Disciplined value investing, personalized to your needs
Pacific Capital Associates manages investment accounts for individuals, businesses, and trusts.
Several aspects of our investing approach set us apart from most of the financial industry, particularly our emphasis on value and our commitment to long-term discipline. We discuss the foundations of our investing approach below; more details can be found in our Investment Insights and quarterly letters.
Our investment approach draws on well-established principles of value investing: that markets are frequently — and sometimes significantly — mispriced, and that investors are well served to ignore the crowd and to remain patiently focused on valuations. We place our clients in a diversified basket of investments that are reasonably valued or undervalued, actively adjusting the type and amount of exposure based on valuations expected returns, and always staying focused on long-term outcomes.
We believe a diversified, value-based approach gives investors the best chance at good long-term returns, while also significantly reducing the risk of the portfolio disasters that often result from investing in highly overpriced markets.
Patient and Disciplined
The ability to remain focused on the long term is a crucially important component of successful investing. Unfortunately, it is rare in the financial industry, and for that matter among investors in general. It’s well known that investors often pay undue attention to the recent past, tending strongly to “chase returns” — to buy what’s recently done well, and sell what hasn’t. This tendency is amplified in the financial industry, where money managers are judged (and often compensated) on shorter-term performance, rendering long-term focus a serious business risk. The end result is an industry very much preoccupied with the short term and prone to chasing returns without regard to value or long-term prospects.
Fortunately, we are an independent firm with the willingness, ability, and discipline to look past these short-term pressures and stay firmly focused on the long term. It makes our jobs harder at times, but we do it because we believe it’s the best thing we can do for our clients.
We are careful to invest each client’s portfolio in line with their investment goals, liquidity needs, and psychological risk profile. Our risk analysis process helps us get a good read on each client’s risk tolerance and ensure that portfolios stay in line with growth and risk parameters. We can customize portfolios for clients’ specific preferences, requirements, or tax situations. On that latter point, we use sophisticated portfolio management software that allows us to organize household assets in a way that reduces tax consequences.
We put a great deal of effort into communicating why we invest the way we do. We send letters to clients at least quarterly, and we are always available to answer questions on our investment strategy. Clients also get access to what we think is the best portfolio reporting system available, providing up-to-date information on performance, values, allocation, transactions, tax info, and more.