As we approach the end of the year, we want to thank you for your vote of confidence in our work. The past two years have been difficult, to say the least, for global economies, financial markets, and geopolitics, which have tested even the most patient investor’s resolve. Your understanding and commitment to our unique, risk-managed investment style and wealth management strategy are driving forces for our team’s enthusiasm and motivation to do our very best on your behalf.
Renewed, Positive Outlook for Global Financial Markets
As we have expressed over the past few months, we believe global economies and financial markets are set up to begin a new and exciting business cycle and bull market. We base this bullish outlook on several factors which include: directionally lower inflation as Federal Reserve policy pivots from restrictive to accommodative, very reasonable stock price valuations, and the resilient strength of global economic growth and corporate profits. Additionally, we view Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a significantly positive tailwind for productivity and global economic growth. This combination of positive metrics should lead us into a new bull market and business cycle that could last several years. As a reminder, stock indexes often double or triple over the course of a business cycle and bull market – so there is much to look forward to.
Main Street Research – Excellent Health
We are pleased to report that the firm continues to have strong financial footing, and we are well positioned for the future. Our firm’s stability is always an important factor – particularly after a two-year bear market. We currently manage over $1.8 billion* for families and foundations and have a clean balance sheet. In recent years, we have made significant capital investments in technology, people, and research to serve you better. Our technology systems are "best in class," particularly in client reporting, as well as in equity and fixed-income trading. We have also bolstered our team roster with outstanding talent, including experienced Certified Financial Planners™ professionals, Private Client Advisors, and top-notch executives. This reinvestment into our firm has prepared us for continued success in the near term and beyond while providing you with a high level of service.
Investment & Wealth Planning Strategy – A Team Approach
As you know, our investment style has evolved over the last thirty years and, at its core, is process-driven with the nuance of subjectivity based on our team’s combined experience of managing money through different business cycles. Though I developed the basis of this strategy, I have to thank my bright colleagues for further enhancing it in recent years. It is truly a team approach. We operate with processes, rules, and investment principles that drive our decision-making on individual stocks, market sectors, and your portfolio’s asset allocation. Over the years, we have stayed true to these investment strategy parameters, which we believe are responsible for the majority of our success. As we have in the past, we will continue to explore new ways to enhance our investment style in an effort to provide you with the best risk-adjusted results. As a reminder, our firmwide policy is that, aside from any personal restrictions, each of our Private Client Advisors stays within the strict investment strategy and policy, which I lead at the Investment Policy Committee level. As a team, we also oversee all portfolios on a regular basis, thanks to our robust technology systems and in-depth, frequent meetings with our Private Client Advisors and equity and fixed-income traders.
As you know, in recent years, we have strengthened our leadership team and provided an equity participation plan for key personnel. I implemented these initiatives to ensure we have a deep and diversified "bench" of legacy and next-generation executives to successfully navigate all types of market conditions and potential changes in the business climate. This leadership team approach also ensures that the quality of our work remains at its highest level and that our brand as a privately held company maintains longevity for decades into the future.
James Demmert – Founder, Chief Investment Officer
I am very lucky that my favorite activity is my work. I remain passionate and dedicated to Main Street Research - I can’t imagine doing anything else. As the Founder, Chief Investment Officer, and Chair of the Investment Policy Committee, I continue to oversee the firm’s direction along with my leadership team. As it has always been, my primary focus is on global financial markets, investment strategy, and ensuring your satisfaction. I am also deeply involved with my colleagues’ work and their relationship with you. This is the most enjoyable era of my career so far, and I look forward to continuing in this role in the years ahead.
Benjamin Armellini – Managing Partner, East
As a natural leader, Benjamin has consistently demonstrated an ability to discover and implement creative strategies for both the firm’s growth and operational efficiency. Benjamin plays an essential role in the relationships with our valued business partners across the country. He is an equity partner and a key member of our Investment Policy Committee, at the core of making decisions to benefit your portfolio. Benjamin will continue in his role as a Private Client Advisor for a select group of clients.
Natalie McMahon, CFP® – Chief Operating Officer & Chief Compliance Officer
Over the past few years, Natalie has been extensively trained to assume the roles of Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer, which she, as an equity partner, is innately well-suited for due to her in-depth knowledge of the firm and industry. The entire team has enthusiastically embraced her in this role of driving, tracking, and collaborating on new processes to drive organizational efficiencies. These efficiencies are oriented around our North Star of continually improving our client experience. Natalie will continue to serve as a Private Client Advisor for a select group of clients.
Aaron Stern – Managing Partner, West
Aaron may know more about the internal structure of the firm than any one of us, which, along with being an equity partner, makes him ideal for this role on the West Coast, home to much of our human and technological capital. Aaron brings over 20 years of industry experience at Main Street Research, which promotes our firm ethos of trust and reliability with newer coworkers. Aaron’s pragmatic and discerning demeanor makes him well-suited for this role. He will continue to serve as Private Client Advisor for a select group of clients.
Lily Taft, CFA – Partner, Portfolio Manager
Lily brings an ideal combination of work ethic, sharpness, and empathy, contributing to her meteoric rise from intern to equity partner at Main Street Research. Lily is one of our key internal resources on the Investment Policy Committee. She distinguished herself academically, having consecutively passed all three levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification. She brings a fresh perspective, contributing to several actionable investment ideas that benefit client results. Lily will continue to serve as a Private Client Advisor for a select group of clients. Lily is considered a Next-Generation leader at Main Street Research.
I hope you find this update helpful, and as a team, we are very excited about the future that lies ahead for financial markets and Main Street Research. We are grateful to celebrate our 30th Anniversary thanks to your continued support. We are excited to continue evolving as an organization to best serve our valued relationships and steward your assets for decades!
James E. Demmert
Founder – Chief Investment Officer
*As of December 5, 2023Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP, Certified Financial Planner™ professionals, and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.