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Balancing Your Risk: Your Barbell Approach

Barbell Wealth Management®

“Barbell Investing” is all about striving to balance risk within your portfolio.

Using a “barbell diagnostic approach”, Keith DeGreen personally conducts a suitability interview with all potential DeGreen-Direct investors. Click here for details and program requirements. Click here for information about our team.

These interviews are designed to help you decide how much of your portfolio should be allocated toward “Wealth Preservation” and toward “Growth”. We will also tell you frankly whether our program is suitable for you, and whether you may need the assistance of independent advisors before investing with, or as you invest with, DeGreen Capital Management.

Learn more about Your Personal Suitability Interview.

Striving to Balance Risk

Please look again at the cartoon. It depicts what we believe is the preferred method of attempting to balance risk within your portfolio.

During your Investment Suitability Interview with Keith, we will focus on allocating an appropriate percentage of your overall portfolio to Wealth Preservation. Only then do we invest for Growth. We call this your macro allocation. After Keith helps you make this core decision, we take it from there, managing your separately-managed account at Charles Schwab in accordance with the balance best for you.

On the “left side” of your Barbell Portfolio® we might typically use diversified, U.S.-traded, government and corporate bond (fixed-income) ETFs to access the world’s most promising bond (fixed-income) markets and sectors. However, in a rising-interest-rate environment, such as we are currently experiencing, where the market value of bonds may decline, we use Wealth Preservation surrogates as we strive to protect your purchasing power. These may include, for example, a mixed basket of commodities, high-quality dividend-paying stocks, and other Wealth Preservation surrogates within publicly-traded ETFs.

Only then do we seek growth through equities (the “right side” of the barbell) by using U.S.-traded ETFs that access the world’s most promising stock (equity) markets and sectors.

Each side of the barbell is joined by a bar: The bar is your financial plan. Many of our clients have a very good grasp on their overall financial objectives. But whether you have developed a plan yourself, or with the assistance of another advisor, we always encourage you to invest pursuant to a fixed set of objectives. Note that at DeGreen Capital Management, apart from your initial Investment Suitability Interview, we focus strictly on fee-only portfolio management, and not on general financial planning.

Let the World Compete

On either side of your barbell, instead of focusing entirely on what are often mediocre U.S.-centric asset classes (defined from another era, prior to globalization), we seek to find the world’s most promising Growth, and Wealth Preservation markets and sectors. Often this includes ETFs that track markets and sectors in our own great country – the United States. But our approach, on your behalf, may also include other developed economies, emerging markets, commodities, and Wealth Preservation surrogates instead of bonds. Our approach requires U.S. markets to compete for your investment dollars on a level (highly disciplined) playing field with the world’s most promising markets and sectors.

“Buy and Hold”, or “Learn and Go”?

We believe that the traditional “buy-hold-and-pray” approach to investing has devastated millions of U.S. investors. However, we do NOT actively trade our clients’ holdings on a daily basis. Instead, we subject our holdings to a daily valuation discipline, and we will either gradually migrate from less promising to more promising markets and sectors, or will immediately go, either partially or completely, to cash or to defensive positions, as circumstances, based on our critical analysis, warrant. We refer to this more responsive, objective, approach as “learn and go”.

Learn More About Our Portfolio Strategy and ETFs