Director of Investments
David Cowles brings a personal interest to designing portfolios that improve the odds of helping Mosaic's clients meet their financial objectives, including working with advisors to design and implement appropriate investment strategies. Dave chairs the firm’s internal investment committee; he oversees all investment research, trading activity, and portfolio management; he received his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 2000.
All told, Dave brings four decades of diversified financial management experience to Mosaic. After graduating from California State University at Chico, Dave served as a Senior Manager at an international professional services firm, responsible for several of the firm’s largest clients. Later, Dave spent nine years in private industry in senior financial management positions before joining the Mosaic team in 1997.
In fact, David Cowles, director of investment for the San Francisco-based asset manager Mosaic Financial Partners Inc., said he moved out of the ETN and into the fund as soon as the BIZD launched.
“This is a nice way for us to get a little bit of exposure to the venture capital world without running into the hedge fund and private equity kind of investments,” Cowles said. “It has very high historical returns, but also very high volatility.”
Ironically, alternatives actually have become more correlated to the stock and bond markets since the financial crisis, said David Cowles, a certified financial planner and director of investments at Mosaic Financial Partners. One reason for that may be the proliferation of alternative mutual and exchange-traded funds. The large number of liquid alternative products on the market has made it easier to trade in and out of various asset classes, but the funds are also vulnerable to broad market selloffs, said Cowles.
Mosaic allocates about 30 percent of client portfolios to alternatives, up from roughly 10 percent a decade ago. The firm uses passive, low-cost mutual and exchange traded funds to gain exposure to alternatives. Advisors who participated in Morningstar's recent survey allocated 5 percent to 15 percent to alternatives.
"You are still getting a benefit in terms of portfolio diversification with alternatives, but you are getting less of a benefit than you would have gotten before the financial crisis," Cowles said.
"We like passively managed funds," says David Cowles, director of investments for financial advisers Mosaic Financial Partners in San Francisco. "For example, if a fund decides to sell international stocks for 12 months, that's market timing, which we don't like."