At Segment, our philosophy is centered on our core values:
We make it easy to do business with us by communicating clearly and concisely.
We are available and responsive to our clients. We are focused, precise, and consistent in our strategies and their implementation.
We are dedicated to achievement and performing to the highest professional standards. We are prepared, and will always strive to deliver superior service and execution.
We behave with respect, integrity, and character. We are accurate, realistic, and accountable. We always act fairly and comply with all laws.
Segment’s client strategies are founded on a few fundamental beliefs:
MARKETS ARE EFFICIENT
Markets accurately price all known information virtually instantaneously and also very quickly and accurately provide a “handicapped” consensus view about expectations for the future.
INVESTORS ARE IRRATIONAL
Investors tend to go with the crowd, despite the crowd’s miserable track record. The group-think tendency to buy what has already risen and sell what has already fallen has been a precursor to every financial disaster. Awareness of these trends can create exploitable opportunities for investors with boldness, vision, and perspective.
The stock market can be unpredictable. While there are periodic instances in which stocks offer less than average prospects, we have no doubt that the stock market presents the best opportunities for long term wealth building. We believe that as long as stocks at some point rise in value in the future, the only investor who loses is the one who sells impatiently, or in fear, and thus gives away his chance at recovery.
In order to help our clients prepare for the periodic losses that are certain to occur, Segment emphasizes risk budgeting. Staying power is often the determinant of success, and we advise our clients and construct their portfolios so that both are prepared for changes in the market.
Segment is somewhat unique in our approach to managing client investments. Unlike most wealth management firms that subcontract security selection via mutual funds and separate accounts, we often build the entire portfolio ourselves using a multi-dimensional approach. We also use inexpensive and tax efficient exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as “building blocks” for many situations. These approaches tend to cut client overall fees in half as compared to most other alternatives. These approaches also give clients better compounded returns by deferring taxes on unrealized gain, which has estate planning benefits as well. Additionally, this approach also plays well with client charitable giving activity, where securities with a large gain are held specifically as “currency” for gifts to charity.
MANAGING FOR AFTER-TAX RETURN
Traditional Wall Street firms are adept at creating activity that feeds their fee/commission model and the glory of short term comparisons. Yet, client assets are generally harmed by the higher costs, lost compounding from taxes paid too early, and are often robbed of the behavioral benefits laying in plain sight in the tax code. Segment uses a host of techniques to defer tax, or avoid it completely. Certain investment products, such as open-ended mutual funds and hedge funds, generally offer clients poorer tax treatment and higher fees than other choices. Other structures like ETFs, generally offer lower costs and far better compounding through reduced taxation related to their structural tax treatment. Segment uses these ETFs in client accounts, but also manages accounts with individual securities, both giving clients greater control over offsetting tax transactions and the option of using higher gain winning positions in sophisticated charitable giving endeavors. Traditional brokerage methodologies often squander beneficial tax treatment through myopic management chasing fleeting performance and failing to see the larger picture.