If investors spend five minutes a year trying to figure out the direction of the stock market they have wasted four minutes.
Peter Lynch
Overview

At Cypress Capital Management we believe that the model we have implemented is the best way to ensure that our clients meet their investing goals. The keys to our approach are:

  1. Tailored Service – Each portfolio is tailored to the client’s specific circumstances; taking into account other assets, liquidity requirements, time horizons and any other relevant considerations. This allows us to construct the optimal portfolio for each client.
  2. Client Education – This is a key differentiator for Cypress. Our experience has taught us that the best way to ensure clients are comfortable with their holdings is to focus on portfolio and capital markets education. Given the inherent volatility in the market, clients need to be confident that they hold the right portfolio for their individual circumstances. The only way, in our opinion, to gain that confidence is through education.
  3. Leveraging Experience and Scale – Our team has a wealth of capital markets and investment management experience which ensures we are well placed to guide our clients through the ups and downs of the stock market. Furthermore, our scale allows us to maintain extremely competitive fees while offering best-in-class service.
Portfolio Fundamentals

The focus for all long-term investors should be on the fundamentals.

Below we have set out what we feel are the key portfolio fundamentals. These fundamentals serve as a guide to constructing and evaluating portfolios.

  1. The only way to achieve higher returns is to accept higher volatility – Once investors accept that the volatility in the stock market is the price that must be paid to earn higher returns, it becomes much easier to navigate the ebbs and flows of the equity markets and allocate capital accordingly.
  2. Any risk associated with higher volatility is mitigated through diversification and time – Time changes the nature of risk. In the short-run stock markets can be extremely volatile and this creates risk for those with short-term time horizons. Over the longer-term, however, the volatility is significantly reduced and markets have consistently yielded positive returns. Proper portfolio diversification ensures that the appropriate amount of capital is allocated to both volatile and non-volatile asset classes and sectors to ensure investors meet both their long and short-term liquidity needs.
  3. Portfolio returns are determined primarily by asset allocation, not individual stock selection – Correlation within asset classes and sectors means that it is far more important for the individual investor to correctly allocate between assets classes and sectors as opposed to picking winning stocks.
  4. For long-term investors, fixed income investments may not preserve the purchasing power of their assets – The goal for most long-term investors is to maintain and grow the purchasing power of their capital, which means earning a positive return after-taxes and inflation. In a low interest rate environment where medium and long-term rates are only slightly above (and occasionally below) the rate of inflation, fixed income may not provide a real return for investors.     
  5. Market timing does not work Market movements are very unpredictable and often extreme. The only way for an investor to participate in the market upside is to remain in the stock market; this means not timing the market and accepting the volatility. Furthermore the taxes and costs of attempting to time the market are a drag on returns.
  6. No investment should be made without: A) Determining the investor’s objectives & B) Relating the investment to the investor’s overall assets – This is the most important consideration for investors and is simply the logical outcome of applying the other fundamentals. Investors must consider liquidity needs and time horizons to determine if it is appropriate to be in the stock market and, if so, which sectors. Furthermore investors must consider how an investment impacts the asset allocation and overall portfolio diversification.  
How We Manage Client Assets

We follow the Guidelines of Proven Academic Theory

Our investment management process is based on the investment philosophy of leading academic researchers such as: Markowitz, Sharpe, Tobin, Fama, French, Black, Treynor, Kahneman, Brinson, Malkiel, Bogle, Ellis, Swensen and Samuelson.

The following beliefs guide our investment decisions:

  1. Equity markets are generally efficient, particularly with respect to large capitalization companies. This does not mean that the ‘market’ cannot significantly under or overvalue securities for extended periods of time, it simply means that identifying and effectively exploiting these mispricings is difficult.
  2. Active management adds value primarily in areas where the markets are not efficient. These areas of market inefficiency tend to be in small-cap companies and illiquid stocks.
  3. Smaller independent firms are in the best position to exploit market inefficiencies through active investment management.
  4. Valuation is crucial. Investors that buy shares in good companies, in solid industries, at reasonable valuations will do very well in the long-term. In our view this is the key take-away when we compare the ‘Tech Bubble’ of the early 2000’s to the more recent ‘Financial Crisis’ of 2007-2009.
  5. It is important to provide clients with a broad understanding of how the capital markets work.

The biggest investment mistakes are rooted in human nature and are due to a lack of understanding of how the capital markets work. We strive to help clients understand the vagaries of the capital markets to ensure they feel totally comfortable with their investment program.

Costs

Costs, including management fees and commissions, can have a materially negative impact on an investor’s return. At Cypress we strive to provide best-in-class value and our fee structure is among the most competitive in Canada.

In conjunction with Raymond James Ltd., Cypress provides clients with an all- inclusive fee schedule that includes management fees, custody and reporting charges, as well as most transaction costs (commissions).

Cypress fees are tax deductible for non-registered accounts. Fees are charged quarterly based on the market value of the assets at the following rates:

Fee Schedule

  • 1.0% per annum on assets up to $1 million
  • 0.75% per annum on the next $1 million in assets
  • 0.50% per annum on the next $3 million in assets
  • 0.40% per annum on the balance

In calculating fees, all related “family” accounts are aggregated to give clients the benefits of lower fee rates on larger values.

Cypress Pooled Funds

The majority of the positions in client accounts are segregated securities traded on the Canadian and U.S. stock exchanges. However, in those sectors of the market where we wish to provide clients with more diversified holdings we have created pooled funds available only to Cypress Clients. The pooled funds we offer include:

  • Cypress Small Cap Growth Fund
  • Cypress High Yield Fund
  • Cypress Science and Technology Fund
  • Cypress Oil and Gas Fund
  • Cypress Canadian Equity Fund
  • Cypress Resource Fund
  • Cypress US Equity Fund

These funds provide clients with an opportunity to invest, on a lower risk basis, in sectors of the financial market that can offer potential higher returns.  Cypress does not earn any additional fees to manage the pooled funds.  As participation in these funds is not available to the general public we do not publish performance numbers. If you are interested in learning more about these funds, please contact us.