Investment Management

Gries Financial Partners, a fee-only, Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), develops a tailored investment strategy for each client designed specifically to address the client directed trade-off between risk and return. The objective is optimal portfolio performance and stability through an appropriate mix of asset classes and investment strategies.

Investment Philosophy

Objective

We seek to maximize the risk-return equation in order to reach the client’s return goals with low volatility and downside protection through:

  • Diverse asset allocation
  • Superior investment manager selection within asset classes

Consistent returns are generated by properly allocating assets across multiple asset classes, investment strategies, geographic exposures and managers. This approach allows for the attainment of return goals with appropriate volatility and downside protection. The firm also prioritizes unique, harder to access private, alternative investments. These investments for high net worth investors have modest or no correlation (to the broader public markets) return streams and often generate meaningful income.

Client portfolio asset class targets and target ranges are set in accordance with the client’s goals related to return, risk and cash flow needs. We take a long-term (3-5 year) strategic approach to asset allocation.
We continuously evaluate our allocations in a tactical context (typically 12-18-month timeframe) in consideration of the current macro environment and we will make periodic changes accordingly.

Tactical moves are generally made to mitigate portfolio risk but can also be opportunistic to take advantage of market dislocation

Risk-Return Foundation

Maximize Portfolio Return

  • In-house Investment Committee constantly monitors dynamic market and economic conditions
  • Utilize and frequently engage the best global market strategists (large research budget)
  • Thorough sourcing, due diligence, and continual monitoring of open architecture stable of managers including non-traditional, alternatives

Minimize Portfolio Risk

  • Broad diversification with clear understanding of risk-return drivers and inter-asset class correlations
  • Allocate to alternative, low correlation investment vehicles to reduce portfolio volatility
  • Preservation of principal/defensive bias in consideration of spending needs and liquidity requirements

A strategic asset allocation foundation with a tactical overlay is the path to optimal risk and return

Broad Asset Class Perspective

Equities: Long term growth engine of portfolio; risk asset, and especially in current macro backdrop, will have periods of volatility.

Fixed income: Reduces overall portfolio volatility and generates income while improving diversification; includes both core and opportunistic holdings.

Alternatives: Use of alternatives are an important part of the allocation to hedge portfolio risk and in many cases generate non-correlated income. Applied appropriately, alternatives can lower overall volatility and produce differentiated return streams.

Focus on absolute returns and limiting downside risk

Implementation

Executing the Strategy

Investment portfolios should include investments in asset classes including, but not limited to, those on the right.
The foundation of asset allocation should be strategic (3-5 years) with an ability to make effective tactical (12-18 months) moves both for downside protection and to be opportunistic.

  • Domestic Large Cap
  • Domestic Small/ Mid Cap
  • International Developed
  • International Emerging
  • Real Estate
  • Domestic Fixed Income
  • Global Fixed Income
  • Diversified Alternatives
  • Directional Alternatives
  • Private investments
  • Short Term Investments

Alternative Investments and Downside Protection

The right kind of alternative investments are focused on low correlation to fixed income and equities; they can provide a hedge with differentiated return streams and in some cases, significant income generation via yield.

Absolute return potential: It is possible to generate positive returns in select alternative investments regardless of the public market environment, e.g. in bear markets like 2002 and 2008.

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