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At Trademark, our disciplined, repeatable process focuses on four pillars: (1) asset allocation, (2) identification of inefficient asset classes, (3) manager due diligence and (4) ongoing monitoring.

At Trademark we believe the most important decision investors make relates to broad asset allocation. This decision determines the expected level of account volatility and the long-term rate of return.

Effective asset allocation programs will own some securities that are currently out of favor because doing so reduces the long term risk of underperformance of the portfolio even if it doesn’t add to short term performance. Over the long term, a class that is out of favor today may become the key to generating solid returns.

Broad areas of the capital markets are highly efficient in that it’s exceedingly difficult for active money managers to add consistent, meaningful excess return. Other asset classes are less efficient and active managers can offer returns in excess of the benchmarks. We seek inefficient asset classes and search for active money managers with a history of an attractive risk adjusted return profile.

We use mutual funds and ETFs because they help us compress the range of outcomes.

In depth research is the key to determining whether a manager has an investment process advantage that will lead to solid long-term performance. At Trademark, our due diligence process is designed to identify and evaluate outstanding money managers in inefficient asset classes.

After we place investment assets with a mutual fund manager, we monitor their absolute and peer-relative performance. Managers who deviate from their stated investment process or underperform for extended periods of time are replaced.