The primary objective of the fixed income portfolio is preservation of capital. The secondary objective is income.
Each separately managed fixed income portfolio employs a mix of income producing securities to achieve the client’s objectives. Portfolios are generally constructed with municipal bonds, corporate bonds, agency bonds and preferred stocks.
The main ethos of this strategy is to select an appropriate mix of fixed income investments that protects the client’s principal and effectively matches portfolio cash flows with stated liquidity needs. We employ both ‘top down’ and ‘bottom up’ analyses to determine the most attractive fixed income asset classes and individual securities.
‘Top down’ analysis
Our top down analysis focuses on capital market trends, including but not limited to, asset class correlations, yield curve slope, credit spreads, inflation expectations, monetary policy, regulatory environment and other economic factors. This analysis determines the most attractive fixed income classes, as well as portfolio average credit rating, maturity, effective duration and convexity targets.
Fixed income security prices and market interest rates have an inverse relationship, and longer-term trends in interest rates are generally determined by inflationary trends. As such, we pay close attention to projected economic growth and anticipated inflation. Generally, we favor shorter portfolio duration when economic growth and inflation expectations are relatively high, and extend portfolio duration when expectations are relatively low. When appropriate, we also employ laddered and barbell portfolio strategies.
‘Bottom up’ analysis
The core tenet of our bottom up analysis is value investing. When evaluate each fixed income security, we have a lender mentality. We begin with a careful analysis of the institutions underlying credit, followed by the yield spread of the security relative to similar investment opportunities.
Each client’s investment objectives are carefully evaluated during the Consultative Process to determine the most appropriate portfolio strategy, asset allocation mix and individual security selections.