It has been many years since we were active on the speaking circuit, but we got sucked back in again recently.
Chris gave a presentation on ETFs to the finance department of SUNY Geneseo this spring. Mark participated in a webinar with Standard & Poor’s, spoke at an ETF conference in Boston, and presented to Vanguard at their headquarters outside of Philadelphia.
Most of these events revolved around factor-based investing. We have been using this investment approach since the inception of Armbruster Capital, but it seems to be catching on in a more significant way lately.
The most interesting event, at least to us, was the invitation to address Vanguard’s global sales force at a conference a couple weeks ago. Vanguard recently launched a suite of factor-based investment funds, and asked us to educate them on how advisors think about, analyze, and use these funds. Vanguard’s founder, Jack Bogle, was our hero and inspiration, so it was a real honor to visit his old stomping grounds. We acted like tourists to get a picture of Mark and Chris with the statue of Jack in the courtyard.
We also had the opportunity recently to present some of our latest research, on factor-based investing, at a seminar we hosted for nonprofit organizations in Rochester. A number of nonprofit CEOs, CFOs, and board members came to hear about our strategies for boosting returns, particularly if the stock market doesn’t continue to provide the strong returns of the past.
Our latest research, which we’ve been discussing at all these events, is a variation of a recent paper by professors Eugene Fama and Ken French. Using their methodologies, we’ve been able to show that a multi-factor portfolio can significantly outgrow the overall stock market, and can also reduce the odds of protracted underperformance. We’re still testing and exploring funds that might fit into this sort of approach, but we expect some of our findings to make their way into our portfolios before too long. If you have an interest in learning more, just give us a call. We’re always happy to chat about research and investment philosophy.
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