Publications, Speeches, and Papers by Robert H. Jeffrey

Published Papers and Books

“Internal Portfolio Growth: The Better Measure”

Unless you’re in a liquidating mode, what really matters is the growth in the earnings and dividends, not the market value of your portfolio holdings.

“The Folly of Stock Market Timing”

No one can predict the market’s ups and downs over a long period, and the risks of trying outweigh the rewards.

“A New Paradigm for Portfolio Risk”

Risk is a function of the cash-flow relationship between a portfolio’s assets and its liabilities, i.e., it’s the probability of not having sufficient cash with which to buy or retire something important.

“Do Clients Need So Many Portfolio Managers?”

The diversification conventionally obtained through multiple managers with different strategies could be achieved more effectively by using a single manager who offers an ensemble of funds from which to assemble an aggregate portfolio appropriate for the particular client’s circumstances.

“Is Your Alpha Big Enough to Cover its Taxes?”

Capital gains taxes, which diminish investment returns, are generated by the very activity that’s intended to enhance returns, namely turnover.  Trading activity can have a negative after-tax effect even when turnover is very low.  The authors reveal the extent of this problem and offer suggestions to mitigate it.

“Tax Considerations in Investing”

Taxes are simply another item of expense. To disregard taxes, or to assume that taxable and non-taxable portfolios can be managed properly in the same way, is simply not to be a responsible investor.

“Reflections on Portfolio Management After 25 Years”

Portfolio management is neither art nor science. It is instead a very special problem in engineering of determining the most reliable and efficient way of reaching a specified goal, given a set of policy constraints, and working with a remarkably uncertain, probalistic, always changing world of partial information and misinformation, all filtered through the inexact prism of human interpretation.

“Tax-Efficient Investing Is Easier Said Than Done”

Taxable investing is indeed a very different game, which makes it a difficult game for most active managers to play successfully and for most clients to understand.

“Tax Efficient Equity Investing in Theory and Practice”

Because of the hockey stick shape of the tax impact curve, it’s far more critical for taxable investors to be mindful of changes in the very low turnover ranges than in the medium and high ranges, because once the low ranges have been passed, nearly all the tax damage has already been done.

“The Long Search for a ’Better Way‘”

Subtitled "The Evolution of a Tailor-Made Investment Strategy," This book explains how the Company gradually changed its asset mix and tactics in order to better meet the specific needs of its owners.

Speeches on Investing

“Portfolio Income Growth: A Third Dimension To Performance Measurement”

The acid test of whether true earning power is increasing is the ability of corporations to provide a stream of dividends whose growth will keep up with inflation.

“Why Must Money Managers Be So Parochial?”

Were I a major manager today hoping to be much larger tomorrow, I’d be seriously exploring ways to offer under one roof a dynamic multiple strategy approach to equity management as well as a concurrent ability to deal with the client’s liability structure.

“Owner’s Risk”

Like in architecture and engineering, portfolio management is clearly a situation where the cart should come before the horse. The cart in portfolio management is analogous to the unique future commitments for cash that the owner has obligated himself to meet.

“Remarks on Market Timing”

Market timing would seem to be a classic example of a “Losers’ Game".

“The Client’s Benchmark”

The implication here is that in selecting an appropriate performance benchmark, the client will have somehow been compelled to also determine what kind of performance is really needed in his own particular situation. The logic that there should be some clear linkage between the measuring stick chosen and what we ought to be measuring is impeccable, but the reality is that “it just ain’t so” in practice.

“Do Clients Really Need Designer Portfolios?”

It is important to bear in mind that in an efficient market the investment return is likely to depend far more on the risk the fund assumes and on its tax liability than on the accuracy of the analysts’ forecasts.

“Asset Allocation”

Instead of going to meetings and reading books on how to allocate our assets, we ought to be concentrating on defining our own investment objectives…The singular missing ingredient in most investment plans is a realistic response to the question: “What is it that you want to do with your money?”

“Design a Portfolio You’re Less Likely To Want To Trade”

My one-line antidote for dealing with the capital gains tax problem that faces all taxable investors is simply to try to design a portfolio you can live with for a long, long time.

“Short List of DOs & DON’Ts for Taxable Investors”

Other Speeches

“Manufacturing Matters”

Manufacturing matters mightily to the wealth and power of the United States and to our ability to sustain the kind of open society we have come to take for granted.

“Washington Gladden: Prophet of the Social Gospel”

“Jeffrey’s Manufacturing History in Columbus”

“The Jeffrey Family History in Columbus”