As a Vancouver-based Portfolio Manager, I often meet with people who have questions about retirement. In some cases, they want to know if there’s a better way to maintain or even improve their lifestyle in retirement in the face of risk and uncertainty. I’ve dedicated my career and published a best-selling book to help clients take smart risks in investing, learn to feel at ease during market volatility, and achieve a sense of strength and resilience as they reach a place of financial security and freedom. I created a new podcast series called Wealth Matters to start revolutionary, meaningful conversations about retirement living and, of course, risk and investments.
I recently recorded our first episode, “Innovations in Global Investing to Help You Achieve and Maintain a Work-Optional Life” with guest Satya Pradhuman. Satya is the Founder and Director of Research at Cirrus Research, a leading research firm in New York City that delivers innovative, objective insight and analysis to professional investors. Together, we illustrate how people can take a disciplined approach to developing an investment strategy that’s based on quality research and sound decisions.
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I created the Smart Risk Roadmap to help North Americans achieve a work-optional life as part of my Amazon best-selling book Smart Risk. A work-optional life is a lifestyle where you have a sustainable source of passive income from a well-diversified investment portfolio so that “working to earn an income” isn’t necessary. This Roadmap has five guideposts: Purpose, People, Plan, Perspective and Positive Action. I refer to them as the five P’s. In this podcast, we go over the “Plan” guidepost with a focus on your investment plan. To fulfill the Plan step you really need to base your decisions and risk on trustworthy research, which is where someone like Satya comes in.
I’ve known Satya for more than 15 years. He opened Cirrus Research in 2007 as an independent platform with a focus on global equities and quantitative research with top-tier institutional clients spanning the globe. His firm studies sectors and industries and looks at risk characteristics in the marketplace to build strong performance. In our interview, he discusses the limitations of “off-the-shelf” investment products and how he helps professional investors make better decisions.
One of the key takeaways of our talk is that investors can rely on research and information to flag opportunities and risks and be proactive about protecting gains in their portfolio by tempering their position if their investments will be adversely affected by something imminent, like a rise in interest rates, for example. Yet, keeping a close eye on the different economic sectors also enables investors to jump on opportunities that surface.
As Satya points out, technology and innovation have had a major positive impact on financial markets. Investors have so much information at their fingertips and companies like Cirrus offer new instruments that allow clients to fine tune their portfolios more affordably. One such instrument Satya played a role in developing is Cirrus’ global platform. It enables them to surface opportunities and risk across a global landscape using a global matrix.
I ask Satya how his innovative global research can help Canadian investors. He notes that since Cirrus is comparing opportunities across a range of markets, they can limit unnecessary risks and broaden the opportunity set for an advisor with very specific country requirements. If Canadian firms appear too expensive in a certain sector, they can turn their attention to other regions that offer a better value for that portfolio.
With their global platform, the experts at Cirrus are able to isolate problem areas quickly so investors can adapt. Using sector level models to hone in on the most compelling opportunities lets investors take advantage of a subsector in a market without having to own the entire market.
While Satya goes into more detail in the podcast, the overall message is that the key to long-term positive returns is a sound and disciplined, yet dynamic, investment strategy based on quality data. It may require a shift in your perspective to make better decisions so you can achieve or maintain a work-optional life. I always invite you to contact me at the Wong Group if you have questions or you’d like to talk more about investment strategies. You can listen to the full podcast here.