Two years ago, we launched RWM. Our mission was to provide high quality wealth planning and asset management to our clients, be a force for teaching the public the right way to invest, and point out the shortcomings of our industry. The cost structure, the excess activity, the reliance on complexity and a misleading sales pitch – all of these came under our criticism.
Most of what we were doing was geared towards the individual, but on occasion I write towards an institutional audience. Many of the cognitive errors and investing mistakes we see amongst individuals are also present at an institutional level, who after all, are individuals working within a larger organization.
Over the course of many discussions, we looked at Chasing Alpha, recognizing the value of Beta, the focus on reducing costs, or not becoming caught up in unrealistic expected returns, and of course a slew of issues regarding hedge funds (here, here, and here) are all issues we have discussed in great detail. Many of these are more institutional than individual concerns.
We were thinking about ways to express our investing philosophy to an institutional audience, and we think we came up with a brilliant way to do that. Today we announced that Ben Carlson is joining the firm as Director of Institutional Asset Management.
You might know of Ben’s work from his perfectly named blog, A Wealth of Common Sense, or his book of the same title. But we know him from his very smart, very practical approach to helping institutions manage their monies.
When we first started speaking with Ben, it was clear that philosophically, we could not be more in sync. As an example, here is what Ben wrote today describing his approach:
- There are tons of small and mid-sized institutional funds — foundations, endowments, pension funds, etc. — out there that are being mis-managed. They’re getting poor, and often conflicted, advice. They’re investing in things they don’t understand. The fees they’re paying are too high. Most haven’t established any legitimate guidelines or investment policy statements. And most importantly, their portfolios and investment plans aren’t taking into account each organization’s specific mission. Many consultants and advisors are more concerned with creating clever portfolios than paying attention to an institution’s goals.
- Early on in my career I worked with a consulting firm that helped smaller and mid-sized institutions create investment plans and goals-based portfolios. This is always something that I’ve wanted to do on my own because I think it’s a space that could use a fresh look.
- I’ve always worked on the institutional side of the business, but I’ve received a number of requests from readers over the past couple of years to help them invest their portfolios. Since starting this blog I’ve become more and more interested in helping individuals reach their financial goals.
We are taking all of Ben’s past experiences. and creating a format to allow him to deliver exactly the sort of investment advice, management and guidance that he has so eloquently discussed on Wealth of Common Sense.
I am confident that Ben is going to be a tremendous addition to our team. We will be working closely on many of the institutional offices who have reached out to us since we launched RWM in 2013. We are tremendously excited about this new development. Once again, I could not be prouder of our team for bringing this all together so well.
Welcome to the firm, Ben!
Ben Carlson Joins Ritholtz Wealth as Director of Institutional Asset Management (PR Newswire)
My Next Step (Wealth of Common Sense)
Ben Carlson joins Ritholtz Wealth Management (The Irrelevant Investor)
Ben Carlson joins Ritholtz Wealth Management (TRB)