Investment Philosophy

Investment Philosophy

Our approach to investment and wealth management is based on decades of experience and extensive academic and industry research, from which we form the following beliefs:

  • Investment markets are highly competitive, and as a result are reasonably efficient. This makes it extremely difficult for even the smartest and best resourced investors to be able to consistently outperform the market, as last year’s outperformers are just as likely to be this year’s underperformers.

  • Costs matter! Although expected returns are uncertain, costs are certain year in, year out. By managing what you can control you can give your investments greater opportunity to grow over the long-term.

  • Behavioural finance research shows we are all prone to making mistakes, whether through panic, greed, hubris or otherwise, which tendencies must be acknowledged and taken into account in any investment approach.

To implement our investment philosophy, we rely on sound research and decision-making processes, which are underpinned by three key pillars Valuations, Costs & Taxes and Diversification.

The Key Pillars of our Investment Philosophy


All experienced investors know that if you overpay for an asset, it is much less likely that the investment will be successful than if the asset is purchased at a reasonable or good price. The challenge is to know where one is positioned in the cycle, what is “fair value” and whether momentum in sentiment and valuations suggests it is better to buy, hold or sell. Extensive experience and research suggest that valuations and returns do have an element of predictability, but only over the business cycle and longer horizons. We factor this reality into our portfolio construction and management approach, but all the time remaining humble as to the challenge – adapting portfolios sensibly in that light.

Costs and Taxes

Reducing investment costs and unnecessary taxes is essential. Experience and research show that the compounding effect of higher costs dramatically reduces wealth accumulation, all else being equal. Fund managers who trade frequently pay more brokerage, bid-ask spread costs, potentially make more mistakes and realise more short-term capital gains than low turnover index and factor-based funds and ETF’s. We seek cost-effective investment solutions so that your portfolio does not have any unnecessary drag on its returns.


The most important part of our investment philosophy is intelligent diversification. Given the immense challenges of timing markets, evaluating where we are in the business cycle, and overcoming the destructive decision-making biases that behavioural finance has alerted us to, it is imperative to maintain a well-diversified portfolio. Diversification must be across and within classes – across the drivers of returns. In particular, in a small country like Australia with highly concentrated investment markets, this diversification must be done thoughtfully and intelligently.

“Diversification is a lunch that has not only remained free, but has grown more lavish over the years” 


Prof. John Y. Campbell, Harvard University, Founder Arrowstreet Capital LP

Sustainable Investing

Our Common Home

A growing number of investors wish to invest in a sustainable way. They want to select their investments after factoring in environmental, social and good-governance considerations (also known as ESG investing). 

We only select fund managers who take ESG investing seriously, who engage with companies and have the capacity and size to be listened to. 

We believe our core investment portfolios should satisfy most clients that they are investing ethically and in a sustainable manner.

However, for those investors who wish to do more, we construct portfolios which include ESG funds, while still staying true to our core investment philosophy – in particular, constructing highly diversified, cost-effective portfolios.

Given our highly diversified approach to sustainable investing, our clients are able to invest some or all of their capital in a sustainable manner, without unduly compromising optimal diversification and portfolio construction.