A bi-weekly publication dedicated to the principle that deeper and broader knowledge drives superior investment results

Clients Are an Investment Firm's Most Important Assets

By Lewis Johnson | April 06, 2017

Chief Conclusion

Clients are an investment firm’s most important assets.  Our goal is to treat clients like the critical partners they are in the investment process.  Working together with them, is our best hope to achieve a successful outcome for our investing efforts. 

Nobody would blame you if you thought that an investment firm’s most important assets are those that go up and down in the markets every day.  But you would be wrong.  Clients are an investment firm’s most important assets. 

Believe me, I understand the allure of devoting every waking moment to the next great investment.  After all, that kind of curiosity and drive to win is a key reason why so many of us got into the business of investing in the first place.  But let me share with you a simple and woefully misunderstood truth, something it took me many years of hard scrabbling to figure out.

If your investment firm’s foundations are not built upon the rock of patient clients and therefore patient capital then your future is indeed bleak.  In fact, it’s hopeless. 

Almost twenty years in the investment research business have taught me that patience is the key ingredient in all of my best investment decisions.  I am convinced that, without patience, it would be impossible to invest successfully.  My experience as an entrepreneur building an investment management company with my partners has taught me that, without clients, there is no business. The key is to have the right clients: patient clients!

Our business is so fortunate to have been blessed with them.  My heartfelt gratitude goes out to each and every one of them.   We know how lucky we are to have found you, and that you have found us.  Our promise to our clients and friends is that we will continue to use these pages to let you know what we are thinking and how we are investing your hard-won savings.

Today’s “Trends and Tail Risks” will have a different focus.  For the first time these pages will explore the business of investing. 

Our Goal in the Business of Investing Is to Treat Our Clients like the Critical Partners They Are in the Investment Process.

When, several years ago, we co-founded the investment company that has grown to become the combined Capital Wealth Advisors and Fundamental Global Investors, we believed that there was an unmet need in the investment management business.   To our eyes, investing had lost its way.

The focus had gone wrong somehow: at the center of most thinking about the business of investing was a failed notion, promoted by CNBC and others, that investing was little more than an endlessly fascinating and wondrous game.  Our belief was that there was much more to investing than that.  We wanted to get back to “old school” investing, which meant a return to a relationship based, deeply personal business.  Clients and their needs are at the center of our business.  If investment managers can get that right then their business will never run out of growth.

A critical part of our growth has been our communication strategy, only part of which is this publication. Our goal?  To arrive together, with our clients, at a successful outcome through long-term investing.  Finding and partnering with the right clients is a vital part of that effort.  The other part is an on-going dialogue between us and our clients about our investment framework and process. We want to make sure to explain what we are doing in the portfolio and why.

Why We Write Trends and Tail Risks

Writing is a big investment of time but is one that has repaid us generously.  It’s true that writing helps to clarify my thinking about what I believe and why.  This strengthens our research process.

The publication of our thinking has also introduced me to new friends and thought leaders from all over the globe.  Many of these independent thinkers have kindly paid us the honor of taking time out of their day to reflect upon our thoughts and freely offer their own in return.  Such interaction brightens my day and is improving our research process.  It also broadens out the global network I built during my first twenty years in the research business.  It holds out the prospect for a step-function change in our insight and perspective as our global research network grows.

As important as these benefits are from writing, they pale in comparison to the chance to share a few moments with our clients to talk to them about their portfolio. 

In Conclusion

Our investment team has spent their entire careers committed to the hard work of acquiring the skills and experience necessary to excel at investing.  We also did the hard work of finding each other and gathering a team around us of incredibly smart, thoughtful and diligent employees.   We would put our team up against anyone in the business.   We are proud of the investment company we have built.   None of that, however, would matter if we had the wrong clients or if we failed to educate our clients about their investments.

Investing is a journey that we take with our clients.  We are honored to be co-travelers with them.  We will do everything in our power to make sure that our clients, our greatest assets, remain at the center of our business.•


CWA Asset Management Group, LLC is an SEC-registered investment adviser, doing business as Capital Wealth Advisors (“CWA”) and as blueharbor wealth advisors.  This material is for informational purposes only, as of the date indicated, is not complete, and is subject to change. Additional information is available upon request. Any opinions expressed herein represent current opinions as of the date of publication only and may change based on market or other conditions.  This material may contain assumptions that are “forward-looking statements,” which are based on certain assumptions of future events. Actual events are difficult to predict and may differ from those assumed. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will materialize or that actual results will not be materially different from those described here.   Certain information herein has been provided by and/or is based on third-party sources and, although believed to be reliable, has not been independently verified, and CWA is not responsible for third-party errors.  No representation is made with respect to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of information or opinions herein and CWA assumes no obligation to update or revise such information or opinions.
Information presented is for educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies.  All investments involve risk, including risk of loss and are not guaranteed.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  There can be no guarantee that CWA will achieve any specific investment objective or level of performance.  CWA does not offer legal or tax advice.  Please consult your investment or tax professional for additional information concerning your specific situation.  Specific companies, industries or securities described are meant to be illustrative of investment style only. Additional information regarding CWA including fees, expenses, and risks of investment, is contained in CWA’s investment advisory agreement, its Form ADV, Form CRS and related disclosure documents and should be reviewed carefully. CWA’s ADV 2A and Form CRS can be accessed via
For additional disclosure information, please go to
Lewis Johnson
Co-Chief Investment Officer

Author of Trends & Tail Risks

Email Me!

“(This is so bad) It isn’t even wrong”
– Wolfgang Pauli, Nobel Prize Winning Physicist

Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.
― Victor Hugo

“People don’t really start businesses.  They start crusades and then others respond because they understand that this is special.”  
― David McWilliams

“Lead the ideas of your time and they will accompany and support you; fall behind and they drag you along with them; oppose them and they will overwhelm you.”
― Napoleon

“To see things in the seed, that is genius.”
― Lao Tzu

“The purpose of life is not to be happy.  It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does.”
― Napoleon Hill

“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.”
― Dale Carnegie

“First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.”
― Epictetus

“Truth is ever to be found…in simplicity.”
― Sir Isaac Newton

Newsletter Signup