Highgate is a registered investment adviser founded in Colorado in 2016. Our goal is to be the best investment adviser and the last adviser who you ever hire. We will have done our job if you never feel the urge to go somewhere else.
Story of Origin
We chose the name “Highgate" in reference to a village, now a suburb in North London, with a rich and colorful history. Before modern medicine, wealthy Londoners would travel to Highgate to escape the pollution, crime and overcrowding of the city. In fact, the poet Samuel Coleridge spent the last eighteen years of his life there, which by all accounts were his happiest and most prolific. Highgate thus became our metaphor and namesake to represent what we try to achieve.
Highgate was created in response to the extraordinary changes occurring in the personal investment management industry. Investing is a business of people working with people. Our vision is in opposition to the movement by many major institutions away from individually crafted strategies toward mass-market, asset-allocation driven approaches using index funds, quantitative-driven model portfolios, and alternative investments, which can present higher risk to individual investors. Quite simply, we believe great investment results require hard-working, experienced human beings who are well-versed in in the principles of finance and accounting.
We want to be a company that you are proud to have a long and prosperous association with. We want to simplify the process of investing into its critical elements and make it understandable, uncomplicated and less stressful for you. You will have ready access to the professionals who make the investment decisions for you, and we promise to always be open and straightforward. Most importantly, we will be sensitive to your unique situation, your aspirations and your concerns.
A Firm in Contrast to the Crowd
Over the past 27 years, John Goltermann has worked with several large investment firms. He founded Highgate to create a team committed to delivering a better investment and service experience and to create a sanctuary that protects you from some of the realities of the investment business – realities that can create poor experiences and poor results. While there are many great firms and people in the investment world, there are also reasons to be cautious when selecting an investment manager:
1) The investment business can see many ambitious self-promoters among managers, brokers, and advisors. In such an environment, important facts that investors should know can be underemphasized, obfuscated or omitted outright. This is not to criticize our financial system — it is simply a side effect of the reward system long-established within the investing business. It is truly a caveat emptor system. Because of this, many investors can use the help of independent investment professionals that know what to look for when making an investment. This is not to imply that what we do is rocket science, but there is true value to being well-versed in finance and accounting, to having deep investment market experience, awareness of behavioral pitfalls, and the time and willingness to doing the hard work. With all of this in mind, Highgate has assembled an experienced team committed to the thoroughness and scrutiny required for choosing investments, and to openness and availability with clients;
2) Investment firms’ processes can often be shoddy, rushed and biased. Some use research prepared by investment banks, management teams and other non-independent sources. Some use simple ratios to make decisions without looking through the financial statements and attendant disclosures. Moreover, investment committee members of larger firms can be subject to career motivations and groupthink -- and diverse opinions are not welcome. In our strong opinion, a fiduciary standard and total independence are a bare minimum for every investor and they are values to which we are absolutely committed. We will develop our own research internally and reach our own independent conclusions;
3) Many firms fear lagging a benchmark — and this fear corrupts their decision-making process itself. The importance of this cannot be understated. A pervasive fear of underperformance creates a negative feedback loop where the firm is constantly chasing what is “working” or popular, virtually ensuring continued mediocre results. Beating a benchmark, when it happens, merely serves the firm’s objective of looking smart and gaining more business, therefore it is a self-serving objective. The reality is that benchmark outperformance cannot be achieved every single year, but high average returns can be achieved, paradoxically, when firms ignore benchmarks and embrace a thorough, consistent analytical process. At Highgate Securities Investments, we will never specifically try to beat a benchmark and, as a result, we believe we will have a high rate of success; and
4) The overriding goal of many firms is to become bigger, not better. Growth is their raison d’être and their business aspirations supersede all other agendas. The problem with this is that gathering new assets and acquiring new clients diverts time and resources away from activities related to investing. We believe that if we simply do a good job with investments, and if we are open and available to our clients, that our business will grow. At Highgate, we do not aspire to be the largest firm, we want to be a superb firm. We want our clients to be pleased with our work and their results — not because we are large, but because we do what we say we will do and we make great investments for you.
In short, Highgate was created to be that safer, higher road where you will find respite and care. We want to be the best of investors and superb advocates for you — free from institutional imperatives and growth requirements of larger firms. We want you to feel at peace, that you are well looked-after and we want you to experience firsthand our commitment to improving your financial health.