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Portfolio Management

Day-to-day portfolio management requires education, experience, willingness, and the right disposition.  If you’ve spent your lifetime in some other area of expertise, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you don’t have the education or experience that would lend themselves to being your own portfolio manager.  Even if you’re willing to learn the ins and outs of security selection, trading, and performance measurement, you still may not be willing to take the time required from your other activities to conduct the research and do the trading needed to keep your portfolio humming.  And then there is matter of having the right personal disposition to do all of this and to suppress your emotions when the markets are going crazy.  In short, most people would be better off delegating the task of managing their portfolios to a professional under the guidance of a thoughtfully prepared investment policy statement.
At Heling Associates, we have been managing investment portfolios for individual clients and trusts for over 15 years, each in accordance with their own investment policy statement.  We manage assets only with full discretion, meaning that clients grant us a limited power of attorney to trade their accounts.  We then manage the portfolio in accordance with the client’s IPS, but without consulting the client prior to trading.  To provide clients with important account protections, we don’t hold custody of any client assets.  Instead, we help you arrange for your assets to be held in custody by a third-party brokerage firm (in our case, Schwab Institutional, a division of Charles Schwab & Co.).  Clients receive monthly statements of each of their accounts directly from the custodian so that they have independent verification of the existence and value of their assets.  As a convenience to clients, we also provide monthly consolidated portfolio snapshot reports and full quarterly consolidated summary reports.  These help you keep track of the “forest” whereas the custodial statements of each account tend to look more like tracking the “trees”.
When managing portfolios we use mutual funds and exchange-traded funds and notes exclusively.  We do not use individual securities in client portfolios.  We do this to achieve a high level of multi-dimensional diversification so as to better manage portfolio volatility and reduce the risks associated with concentrated investments.  Further, the use of these vehicles offers us an attractive combination of seasoned investment managers, specialists, sophisticated strategies, and low-cost index funds.

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