We have developed and currently manage four distinct equity strategies, each designed to extract returns from the stock market in a different way. These strategies are managed by teams built from our staff of experienced Portfolio Managers.
The Core Strategy focuses on mirroring the performance of the S&P 500 using 50 to 70 securities. The strategy is broadly diversified across the sectors of the economy with weightings closely assimilating those of the S&P 500.
The Socially Responsible Investment Strategy utilizes the investment guidelines established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to avoid investment in companies participating in abortion and contraception; adult entertainment; defense, weapons, firearms, and landmines; discrimination based on race or gender; predatory lending; or embryonic stem cell research. The USCCB also encourages investment in companies respecting the basic rights of workers and practice of good labor standards; contributing to affordable housing and banking; and protecting the environment.
The portfolio will focus on S&P500 companies not only meeting the USCCB criteria, but also manifesting the ability to grow dividends via a solid business model exhibiting earnings and cash flow growth. Over time, this should be reflected in a company's stock price. The strategy will generally hold 30 to 50 securities broadly diversified across the sectors of the economy, with an emphasis on after tax return.
The objective of the style is to build a diversified portfolio of fundamentally superior stocks that are inefficiently priced relative to future growth prospects. We attempt to invest in durable business franchises with commanding market shares, significant barriers to entry, and sustainable long-term earnings growth potential. We generally focus on underlying economic and business fundamentals and disregard short-term market fluctuations.
The Strategy will generally hold 35-50 large and mid-cap equity securities. In addition, the Strategy will generally be diversified across economic sectors. The Strategy has modest turnover and is managed for long-term growth with moderate risk.
Equity Income Strategy
The philosophy of the Equity Income Strategy is that superior long-term returns can be achieved by owning selected stocks with above-average dividend yield. The goal is to invest in large and mid-cap equities with yields above the S&P 500 that also offer the opportunity for long-term appreciation. We identify companies with above-average yields that we believe are sustainable and likely to be increased in the future. Capital appreciation is a secondary objective. The Strategy generally holds 25-40 securities and is broadly diversified across the sectors of the economy.
Dividends are generally more stable and predictable than capital appreciation. A company's stock can go up or down in response to fluctuations in the market or the company's prospects, but dividends usually remain steady. Stocks paying an above-average dividend yield tend to be less volatile than those with below-average dividend yields. As a result, the Equity Income Strategy is designed to demonstrate a lower level of volatility and to be more defensive in down markets.