Following Charles de Vaulx for 25 Years

The Center investment committee meets with and interviews dozens of management teams each year. We have face-to-face sessions, conference calls, and trips to company home offices. We recently had a chance to meet with a portfolio manager that we worked with for most of the last quarter century ... Charles de Vaulx. Warren Buffet once said:

A portfolio is much like a bar of soap, the more you touch it the smaller it gets.”

In order to keep portfolio changes to a minimum we spend a lot of time on the front end finding the right minds with an investment philosophy that matches ours.

Charles has represented part of three different teams over the 25-year period, including IVA Funds, but we have followed him. His approach to investing resides in the contrarian, absolute return, low risk, global, alternative asset class emphasis with experience in global value investing.

“The Perennial Bear”

Charles is usually looking at the world with a glass half empty viewpoint. His team was labeled “The Perennial Bear” during the market run up in the 1990’s as the greatest bubble in stocks was building and just before a 12 year bear market in stocks occurred. This was one of the longest bear markets in history. And just before the worst decade of stock returns in U.S. history (not many people realize that Dec 31st 1999 – Dec 31st 2009 produced a lower return in the S&P 500 than the depression period of the 1930s).

According to Charles, it had everything to do with price. People need to pay more attention to the price that is paid for the potential return that can be achieved going forward. That is where the work is done. The rest is patience and time. 

Matthew E. Chope, CFP ® is a Partner and Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. Matt has been quoted in various investment professional newspapers and magazines. He is active in the community and his profession and helps local corporations and nonprofits in the areas of strategic planning and money and business management decisions. In 2012 and 2013, Matt was named to the Five Star Wealth Managers list in Detroit Hour magazine.

Five Star Award is based on advisor being credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR), a FINRA registered representative, a CPA or a licensed attorney, including education and professional designations, actively employed in the industry for five years, favorable regulatory and complaint history review, fulfillment of firm review based on internal firm standards, accepting new clients, one- and five-year client retention rates, non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered, number of client households served.

Any opinions are those of Matt Chope and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.