Investment Philosophy

Value Investing

We buy when prices are below intrinsic value to create a margin of safety. We use fundamental research to determine intrinsic value.

 

Long-term Horizon

We are investing to create wealth that will last generations. Over the long run, stocks outperform bonds, so we advise a higher than typical allocation to stocks. We are buy and hold investors. Because we are focused on the long run, we do not pay much attention to daily or weekly fluctuations in the market, except when they present buying opportunities.

 

Diversified

We have experience investing up and down the capital structure in loans, bonds, equities and in real estate, alternatives and direct investments. We invest on a global basis both domestically and in international developed and emerging markets seeking the best risk-adjusted returns.

 

Risk Means Risk of Principal Loss

Practitioners of modern portfolio theory will tell you that risk is the standard deviation from the average return. What does that really mean? Risk to us means actual risk of principal loss, not fluctuations in stock prices on a year-to-year basis.

 

Contrarian

Our response to swings in the market often means we are buying when others are selling. And we are waiting patiently when others are buying. Contrary to popular belief, when prices go down expected return goes up! And when prices rise, risk of loss rises, too.

 

Unbiased

We study behavioral finance and seek to identify and eliminate the cognitive biases of most investors: loss aversion, overconfidence, and anchoring, among others. We aim to see things differently and hold firm to our value convictions.

 

Fees & Taxes

Our goal is to minimize fees and taxes. We charge a low, fixed quarterly fee for investment advisory services. We recommend mutual fund families with the lowest fees in the industry. We educate our clients about opportunities for reducing taxes.

 

Serving Others

We offer customized wealth management and personalized investment advice for a low, flat fee that is based on our cost to provide this service to you. In return, we ask that all clients pledge that once they meet their net worth goal (i.e., saving for retirement and children) they will donate 10% of all profits each year to charities of their choosing. We believe this will allow us, through our wealth management and investment advisory services, to indirectly create a far greater philanthropic impact than we could ever hope to accomplish on our own.

"Serve one another humbly with love." - Galatians 5:13

A Note on the Efficient Market Hypothesis

We believe most markets are generally efficient, meaning they are excellent disseminators of information quickly to all market participants and in the long-run they are efficient conduits for companies to pass adequate returns to their investors in accordance with the risks that they bear. However, we do not wholly subscribe to the strong or semi-strong versions of the efficient market hypothesis because we believe that in the short run, many market participants are not rational, and in the long run:

  1. Value stocks outperform growth stocks

  2. Small cap stocks outperform large cap stocks

  3. High profitability stocks (measured by low P/E ratios) outperform low profitability stocks

  4. A very small number of highly skilled and patient value investors can outperform the market

 

A Note on Modern Portfolio Theory

We agree that some amount of portfolio diversification leads to greater risk-adjusted returns. However, we do not fully subscribe to Modern Portfolio Theory because we do not agree that risk can be measured as the standard deviation from the average return. That is a mathematical definition for an academic model. To us, risk means actual risk of principal loss, not fluctuations in stock prices on a year-to-year basis.

© 2018 by Servant Capital Advisors, LLC.

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