indicatorInvesting and Saving

Putting our principles first

By ATB Investment Management Inc. 28 September 2021 3 min read

Written by Liz Lunney, CFA, head of portfolio management, co-authored by Alexander Jones, CFA, Joe Wong, CFA, senior portfolio manager, and Scott Lacombe, CFA, portfolio manager, on behalf of Private Investment Counsel.

At a glance:

Avoid the temptation of market fads by sticking to a smart investment plan that can weather volatility. In this article, we remind you why Albertans have chosen ATB Wealth for close to two decades, and how our approach has helped clients become better investors.

Warren Buffet once said the stock market is a mechanism to transfer wealth from the impatient to the patient. He couldn’t have made it simpler, and yet so many investors get caught up in the noise that surrounds us. And that noise can get really loud and hard to ignore, especially as markets react or interest rates fall and rise or hot trends such as crypto currency or meme stocks become irresistible. With all of this noise in our everyday lives, it’s no wonder some investors are influenced by the buzz, resulting in impulsive decisions instead of looking ahead and focusing on the long term. This can have serious impacts on an investor's goals and future.

One way we help clients ignore the noise is to reflect on the principles of investing and the investment philosophy we at ATB Investment Management Inc. (ATBIM) adhere to. We believe investor success is the result of solid portfolio construction and smart investor behaviours.

Over the short term, stock markets act more like a barometer of human behaviour, capitulating higher when optimism abounds, or lower when fear sweeps through the masses. Once you add up enough of the day-to-day actions of investors, business and economic factors take hold in capital markets over the long term.

Capital markets award returns to providers of capital—capital gains and dividends to company owners and stockholders, and interest to lenders and bond holders. Investors provide their capital to businesses; in turn, businesses use this capital to create value, and investors expect to be rewarded, a strategy that pays off over time. Markets reward lenders and shareholders in the form of returns because investors take on different spectrums of risk by providing capital to businesses.

With the exception of the spring of 2020, market growth has been robust for the better part of a decade. In times like these, it’s easy to focus on the long term and stay the course, but markets do inevitably disappoint us, and test our patience. It’s in these times that we cannot overstate the importance of a sound investment philosophy to drive your investment process. Let’s not forget, this is Alberta—our houses are built for durability to hold up through all weather conditions including hail and blizzards. It’s the same with our investments; they need to be built and maintained to shelter us through all market conditions over many seasons.

ATBIM is proud to have an investing philosophy that’s straight forward, timeless and resilient. The following core beliefs are integral to our process of building and managing portfolios:

  1. Begin with an effective asset mix, strategically rebalanced over time.
  2. Succeed by managing risk through diversification—protecting investors from the downside while cultivating room to grow.
  3. Thrive on our strong partnerships with select, specialized investment managers.
  4. Gain from our commitment to managing costs to maximize investor returns.
  5. Reflect the discipline, simplicity and clarity that’s in everything we do.

These principles are the foundation of our service to clients—and have been since inception. From our humble beginning we’ve focused on developing and implementing a framework of designing and managing portfolios that has served our investors well. Today we have a track record that stands out in the industry because of our team approach, diversity of ideas, and objectivity.

Even if we see changes in our team or among the money managers we employ, clients can always count on our investment approach and investment philosophy. We are resolute and unflinching about it. Our principles and practices are bigger than any one person here at our firm. This is why you work with us.

ATB Wealth has helped Albertans become better investors for almost two decades, while ATB Financial has served Albertans for more than 80 years. What started as a simple idea—that we could help Albertans build better portfolios designed for their goals—has evolved into a reliable and consistent investment program our clients can count on.

Grounded in our philosophy, we will always be methodical in our decision making, meaning we maintain a consistent approach to building portfolios for our investors. Thanks for putting your trust in us; we don’t take it for granted and will continue working hard to reinforce the decision you’ve made. And if you haven’t worked with us yet, we’d love to meet you and get to work for you.

Meet Joe Wong and Scott Lacombe from the portfolio management team

Video: Video length: 9:49

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