Switching from passive to active management

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michaeljmroger
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Switching from passive to active management

Post by michaeljmroger »

As I’m considering the switch from my passive investments at Vanguard to active management at a multi-family office, I see myself contemplating much riskier portfolios than what I currently have. It seems like I’m willing to be a lot more aggressive with active management, presumably because the managers I talked to claim to provide better downside protection and a lot less volatility than passive investments (I verified this claim and it appears to be true).

I’m currently at 30/70 and I doubt I could bear more risks with my passive portfolio. Even with relatively small drops like in Dec 2018, it was hard for me to stomach the loss of over $100,000 in just a few days. I did stay the course, but it’d have been very, very hard if I had a higher stock allocation.

And yet, I’m now considering a 70/30 allocation at this family office. Part of it is because they seem to limit the volatility quite a bit, and part of it is because I’m not “responsible” for major losses anymore, so somehow I feel comfortable with a more aggressive portfolio. Overall, it means I’ll presumably get much higher returns, even if I take into account the massive fees I’ll pay them.

I realize it comes down to psychology, and I also realize I’d likely get higher returns with the same 70/30 allocation at Vanguard, but I wouldn’t be able to handle it emotionally. It saddens me to admit it, but active management might actually be a better fit for me.
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by livesoft »

Maybe so, but I would recommend that you already have in place a way to change your mind and "unwind" the decision without a big tax cost. That doesn't mean you will change your mind, but you want that option I think.
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boglenomics
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by boglenomics »

Consider a service like Vanguard PAS. It will be much cheaper than the cost of a multi-family office and more trustworthy in my opinion.

The downside protection they promise seems untenable. They will either hold more in cash / fixed income when it doesn't make sense or be engaging in some sort of risk parity approach which I personally think is BS. If something sounds too good to be true it's because it is.
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Wiggums
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by Wiggums »

boglenomics wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:06 pm Consider a service like Vanguard PAS. It will be much cheaper than the cost of a multi-family office and more trustworthy in my opinion.

The downside protection they promise seems untenable. They will either hold more in cash / fixed income when it doesn't make sense or be engaging in some sort of risk parity approach which I personally think is BS. If something sounds too good to be true it's because it is.
I would consider PAS because fees do matter.

I have a friend with an actively managed portfolio with a similar downside protection. And my friend has managed to get so nervous over losses that he transferred out at the worse time. So make sure you really can tolerate the higher AA. He has done this twice, so having a manager did not calm his nerves.

Good luck to you...
stlutz
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by stlutz »

michaeljmroger wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:52 pm And yet, I’m now considering a 70/30 allocation at this family office. Part of it is because they seem to limit the volatility quite a bit, and part of it is because I’m not “responsible” for major losses anymore, so somehow I feel comfortable with a more aggressive portfolio. Overall, it means I’ll presumably get much higher returns, even if I take into account the massive fees I’ll pay them.
How do they "limit the volatility quite a bit" on a 70/30 portfolio?

Everybody can offer their opinion but it's largely an opinion about nothing but we don't know anything about the alternate strategy being proposed.
WhyNotUs
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by WhyNotUs »

Doesn't seem possible that this is true. You are 30/70 passive with nil fees and broad diversification and are selling at record highs (which may or may not be creating a taxable event) to change to 70/30 active with a local yokel with high fees. Are you just pulling our leg to get a reaction? That would be a metanoia of the highest (or better yet lowest) order.
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michaeljmroger
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by michaeljmroger »

WhyNotUs wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:18 pm Doesn't seem possible that this is true. You are 30/70 passive with nil fees and broad diversification and are selling at record highs (which may or may not be creating a taxable event) to change to 70/30 active with a local yokel with high fees. Are you just pulling our leg to get a reaction? That would be a metanoia of the highest (or better yet lowest) order.
I wouldn’t exactly call Bessemer Trust a “local yokel”...

Anyway, I haven’t made a firm decision yet, but I wanted the share my thought process, as absurd as it may sound to you.
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bluquark
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by bluquark »

I think you're doing a version of out-thinking yourself, except it's out-emotionally-self-awaring yourself. You aren't some kind of "fallen" investor doomed to bad decisions, and you should keep looking for other tricks to make sure you make good decisions and sleep at night before you plop for something you know is very suboptimal.

Personally, I didn't start with very high confidence in my ability to emotionally weather a downturn either, because I remember being very troubled by the 2008 crash and also about some of the debt-ceiling crises. What works for me today is to set a moderate AA for my age (65/35) and to write in my IPS the exact actions I am "allowed" to take -- in particular, a set date every year where I'll rebalance and a rule not to make any AA change decision (if I someday decide that that is wise) without a 3-month delay. I feel better knowing that my future actions will be guided and restrained by this "contract with myself" when things get tough.
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

The only part I would like to know more about (and the other posters are questioning too) is regarding the "lot less volatility" and "downside protection" parts. When you say this:
I verified this claim and it appears to be true.
that seems tenuous at best. Is it true or not? If it "appears" to be true, that means it might not be true but it might only appear to be.

would you mind sharing with us what Bessemer Trust is planning to do to provide this downside protection and a lot less volatility?
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Orbuculum Nongata
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by Orbuculum Nongata »

Good luck!
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by jjface »

This is a classic bury your head in the sand approach. I get it you don't want to take responsibility. It is a common reason why people flock to advisors and it is a bad reason to do so. You start trusting anything they say but the fact is there is no special sauce of low volatility and high returns.Managers may give the illusion of this but sooner or later their luck will run out and the extra risk they are taking will rear its ugly head.
At the end of the day it is still your money and it is still your responsibility one way or another.

You are obbiously a low risk investor and that won't change running head first towards this new active management with far more risk. I am not saying it won't work out but it will still require you to manage the manager if you want to make sure you are not wasting money or taking excessive risks. You will see even larger drops with such a high stock allocation. I doubt you'll be able to stomach that.

A solution to your problem doesn't have to be so complicated or drastic. There are ways to combat your risk aversion. I suggest you put everything in the vanguard balanced index or vanguard life strategy moderate growth and force yourself to never sell anything until retirement. Try not to look at your accounts other than once every few years. Leave it on autopilot. It will look after you as much as you need. An all in one fund masks large stock drops to a certain extent and will help you sleep better at night.

You can also use one of the life strategy funds eg conservative growth if the balanced index seems too risky.
delamer
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by delamer »

Regarding the “responsibility” issue, ultimately the only thing that matters is how much you have in your account.

If you think you’ll sleep better because it was someone else’s fault that you lost 30% of your portfolio, you are in denial.
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by Fallible »

michaeljmroger wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:52 pm ...
And yet, I’m now considering a 70/30 allocation at this family office. Part of it is because they seem to limit the volatility quite a bit, and part of it is because I’m not “responsible” for major losses anymore, so somehow I feel comfortable with a more aggressive portfolio. ...
But you are still "responsible" for all losses (and successes) if you turn it all over to financial advisors. You are responsible for understanding how they invest your money and you are responsible for watching over how well they are doing and dealing with them when they are not. It's your money and, in the end, your decision how to invest it and with whom.

If you still want to try an advisor, save money, time, and even more worry by going with Vanguard PAS.

As for that market drop last December: be sure to compare your performance with that of whatever the active managers are recommending. And share the information here if you wish.
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Kenkat
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by Kenkat »

In effect what you are suggesting is the equivalent of telling the Prius forum that you are selling your Prius and buying a Dodge Challenger Hellcat. No one here is going to think what you are suggesting is a good idea.
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Stinky
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by Stinky »

michaeljmroger wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:52 pm
.... I’m currently at 30/70 and I doubt I could bear more risks

.... I’m now considering a 70/30 allocation

..... massive fees I’ll pay them.

..... I’d likely get higher returns with the same 70/30 allocation at Vanguard
IMHO, sounds like a disaster in the making.
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pyld76
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by pyld76 »

Google “Larry portfolio.”

In a nutshell: keep your fixed income allocation. Aggressively tilt your equity allocation to small value. You can do this with passive vehicles.

As I recall from another thread, you’ve essentially won the game. So, you can afford a little risk. You can do that, and even do it without really changing your allocation (see above). That said, the odds of your manager at an MFO besting a passive portfolio over time are right up there with hitting the actual lottery.

You might have regret 20 years out once this becomes evident.
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by McGilicutty »

michaeljmroger wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:24 pm I wouldn’t exactly call Bessemer Trust a “local yokel”...
Nope, but they ain't no charity either. Here's a couple of excerpts from an old Barron's article:
As long as a client has at least $10 million, he or she can expect a full range of services. Fees start at about 1% of assets, and may be less for larger accounts. Additional services beyond general investment management are mostly covered by those fees.

...

Stern, who has been with the company for five years, has recently started to be a bit more aggressive in his asset-allocation recommendations, moving to a benchmark of 65% in growth-oriented assets, including stocks, commodities, hedge funds, private equity and real estate, and 35% in cash and bonds. Previously, "in the teeth of the crisis," less than 50% of the assets were in growth categories.
https://www.barrons.com/articles/SB125936529386967205

So it looks like you'll be paying 1% AUM (at least $100,000) for the privilege of them putting you in a lot of exotic, possibly illiquid, investments including hedge funds (which will probably charge you an additional 2% AUM + 20% of any gains).

Not my cup of tea, but congrats on having at least $10 million!
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by bloom2708 »

Don’t just do something. Stand there.

Repeat.
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by Tyler Aspect »

michaeljmroger wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:52 pm As I’m considering the switch from my passive investments at Vanguard to active management at a multi-family office, I see myself contemplating much riskier portfolios than what I currently have. It seems like I’m willing to be a lot more aggressive with active management, presumably because the managers I talked to claim to provide better downside protection and a lot less volatility than passive investments (I verified this claim and it appears to be true).

Too good to be true alert. A 70% stock / 30% bond portfolio that is as safe as a 30% stock / 70% bond portfolio through magic sauce formula? Unlikely indeed!

You are just falling for some of the standard sales tricks of the financial industry. Have you heard of the practice of cherry picking performance figures? With the benefit of hindsight it is possible to pick investments that produced a big gain every year without the possibility of loss. Any such historical performance charts are meaningless.

I’m currently at 30/70 and I doubt I could bear more risks with my passive portfolio. Even with relatively small drops like in Dec 2018, it was hard for me to stomach the loss of over $100,000 in just a few days. I did stay the course, but it’d have been very, very hard if I had a higher stock allocation.

And yet, I’m now considering a 70/30 allocation at this family office. Part of it is because they seem to limit the volatility quite a bit, and part of it is because I’m not “responsible” for major losses anymore, so somehow I feel comfortable with a more aggressive portfolio. Overall, it means I’ll presumably get much higher returns, even if I take into account the massive fees I’ll pay them.

Rosy projections are a dime a dozen. Just because a portfolio is actively managed it will not suddenly have magical properties to become an all gain no loss portfolio.

I realize it comes down to psychology, and I also realize I’d likely get higher returns with the same 70/30 allocation at Vanguard, but I wouldn’t be able to handle it emotionally. It saddens me to admit it, but active management might actually be a better fit for me.
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UpperNwGuy
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by UpperNwGuy »

OP, I think you are making a big mistake.
printer86
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by printer86 »

michaeljmroger wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:52 pm
It seems like I’m willing to be a lot more aggressive with active management, presumably because the managers I talked to claim to provide better downside protection and a lot less volatility than passive investments (I verified this claim and it appears to be true).


The members of this forum tend to be a fact based group. Can you please point us to the facts behind this statement?
venkman
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by venkman »

Vanguard Wellesley. It's close enough to 30/70, and you only have to pay 0.16% for an active manager to blame when things go wrong.
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BL
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by BL »

I haven't done the math, but I expect a 60/40 balanced Vanguard fund (Balanced Fund, Life Strategy Moderate, Wellington (active), or other ones) would give you as good results as a "managed" active investment with "advisor" with more risk (70/30).
HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE »

OP, if you do go this route, I encourage you to share with the board the portfolio they build for you.

There are enough open minded people here who can give you a fair evaluation.
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by Dougroseville »

If you haven't done so already, I strongly recommend that you read the "Four Pillars of Investing" - https://www.amazon.com/Four-Pillars-Inv ... 1932378014

If you do decide to go active (with a much more aggressive allocation), please check back in several years after the next big downturn and let us know how you reacted..

Good luck!
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michaeljmroger
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by michaeljmroger »

Thanks everyone for your help and guidance, it’s helping me a lot!

I’d like to clarify that I’m not considering this multi-family office because I want to switch to active management. My interest for them comes from the wide range of services they offer (estate planning etc.) which are “unfortunately” bundled with active management.

There’s also something reassuring about delegating such a large portfolio to a private company that specializes exclusively in ultra high net worth families. I just assume there’s a much lower chance they totally screw up than I do, even though I tend to think that I know what I’m doing.

To be clear, I’m not exactly thrilled by the obscene fees I’d be paying. If everything goes as expected, they estimated I’d pay close to half a million dollars per year in fees. These fees include more than just portfolio management but still, it’s an insane amount of money per se no matter the size of my portfolio.
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by HawkeyePierce »

What other services do they offer that you're interested in? Perhaps the board has suggestions for those. I would think things like estate planning could be done "a la carte" if you hire specialists individually rather than bundling things.

Additionally, if they're bad at investing and overcharging to boot, why believe they're good at the other services they advertise or that their fees for those services aren't also obscene?
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by IntangibleAssets »

michaeljmroger wrote: Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:39 am Thanks everyone for your help and guidance, it’s helping me a lot!

I’d like to clarify that I’m not considering this multi-family office because I want to switch to active management. My interest for them comes from the wide range of services they offer (estate planning etc.) which are “unfortunately” bundled with active management.

There’s also something reassuring about delegating such a large portfolio to a private company that specializes exclusively in ultra high net worth families. I just assume there’s a much lower chance they totally screw up than I do, even though I tend to think that I know what I’m doing.

To be clear, I’m not exactly thrilled by the obscene fees I’d be paying. If everything goes as expected, they estimated I’d pay close to half a million dollars per year in fees. These fees include more than just portfolio management but still, it’s an insane amount of money per se no matter the size of my portfolio.
I don't quite understand, you are comfortable paying this firm 500K/yr, but couldn't handle the 100k dip? in just 2 years of paying those fees you could "handle" 10 such dips and if you stay the course and don't sell you could retain the upswing of that :happy
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by protagonist »

OP, your post confuses me.

If at 30/70, you found it "hard to stomach" your paper losses during the small dip in 2018, how will you possibly cope with a serious bear market (or crash) if you change your AA to 70/30? (I am assuming the first number is your stock allocation).

That seems counterintuitive to me.
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by Stinky »

HawkeyePierce wrote: Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:00 am What other services do they offer that you're interested in? Perhaps the board has suggestions for those. I would think things like estate planning could be done "a la carte" if you hire specialists individually rather than bundling things.
+1

I’d be interested in hearing about this too. It seems like an a la carte approach could be a lot cheaper, and probably more effective, than the one provider approach. Especially if OP is only grudgingly satisfied with the asset management services.
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onourway
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by onourway »

This makes no sense. You had a hard time stomaching a relatively small and very temporary $100k variation of account value (notice I avoid the term 'loss' here) in December, yet you are considering signing up to pay these folks $500k/year for their services? Note that these are also the fees they are willing to tell you about. Financial services firms do not generally have a reputation of being completely transparent with their fee structure...
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by bloom2708 »

$500k for estate planning services and other services?

They likely still charge you by the hour worked on top.

Don't do anything for 90 days. Cooling off zone.

You could hire the best estate planner in the US and not pay close to those fees. Think of the ripple effect of $500k in fees per year not staying in the account. Each subsequent year the previosu $500k wasn't there to grow, pay interest/dividends.

As mentioned, pick a couple active funds. Wellington and Wellesley if you have to have active. A fraction of the cost.
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by Godot »

michaeljmroger wrote: Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:39 am
To be clear, I’m not exactly thrilled by the obscene fees I’d be paying. If everything goes as expected, they estimated I’d pay close to half a million dollars per year in fees. These fees include more than just portfolio management but still, it’s an insane amount of money per se no matter the size of my portfolio.
What?! You would be paying half a million in fees annually and are queasy over a 100k dip? Something amiss here.
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by KingRiggs »

For $500k annually, they’d better provide you with a live-in life coach and personal chef as well!
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by ruralavalon »

michaeljmroger wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:52 pmI’m willing to be a lot more aggressive with active management, presumably because the managers I talked to claim to provide better downside protection and a lot less volatility than passive investments (I verified this claim and it appears to be true).
. . . . .
. . .I’m now considering a 70/30 allocation at this family office. Part of it is because they seem to limit the volatility quite a bit, . . .

This sounds implausible. How did you "verify this"? It looks like a bad idea.

michaeljmroger wrote: Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:39 am Thanks everyone for your help and guidance, it’s helping me a lot!

I’d like to clarify that I’m not considering this multi-family office because I want to switch to active management. My interest for them comes from the wide range of services they offer (estate planning etc.) which are “unfortunately” bundled with active management.

There’s also something reassuring about delegating such a large portfolio to a private company that specializes exclusively in ultra high net worth families. I just assume there’s a much lower chance they totally screw up than I do, even though I tend to think that I know what I’m doing.

To be clear, I’m not exactly thrilled by the obscene fees I’d be paying. If everything goes as expected, they estimated I’d pay close to half a million dollars per year in fees. These fees include more than just portfolio management but still, it’s an insane amount of money per se no matter the size of my portfolio.
You don't want active management. So find another firm or firms, and buy only the services which you actually want (e.g. estate planning) unbundled. Stay with passive investing.
Last edited by ruralavalon on Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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aristotelian
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by aristotelian »

No offense, but this is a terrible idea. Unless they can guarantee lower volatility, I wouldn't trust a word they say. Your logic of using lower volatility investments to take more risk is twisted in circles. Regardless, you should be able to replicate their strategy using index fund ETF's at lower cost. I would urge you in the strongest possible terms to reconsider this plan.
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by Fallible »

michaeljmroger wrote: Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:39 am Thanks everyone for your help and guidance, it’s helping me a lot!

I’d like to clarify that I’m not considering this multi-family office because I want to switch to active management. My interest for them comes from the wide range of services they offer (estate planning etc.) which are “unfortunately” bundled with active management.

There’s also something reassuring about delegating such a large portfolio to a private company that specializes exclusively in ultra high net worth families. I just assume there’s a much lower chance they totally screw up than I do, even though I tend to think that I know what I’m doing. ...
The idea to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars based on "just" an assumption that they are less likely to mess up than you are is not rational. One thing that may explain it is the strong emotion of regret, i.e., your regret about the December loss and your feelings of relief knowing you can avoid more regret if you can blame someone else for losses. And it could be loss aversion, where investors generally fear losing money more than they like gaining it.

There is much written about regret and loss aversion, but at least one with references to the wealthy is this from Nobelist Daniel Kahneman:
https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2018/06/13 ... 0615115238
Last edited by Fallible on Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by deltaneutral83 »

If a 30/70 portfolio is still too volatile for you active management is about the last thing I'd want to do, especially ramping up to 70/30. I don't even plan to look at the markets but maybe once a month on the evening news when retired if I were 30/70. The end to end 19.9% decline on the S&P with a low on 12/24/2018 would be a total 6% loss on your portfolio on 30/70 asset allocation. We had 6% intra day declines in December 2008 alone.
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by minimalistmarc »

Godot wrote: Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:42 am
michaeljmroger wrote: Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:39 am
To be clear, I’m not exactly thrilled by the obscene fees I’d be paying. If everything goes as expected, they estimated I’d pay close to half a million dollars per year in fees. These fees include more than just portfolio management but still, it’s an insane amount of money per se no matter the size of my portfolio.
What?! You would be paying half a million in fees annually and are queasy over a 100k dip? Something amiss here.

Yes it’s very bizarre.

If estate planning is a priority why not save the fees and start giving your family money now?

I think you would be better off investing in some counselling/psychological therapy
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by HomerJ »

michaeljmroger wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:52 pmAnd yet, I’m now considering a 70/30 allocation at this family office. Part of it is because they seem to limit the volatility quite a bit, and part of it is because I’m not “responsible” for major losses anymore, so somehow I feel comfortable with a more aggressive portfolio. Overall, it means I’ll presumably get much higher returns, even if I take into account the massive fees I’ll pay them.

If they limit the volatility enough to keep your money safe, then you're not very likely to get the much higher returns.

What IS certain, though, is the "massive" fees you will be paying.

This seems like a bad idea to me.
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
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HomerJ
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by HomerJ »

michaeljmroger wrote: Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:39 amTo be clear, I’m not exactly thrilled by the obscene fees I’d be paying. If everything goes as expected, they estimated I’d pay close to half a million dollars per year in fees. These fees include more than just portfolio management but still, it’s an insane amount of money per se no matter the size of my portfolio.
None of this makes sense to me.
michaeljmroger wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:52 pmEven with relatively small drops like in Dec 2018, it was hard for me to stomach the loss of over $100,000 in just a few days.
So instead you're going to GUARANTEE a loss of $500,000 every year for the rest of your life?
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
StealthRabbit
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by StealthRabbit »

If struggling with $100k periodic losses on $10m portfolio.... Why even listen to a 70/30 sales pitch?

Put yourself in a 20/80 position and go enjoy life until you want to play more with growth. No crime in that, no rush to win. Go back to school or read the Bogle wiki, and cruise on without feathering the very deep pockets of this private planning group. They will cover themselves, (well) at your expense. Consider managing $$ yourself and giving their fees to a humanitarian charity. Sounds more useful / rewarding / good stewardship to me
LeftCoastIV
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by LeftCoastIV »

I agree with the comments recommending ala carte estate planning services. Hire an excellent estate planning attorney for a month of work to define a well-thought out estate plan, and then you should only need to meet him/her again maybe once a year, if that.

I would run away from the proposal you are considering. One way to think about this is to ask yourself how many hours of work you think Bessemer will put in on your behalf, and then determine the hourly rate that equates to $500K.

I'm not dismissing your desire to distance yourself from the emotional pain of market downturns. That's understandable. Having someone else in charge could help, but if you will react the same way and sell in a downturn, you'll have locked in high fees and still endured market losses. I'd suggest sticking with the AA you can sleep with.
CedarWaxWing
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by CedarWaxWing »

http://flip4u.org/docs/If%20You%20Can%2 ... nstein.pdf

1. I would suggest you download this pdf that is generously given away by Dr. Bill Bernstein. Put it on your portable devices, and your desktop and read it about 3 times over 3 weeks. Do it in a leisurely but thoughtful fashion.

Start reading the books Dr. B recommends... in order of his presentation of them.

Read anything written by Mr. Bogle.

Then read the books Dr. B has written... they are all worth the time.

2. Watch these videos: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Boglehe ... philosophy

Do see these this week. Then start your reading.

3. Consider for now doing the Vanguard PAS... or more simply... get a one time advice session in regards to which funds to be in for now... and get a once per year advisory session at the end of year or so annually. For the amount of money you have to invest you should be able to get that much help.

( I consider the money you have to invest to be the amount you got from the shares you sold... IF you don't change your lifestyle or employment at this time. So... consider not changing your lifestyle until you have at least twice the amount you sold your shares for available to you.)

4. Get familiar with: https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/

Read about 30 minutes per day as time permits... and do searches on topics of interest to you.

5. Determine if you do or do not need to harvest funds from your recent windfall, and whether you wish to remain employed as you were last year or not, or whether you wish to further your education or get a different employment or not... but do something constructive and gainful each day. If you do not have better options, and like the work you do... stay put until that changes.

I assume you still have 50% of your "shares" since you sold 50% of them recently.
I also assume you still are gainfully employed and wish to be so... and I may well be wrong about both assumptions of course.

6. Subscribe to morningstar.com and learn how to use their information.

7. Go back to 3 and do it this week.

You have very little chance of doing better than VG funds advised by VG by going with the folks you mentioned... or anyone else actually.
With the amount of money you have, you should not have to go to a high expense place to do very very well over time.
Your time invested in the market, your amount saved and invested, your costs of investing, your personal expenses, your income from work, and
adequate diversification are very very important. The dance and pony show you are likely getting from your proposed FAs are not likely to do better for you than Vanguard funds and PAS for a year or two while you educate yourself. If you don't wish to educate yourself I would consider PAS until you do, or at least get that once per year consult from them if possible.

best,

M
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chickadee
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by chickadee »

I would hire Rick Ferri with Ferri Investment Solutions who charges by the hour and works with a lot of high net worth individuals to recommend an asset allocation for me. I’d hire an estate attorney and tax expert who also charge by the hour to develop plans for me. Then I’d execute those plans using a low cost brokerage (Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab, and spend my time enjoying life!
Texanbybirth
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by Texanbybirth »

What an awful idea. For (less than) $500k per year you could probably hire some of the best people in the business for all of those "other" services they offer in addition to active management.
HomerJ wrote: Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:35 am
michaeljmroger wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:52 pmAnd yet, I’m now considering a 70/30 allocation at this family office. Part of it is because they seem to limit the volatility quite a bit, and part of it is because I’m not “responsible” for major losses anymore, so somehow I feel comfortable with a more aggressive portfolio. Overall, it means I’ll presumably get much higher returns, even if I take into account the massive fees I’ll pay them.

If they limit the volatility enough to keep your money safe, then you're not very likely to get the much higher returns.

What IS certain, though, is the "massive" fees you will be paying.

This seems like a bad idea to me.
Bingo.
“The strong cannot be brave. Only the weak can be brave; and yet again, in practice, only those who can be brave can be trusted, in time of doubt, to be strong.“ - GK Chesterton
HawkeyePierce
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by HawkeyePierce »

Stinky wrote: Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:34 am
HawkeyePierce wrote: Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:00 am What other services do they offer that you're interested in? Perhaps the board has suggestions for those. I would think things like estate planning could be done "a la carte" if you hire specialists individually rather than bundling things.
+1

I’d be interested in hearing about this too. It seems like an a la carte approach could be a lot cheaper, and probably more effective, than the one provider approach. Especially if OP is only grudgingly satisfied with the asset management services.
Additionally, if OP is dissatisfied with one of their services, it might be difficult to switch to another provider for just that service without having to change everything. If OP hires individual professionals for financial planning, estate planning, taxes, etc, it's easier to just replace just one of them if things go south since it isn't all bundled up.

Always worth considering your exit plan when hiring professionals like this in the event they need to be fired.
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 »

I agree with the posters who suggest John Bogle's books, You Tube Videos, etc. I think with passive management with low fee index funds "you get what you don't pay for."
Upton Sinclair: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
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travelogue
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by travelogue »

Agree with the above. Bogle’s books, particularly the Little Book of Common Sense Investing (I have the 2e audiobook) and Malkiel’s A Random Walk Down Wall Street. Maybe a fee for service consultation with an independent fiduciary advisor plus an estate planning attorney?

You could also move to something like a low vol strategy for your equities (I have USMV as a holding, e.g.) but that’s no guarantee you won’t have a lot of dips (though they should be less than the broad market over time).

Can you set-it and forget-it? Not check your portfolio very often (like, once a year)? You could if you have a reasonable asset allocation rebalanced annually or something like an all-in-one target date or balanced fund that will do it for you. You could set it aside and not look at it. (Agree that Wellesley is a good one, but there are plenty of others.)
CedarWaxWing
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Re: Switching form passive to active management

Post by CedarWaxWing »

chickadee wrote: Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:19 pm I would hire Rick Ferri with Ferri Investment Solutions who charges by the hour and works with a lot of high net worth individuals to recommend an asset allocation for me. I’d hire an estate attorney and tax expert who also charge by the hour to develop plans for me. Then I’d execute those plans using a low cost brokerage (Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab, and spend my time enjoying life!
1+ definitely one of the good guys on this list...
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