Haas College Center, Muhlenberg College

The basic tenets under which this portfolio will be managed include the following: 
 
(1) Modern Portfolio Theory, as recognized by the 1990 Nobel Prize, will be the primary influence driving the way the portfolio will be structured and how subsequent decisions will be made. The underlying concepts of 
Modern Portfolio Theory include: 
 
  •  Investors are risk averse. The only acceptable risk is that which is adequately compensated by potential portfolio returns. 
  •  Markets are efficient. It is virtually impossible to know ahead of time the next direction of the market as a whole or of any individual security. It is, therefore, unlikely that any portfolio will succeed in consistently “beating the market.” 
  • The portfolio as a whole is more important than an individual security. The appropriate allocation of capital among asset classes (stocks, bonds, cash, etc.) will have far more influence on long-term portfolio results than the selection of individual securities. Investing for the long term (preferably longer than ten years) becomes critical to investment success because it allows the long-term characteristics of the asset classes to surface. 
  • For every risk level, there exists an optimal combination of asset classes that will maximize returns. A diverse set of asset classes will be selected to help minimize risk. The proportionality of the mix of asset classes will determine the long-term risk and return characteristics of the portfolio as a whole. 
  • Portfolio risk can be decreased by increasing diversification of the portfolio and by lowering the correlation of market behavior among the asset classes selected. (Correlation is the statistical term for the extent to which two asset classes move in tandem or opposition to one another.) 
 
(2) Investing globally helps to minimize overall portfolio risk due to the imperfect correlation between economies of the world. Investing globally has also been shown historically to enhance portfolio returns, although there is no guarantee that it will do so in the future.
 
(3) Equities offer the potential for higher long-term investment returns than cash or fixed income investments. Equities are also more volatile in their performance. Investors seeking higher rates of return must increase the proportion of equities in their portfolio, while at the same time accepting greater variation of results (including occasional declines in value). 
 
(4) Picking individual securities and timing the purchase or sale of investments in the attempt to “beat the market” are highly unlikely to increase long-term investment returns; they also can significantly increase portfolio operating costs. Such practices are, therefore, to be avoided. 
 
(5) The basic underlying approach to the management of this portfolio shall therefore be to optimize the risk-return relationship appropriate to Investor’s needs and goals using a globally diverse portfolio of a variety of asset classes using mutual funds or ETF's, to “buy and hold” the selected securities and periodically re-optimize (rebalance).