Tom Brakke, CFA
I provide a range of consulting services to investment decision makers in all kinds of organizations, including asset owners, asset managers, advisory firms, consultants, etc. I work on a project basis, on retainer, or by the hour.
While the engagements can span a variety of different areas, many have at their core an independent review, which is designed to identify areas for improvement for an organization that wants to increase its chances of success.
Investment process, organizational design, and the communication of investment ideas are key topics of attention. During engagements with asset managers, there is often an assessment of the effectiveness of their external messaging.
A current area of emphasis for me is evaluating due diligence and manager selection practices. A 2016 presentation on those topics (for a wealth management audience, but broadly applicable) was transcribed in the CFA Institute Conference Proceedings Quarterly. I provide a variety of related services to organizations and host public workshops on due diligence and manager selection. (To receive notifications of them and occasional how-to tips, sign up here.)
Contact me for more information.
- Writing and Presentations
Started in 2008, the research puzzle features essays about key analytical issues. The focus is on creative (that is, atypical) ways of looking at problems and opportunities in the investment world (and within investment organizations). Sign up for email notifications of new postings.
Letters to a Young Analyst begins with a very popular series of letters that I wrote in late 2010. But the book contains much more, including commentary from a dozen notable investment experts, including Aswath Damodaran, David Merkel, Guy Spier, and Barry Ritholtz. It also contains more than a hundred links to online resources. Buyers of the book receive a free update every calendar quarter.
Asset owners have a lot of balls to juggle and not enough time to read the deluge of material that is potentially of interest to them. The Prudent Fiduciary Digest is a free newsletter that includes a selection of great readings about important investment topics and the challenges of making decisions on behalf of others.
A "scrapbook" of ideas, research puzzle pieces covers a wide range of topics concerning the investment business and the markets. The postings are shorter and more diverse than those found on the research puzzle. You can follow the blog via RSS or Tumblr, and email notifications of new postings are distributed to research puzzle subscribers.
A new initiative, called “The Investment Ecosystem,” is now under development. If you sign up, you’ll receive updates about the project as they are released (and some great opportunities too).
On occasion, I write for other organizations and publications. Here are a few examples:
My postings on Freezing Assets, an editorial blog of CFA Society Minnesota.
“Due Diligence from a Distance,” Advisor Perspectives.
Articles for Inside Investing (CFA Institute).
“Investors Must Take Care When Playing in the Street,” Financial Times.
“The Other Side of Your Practice,” InvestmentNews.
Another companion blog, research puzzle pix, is currently on hiatus. It featured unique charts that illustrated different ways of looking at securities, funds, indexes, and economic data, along with lots of links to other material. The past postings are still available for review.
I am on the CFA Institute Approved Speaker List and speak frequently at CFA societies. In addition, I have given presentations to many conferences and gatherings of investment professionals.
“The Message, the Mission, and the Messenger,” Nathan Jay, CFA Institute Magazine. (A Q&A on the topic of my 2016 CFA annual conference talk.)
“Read ‘Em and Reap: Smart People for Investors to Follow,” Jason Zweig, Wall Street Journal.
“The 102 Finance People You Have to Follow on Twitter,” Business Insider.
“Top 50 Financial Blogs and Bloggers,” Michael Kitces, Kitces.com.
“10 Influential Blogs for Financial Advisors,” InvestmentNews.