WHO WE HELP
Spectrum Financial works with investors who are seeking active and independent investment management so they have the assurance and knowledge they need to be prepared for the future. Many of our clients are executives and professionals, women, entrepreneurs and small-business owners, retirees, and institutions. Spectrum also works directly with financial professionals and financial institutions.
Spectrum provides investment products to financial institutions like Family Offices, RIAs, Pension Funds, and certain approved brokerage firms. Our customized exposure can provide your firm with new tools to diversify a client's portfolio.
SECURITYMAXXSM uses several different Spectrum strategies to actively manage client portfolios invested in mutual funds.
ASSETMAXXSM offers clients proprietary mutual funds that incorporate our multiple investment strategies.
WHAT IS ACTIVE MANAGEMENT?
ACTIVE MANAGEMENT IN OUR STRATEGIES
Spectrum Financial's investment strategies are based on trend following, momentum, relative strength and seasonal models. Trend following strategies seek to identify changes in the market's direction soon after the change occurs through a series of technical indicators.
- Momentum models seek to identify asset classes that are gaining appreciation faster than other segments of the market with the objective of investing in the fastest growing asset classes.
- Relative strength strategies measure how an asset class has performed relative to the overall market and other asset classes.
- Seasonal strategies are based on determining specific days of the week, intervals of the month and/or times of the year that are favorable to a rise in the financial markets or specific asset classes.
Regardless of how well an indicator or model has worked in the past, there will be periods of underperformance. This is why we maintain that a well managed portfolio should not only include asset diversification, but also diversification of investment strategies.
DIVERSIFICATION IS KEY TO REDUCING
There are many ways of reducing investment risk. One is to invest in low risk/low reward investments such as money market funds and short-term bond funds. Another, and the way Spectrum prefers, is to diversify among several investment methods which all have the ability to produce attractive returns, but are unrelated to each other in terms of what drives performance. By selectively combining strategies, portfolios can be created for each client based on their individual risk tolerance.
Each SECURITYMAXXSM strategy is risk rated on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 represents little risk, such as investing in money market funds, and 5 represents the risk comparable to investing in a buy-and-hold, aggressive growth strategy. By allocating assets within these risk parameters, clients are able to build risk adjusted portfolios designed to match their tolerance of potential losses and investment objective.
There are many ways that the investment industry uses the word risk . Webster's Dictionary defines risk as:
- "The possibility of suffering harm or loss" and
- "The variability of returns from an investment."
These two common definitions of risk may be applied to either individual securities or to a whole portfolio.
One of the driving reasons for the founding of Spectrum Financial, Inc. was to provide investment management services that would help minimize the severe loss of capital that is experienced during long-term market declines, commonly called bear markets.
The decline in portfolio value experienced during bear markets is referred to as a drawdown. While the term "drawdown" doesn't sound too bad, the fact is that Bear Market drawdowns can be 30-50% of a portfolio's value.
Spectrum has developed a number of actively managed investment strategies that, especially when used together, have historically been effective at generating attractive returns while minimizing the magnitude of losses experienced by those who make few or no portfolio adjustments in a bear market. Naturally, past performance cannot be considered indicative of future returns, but without some means of risk management, portfolios are vulnerable to the worst a bear market can do.
As for the variability of returns; we look at risk almost exclusively from a portfolio perspective rather than on an individual security basis. There are two important reasons for this. First, we use mutual funds that are relatively broadly diversified so the risk of loss to the portfolio from any one security in the mutual fund tends to be minimal. Second, to add further diversification, we recommend that each client has a portfolio that utilizes more than one of our actively managed investment strategies. If diversification among strategies is not possible due to the amount of capital, Spectrum recommends one of our low volatility strategies.
When the industry compares risk to the variability of returns they are referring to the volatility that is experienced with a particular security or a particular portfolio. Many people in the investment industry believe volatility risk should be avoided except for the most aggressive investors. Spectrum believes that volatility should be controlled by actively managing portfolios to move out of holdings that are experiencing downside volatility that is reducing returns while using upside volatility to enhance returns. In other words, in our pursuit of attractive returns, we use volatility to enhance our returns and use our strategies to control that volatility.
- Strategies that hold only one fund when invested are considered as having more risk than strategies that hold multiple fund positions when invested.
- Strategies that have 100% exposure when they are invested are considered as having more risk than strategies that may have varying degrees of exposure when invested.
- Strategies that use more volatile funds, including enhanced beta funds, are considered as having more risk than strategies that use low volatility funds.
- Strategies that use short funds for purposes of taking an outright short position are considered as having more risk than those that do not use such funds for going short.
- Strategies that tend to be invested for longer time frames are considered as having more risk than those that are only invested for a short time frame.
- Strategies that borrow money to purchase funds on margin are considered as having more risk than those that do not use margin.
None of these bullet points are meant to be used alone in determining the risk of a portfolio. But together they can provide a useful guide in determining the overall risk associated with a portfolio made up of Spectrum strategies.
WHY NOT INVEST BETTER?
TIME & COMPOUNDING ARE THE INVESTOR'S BEST FRIENDS
When it comes to investing, the most important tool you have is time. A relatively small investment can become a sizable retirement fund given time and the impact of compounding. Compounding is the process of earning interest on interest and dividends on dividends, over time. At first, your money grows relatively slowly, then with increasing speed as compounding takes effect.
One of the all-time great examples of the impact of compounding is the question: Which would be the better compensation plan?
- $100,000 per year with 10% annual increases
- One penny the first month, with your pay doubling with each successive month?
In three years, the individual who chose the $100,000 salary with 10% annual increases would have received $331,000 in compensation. The individual who chose the penny and saw her income double each month would have received $687 million dollars. Naturally, that’s compounding to an extreme. But the same basic principle holds true at lower rates of appreciation.
Suppose you invested $100,000 for 20 years at 8% annually with earnings paid quarterly. In one scenario, you withdraw your earnings each year. In a second, you reinvest those earnings at 8%. Assuming no taxes are paid, in 20 years, the account that is allowed to compound will be worth $488,640 - a $388,640 increase in value. If you had simply withdrawn your earnings each month, you would have $260,000, an increase of $160,000 over your original investment.
The sooner you put your savings and investment plan into action, the longer your money goes to work for you. And the longer compounding has to work its math, the more substantial your nest egg can become.
To enhance the power of compounding, you want to minimize the impact of taxes. After all, every dollar you pay in taxes reduces the amount you have to compound. For example, if you had to pay 15% capital gains taxes on your earnings each year, at 8% your account would grow to just $349,000 in 20 years. That’s why it’s important to invest as much as you can in tax-deferred retirement accounts, or better yet, a Roth IRA where earnings accumulate tax free.
Understanding the value of time and compounding is one step toward accumulating a healthy retirement fund, but the most important step is to do something. Until you set up a plan of steady contributions using an investment approach that works for you, you are letting time and the value it can bring slip away.
Nothing happens unless someone does something. Whether it’s for your own retirement or a young person’s, call me today and let’s put a plan in place to build financial security.
The compounding examples cited above are hypothetical and used for illustrative purposes only. Investment results fluctuate and past performance is not indicative of future results. The possibility of loss exists along with the potential for profit.
A STOCK TIP, THAT WASN'T
One of the oldest scams in the stock business has gotten even easier with the Internet. It begins when a broker calls or emails you with a hot tip, a stock on its way up. Naturally you give it a pass, but when you find out the stock did go up and the broker is back with another hot idea, you'll probably listen a little closer. By the third winner, you start to think this guy really does have something and perhaps you should invest.
What the guy really has is a big list. Using classic marketing tactics, he breaks his list into two parts and pitches the same stock to rise with half the group and to fall with the other half. Those he gives the wrong forecast are crossed off the list and the con man calls the second half to tell them what a great job he did and how he has another hot idea. The list gets smaller with each call, but given a 50% chance of success, the caller is very likely to end up with a select group of people ready to entrust him with their money for all the wrong reasons.
A NO-RISK, GUARANTEED RETURN
Are you passing up a no-risk, guaranteed opportunity to increase your retirement savings? If you are not contributing the maximum to any retirement plan where your employer provides a matching contribution you are passing up a guaranteed means of increasing your money, without taking on any risk. And, you will not have to pay taxes on that money until it is withdrawn at retirement. There are very few "real deals" in investing, but employer matching contributions are an opportunity investors should never pass up.
ACTIVE MANAGEMENT RESOURCES
The Active Management MultiplierSM
The Active Management MultiplerSM represents the advantage Spectrum Financial strategy managers have over a passive "buy and hold" strategy. The advantage gained by the Spectrum Financial strategy is compounded over time resulting in excess return over a "buy and hold" strategy.
The Active Management OptimizerSM
The Active Management OptimizerSM reflects Spectrum Financial’s risk management philosophy integrated in our "buy" and "sell" decisions to optimize the amount of time strategies are in a rising market and avoiding risk by minimizing exposure to downside volatility. Spectrum’s experienced interpretation of tools and indicators enable us to identify "peaks" or "bottoms" in broad market cycles. The Optimizer does not require the "sell" to be at an exact peak or the "buy" to be at an exact bottom to competitively compare to the general market.
The Compound CorrelatorSM
For financial advisors and investors searching for an alternative to a "buy-and-hold" strategy, Spectrum’s Compound Correlator’s ability to enhance compounding and maintain variable correlations when market environments warrant, provides an additional way to diversify a portfolio which is often overlooked by investors.