White Papers By Date
Over the past decade, and accelerating rapidly in the last few years, the so-called “outsourced Chief Investment Officer” model for delivering financial advice has grown very rapidly. In the experience of many advisors, client requests for discretionary advice now outnumber client requests for more traditional non-discretionary advice. The purpose of this paper is to define what an outsourced CIO model is, identify why it has become so popular, distinguish its advantages and disadvantages relative to non-discretionary advisory services, and suggest how investors might think about choosing between the two models.
In White Paper No. 48, we recommend that families who use trusts (or who are considering establishing trusts) evaluate the advantages of “unbundling” the activities that have historically been bundled into one product by the trust industry. In other words, instead of settling for mediocre, bundled trust services, families should unbundle them and engage the best providers available for all their trust needs: fiduciary, asset management, custody, tax, administration.
We recognize that many investors may not be familiar with real estate as a core part of an investment portfolio, and so we are also enclosing White Paper No. 47A – Investing in Real Property – A Primer, also written by Eric. This paper defines real estate, describes the risks and opportunities associated with investing in the asset class, and outlines various ways of gaining access to real estate, depending on the size of the investment and the experience of the investor.
White Paper No. 47 describes the current real estate environment and provides investors with a road map to identify and evaluate potential opportunities in the sector. As everyone knows, market gyrations over the past eighteen months have affected all asset classes, real estate included. Values of real property assets across all sectors have been affected, most notably in the residential housing sector (happening now) and core commercial real estate (just about to happen). There are clearly opportunities in the real estate market today, but those opportunities are mixed in with a far greater number of challenges, and many investors are puzzled as to how to take advantage of this environment without getting burned. In White Paper No. 47, Greycourt Director Eric Haskel attempts to cut through the noise and to suggest opportunities that seem appropriate on a risk-adjusted basis.
During extraordinary market conditions of all kinds – good and bad – it is usual to hear people say, “It’s different this time.” Of course, every market environment is different from every other market environment, but what these people are saying is that market conditions today are so exceptional, so completely unprecedented, that investors will need to reassess everything they thought they knew about the investment process – or face serious consequences.
Given the high interest in private equity secondary funds today, Greycourt managing director David Lovejoy has prepared Greycourt White Paper No. 45 – Secondary Investing in Private Equity. In this paper, David examines some of the key elements of secondary investing, placing moneys with secondary fund managers and provides a framework for evaluating these managers.
Presented as a series of questions and answers, we explore what a credit crunch is, why it happened, how it morphed into the mess we find ourselves in today, and what investors ought to be doing about it in their portfolios.
In this paper we investigate the case for global investing, examine why it is that so many American investors underweight foreign stocks, and suggest a sensible middle ground between true global investing and the current home country bias that infects most portfolios.
Departing from our usual format, we have fashioned this white paper as a faux amicus curiae brief as if it were being filed with the Supreme Court of the United States. In fact, this white paper is really an amicus opes (“Friend of the Investor”) brief in which we are commenting not-too-subtly on the various court decisions regarding deductibility of investment costs. Though our remarks are presented with a humorous edge, the consequence for investors is no laughing matter!
The purpose of this paper is to review the background behind the AICPA Practice Aid, to examine some of the mischief that implementation of the Aid has caused, and to speculate about how the auditors’ approach might be modified to improve both the quality of audits and the quality of investment portfolios.