Mary Dean allocates 15% of the client money she manages to international equities through a series of carefully selected mutual funds. Those are funds that invest in those parts of the world she views as offering good growth potential, but that do so in a conservative and well thought-out manner.
“I don’t want anything too volatile because that frightens our clients,” says Dean, managing partner and portfolio manager at fee-only wealth management firm Dean Roland Russell in San Diego.
Nor does Dean wish to traipse to the far corners of the globe to scout out the best opportunities. Instead, she prefers to turn that task over to experienced managers, people who have a solid experience of the world and who have the resources it takes to know what markets to be in, when and to what extent.
Based on that rationale, Dean is a big fan of investment vehicles such as the Matthews funds, in particular Matthews Asia Growth and Income Fund and Matthew’s Asia Dividend Fund.
“These funds are managed by a well-educated team whose process is well thought out, who have a long-term view that they stick to and don’t deviate from,” she said. “We like them for this reason and we don’t want to be more aggressive than what they have to offer because we just don’t want to deal with more volatility.”
Avoiding volatility is even more important today because a growing number of Dean’s clients are young people who, surprisingly, are extremely conservative, she said.