CFA®, CLU®, ChFC®, Chief Investment Officer
Notable Career Highlights
- Managed AIM Large Cap Opportunities to a National #1 Lipper ranking for one year performance
- Managed Quaker Strategic Growth Fund to a National #2 Lipper ranking for both three- and five-year performance
- Managed Invesco Constellation fund and helped implement a performance turnaround that helped grow assets from $14 billion to a peak of $33 billion over a three-year period
- Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, summa cum laude, Georgia Tech
- MBA, Harvard Business School
As CIO, Chris is lead investment strategist and director of research. Chris develops the firm’s core market outlook, putting his decades of experience and expertise to work for our clients. He hosts Oak Harvest’s podcast, “Stock Talk,” available on the website with new episodes each week.
Chris completed his undergraduate studies at Georgia Tech, and went on to obtain an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Driven by a desire to maximize his knowledge and skill set, Chris acquired a plethora of financial planning and investment management qualifications, becoming a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®), and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®).
Chris has over 25 years of experience, has worked for some of the largest money management firms in the world, including Citadel and Invesco, and has been recognized nationally for his efforts. Chris has made it a point in his career to focus on adapting as the market landscape changes, seeking to utilize the most appropriate investment strategy for any given market environment. His transition from managing billions of dollars at the institutional level to helping individuals and families retire is guided by a desire to see the difference he makes in the lives of clients at Oak Harvest.
Chris is a devoted husband and father. He is passionate about his faith and enjoys cooking for friends, fly fishing and spending time with his two golden retrievers.
CFA®, Director of Investments
Notable Career Highlights
- Built and managed the Fixed Income Research Department for JP Morgan Chase Bank in Houston, supporting Corporate Bond, Municipal Bond, and Money Market funds
- Co-managed the Van Kampen American Capital Emerging Growth Fund to a 44% return and a #1 Lipper ranking
- Managed the AIM (now Invesco) Constellation Fund from $7.5B in assets to $28B in assets and a 4-Star Morningstar rating, delivering a 24% annual return
- Developed and managed the $3.5B in assets long/short AIM Special Opportunities family of funds which all debuted with 5-Star ratings from Morningstar
- Chief Investment Officer of Patriot Wealth Management
- Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, Southeastern Louisiana University
- MBA, University of Houston
As Director of Investments, Charles supports the Investment Team by bringing a disciplined, process-driven approach blending fundamental and quantitative analysis to help drive investment performance across all asset classes.
Charles completed his undergraduate studies at Southeastern Louisiana University and moved to Houston to complete his MBA at the University of Houston. Charles also completed the requirements for his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) designation and is a member of the Houston Financial Analysts Society.
Charles has over 30 years of experience in the investment management industry across multiple asset classes, serving various investor bases. He has worked for some of the largest money management firms in the world, including Invesco, Van Kampen and JP Morgan Chase. Charles is excited to bring a process-driven approach to investing to our clients at Oak Harvest.
Charles and his wife Laura enjoy living in the Heights and have two children. He loves competitive road racing, and is an SCCA champion, and driving instructor at MSR Houston.
CFA®, Director of Research
Notable Career Highlights
- Diverse experience throughout all levels of an institutional investment firm, from Marketing, Operations, Technology, and Investments (Quantitative Analyst, Equity Analyst, Trading Analyst, and Global Head of Transaction Cost Analysis for the trading desk).
- Was part of the team that managed the AIM Constellation and long/short AIM Special Opportunities family of funds, focusing on quantitative and risk projects.
- Designed and built proprietary trading analytics and business intelligence systems for use by all members of the global trading team at Invesco.
- Global Head of Transaction Cost Analysis for the Capital Markets Trading Desk at Invesco.
- Bachelor of Business Administration, The University of Texas at Austin
As Director of Research, Dwane supports the Investment Team by bringing business intelligence experience combined with past risk, quantitative, and fundamental experience.
Dwane completed his undergraduate studies at The University of Texas at Austin. He also completed the requirements for his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) designation and is a member of the Atlanta Financial Analysts Society.
Dwane has over 27 years of experience in the investment management industry. He is excited to apply his unique set of skills to the team at Oak Harvest Financial Group.
Dwane and his wife, Dawn, have two children. He loves exercising in his home gym, experiencing Japanese language and culture, and spending time with his family and their dog, Willow.
MIB, Senior Portfolio Manager
Notable Career Highlights
- Director of specialized derivatives business unit for Morgan Stanley managing equity risk for institutional clients with $600 billion+ AUM
- Senior Trader at Nissan Securities for equities, futures, currencies, and commodities; lead the team to becoming the largest dealer by volume on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange
- Oversaw Nissan’s Block Trading business, successfully managing daily billion-dollar trades for hundreds of clients and counter-parties
- Managed the development and execution of proprietary investment strategies Nomura Securities, State Street, and Morgan Stanley
- Frequently lectured at Japanese universities on the topics of capital markets, investing, and global business
- Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Houston Baptist University
- Master of International Business, Sophia University
James joined Oak Harvest in 2016 and immediately set to work developing the firm’s investment management practice, building out the division’s operations, trading, compliance, and portfolio management functions. James currently oversees the whole of the firm’s investment management practice, and continues to build and manage the firm’s investment models.
Born in Scotland and raised in Houston, James graduated at the top of his class from Houston Baptist University, and then promptly moved to Japan. During his years in Japan, he completed a Master’s in International Business (MIB) at Tokyo’s prestigious Sophia University, graduating summa cum laude.
James has 15 years of investment management and capital markets experience. He has worked at one of the oldest financial trading house in Japan, Nissan Securities, as well as for some of the largest firms in the world, including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. He brings his wide markets expertise to bear for the clients of Oak Harvest, and enjoys seeing the impact of his work firsthand.
James is married, speaks fluent Japanese, loves karaoke and is an accomplished classical guitarist.
In order to do this, we use in-house portfolio managers with solid track records to help our clients prudently manage and invest their money.
At Oak Harvest Financial Group, our primary goal is to help our clients achieve their vision for a successful retirement. In order to do this, we use in-house portfolio managers with solid track records to help our clients prudently manage and invest their money.
When we founded OHFG in Houston in 2010, we did so with a vision of serving our clients in a manner different than what had been, and remains, the standard offered in the retail advisory industry.
We recognized a lack of quality retirement planning service within the Houston market. Additionally, we felt there was a need for customized investment management service offerings, which were simply not being met.
In the area of investment management, it was our goal to be able to serve each client individually, providing tailored, customized investment management advice and assistance based on the specific financial needs of each customer.
While that sounds good, we understood it meant nothing unless we took action to back up and support our vision.
To that end, we determined that we needed to be able to offer professional money management capabilities, the likes of which have long only been available to financial institutions, such as mutual funds, hedge funds, ETFs, private equity, banking and insurers.
We set out to identify and bring into the OHFG advisory a group of money managers equipped with the collective knowledge, insight, background and proven track record of managing institutional money for highly respected financial organizations.
That process has taken time and great effort, but we are proud to have assembled an investment management team that meets the stringent criteria we previously identified.
The OHFG investment management team has a combined 75+ years of institutional investment management and capital markets experience across multiple asset classes. Their expertise includes portfolio management, investment research, multi-asset portfolio construction, investment technology, financial planning, and trading.
Why That Matters
We recognized that to best serve our customers, we needed to be prepared to offer customized investment analysis and advise at the individual portfolio level versus the typical approach of simply placing investors into low-cost ETFs that track a variety of indices in order to passively attempt to capture returns.
We are pleased with the approach we undertook some years ago, as it has served our customers and the firm itself well.
But now we see change coming which we believe will have a material impact on customer portfolios and the returns they will potentially be able to capture going forward…likely for some time to come.
This change will require a fundamental shift in investment management strategy. Fortunately, it is one we engage in already and are prepared to help our customers capitalize on.
The Case for Active Management
When it comes to managing portfolios there are two broad approaches – active and passive fund management.
Active fund management involves a strategy in which an individual or team of professional money managers actively manage a portfolio of investments.
The goal is to provide the best returns possible, but from a practical standpoint the active management team is expected to outperform a specific benchmark or index, such as the Standard & Poor's 500®, Russell 3000 and Wilshire 5000 indices.
Passive management is generally defined as a strategy in which a portfolio is constructed to mirror the composition and performance of a specific index, such as the S&P 500. In theory you would obtain the same return as the index. Another way to view this is accepting what the market gives you.
Generally speaking, active managers make buy, sell and hold decisions regarding stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFS and other investment instruments using a combination of fundamental and technical analysis, as well as forecasting tools and models, and drawing upon their market knowledge and insight.
There has long been a debate regarding the merits of these two approaches and whether one or the other provides a greater percentage of returns versus risk on a relative basis.
In our experience we’ve witnessed many episodes of active management underperformance when compared against passive benchmarks, such as the S & P 500. In other words, periods where passive management performed more favorably and made better sense for investors.
Examining periods where a passive management strategy outperformed that of active management, such scenarios have been cyclical in nature, often discernable due to fiscal, geopolitical, macroeconomic or monetary conditions that were present.
We believe the most recent period has been driven primarily by the excessive use of monetary stimulus to lower interest rates effectively to zero, which in turn significantly lifted the stock prices of many companies regardless of investment merit.
Simply stated, this environment rendered stock selection irrelevant and fueled the marketing campaigns that have proliferated in recent years for low-cost “passive” investment products, such as ETFs and Index Funds.
Given the major economic and geopolitical challenges that have evolved in the past several years, we believe the markets are now poised at the cusp of a shift in global monetary policy where differing courses of policy action will evolve.
In our view, this will be the catalyst for the decoupling of stock prices and will usher in a sustained period of active manager outperformance where investors will be better served by firms utilizing such an approach.
This is at the heart of our OHFG investment process.
Our Reasoning for This Shift
Looking back, the Federal Reserve here and others abroad engaged in a program of non-conventional quantitative easing (QE) in response to the 2007-2008 financial crisis. This was done to increase money supply and create new bank reserves, effectively providing more liquidity to spur lending and investment.
There have been four rounds of QA dating back to the Great Recession, including the most recent in 2020, which was implemented in response to the Covid 19 worldwide pandemic and subsequent recession.
The Fed effectively lowered short-term interest rates to zero, using more traditional rate cutting means to address the economic emergency the country, and indeed the entire world, was faced with at that time.
This was literally done to keep the nation afloat during a period when businesses were being forced to close and our economy was grinding to a halt.
The result of these actions provided abundant, low-cost debt capital.
An Unintended Result
The glut of low-cost debt capital precipitated a proliferation of irrational behavior on the part of company managements and capital market investors.
Turns out that free money helps make bad projects look better on paper, distorts valuations on “marginal” cash flow projects and enables companies to more easily artificially engineer increased earnings per share.
Why Active Management Make Sense Going Forward
As previously detailed, there has existed a confluence of factors that created a “perfect storm” for active management dating back quite some time.
But our experience tells us the market stands on the cusp of change. The aforementioned conditions that have existed are cyclical in nature and thus mean reverting. In other words, we expect to see a return to normalcy where fundamentals matter.
Picking Good Companies Will Once Again Matter
As global central bank policy uncouples, we believe the valuation distortions created by massive monetary stimulus will reverse.
The cheap money that has underpinned the equity markets dating to 2007/2008 will dry up and companies will have to demonstrate their merit based on traditional performance metrics.
This will create an equity market environment in which underlying company fundamentals will once again start to influence stock returns.
It will provide a much more attractive opportunity for fundamental “stock pickers” to add value to portfolio returns.
Bottom line, investors will once again value and benefit from active management provided by managers with years of experience in implementing a disciplined stock selection process.
The OHFG core investment philosophy is based upon the utilization of what we refer to as our proprietary quantamental investing model
This is our fundamentally driven, systematic framework that’s utilized by our investment management team to conduct stock research, analysis, and selection of investment opportunities for inclusion in our portfolios.
It helps us in determining buy, sell and hold decisions on portfolio positions for each of our individual customers.
Our investment management team focuses on three key metrics we refer to as SMR:
- Return on invested capital
We believe these to be critical fundamental drivers of corporate profitability, which ultimately drives stock performance in markets where company performance is most highly valued. You can learn more about our quantamental investing stock selection approach here.
We believe this approach provides the best opportunity to generate consistent returns for each of our customers’ portfolios over time.
Furthermore, we believe this is the investment management approach best poised to take advantage of the economic climate and market environment we feel is now set to materialize. One that will likely be marked by lower monetary stimulus for some time to come.
This market is one we believe will reward companies who are able to differentiate themselves through outstanding fundamental performance, meriting investment!
The Value and Benefit to You
Markets change, that is a fact. In fact, that is the one guarantee you can rely on in the world of economics and finance.
They do so for different reasons, driven by myriad factors that can seem sensible and to be expected in the course of normal cycles , as well as those that are black swan in nature; rare and unpredictable, seemingly capable of inflicting a paradigm-shifting impact on the markets and indeed the wider world.
No need to remind of the number of such events and occurrences in recent years.
Whatever the environment we find ourselves in at any given time, having the right assets in place is perhaps the best strategy for surviving the unexpected and maximizing returns when opportunities arise. And in all periods in between.
The good news is that you benefit from the Oak Harvest Investment Management team no matter the market type or what’s occurring. Their institutional level of experience, knowledge and insight can serve you no matter what’s going on in the present, and they are always seeking to prepare your portfolio for the future.
Ultimately, the most important value-added benefit to you is the fact you have a group of experienced institutional fund managers with proven track records who are managing your portfolio.
Take a minute to think about that…
You have a group of proven fund managers who are at work striving to provide you with the best potential returns – day in and day out.
That’s a benefit you aren’t likely to find elsewhere!
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