Eric Haas of Altruist Financial Advisors is an advisor’s advisor.
His expertise is in investment management, and he manages a sizeable advisory practice — $100 million in AUM with just 23 clients.
Thus, he has no need to make cold calls, give seminars or engage in other kinds of marketing.
“Most folks in my profession spend a lot of time prospecting. I do zero,” says the former nuclear submarine officer and engineer, based in Holland, Mich., online. “My marketing strategy is to have a good website and answer the phone.”
And having “a good website” is an understatement for this overachiever.
The site’s “reading room” is one of the very best online investment libraries I’ve ever seen, with content on fundamental topics like bid-ask spreads and commodity futures and on investment esoteric, like the Fama/French Three-Factor Model and synthetic/enhanced indexing.
Most of the linked articles are seminal in their field, some come from easy-to-read consumer titles, and many are accompanied by Haas’ erudite annotation.
Yet Haas manages to avoid a common pitfall of some specialists: the loss of perspective that someone with granular knowledge of a field suffers. Of the best academic journals — the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Portfolio Management, Haas explains: “Most of it isn’t relevant or earth shattering.”
Indeed, Haas’ emphasis on relevance is evident from his website’s investment product research and analysis.
Among mutual funds and portfolio managers he favors DFA, Vanguard and Bridgeway, and he makes use of a number of ETFs, as well.
What’s extraordinary, though, is that he assesses "best in class" products for just about every asset class, ranking the best choices and explaining them in clear and nuanced fashion — explaining, for instance, how the choice would differ for a retirement vs. a taxable investment account.
This is not something he has allowed to grow stale. Remember, the guy doesn’t make cold calls — so he’s got the time to read and research.
A few months ago, for example, he demoted his former favorite, the PIMCO Commodity Real Return Strategy Fund Institutional Shares (PCRIX) — to the No. 2 spot after DFA introduced its Commodity Strategy Portfolio (DCMSX).