April 22, 2019
I try to spend at least seven hours a week exercising, usually outdoors on a bicycle. That means I clock somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles per year via human power and with zero CO2 emissions. This gives me plenty of time to think. This week spring has been on my mind not least because I cannot ignore my losing battle with pollen.
Spring is often associated with new beginnings, but it is also a good time to reflect on how we have reached this point in our lives. For our corporate family here at Nicholas Hoffman & Company, we are lucky to be able to look back on eleven good years. We recently announced the addition of two new equity partners, Betsy Harris and Carey Blakley, bringing the total number of equity partners to nine. We have just signed a new lease insuring our current location remains the same for another five years at least. We continue to grow, slowly, deliberately and selectively, gaining clients organically through referrals from existing clients. We are grateful for the families who have supported us all along, and for the new families who are just now coming on board. We appreciate your continued willingness to introduce us to your friends and family. Everything we do is made possible by the families who support us.
We are now close to $1 billion of assets under management. In the public markets, we continue to focus on keeping costs down, tax efficiency, proper diversification, and periodic re-balancing. In a low growth, low inflation and low interest rate environment, we believe these mundane activities add real value despite their lack of glamour. A penny saved is a penny earned, or so we’ve been told.
We spend much time reviewing the private investment arena to select opportunities which are suitable for discussion with our clients. As our assets and our resources have grown, so have the volume and quality of the private investments we see. There are limits, however. The best opportunities tend to be limited in scale and more idiosyncratic in nature. Smaller deals tend to allow for more informational asymmetries but also need very careful analysis and evaluation.
Our challenge is to maintain our steady growth without impacting our culture of service. Each of the families we serve is most important to us, and we must ensure they feel that way. We cannot control whether our charts point up and to the right, but we do strive to deliver outstanding service.
We obviously don’t live in an ideal world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take action to move closer to it. So, whether you walk or run, whether you bike or hike, or whether it’s golf or tennis, whatever activity you like to do, take the opportunity to get outside and sweat a little bit this spring. And while you’re at it, you might find some time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and how you might improve. That’s what I will be doing as the miles tick by.