Frequently Asked Questions

How does an investor contact Altman Investment Management?

Whether you are a client or simply have a question concerning your investment needs, there are several ways to contact Altman Investment Management. Peter Altman is the principal owner of the firm, which is located in Princeton, New Jersey. To discuss how to match our services with your investment needs, you can contact us by calling 609-252-0048 or send an e-mail to galtman@altman-investment.com.

Who uses your services?

We serve individuals, families, trusts, corporate pensions, profit sharing plans, and non-profit organizations. We can also sub-advise for other registered investment advisors.

When can I begin having Altman Investment Management as my personal investment advisor?

After you contact us and decide to engage our services, we will help you submit an account application to establish an investment account with a custodian such as Morgan Stanley, UBS, or Merrill Lynch & Co. Additionally, we will also provide a management agreement that details our responsibilities as your investment advisor. If there are any funds that need to be transferred, we have all the forms available and will assist you in the process.

Are the investment accounts managed separately?

Our clients maintain their own investment account in their name with a broker dealer. Our investment management agreement authorizes Altman Investment Management discretionary authority to buy or sell securities in their account on their behalf.

Are my assets safe?

Only the custodian bank or broker dealer authorized by the client will hold cash and securities. Altman Investment Management has no access to transfer any of the clients’ assets.

Does Altman Investment Management charge for investment advisory services?

Since we do not receive commissions or profit from the purchase or sale of securities, we attempt to keep our clients’ transaction costs and fees as low as possible. As part of our management agreement there is an annual fee that is based on the type of assets under management.

Can clients deposit and withdraw from the account?

Yes, our clients can certainly deposit or withdraw assets from their account as needed. At any time we are available to discuss and make changes to the investment program to address the changing needs of our clients.

Will I receive investment account statements and performance reports?

Once an investment account is established, you will be mailed all confirmations, transaction statements and monthly reports directly from your custodian. Altman Investment management provides quarterly investment reports that include a detailed portfolio appraisal with estimated income, performance comparison calculations, and investment commentary that discusses issues germane to the portfolio.

What timeframe is built into your investment philosophy?

We are longer-term investors and realize that there are periods of time when our strategy may lead to underperformance. The firm is very style disciplined and will not violate our philosophy to chase returns during down periods for the value investment style. We remain resolute that over time the gains associated with this conviction will more than make up for the temporary loss.

Describe the investment environments in which this equity product strategy can be expected to outperform the benchmarks.

Our Value Style investing has fared exceptionally well over long time periods and has continued to outperform market benchmarks since the inception of the firm in June of 2001. Of particular note, our value style investment strategy has succeeded during bear markets, preserving asset values from significant loss, which is essential to long term wealth creation. Consistent with our Value Style of investing, we have maintained a discipline of buying lower price-to-earnings [P/E] ratio stocks, which over the past three decades have outperformed stocks with higher P/E ratios. During periods of irrational market behavior, value investing strategies are all too often discarded as we are painfully reminded of the meteoric rise of internet shares in the late 1990’s that came tumbling down shortly after. But our disciplined value investing approach stays the course and has proven to weather market swings over time.

As disciplined value investors at AIM, we note that markets are always susceptible to speculation or mini bubbles. Although these bubbles do not necessarily lead to drops in aggregate market performance, long term market results can be permanently damaged when these “bubbles” are widely endorsed by other investors. At AIM, we are vigilant of and responsive to such investor behavior. A dramatic example of this unbalanced investing approach was the emergence of the domestic investor into the international markets in the 80’s. At that time, international diversification was positioned as one of the “greatest portfolio allocation opportunities to lower long term portfolio risk and enhance overall portfolio returns.” However, implementation of this approach led to a period of more than 15 years of underperformance in global markets by US dollar investors.

Another problematic investment strategy that was exploited during the decade of the 1980’s was the utilization of junk bond financing to facilitate leverage buy outs in the food and container industries. This lead to the failure of many large established industrial and financial companies. One of the best examples of a market bubble, similar to the technology explosion of the 90’s, was the energy boom of the late 70’s. At the top of the energy market, these industry shares peaked at more than 35% of the overall market capitalization inflating energy shares to extreme overvaluation. Contact us to see several charts that show sector performance during different market cycles.

It is important to recognize that during periods of investor mania many value investors will attempt to capture the upside potential of momentum investing and accumulate shares of these “hot” sectors. This response requires those investors to pare back their participation in the alternative value shares. In turn, this behavior tends to compound the near term negative effect of already out-of-favor industries while the “hot” sectors are temporarily pushed to higher valuations. Despite these market pressures, to chase “hot” investments, our value investing philosophy strictly adheres to a low P/E approach. This can result in short term under performance, however over the long term these value investments tend to rebound and ensure a long term positive investment outlook and wealth creation for our clients.

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