Posts filed under “Asset Allocation”

RWM Announces Institutional Asset Management

Two years ago, we launched RWM. Our mission was to provide high quality wealth planning and asset management to our clients, be a force for teaching the public the right way to invest, and point out the shortcomings of our industry. The cost structure, the excess activity, the reliance on complexity and a misleading sales pitch – all of these came under our criticism.

Most of what we were doing was geared towards the individual, but on occasion I write towards an institutional audience. Many of the cognitive errors and investing mistakes we see amongst individuals are also present at an institutional level, who after all, are individuals working within a larger organization.

Over the course of many discussions, we looked at Chasing Alpha, recognizing the value of Beta, the focus on reducing costs, or not becoming caught up in unrealistic expected returns, and of course a slew of issues regarding hedge funds (here, here, and here)  are all issues we have discussed in great detail. Many of these are more institutional than individual concerns.

We were thinking about ways to express our investing philosophy to an institutional audience, and we think we came up with a brilliant way to do that. Today we announced that Ben Carlson is joining the firm as Director of Institutional Asset Management.

You might know of Ben’s work from his perfectly named blog, A Wealth of Common Sense, or his book of the same title. But we know him from his very smart, very practical approach to helping institutions manage their monies.

When we first started speaking with Ben, it was clear that philosophically, we could not be more in sync. As an example, here is what Ben wrote today describing his approach:

  • There are tons of small and mid-sized institutional funds — foundations, endowments, pension funds, etc. — out there that are being mis-managed. They’re getting poor, and often conflicted, advice. They’re investing in things they don’t understand. The fees they’re paying are too high. Most haven’t established any legitimate guidelines or investment policy statements. And most importantly, their portfolios and investment plans aren’t taking into account each organization’s specific mission. Many consultants and advisors are more concerned with creating clever portfolios than paying attention to an institution’s goals.
  • Early on in my career I worked with a consulting firm that helped smaller and mid-sized institutions create investment plans and goals-based portfolios. This is always something that I’ve wanted to do on my own because I think it’s a space that could use a fresh look.
  • I’ve always worked on the institutional side of the business, but I’ve received a number of requests from readers over the past couple of years to help them invest their portfolios. Since starting this blog I’ve become more and more interested in helping individuals reach their financial goals.

We are taking all of Ben’s past experiences. and creating a format to allow him to deliver exactly the sort of investment advice, management and guidance that he has so eloquently discussed on Wealth of Common Sense.

I am confident that Ben is going to be a tremendous addition to our team. We will be working closely on many of the institutional offices who have reached out to us since we launched RWM in 2013. We are tremendously excited about this new development. Once again, I could not be prouder of our team for bringing this all together so well.

Welcome to the firm, Ben!





Ben Carlson Joins Ritholtz Wealth as Director of Institutional Asset Management (PR Newswire)

My Next Step  (Wealth of Common Sense)

Ben Carlson joins Ritholtz Wealth Management (The Irrelevant Investor)

Ben Carlson joins Ritholtz Wealth Management (TRB)


Category: Asset Allocation, Hedge Funds, Mutual Funds

A Word About Our New Fee Reduction Program

This week we had a few milestones: On Tuesday, we celebrated the two year anniversary of RWM, which launched on September 16, 2013. Second, we announced a new program that will help lower fees for our clients. Costs are something we are very conscious about. We are always looking for ways to keep fees as low as we can,…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Asset Allocation, Investing, Psychology

Questions for California Teachers to Ask CALSTRS

From the “Here We Go Again” files: Yet another big pension fund has decided, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, to engage in higher-risk, higher-cost investing. One day, this might end well, but history is replete with an almost-unbroken string of examples where it hasn’t. You might have missed the Wall Street Journal article during the…Read More

Category: Asset Allocation, Hedge Funds, Pension Funds, Really, really bad calls

Returns Per Asset Class 2015 YTD

Nice chart via Deutsche Bank:   Source: Deutsche Bank

Category: Asset Allocation, Digital Media, Investing

Five things you can do to get your financial house in order

A rollicking week in the markets is really a chance to clean up your act Barry Ritholtz Washington Post,  August 28 2015       Don’t say you weren’t warned. A few months ago, with markets on a hot streak, you were given the Solomonic heads-up that “this, too, shall pass.” Your portfolio was basking in the…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Asset Allocation, Index/ETFs, Investing

Are You a Trader or an Investor?

At the risk of overstating the obvious, there are important differences between traders and investors. Their timelines differ, as do their goals, preferred assets and methods. Yet some of what I have been hearing from members of each group suggests they themselves can sometimes become confused about these dissimilarities. Blame the recent market volatility for…Read More

Category: Asset Allocation, Investing, Psychology, Really, really bad calls, Trading

Investors: Another Chance to Clean Up Your Acts

      My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. This morning, we follow up a June column that advised taking advantage of markets at all time highs to clean up your portfolios. This time out, we look at the market turmoil as a reminder, and the snapback rally as an opportunity. The print version…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Asset Allocation, Investing, Really, really bad calls, Trading

Alpha & Beta: Two Competing Investment Philosophies

The best investment strategy for you? It’s the one you’re likely to stick with. Barry Ritholtz WaPo, August 16, 2015   “Where’s the Dow going to be in a year?” That’s often asked of financial TV guests. From their responses, you’ll detect two distinct investment philosophies emerge. Which answer resonates with you most strongly probably…Read More

Category: Asset Allocation, Investing, Philosophy

Is the Bull Dead?

Is the bull market, which started after the lows of early 2009, coming to an end? Let’s have a look at some data, as well as the arguments pro and con, to see if we can find any insight. In particular, I want to look at the latest economic, corporate and market issues to see…Read More

Category: Asset Allocation, Commodities, Cycles, Economy, Markets

What’s Your Investing Philosophy?

    My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. This morning, we look at two competing investment philosophies, Alpha & Beta. The print version had the sort of misleading headline Be the guy with the calm and collected investing strategy – I much prefer the online version’s The best investment strategy for you? It’s the…Read More

Category: Analysts, Asset Allocation, Financial Press, Investing, Philosophy