It has been our experience that investment success is more likely to be achieved through an unwavering commitment to a set of clearly defined investment principles. These principles define Bernhardt Wealth Management’s investment philosophy, and serve as a platform for every portfolio we design for our clients.
EFFICIENT MARKETS: Security prices are determined according to all freely available information and by fierce competition among market professionals. As such, we believe it is virtually impossible for any single investor to consistently earn more profits than other investors by choosing securities that are undervalued. In other words, market forces create an environment where picking individual stocks does not guarantee superior performance.
MODERN PORTFOLIO THEORY: Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) was developed at the University of Chicago by Harry Markowitz and Merton Miller and later expanded on by Stanford professor William Sharpe. Each of these professors later won the Nobel Prize in Economics for their contribution to investment methodology. Unlike traditional asset management, which focuses on predicting individual stock price movements, MPT looks at the portfolio of assets based on the combination of its risk and return components. According to the principles of MPT, there is an optimum combination of investments that will bring the highest rate of return for every level of risk.
DIVERSIFICATION: Investors can reduce their potential for loss by investing in a basket of different securities. In less technical terms, diversification means the same thing as the adage, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” It is important to note that a diversified portfolio is not necessarily a properly allocated portfolio.
ASSET ALLOCATION: Academic research has provided evidence that an investor’s asset allocation decision — the choice of asset classes and the portfolio percentage allocated to each — is the single most important element in a portfolio strategy. It accounts for 94 percent of a portfolio’s performance compared with 2 percent for market timing decisions and 4 percent for security selection. Asset allocation involves diversifying among several asset groups to improve total return while reducing risk.