In this section you’ll get a greater sense of our investment philosophy, the nuts and bolts of mutual funds, and steps on how to open an account. Use the links below to get started.
Why invest with Fortress Fund Managers?
At Fortress, we help you save and grow your money for the future. By applying a clear, focused approach, we deliver two simple things: results and peace of mind.
Investing is all we do
Investment management is our only business, so achieving results for our clients is our only objective. Indeed, this is what sets us apart from those financial firms which offer investment banking, stock brokerage and other services which can lead to conflicts of interest. In a nutshell, we’re experts at what we do because investing is all we do.
We’re value investors. This means we have a disciplined focus on finding the best assets at the best price. We don’t buy the “hottest” stocks or bonds. Instead, we’re always looking to maximise what we’re getting for what we’re paying. That’s where tomorrow’s returns come from.
Naturally, value is found in different areas at different times, based on market conditions and the ebb and flow of investors’ preferences; our disciplined process follows the numbers not the news headlines. This consistent approach yields results and peace of mind along the way.
Stock or equity investments have outperformed those from fixed income investments over the long-term because of the greater wealth created by ownership of underlying businesses. And so we believe that long-term investors benefit from focusing their holdings around sensibly constructed equity portfolios to earn greater returns and outpace inflation.
Working to mitigate risk
Investment returns are the reward for assuming risk of one sort or another. Many risks aren’t worth taking, but others can be controlled, even reduced. We work to lessen risks in three primary ways:
Asset Allocation – Where possible, we combine sources of return in a way that their offsetting sensitivities reduce the chances that all areas of the portfolio will rise or fall at the same time. This lowers volatility and increases the likelihood of meeting investors’ long-term objectives.
Security Selection – We focus on investments whose prices are already below what we calculate they’re worth. This gives us a margin of safety if things don’t go as planned.
Portfolio Construction – Diversification is key to successful investing. So our portfolios are spread across dozens of individual securities. This achieves exposure to companies or entities in different industries and/or geographic regions. We also maintain strict limits on how large any individual holding can get, and how much of a portfolio can be invested in one sector.
We pay constant, close attention to what we’re getting for what we’re paying in spite of what the news headlines and other investors may be saying. While we’re not experts in predicting macro-economic or political events, and we can’t guess which way the markets will go, we assess the constant ebb and flow of valuations, and build disciplined processes to select investments.
Open communication is essential
We want you to understand what is going on with your money, and why. Open communication is essential to maintaining a successful long-term investment programme. We keep you informed regularly about the things that matter to your investment with us.
This includes Net Asset Values or NAVs [link “Net Asset Values or NAVs ” to mutual funds & services – fund performance] (shared weekly, every two weeks, or monthly depending on the fund), quarterly statements, as well as quarterly [link “quarterly” to mutual funds & services – documents – quarterly reports] and annual reports, [link “annual” to mutual funds & services – documents – annual reports] events and periodic email updates on topical issues.
Are mutual funds right for me?
Are you thinking about investing in a mutual fund, but aren’t sure how to get started or which one might be right for you? You’re not alone. Selecting the right fund is simpler than many people think. Let’s start with a few basic questions.
- What is a mutual fund?
A mutual fund is a way for many people to pool their money and buy stocks, bonds or other securities. Mutual funds are divided into shares and each investor in the fund buys a number of shares that corresponds to their investment amount. The price of each share is known as the Net Asset Value (NAV).
- What is a NAV?
The NAV is simply the total value of the securities the fund owns divided by the number of fund shares outstanding.
<< INSERT Net Asset Value break down visual>>
Fund NAVs change over time in response to changes in the market prices of the fund’s holdings. They can go up or down over a given period, but in the long term we expect that they will rise, providing a return on investment.
- What does Fortress want to achieve with the funds it manages?
Our funds are typically appropriate for long-term investors with time horizons of five years or more. This is because portfolio values can rise and fall along with stock and bond markets, and in the short-term these movements are unpredictable. Over a number of years, though, these movements become less of a factor and the underlying portfolios have a greater chance to generate returns to meet investors’ objectives.
- How do I determine my tolerance for risk?
This issue of risk tolerance is primarily tied to your time horizon. “Risk” usually refers to volatility, or the extent to which the price of an investment bounces around week to week and month to month. If you are a short-term investor with a time horizon of less than five years, volatility matters and as a result you should consider an asset allocation that is primarily cash or fixed income investments.
If you’re a long-term investor, though, volatility is not the primary issue. The more relevant risks are permanent impairments of capital, and return shortfall, especially relative to inflation. These can be addressed by favouring sensibly constructed equity portfolios as the core of your asset allocation. That’s the cornerstone of what we do.
How will Fortress help me meet my financial goals?
Fortress can help you save and grow your money for the future in three main ways:
- Regular Saving – Thousands of our clients invest automatically each month with regular savings programmes, either through company pension plans or direct debits from their bank accounts. Experts agree that “paying yourself” first is one of the most effective ways to build long-term savings, and we make it easy.
- Tax Efficiency – Mutual funds roll up all sources of return into an increase in Net Asset Value (NAV) which in Barbados and many other countries is highly tax efficient.
- Long-Term Focus – We apply a disciplined, value-based process to select investments and build portfolios for the long-term. This means your money is always invested in assets with ongoing wealth creation and reasonable prices.
What fees do I have to pay?
A competitive fee structure and full disclosure of these fees are both important elements for evaluating any mutual fund investment.
Fees that will apply to your investment include: management, administration and custodian fees (paid directly by the fund). Depending on the nature of your particular investment, fees that may apply include: initial fees (potentially paid by you to an agent), and early redemption fees (potentially paid by you to the fund). Please see the sections for each individual fund for a full disclosure of fees [link “full disclosure of fees” to mutual funds & services] applicable to each.
How do I start investing?
One way to develop the practice of saving regularly is to budget monthly for your investments instead of investing a lump sum periodically. You’ll be see your savings grow before you know it. With minimum investments starting at $100 for our Barbados funds, it’s easy to get started.
Effective January 24, 2017, the Fortress Caribbean Growth Fund, Fortress Caribbean High Interest Fund and Fortress Caribbean Pension Fund were temporarily closed to new lump sum subscriptions. However, during this “soft close” period regular monthly savings from new or existing individual investors are permitted to a maximum of $2,000 per month per client via:
- Direct debit
- Employer deductions
- Standing orders
Simply choose the one that suits you best.
The Fortress Global Funds and the Fortress OAM Overseas Fund, denominated in US dollars, remain open to new investment.
The Fortress Global Funds are, however, only open to sophisticated investors – those who through knowledge and experience in finance and business are considered capable of evaluating the benefits of a financial security as an investment or as otherwise determined by securities’ regulations.
How do I open an account?
Investing in our mutual funds is quick and easy.
- First download an application form [link “application form” to documents – application forms] or collect one from our office.
- You will also need to provide government-issued photo identification and proof of address as specified in the application form.
- Bring the completed form and documents, as well as the means of payment for your investment, to the Fortress Fund Managers office in Bridgetown.
Feel free to explore our funds and contact us if you have any questions.