We are committed to bringing institutional quality asset management to all investors.
Our comprehensive suite of portfolio strategies is governed by experience and discipline, using advanced methods
to analyze current market conditions and reposition investments accordingly. All of our strategies rely on continuous research to seek high total returns during constructive economic environments while maintaining a preservation objective during protracted market downturns.
The Quartz Difference
UNBOUND, INDEPENDENT PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT
Quartz Partners is uniquely positioned to combine best practices from each segment of the investment management industry into
one optimized solution.
Advanced Research Methods
Unconstrained Strategy Portfolios
Investment Team with multi-cycle experience
Prioritize long-term growth over short-term risk mitigation
Automated Investment Advice
Institutional Asset Managers
Focus on client service
Separate accounts to improve transparency
Open door policy to entire team
Continuous research. A better take on risk and return. A Seven Pillars approach to market analysis. And above all, goals aligned with our investors' best interest.
Avoiding common investor mistakes is the centerpiece of a healthy long-term investment strategy.
Avoiding common investor mistakes is the centerpiece of a healthy long-term investment strategy.
Historically, investing in the stock market is a reliable source of investment returns.
Over long periods of time, the stock market has historically offered attractive returns. Unfortunately, many investors don't have the multi-decade time horizon needed to adequately minimize the probability of achieving inadequate investment returns. Therefore, while the risk and reward tradeoff for stocks has traditionally been a good solution for an underfunded retirement, there are opportunities to manage the risk of a long period of unexpectedly low returns that can impede a timely retirement.
Investors often make the mistake of using recent history to drive their long-term decisions.
Called the Recency Bias in the field of behavioral finance, there is both anecdotal and empirical evidence* that investors tend to "chase returns" and form investment beliefs based on what has happened in the markets only recently, say in the latest bull or bear market. For example, at the depths of a bear market (and, often, in the early stages of the subsequent recovery), the popularity of funds and strategies that specialize in downside protection and short-term risk management, usually at the expense of long-term total returns, typically peaks. Then, after a multi-year bull market, once the pain of the past has been all but forgotten, strategies that eschew risk management and promote full ("passive") participation see the most inflows.
This reactionary behavior often leads to disappointing returns as investors chase solutions to yesterday's problems. The optimal strategy, in our view, is one that can respond to both environments, seeking long-term returns in line with your retirement goals AND downside risk management during protracted market declines.
A Smarter Perspective on Risk and Return
"Using [a stock’s] volatility as a measure of risk is nuts. Risk to us is 1) the risk of permanent loss of capital, or 2) the risk of inadequate return."
Our portfolios dynamically respond to changing market conditions.
We challenge the idea that portfolios can be held based on historical studies of risk (volatility) and return, the founding theory of traditional ("strategic") asset allocation. As seen in the chart above, looking backward may fail to adequately measure what the market environment will present to an investor in the future.
We also avoid strategies that take the opposite approach, those that overemphasize short-term fluctuations in an attempt to mitigate "risk". In our view, the real risk to the investor is what our predecessors have termed "permanent loss of capital." Short-term volatility is a prerequisite to generating higher returns. Protracted market downturns are the real enemies of a retirement portfolio, drawdowns that can permanently reduce potential growth.
Quartz Partners incorporates these two concepts - the inevitability of short-term volatility and the need to protect principal during bear markets - into all of our strategies. We believe that this provides an investment philosophy that aligns itself with the investor's goals over the long-term.
Our strategies use Exchange-Traded Funds, or ETFs, to execute our asset allocation decisions.* ETFs have several potential advantages, including:
(often) lower costs than mutual funds,
wide variety of ETFs that specialize in particular styles, sectors, and asset classes
Passive investing styles that reduce turnover and complement Quartz Partners' investment process
When selecting ETFs for our strategies, factors such as cost, bid-ask spread, portfolio construction rules and size are considered.
ETF Managed Portfolios
On any given day there are hundreds of metrics and news events that often act as "noise," making it difficult to determine the true "signal". Further, the best indicators for market returns often change from one market cycle to the next, and often even within one cycle.
For example, oil inventories were a key contributor to market volatility and direction in 2015 after over five years of minimal importance to global asset prices. That is why our Seven Pillars analysis is never confined to a rigid model; rather, it is continuously tested and researched to best adapt to the current environment.
We begin our investment process primarily by conducting daily research on the markets as broken down into what we call the Seven Pillars:
Policy (Monetary and Fiscal)
Liquidity & Credit
Momentum & Value
We then determine which factors will be best leading indicators of market returns. Our proprietary research suggests that the credit market is one of the best predictors of financial market health and is therefore frequently the foundation of our process.
Seven Pillars of Analysis
The Signal and the Noise
Our strategies are designed to carry varying risk profiles over the course of a full market cycle, which we defined as 5-7 years. The adaptCORE portfolios allows you to blend more than one strategy into one risk-defined investment plan.
Click on a strategy to view more information.
Learn more about our Strategies >
Already have a financial advisor?
We work with other advisors around the country, helping them deliver advanced investing strategies while working with you to prepare for your retirement.
Ask your advisor today about our strategies.
Our dedicated service team can help with the account setup process from beginning to end.
A risk profile survey will help you identify the Quartz Strategies that may be right for your unique goals.
We will help you with account transfers and any other service related to your account. As a Separately Managed Account held at a third-party custodian, you will have daily access to your account information.
View from the Top
Weekly updates on market conditions and the Quartz Perspective.
Periodic commentary highlighting what's moving the markets.
Quarterly performance reports to help track performance and strategy allocations.
How to Invest
CONTACT YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR OR QUARTZ PARTNERS TODAY TO GET STARTED
We can manage most retirement and brokerage accounts, including:
Meet the Team
Managing Partner & Chief Investment Officer
Joe serves as a Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer with Quartz Partners. Mr. Arena is responsible for the development of investment strategies and leading the Investment Committee at Quartz Partners. As chairman of the Investment Committee, he drives the formation and implementation the firm’s strategies. Prior to Quartz Partners, Joe had a similar role with PageOne Financial as President and Chief Market Strategist. Throughout his 14-year career, Joe has helped generate strong risk-adjusted returns for clients, successfully navigating market downturns and subsequent recoveries using proprietary economic analyses and fund analytics. Mr. Arena received his Bachelor of Science degree in Management with a Concentration in Finance from Binghamton University.
Kyle Webber has over 11 years of investment management experience. He is currently a Managing Partner and Chief Compliance Officer with Quartz Partners a registered investment adviser based in New York. His responsibilities include serving as a portfolio manager and member of the Investment Committee. He also oversees the firms distribution, compliance and retirement plan fiduciary initiatives. Prior to Quartz Partners he spent several years at PageOne Financial serving in several roles during his tenure. Most recently he held positions as the Executive Vice President and Portfolio Manager. The investment strategies Kyle served as a Portfolio Manager to have received top quartile rankings from Lipper, Morningstar and Pensions & Investments during his tenure. Prior to PageOne he had a similar role with a Seattle based investment firm which focused on opportunities in public equities and distressed real estate. Kyle received his baptism in the investment industry with John Hancock Investments where he amassed valuable experience in research and marketing. Kyle earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Financial Information Analysis from Clarkson University.
Ms. Barlet is Director of Operations with the firm. Nancy is responsible for all aspects of client accounts, including but not limited to trading, billing, new accounts and communications with financial professionals and custodial firms. She has over 25 years of experience as an Operations Professional in the financial services sector including Assistant Director, Investment Operations at RCM Capital Management and Director of Operations at Osterweis Capital Management in San Francisco. Most recently she was the Senior Administrator at Ginsburg Financial Advisors in Oakland, CA.
Nancy and her husband are originally from New York and relocated to Albany, NY in 2014 to be closer to family. Nancy received her B.A. in Education from Rider University and an MBA in Finance from Golden Gate University.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE MEMBER
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE MEMBER
Past Performance is not a guarantee of future results. There is no guarantee that the Strategy’s objectives will be met.
Quartz Partners Investment Management (“Quartz”) puts forth its best effort to achieve the objectives of its programs. However, there is no guarantee that the objectives will be achieved. An Account(s)' return and principal will fluctuate so that the Account(s), when redeemed, may be worth more or less than the amount in the Account(s) at or subsequent to the effective date of the Investment Management Agreement. Current performance may be higher or lower than the performance data quoted. Quartz strategies may involve above-average portfolio turnover, which could negatively impact the net after-tax gain experienced by an individual client. Performance results do not reflect the impact of taxes. Investments in the programs are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal. Tactical management and diversification strategies do not protect against losses in declining markets. Quartz’s risk management process includes an effort to monitor and management risk, but should not be confused with (and does not imply) low risk.
Exchange-Traded Funds (“ETFs”) trade like stocks and may trade for less than their net asset value. The use of leverage strategies by a fund increases the risk to the fund and magnifies gains or losses on the investment. You could incur significant losses even if the long-term performance of the underlying index showed a gain. Most leveraged funds “reset” daily. Due to the effect of compounding, their performance over longer periods of time can differ significantly from the performance of their underlying index or benchmark during the same period of time. Inverse index funds experience losses when the benchmark used rises. The benchmarks referenced herein have not been selected to represent an appropriate benchmark with which to compare a client’s performance, but rather are disclosed to allow for comparison of the client’s performance to that of certain well-known and widely recognized indices. Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested in directly. The S&P 500 Index is a market capitalization-weighted index of 500 widely held stocks often used as a proxy for the stock market. It is the most widely used benchmark for U.S. stock funds and portfolios. The Barclays U.S. Corporate High-Yield Index covers the U.S. dollar-denominated, non-investment grade, fixed rate, taxable corporate bond market. Securities are classified as high-yield if the middle rating of Moody’s, Fitch, and S&P is Ba1/BB+/BB+ or below. The Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index covers the U.S. investment-grade fixed-rate bond market, including government and credit securities, agency mortgage pass-through securities, asset-backed securities and commercial mortgage-based securities. To qualify for inclusion, a bond or security must have at least one year to final maturity, and be rated investment grade Baa3 or better, dollar denominated, non-convertible, fixed rate and publicly.
Quartz is an investment adviser registered with the SEC under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. SEC registration does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the SEC nor does it indicate that the advisor has attained a particular level of skill or ability. Quartz’s Form ADV Part 2: Firm Brochure and other account documentation is available upon request. Quartz may pay 50-75% of the annual advisory fee to a solicitor who is responsible for introducing an investor to Quartz.