. These visits let us get to know advisers better and allowed advisers to meet the people who make good things happen behind the scenes when they engage us as a third-party money manager for their investor clients.

Kudos to financial advisers—and their clients

I wrote an article before Thanksgiving that, in part, praised the efforts of frontline medical workers, first responders, teachers, and others for their efforts during the 2020 pandemic. We all remain thankful for their outstanding efforts this year. Additionally, our thoughts go out to all who have had medical, employment, or financial issues during this crisis, especially as we come up to the holiday season.

And yet the virus caught me

I guess it is becoming increasingly common to have someone say, “I caught the virus.” Well, I tested positive on November 28. But I don’t feel like I caught the virus. I feel like it caught me. After all, I didn’t run after the virus—I tried to evade it.

The invitation to our holiday party a few years read “Dress: Cocktail.” One of our guests, John Zilli, wondered, “What exactly does that mean?” He Googled it.

It was over 30 years ago. I sat in a pew in a little church on the village green of Franklin, Michigan. It was the usual Sunday service, but I was stirred by the sermon from a minister who was still relatively new to me.

Since I began investing in the late 1960s, I have always been in the active investing camp. When I started Flexible Plan Investments, Ltd., in 1981, the only investment services we offered were active management (and that is still true today). I thought an investment manager should be “flexible” rather than locked into a rigid buy-and-hold approach.

Along with jigsaw puzzle purchases, the number of new people engaging in gardening has increased this year, as we spend more time at home due to the pandemic. As Rutgers University professor, Joel Flagler explains it, “There are certain, very stabilizing forces in gardening that can ground us when we are feeling shaky, uncertain, terrified really. It’s these predictable outcomes, predictable rhythms of the garden that are very comforting right now.”

This column has explored the topic of risk management in some detail over the years, addressing several questions: • Are the retail investor and financial adviser underserved by the buy-and-hold philosophy? • What is the potential role of dynamic risk-managed strategies in investors’ portfolios? • How might modern, risk-managed portfolios be best constructed on a conceptual level?

For more than four decades, I have been a professional in the investment business. Some may be surprised to find out, however, that finance wasn’t my first chosen career path.

For most of us, “stress” is considered a bad word (and maybe an ever-present word these days). When we stress about work or relationships, we usually feel miserable.

Several decades ago (far too many) I was a new MBA graduate and had entered the management trainee program at what is now one of the world’s largest fully integrated communications firms.

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Last fall I wrote a couple of articles about how the financial industry and press may have been premature in reporting on the death of so many industry strategy favorites (you can read them here and here). The 60/40 balanced portfolio, value investing, hedge fund, and momentum strategies were all discussed.