Sentinel’s investment services and processes are customized for taxable, multi-generational families who demand independent, objective and conflict-free investment advice and management. Our services are designed to meet client objectives rather than the firm’s profit goals and are grounded in these core beliefs and approaches:
Value Discipline—Sensitivity to valuation is always relevant to both risk and return, yet we are not a “value manager” as that phrase is used in the investment industry. Fundamentally, we believe that buying assets and increasing exposure to asset classes when they appear to be undervalued in the market, while selling or decreasing exposure to those that appear overvalued, will increase return and reduce risk over time. Many investors learned that lesson the hard way when, for example, the technology boom ended. Valuation always counts.
Tax Sensitivity—Taxes are important to high net worth families. Taxes should not be an afterthought, but we believe that taxes should not be the primary driver. Rather, the focus should be on after-tax returns. Taxes are considered throughout our investment process.
Avoiding Conflicts of Interest—Our clients must trust the objectivity of our advice. Therefore, our fee is fully transparent to you. We do not charge additional fees for participation in our investment vehicles or our internally managed domestic equities program. We do not accept compensation from anyone other than our clients. All clients (including founding families) invest side-by-side, with no preferences for investment opportunities.
Open Access + Internal Management—Our clients have access to the universe of managers; indeed, we employ over 100 external managers for our clients. However, we also offer in-house domestic equities management. Why? Few, if any, external managers practice our value discipline with the tax sensitivity required by taxable investors. We, therefore, created our own system to optimize investments for each client, using the tax basis of each position. Internal management also allows more tax efficient tactical movement of funds among managers and asset classes.
Multi-Dimensional Diversification—We strongly believe in the importance of diversification to reduce risk. Even the best markets, managers and asset classes fall in and out of favor. We construct diversification within each asset class and across a full range of asset classes, with appropriate diversification of managers. Click here for a listing of asset classes that we offer to our clients.
Holistic Portfolio View—Most wealthy families have significant business interests, investment positions and/or managers that they wish to retain. Sentinel customizes the balance of the portfolio with appropriate recognition of these matters to avoid further aggravating concentrations and reduce risk. We also structure investment activities with a multigenerational perspective, recognizing the different risk tolerances, return objectives and tax postures of each family member, trust and other entity.
Fee Sensitivity—Investment expenses, including our fees, are important. We strive to minimize them, but we believe that after-expense investment returns are more important to the investor.
Internal Investment Vehicles—We pool client funds to invest in a variety of asset classes. Each of these vehicles then engages underlying managers in a structure similar to a fund-of-funds but without the sponsor fees and conflicts of interest.