Our firm belief is that it is critical to avoid material losses all of our strategies were designed with this in mind. We strive to achieve consistent returns, not to simply beat the market on a short-term basis.
The firm employs a sophisticated risk management program consisting of technical indicators including a proprietary macro market monitor, strict sell discipline and stock options to add income thus reducing basis and to provide a portfolio hedge.
Valuation: MSCM reviews valuation metrics and financial statements to ensure risk levels are appropriate for each given strategy. This will also provide a level of conviction on the holding during times of market volatility.
Proprietary Macro Monitor: MSCM employs a proprietary model that measures the intermediate term market strength. This macro model has been very effective at helping to ensure that MSCM clients do not participate in the downside of secular bear markets. Our macro monitor triggered in March 2000 and November 2007 indicating that there was a high probability of incremental broad market losses forthcoming. Thus, we were able to position appropriately to avoid much of the downside.
Stops: Central to our philosophy is a strict sell discipline. We are quick to admit when we are wrong on a position. Positions are quickly closed if the price action triggers our stop rules or if our outlook for that index, sector, or individual company has been impacted by a news event or change in market character. There are loss trigger levels at which point any losing position, requires a full review of the investment thesis by the investment committee. If a second level is triggered, it mandates an almost certain closing of the losing position–irrespective of the investment thesis. It is our preferred approach to take a small early loss rather than wait and let it grow. Our disciplined stop loss rules and approach have served the firm and its investors well.
Options: MSCM was formed as an options focused hedge fund. As an expert on the use of options to reduce volatility, increase income and maintain discipline on entry and exit points for a stock position, we have many tools available depending upon portfolio needs. A couple of our more commonly used strategies are listed below:
Covered Calls: Covered calls are utilized at levels where we feel the underlying holding is fully valued and we are willing to exit. This approach allows MSCM to enhance the yield and dampen volatility. Additionally, it institutes discipline around exiting robustly valued underlying securities.
Collars: Collars are typically used in our concentrated position management program. Some portfolios have a large position in one stock, whether received through stock option grants from an employer, inheritance or simply a long time holding with substantial appreciation.
Selling the stock outright may generate a considerable tax liability. Options can be used to limit the volatility in the stock, without triggering a tax event. A stock option collar is an inexpensive way to provide such protection.
No Conflicts Of Interest
We are motivated to provide clients with the best advice. We earn nothing from product sales and have no incentive to place transactions to generate commissions.
As an independent wealth management firm, we operate as a fiduciary, acting in the best interests of our clients.
Not all financial institutions are fiduciaries. Brokers are held to the lower “suitability” standard which only requires that an investment be suitable. These “suitable” investments are not necessarily the best option for the investor and could be selected by the broker because it pays more to the broker.
The higher “fiduciary” standard to which MSCM is held requires that any investment be in the best interest of the investors.
Transparency & Security
We only maintain client accounts at large national third-party custodians. This provides clients with real-time transparency and complete custodial security of their assets. Reporting and account access are provided directly by the national custodians so clients can be assured their assets are secure.
MSCM does not and will not conduct business with any custodian that has a proprietary trading desk. This is because firms with a proprietary trading desk have inherent conflicts of interest with their clients. For example, a custodian could see incoming buy orders for a certain stock from its clients and decide to make purchases for its own portfolio, which would negatively impact the end client. In addition, a proprietary trading desk could potentially take positions directly contrary to the positions which its clients are being advised to take.
As an independent advisor, we do not have a corporate agenda – nor mandated market view. Our only objective is to help our clients reach their goals.
Dynamic online financial plans that can be adjusted to account for changing circumstances.
Direct Investment Advice
We are committed to giving our clients our best advice, even if it is hard to hear or goes against popular opinion. We will help guide you through the emotional ups and downs inevitable with changing economic and market conditions.