New School Twist on an Old School Notion

I love reading about how other practitioners in my industry construct their portfolios and run money for their clients.  Sometimes these stories affirm my own thoughts on what it is that I’m doing, and sometimes they challenge me to think about things differently.

In this weekend’s Barron’s, we get a profile of a UBS advisor who is doing the old school approach of broad diversity, buy low-sell high and long-term holding periods.  But he is doing it with a modern twist – ETFs rather than hundreds of individual holdings or actively managed mutual funds.

Ron Vinder grew wary of stock-picking almost as soon as he landed on Wall Street. It was 1988, and Vinder was hitting the phones 12 hours a day for Lehman Brothers, pushing the firm’s favorite stocks. The long days earned him decent commissions but also the knowledge that clients weren’t making much money.

Twenty-four years later, Vinder, now a leading financial advisor at UBS Financial Services, eschews individual stocks almost entirely. Instead, he relies on exchange-traded funds, using them to carry out carefully tailored asset allocations. “The more asset classes that you introduce into a portfolio, the less risk and the better the return you’ll have over a long period of time,” Vinder says with a quiet confidence…

Once a year, Vinder’s six-member New York-based team rebalances clients’ portfolios, shedding some of the best-performing assets and buying more of the underachievers. “It kind of forces you to buy low and sell high, which is what everyone strives to do but doesn’t,” he says.

Click over for the whole profile, it’s a good read.


Wizard of ETFs (Barron’s)




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