Investment Portfolio Management

Portfolio management is the art and science of selecting and overseeing a group of investments that meet the long-term financial objectives and risk tolerance of a client, a company, or an institution.

We are in the business of managing individually tailored investment portfolios. Our firm provides continuous advice to a client regarding the investment of client funds based on their unique needs. Through personal discussions in which goals and objectives based on a client's particular circumstances are established, we develop their personal investment policy or an investment plan with an asset allocation target and create and manage a portfolio based on that policy and allocation targets. We will also review and discuss a client’s prior investment history, as well as family composition and background.

Account supervision is guided by the stated objectives of the client (e.g., maximum capital appreciation, growth, income, or growth, and income), as well as tax considerations. Clients may impose reasonable restrictions on investing in certain securities, types of securities, or industry sectors. 

Asset Allocation

Asset Allocation

The key to effective portfolio management is the long-term mix of assets. Generally, that means stocks, bonds, and "cash" such as certificates of deposit. There are others, often referred to as alternative investments, such as real estate, commodities, and derivatives.

Asset allocation is based on the understanding that different types of assets do not move in concert, and some are more volatile than others. A mix of assets provides balance and  protects against risk.

Investors with a more aggressive profile weight their portfolios toward more volatile investments such as growth stocks. Investors with a conservative profile weight their portfolios toward stabler investments such as bonds and blue-chip stocks.



The only certainty in investing is that it is impossible to consistently predict winners and losers. The prudent approach is to create a basket of investments that provides broad exposure within an asset class.

Diversification is spreading risk and reward within an asset class. Because it is difficult to know which subset of an asset class or sector is likely to outperform another, diversification seeks to capture the returns of all of the sectors over time while reducing volatility at any given time.

Real diversification is made across various classes of securities, sectors of the economy, and geographical regions.



Rebalancing is used to return a portfolio to its original target allocation at regular intervals, usually annually. This is done to reinstate the original asset mix when the movements of the markets force it out of kilter.

For example, a portfolio that starts out with a 70% equity and 30% fixed-income allocation could, after an extended market rally, shift to an 80/20 allocation. The investor has made a good profit, but the portfolio now has more risk than the investor can tolerate.

Rebalancing generally involves selling high-priced securities and putting that money to work in lower-priced and out-of-favor securities.

The exercise of rebalancing allows the investor to capture gains and expand the opportunity for growth in high potential sectors while keeping the portfolio aligned with the original risk/return profile.  Northbound Wealth Management takes careful consideration as to the frequency and timing of rebalancing portfolios.

Investment Analysis, Strategies, and Risk

Our primary methods of investment analysis are but are not limited to Fundamental, Technical, and Charting analysis.

Fundamental analysis involves analyzing individual companies and their industry groups, such as a company’s financial statements, details regarding the company’s product line, the experience, and expertise of the company’s management, and the outlook for the company’s industry. The resulting data is used to measure the true value of the company’s stock compared to the current market value. The risk of fundamental analysis is that the information obtained may be incorrect and the analysis may not provide an accurate estimate of earnings, which may be the basis for a stock’s value. If securities prices adjust rapidly to new information, utilizing fundamental analysis may not result in favorable performance.

Technical analysis involves using chart patterns, momentum, volume, and relative strength in an effort to pick sectors that may outperform market indices. However, there is no assurance of accurate forecasts or that trends will develop in the markets we follow. In the past, there have been periods without discernible trends and similar periods will presumably occur in the future. Even where major trends develop, outside factors like government intervention could potentially shorten them.

Furthermore, one limitation of technical analysis is that it requires price movement data, which can translate into price trends sufficient to dictate a market entry or exit decision. In a trendless or erratic market, a technical method may fail to identify trends requiring action. In addition, technical methods may overreact to minor price movements, establishing positions contrary to overall price trends, which may result in losses. Finally, a technical trading method may underperform other trading methods when fundamental factors dominate price moves within a given market.  Unbiased technical analysis and charting paired with fundamental analysis is in our opinion is a good approach. 

Charting analysis involves the gathering and processing of price and volume information for a particular security. This price and volume information is analyzed using mathematical equations. The resulting data is then applied to graphing charts, which is used to predict future price movements based on price patterns and trends. Charts may not accurately predict future price movements. Current prices of securities may not reflect all information about the security and day-to-day changes in market prices of securities may follow random patterns and may not be predictable with any reliable degree of accuracy.

Modern Portfolio Theory

The modern portfolio theory (MPT) is a practical method for selecting investments in order to maximize their overall returns within an acceptable level of risk. This mathematical framework is used to build a portfolio of investments that maximize the amount of expected return for the collective given level of risk.

American economist Harry Markowitz pioneered this theory in his paper "Portfolio Selection," which was published in the Journal of Finance in 1952.1 He was later awarded a Nobel Prize for his work on modern portfolio theory.2

A key component of the MPT theory is diversification. Most investments are either high risk and high return or low risk and low return. Markowitz argued that investors could achieve their best results by choosing an optimal mix of the two based on an assessment of their individual tolerance to risk.

The modern portfolio theory can be used to diversify a portfolio in order to get a better return overall without a bigger risk.  Another benefit of the modern portfolio theory (and of diversification) is that it can reduce volatility. The best way to do that is to choose assets that have a negative correlation, such as U.S. treasuries and small-cap stocks.

Ultimately, the goal of the modern portfolio theory is to create the most efficient portfolio possible.

The underlying principles of MPT are:

  • Investors are risk averse. The only acceptable risk is that which is adequately compensated by an expected return. Risk and investment return are related and an increase in risk requires an increased expected return.
  • Markets are efficient. The same market information is available to all investors at the same time. The market prices every security fairly based upon this equal availability of information.
  • The design of the portfolio as a whole is more important than the selection of any particular security. The appropriate allocation of capital among asset classes will have far more influence on long-term portfolio performance than the selection of individual securities.
  • Investing for the long-term (preferably longer than ten years) becomes critical to investment success because it allows the long-term characteristics of the asset classes to surface.
  • Increasing diversification of the portfolio with lower correlated asset class positions can decrease portfolio risk. Correlation is the statistical term for the extent to which two asset classes move in tandem or opposition to one another.

Material Risks Involved

Market Risk:

Market risk involves the possibility that an investment’s current market value will fall because of a general market decline, reducing the value of the investment regardless of the operational success of the issuer’s operations or its financial condition.

Strategy Risk:

The Adviser’s investment strategies and/or investment techniques may not work as intended.

Small and Medium Cap Company Risk:

Securities of companies with small and medium market capitalizations are often more volatile and less liquid than investments in larger companies. Small and medium cap companies may face a greater risk of business failure, which could increase the volatility of the Client’s portfolio.

Turnover Risk:

At times, the strategy may have a portfolio turnover rate that is higher than other strategies. A high portfolio turnover would result in correspondingly greater brokerage commission expenses and may result in the distribution of additional capital gains for tax purposes. These factors may negatively affect the account’s performance.

Limited markets:

Certain securities may be less liquid (harder to sell or buy) and their prices may at times be more volatile than at other times. Under certain market conditions, we may be unable to sell or liquidate investments at prices we consider reasonable or favorable or find buyers at any price.

Concentration Risk:

Certain investment strategies focus on particular asset-classes, industries, sectors or types of investment. From time to time these strategies may be subject to greater risks of adverse developments in such areas of focus than a strategy that is more broadly diversified across a wider variety of investments.

Interest Rate Risk:

Bond (fixed income) prices generally fall when interest rates rise, and the value may fall below par value or the principal investment. The opposite is also generally true: bond prices generally rise when interest rates fall. In general, fixed income securities with longer maturities are more sensitive to these price changes. Most other investments are also sensitive to the level and direction of interest rates.

Legal or Legislative Risk:

Legislative changes or Court rulings may impact the value of investments, or the securities’ claim on the issuer’s assets and finances.


Inflation may erode the buying power of your investment portfolio, even if the dollar value of your investments remains the same.

Risks Associated with Securities

Commercial Paper is, in most cases, an unsecured promissory note that is issued with a maturity of 270
days or less. Being unsecured the risk to the investor is that the issuer may default.

Common stocks may go up and down in price quite dramatically, and in the event of an issuer’s bankruptcy or restructuring could lose all value. A slower-growth or recessionary economic environment could have an adverse effect on the price of all stocks.

Corporate Bonds are debt securities to borrow money. Generally, issuers pay investors periodic interest and repay the amount borrowed either periodically during the life of the security and/or at maturity. Alternatively, investors can purchase other debt securities, such as zero coupon bonds, which do not pay current interest, but rather are priced at a discount from their face values and their values accrete over time to face value at maturity. The market prices of debt securities fluctuate depending on factors such as interest rates, credit quality, and maturity. In general, market prices of debt securities decline when interest rates rise and increase when interest rates fall. The longer the time to a bond’s maturity, the greater its interest rate risk.

Bank Obligations including bonds and certificates of deposit may be vulnerable to setbacks or panics in the banking industry. Banks and other financial institutions are greatly affected by interest rates and may be adversely affected by downturns in the U.S. and foreign economies or changes in banking regulations.

Municipal Bonds are debt obligations generally issued to obtain funds for various public purposes, including the construction of public facilities. Municipal bonds pay a lower rate of return than most other types of bonds. However, because of a municipal bond’s tax-favored status, investors should compare the relative after-tax return to the after-tax return of other bonds, depending on the investor’s tax bracket. Investing in municipal bonds carries the same general risks as investing in bonds in general. Those risks include interest rate risk, reinvestment risk, inflation risk, market risk, call or redemption risk, credit risk, and liquidity and valuation risk.

Options and other derivatives carry many unique risks, including time-sensitivity, and can result in the complete loss of principal. While covered call writing does provide a partial hedge to the stock against which the call is written, the hedge is limited to the amount of cash flow received when writing the option. When selling covered calls, there is a risk the underlying position may be called away at a price lower than the current market price.

Exchange Traded Funds prices may vary significantly from the Net Asset Value due to market conditions. Certain Exchange Traded Funds may not track underlying benchmarks as expected. ETFs are also subject to the following risks: (i) an ETF’s shares may trade at a market price that is above or below their net asset value; (ii) the ETF may employ an investment strategy that utilizes high leverage ratios; or (iii) trading of an ETF’s shares may be halted if the listing exchange’s officials deem such action appropriate, the shares are de-listed from the exchange, or the activation of market-wide “circuit breakers” (which are tied to large decreases in stock prices) halts stock trading generally. The Adviser has no control over the risks taken by the underlying funds in which the Clients invest.

Mutual Funds: When a Client invests in open-end mutual funds or ETFs, the Client indirectly bears its proportionate share of any fees and expenses payable directly by those funds. Therefore, the Client will incur higher expenses, many of which may be duplicative. In addition, the Client's overall portfolio may be affected by losses of an underlying fund and the level of risk arising from the investment practices of an underlying fund (such as the use of derivatives).

Options and other derivatives carry many unique risks, including time-sensitivity, and can result in the complete loss of principal. While covered call writing does provide a partial hedge to the stock against which the call is written, the hedge is limited to the amount of cash flow received when writing the option. When selling covered calls, there is a risk the underlying position may be called away at a price lower than the current market price.

Alternative Investments. Less traditional assets (sometimes called “alternative investments”) may help clients construct a long term portfolio--in combination with more traditional assets like stocks and bonds--that has higher expected returns and/or lower risk. This is because alternative investments, relative to a more traditional stock/bond portfolio, may have (a) higher expected returns, (b) lower expected risk, and/or (c) lower correlation to a stocks/bonds portfolio. Assets classes that may be utilized in client investment portfolios include, but are not limited to:

  • (a) Commodities,
  • (b) Currencies (which includes Cryptocurrencies),
  • (c) Direct Lending,
  • (d) Hedge Funds,
  • (e) Precious Metals,
  • (f) Private Equity,
  • (g) Systematic Investment Strategies,
  • (h) Venture Capital, and/or
  • (i) Volatility Investments.

Alternative Investments may be accessed in multiple ways, including, but not limited to, Direct Investment, Exchange Traded Funds, Mutual Funds, Pooled Investment Vehicles, Private Investment Funds, and/or Publicly-traded Derivatives (including Futures). Risks include, but are not limited to, concentration risk, credit/default risk, high volatility and/or frequency changes in volatility, inflation, investor concentration, legal risk, limited markets, liquidity risk, long-term  investment commitments, market risk, strategy risk, supply/demand constraints, turnover risk, taxation risk. The taxation of Alternative Investments is also important, and may vary by factors such as investment holding period, asset class, and how the asset is accessed.

For more information about our firm and the services we offer, send us a quick email or call the office. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you. | (317) 399-1107