Quarterly Commentary

Since our inception over 30 years ago, Colonial Consulting has pursued one simple goal: providing exceptional investment advice and services via our nondiscretionary advisory model. Over the past decade, much of our industry has migrated to a discretionary (sometimes called Outsourced Chief Investment Officer or “OCIO”) model while we’ve elected to maintain our original focus. Yet, we have also observed a trend in which a greater number of clients are...

Predicting the impact of macro factors is one of investing’s greatest temptations. Turn on the news and topics like commodity prices, interest rates, and currencies are being discussed constantly, with pundit after pundit confidently offering commentary on how these factors are going to impact equity markets. And in the short term, sometimes they get it right. When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and it became clear that major production and refinery...

We know great innovation when we see it. It creates the sensation of the never-before conceivable, a new idea that seems inevitable once it’s revealed but was almost unimaginable prior to its creation. Innovation, a word first used in the 15th century, refers to the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods, but we know it as an intention to not just improve the prior generation of...

It was 2013 and Marc Lore, co-founder of Diapers.com parent Quidsi, was anxious for a new venture. He had recently left Amazon, which had purchased his company for $545 million in 2010 after an escalating price war that Lore ultimately concluded he couldn’t win. He was in New York, having lunch with an investor from the well-known venture firm Accel Partners, when he pitched his new idea – an online...

Few terms grab the collective attention of citizens in a democracy more than “Marxism.” Defined loosely as a classless society, it reflects the social, political, and economic theories of its chief architect, Karl Marx, a German philosopher who collaborated with Friedrich Engels to author “The Communist Manifesto” in 1848. Marxism is often used interchangeably with the word “socialism,” an economic and political theory advocating collective ownership and administration of the...

There are many biases that can come into play when making decisions; where one lives and works, where one grew up, and the company we keep (and have kept in the past) all play a meaningful and often not readily apparent role. These biases are inherent to being human – everyone has them, and while some are self-aware enough to acknowledge them, others are not. In the work we do...

In late 2007, Warren Buffett challenged hedge fund-of-funds Protege Partners to a bet. Mr. Buffett wagered $1,000,000 that an investment in the S&P 500 would be worth more after ten years than an equal investment in five fund-of-funds selected by Protege. The market was merciless from the start, delivering a global financial crisis that provided a very strong start for the hedge fund portfolio. Fast forward to today, and Mr....

Superman without Lex Luthor. Sherlock Holmes without Professor Moriarty. The Road Runner without Wile E. Coyote. Dorothy without the Wicked Witch of the West. Harry Potter without Voldemort. Sheriff Brody without Jaws. The Dalmatians without Cruella de Vil. Austin Powers without Dr. Evil.None of those work, not a single one. The simple fact is that heroes need villains, both for their own growth and development and to give life and...

Next month, Samuel Clemens turns 180. The man better known as Mark Twain excelled at social criticism, calling attention to class relations, oppression, slavery, and the failures of Reconstruction through his prolific library of important works. Of course, Twain was also known for his biting observational wit, reflected in a number of notable quotes delivered over his lifetime. One of his more famous – “Reports of my death have been...

How did you spend your money today? Maybe you started at a coffee shop, cringing slightly as you paid mid-single-digit dollars for a morning caffeine jolt. Then you filled your car with a tank of gas, regretting the fact that you seem to drive everywhere when walking or cycling would be healthier and less impactful on the climate. Wracked with guilt, you stopped at a bike shop and bought a...