At Bradley, Foster & Sargent, we invest for the long term. Our first priority is always capital preservation. We utilize rigorous fundamental analysis to invest in high-quality companies when they can be purchased at what we believe to be reasonable valuations.
Our investment philosophy may be summarized by these five tenets:
Capital preservation. To preserve wealth, we begin by setting asset allocation guidelines among equities, fixed income instruments and cash. Each portfolio is structured to conform to a client’s tolerance for market volatility, investment time horizon, income needs and tax considerations.
Commitment to equities. We believe that a portion of every client’s portfolio should be dedicated to high-quality common stocks. We believe that common stocks remain the most effective means of significantly outpacing inflation and are the best vehicle for maintaining purchasing power over time.
Reasonable prices. In an effort to moderate risk and achieve better capital appreciation in our equity portfolios, we adhere to a strict pricing discipline. We buy quality growth companies at what we perceive to be reasonable prices, providing a “margin of safety” – a phrase coined by Ben Graham, the dean of financial analysis.
Ineffectiveness of market timing. We do not believe that it is possible to predict future stock market movements with any degree of consistency; thus we do not operate as market timers. Rather, we rely on the specific asset allocation guidelines that we establish for each client, review these guidelines on an ongoing basis and make individual judgments to suit the needs of each client’s portfolio.
Diversification. Prudent diversification to moderate risk is reflected in all of our clients’ portfolios. We generally hold 20 or more stock positions diversified among attractive industries, depending on the size of the portfolio.