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We believe that dividends and capital appreciation are both essential elements of investment success and so we strive to emphasize both when we seek out companies to include in portfolios for our clients. Our approach to stock selection is grounded by fundamental security analysis and a valuation discipline. We research our own investment ideas as well as consider the views of various external research services. Our expected time horizon for holding stocks is normally three to five years. Our annual stock portfolio turnover rate averages about 20% or less.

We insist on investing in businesses that we understand and that most of our clients would understand. We want companies with a clear sustainable business model and with a management and culture that has demonstrated success in creating profits from that model. We generally invest in conservative, large-capitalization stocks selling at below-average price/earnings (P/E) ratios and above-average dividend yields. We favour companies with long-term records of earnings and dividend growth, strong balance sheets, above-average profitability levels, and global business franchises.

Our stock portfolios generally consist of 20 to 25 great companies concentrated in five to seven industry groups. This approach allows us to focus only on the best investment ideas and maximize investment returns while still maintaining appropriate levels of diversification. By focusing on a smaller number of companies, it allows build portfolios with only our best investment ideas, but we can also have a greater depth of knowledge on each of those companies.

Our Approach to Bonds