Our Disciplined Selection Process

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Each portfolio has its own written investment policy, which we create based on factors such as other holdings, tolerance for risk, tax situation, time horizons, expected returns and spending requirements. Our investment policy documents your customized portfolio that is goals-based and personalized to meet your financial objectives.

Identify Objectives

We cautiously approach the intent or goal of your wealth. Retirement? A legacy for your family? Future charitable benevolence? Identifying your specific objectives is key to customizing your portfolio strategy. We take the time to understand what is important to you and the purpose of your assets in support of your financial goals.

Determine Allocation Strategy

A prudently designed and well-diversified asset allocation strategy is critical to achieving long-term financial goals.

Our investment experts have access to a number of resources that help them analyze and position the optimal asset allocation of traditional and complementary asset classes for each client. Our selections reflect your specific needs and are not a single "rigid model" strategy applied to all.

We focus on asset allocation and investment style diversification to not only enhance performance but to actively manage risk. Expected asset class returns, volatility and the diversification effect of the various asset classes are all carefully analyzed.

Our active research enables us to identify developing market trends that may warrant appropriate changes to our strategies. We’ll quickly communicate any recommended changes based on new information.


Large Cap Core Equity

Washington Trust uses a wide variety of research tools to help identify our core equity selections.

Thorough research ensures our fund process meets our demanding expectations. In order to find the best companies, we identify, investigate and conduct ongoing due diligence and monitoring, using both quantitative and qualitative analysis.

A Highly Disciplined Process

  • Two independent equity research firms and over 80 analysts supplement our internal analysis of individual companies and industries.
  • We apply a six-step screening process to narrow the selection to approximately 300 stocks.
  • We analyze and select stocks based on: industry, growth, financial strength, management assessment, risk and valuation.
  • From the 300 stocks, we filter a preferred list of 30 to 40 companies.
  • A “buy” rating will be assigned if the forecasted risk-adjusted return on the stock is greater than the forecasted return on the market.
  • A “sell” rating will be assigned if it is fully valued, displaced by a better idea, has deteriorating fundamentals or suffers onerous, unexplained price fluctuations.
  • Continuous audit and control processes ensure consistent delivery.

Quantitative Analysis

  • Average Annual Returns
  • Audited and Verifiable Track Record
  • Performance During Difficult Time Periods
  • Style Consistency

Qualitative Analysis

  • Management Team
  • Business Strategy and Process
  • Capacity to Execute Strategy
  • Market Niche
  • Decision Making Structure
  • Risk Assessment
  • Competitive Pressures
  • Regulatory and Tax Environment

Core Fixed Income

Washington Trust uses a tax aware, active management process for our core fixed income security selection.

Through a blend of top-down and bottom-up analysis, we seek to add value by emphasizing credit quality and thorough analysis of the fair value of each bond selected.

Top-down analysis

  • Identify economic and market conditions that will affect fixed income markets
  • Identify interest rate conditions and actions of global Central Banks
  • Identify the impact to the yield curve based on the economic and interest rate analysis
  • Determine what segment of the fixed income market represents the best value, given the economic, interest rate and yield curve analysis

Bottom-up analysis

  • Analyze company financials
  • Conduct risk/reward analysis
  • Conduct scenario analysis
  • Identify specific securities that represent the best value based on financial, risk/reward and scenario analysis
  • Continuously monitor fixed income securities for credit quality and marketability

We access and monitor fixed income markets through a variety of unbiased sources:

  • Subscribe to multiple databases, which allows conducting unbiased analysis.
  • Utilize the purchasing power of Washington Trust Bank to access securities and prices that may not be available to an individual investor.
  • Access data that allows monitoring of prices paid and received for securities to ensure that best execution occurs for our clients.

Risk Management Strategies

To reduce uncertainties surrounding which asset or asset class will outperform in the long run, we believe the best way to reduce volatility, manage risk and improve the reward/risk profile for client portfolios is to improve diversification using asset classes which are not highly correlated. In addition to the traditional asset classes (equities, fixed income, cash), we utilize alternative strategies as part of our portfolio construction.

Risk management strategies serve three primary roles:

  • Improve diversification
  • Reduce risk
  • Provide clients access to institutional strategies that are not available to most individual investors

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