Michael O. AdairManaging Director, Senior Investment Consultant | 2018

Designing a Personalized Portfolio: Three Principles to Unlocking Client Alpha

One of the cornerstones of our firm is the ability to personalize a portfolio. High-net worth clients tend to be sophisticated investors with complex needs—assets in many different places and in many different types of vehicles.

Principle 1: Personalized Portfolio Management

One of the cornerstones of our firm is the ability to personalize a portfolio. High-net worth clients tend to be sophisticated investors with complex needs—assets in many different places and in many different types of vehicles. Each client has unique investment goals, and many also express the desire to align portfolios with their moral compasses and personal feelings about the economy or markets. In addition, it is rare that a client comes to City National Rochdale with a completely blank slate, so we often need to work around existing portfolios, unrealized gains/losses, and other behavioral biases that may exist with the client and his/her investment holdings.

To meet the goals and expectations of high-net worth clients, our investment consultants and portfolio management teams work with advisors to develop unique plans for each unique goal. Once the plan is in place, we build an Investment Policy Statement that serves as a guide for portfolio construction and investment decision making.

Specialized strategy managers oversee certain asset classes in-house. For some other asset classes, such as opportunistic income, small cap, and international equities and bonds, we partner with outside managers.

Following the guidance of the Asset Allocation Committee, whose members average more than 30 years of experience, individual portfolio managers are empowered to customize and implement strategies from a variety of global options tailored to each client. Based on each client’s unique circumstances, our portfolio management teams design unique investment strategies and proactively manage them to help drive performance.

PROPRIETARY ANALYTIC TOOLS

We include personal benchmarks to measure each portfolio’s performance and adjust investment allocations to suit client goals and objectives. Using our proprietary analytic tools, we develop a plan based on each client’s target return goals.

Our proprietary portfolio analysis software, GalaxySM, helps us illustrate how our custom strategies work for each client. We input key data about the client’s portfolio and investment strategy into the tool, which simulates the portfolio’s outlook over the long term and helps give clients a complete financial picture. The result is one comprehensive report that takes a holistic look at clients’ assets—retirement accounts, trusts, IRAs, etc.—including the tax aspects. Based on variations in strategies and asset allocations, Galaxy generates possible portfolio outcomes. What makes this tool particularly powerful is that it’s not just a hypothetical portfolio—it shows the possibilities for a client’s existing assets. With these simulations, clients can compare and contrast our recommendations to what they’re currently doing.


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One of the cornerstones of our firm is the ability to personalize a portfolio. High-net worth clients tend to be sophisticated investors with complex needs—assets in many different places and in many different types of vehicles.

Sources and Disclosures

1Average tax alpha generated between 2008 and 2017 from five randomly selected real client accounts (from five separate senior portfolio managers) used in a City National Rochdale internal study. For more information, see our white paper, Tax Alpha: Enhancing Returns Through Active Tax Management.

2Weinberg, Ari I (2012, October 16). A magical tax-loss harvesting machine? Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ariweinberg/2012/10/16/a-magical-tax-loss-harvesting-machine/#6f09b0f47a5e

Important Disclosures City National Bank provides investment management services through its wholly owned subsidiary City National Rochdale, LLC, a registered investment advisor.

The information presented does not involve the rendering of personalized investment, financial, legal, or tax advice. This presentation is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy or sell, any of the securities mentioned herein.

Certain statements contained herein may constitute projections, forecasts, and other forward-looking statements, which do not reflect actual results and are based primarily upon a hypothetical set of assumptions applied to certain historical financial information. Certain information has been provided by third-party sources, and, although believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified, and its accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed.

Any opinions, projections, forecasts, and forward-looking statements presented herein are valid as of the date of this document and are subject to change.

As with any investment strategy, there is no guarantee that investment objectives will be met, and investors may lose money. Returns include the reinvestment of interest and dividends. Investing involves risk, including the loss of principal. Diversification may not protect against market loss or risk.

Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.

Put our insights to work for you.

If you have a client with more than $1 million in investable assets and want to find out about the benefits of our intelligently personalized portfolio management, speak with an investment consultant near you today.

If you’re a high-net-worth client who’s interested in adding an experienced investment manager to your financial team, learn more about working with us here.