The Optimal Mix of Investments

When it comes to investments, we’re sitting on your side of the table. Because of this, we primarily use mutual funds and ETFs, along with individual bonds, to build your portfolio. Utilizing these vehicles may be an inexpensive way to gain ownership in thousands of companies and significantly reduce the potential impact of bad news from any one in particular.

Yet, investment selection is never easy. With more than 20,000 funds to choose from, knowing the best option can feel quite daunting. Fortunately, research shows us how to better analyze and filter fund managers and their strategies to a more optimal set for your portfolio. Taking our Evidence-Driven Investing™ approach and engaging you in conversation to guide our process, we constantly evaluate the mix of vehicles and managers within your portfolio.

Filtering Your Investment Universe

There are thousands of investment choices, yet we recommend less than two percent of funds and ETFs available. Why? Because Buckingham’s Investment Policy Committee applies a series of stringent checks to narrow the investment landscape—choosing only managers with systematic, rules-based and transparent practices.

Buckingham’s Investment Selection Process

Buckingham’s selection process uses a methodology to identify investments that best capture the characteristics of our portfolio strategy. Through a multi-layered approach—including evaluating cost and tax-efficiency—we carefully identify the investments for your portfolio.

Step 1

Eliminate any funds with hidden fees, loads or kickbacks to advisors.

Step 2

Include only funds that are broadly diversified across stock sectors and geographic regions.

Step 3

Look for funds that implement academically sound investment strategies.

Step 4

Engage the fund managers in extensive conversations to develop a deep understanding of their teams, best practices and processes.

Step 5

Look for funds that are most effective and consistent at capturing their targeted exposures relative to the costs they charge.

Step 6

Evaluate the tradability of the fund or ETF to ensure resilience in volatile markets.

The end-results are fund managers that we know and trust.

We apply a similar process across all our stocks, bonds and alternatives in order to pick the right fund, ETF and Separately Managed Account providers available for your portfolio. This is not a one-time approach. Buckingham’s Investment Committee continually re-evaluates investment providers on an ongoing basis, reviewing whether our selections are the right ones for you both today and tomorrow.

Systematic. Rules-based. Cost Effective. Transparent. Highly-tradeable. Consistent.

Dive deeper into our investment implementations:

The Importance of Keeping Fund Fees Low →

Removing Unwanted Risk in Manager Selection →

Why We Don’t Just Chase Recent Winners →

Company logos are property of the respective owners, and the use of these names does not imply endorsement by the owner.

Bond Implementation: Efficient Access to Bonds

When approaching fixed income, we only use high quality, short-to-intermediate-term bonds to preserve wealth and balance other risks in the portfolio. Our team focuses on implementing these selections carefully, using bond funds, ETFs and custom bond portfolios to deliver the most cost-effective exposure.

Our clients can benefit from our in-house bond desk offering institutional level pricing and access to a completely custom bond portfolio, all at no additional cost. This includes categories that span beyond the typical perception of “fixed-income.”

Discover more about our bond approach with our institutional-level bond desk.

What You Think When You Hear “Fixed-Income”What We’re Actually Using
Brokered CDs
Municipal Bonds

Implementing The Right Alternatives

Alternative investments offer a unique source of risk and return that tend to provide greater diversification and return potential in comparison to a portfolio only made of stocks and bonds.

With alternatives, we apply stringent sets of criteria, searching for strategies that are transparent, unique from other markets and capture a favorable risk premia to deliver better results.

While we remain skeptical of most alternative strategies, we’ve found a few approaches—like real estate, private lending, reinsurance and style premia—that may potentially benefit a well-constructed portfolio.

Real Estate

Real estate strategies attempt to capture the debt, rents and price appreciation of commercial real estate across the world.

Private Lending

Private lending strategies leverage technological advancements to offer competitive financing to consumers, small businesses and middle-market companies.


Reinsurance strategies provide predetermined amounts of coverage to reinsurance companies covering against spikes in losses associated with natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and typhoons.

Style Premia

Style Premia strategies look to capture the difference in return between certain types of stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies in a rules-based, systematic manner.

Unbiased & Disciplined—Designed for You

Your wealth is important, so there’s never a one-size-fits-all approach. We’re committed to working hard to find the right investments that are best suited to the strategy we outlined together. As client-first thinkers, we’re focused on delivering you unbiased, independent and fund-company-agnostic investment strategies—ones that we are comfortable with using ourselves.

We know sometimes investments can seem complicated, but we have a scientific approach designed to make things simpler. At Buckingham, we are fiduciaries, meaning we always act in your best interest, and we firmly believe that the best portfolio is the one that you can stick with through all kinds of market cycles.

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