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Staying Nimble

A core strategy is important, says Bruce Meyer, but so is the ability to respond to changing economic environments.

Ilana Polyak, 07/30/2009

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A core strategy is important, says Bruce Meyer, but so is the ability to respond to changing economic environments.

A law degree, says Bruce Meyer of Copper-wynd Financial in Scottsdale, Ariz., is "the greatest education you could ever have, but the worst way to make a living."

Meyer has seen both sides of the coin after working as an estate-planning and pension attorney for seven years in Cleveland. Studying law helps to develop an analytical mind, Meyer says. "Coming from a law background gives me a comprehensive view of investing," he says about how he approaches money management. "I run my practice very similarly to the way a law firm would work, or an accounting firm."

But practicing law can be draining because people typically see a lawyer when something has gone wrong in their lives. So when the uncle of Meyer's wife was looking for an exit strategy for his financial-advice practice in Arizona, Meyer packed up his family of five for the move to the desert. "Now I get to work more in depth with clients on an ongoing basis, not on a transactional basis," he says.

'Core and Explore'
From his predecessor, Meyer inherited portfolios of solid core funds. "He came out of the commission business, where you sat on your investments most of the time and rebalanced periodically," Meyer says. "Investing now requires you to be much more tactile in nature, based on what's happening."

To build on these portfolios, Meyer developed what he calls a "core and explore" strategy.

The core portfolio is made up of funds that he considers all-weather holdings, though most have a value tilt. He is indifferent to what kind of market cap the managers veer toward or what sectors they find attractive. He buys the managers' talents more than the fund they're managing.

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