David Swensen, the longtime investment manager of Yale’s endowed assets, passed away this week after a long battle with cancer. Swensen pioneered the endowment method of investing, aligning the unique characteristics of endowed assets with strategies that deliver superior growth over time. Although his methods and strategies aren’t well suited for individual investors, his approach has been adopted by most endowment, foundation, and pension fund managers around the world. NPR compiled an excellent profile last week in the article, David Swensen, The Greatest Investor You Maybe Never Heard Of, Leaves Powerful Legacy.
David Swensen Leaves a Lasting Legacy
Senior Investment Strategist
James Michael Yaworski serves as Senior Investment Strategist at Carlson Capital Management. In this role, James is responsible for investment research, portfolio management, and client investment education. James monitors and reviews client portfolios to maintain balance across asset classes, makes recommendations for portfolios when out of alignment with models, reviews daily cash positions, and places trades through the custodial trading platform. He also provides new client portfolio analysis, asset class/portfolio research and analysis, prepares and presents client education materials, and manages other activities in support of overall client portfolio management.
James is a graduate of Northern Illinois University where he earned his degree in Finance. While studying at NIU, he gained insights into his future career as part of a student-managed portfolio team. Prior to joining CCM, James’ experience included working in the roles of investment manager, project manager in investment research, and financial analyst in both large and small financial organizations. James holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA Charter) designation, granted by the CFA Institute, which entails a rigorous exam requirement. He also represents CCM as chair of the investment research committee of Zero Alpha Group, a national network of eight independent wealth management firms.
In addition to the research James conducts related to building strong client portfolios, he is engaged in research on approaches that enhance institutional experiences as well. His most recent work sets out to provide institutional investors with a more robust way of constructing spending policies. In a paper published in the Financial Analysts Journal, James shows how current practices create poor long-term outcomes, resulting in declining support for beneficiaries over time. He also demonstrates how current methods expose trustees to significant fiduciary risk, and how small errors in implementation can have significant long-term ramifications on portfolio growth. His in-depth and thoughtful research stems from his genuine interest in providing university, public and private foundations, and endowment trustees with an approach that not only optimizes the outcomes of their portfolio’s performance, but also addresses their fiduciary responsibility with regard to spending policies. [You can read the accepted manuscript of James' paper here.]
James enjoys being engaged in the community with Habitat for Humanity and Paws & Claws. In his free time he also enjoys golfing and playing softball. James grew up in Crystal Lake, Illinois and now resides in Rochester, Minnesota with his wife, Brittany, their three young children, and two dogs, Frankie and Jordy.
“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” -Mother Teresa
I have grown to appreciate the importance of collaboration and teamwork in this industry. A group of individuals, each dedicated toward expertise in their respective fields, can help to piece together the puzzle of a family’s financial lives in an incredible manner. The end result is one which truly connects the math of an individual’s personal finances with the why that makes up who they are and what they want to achieve in life.
As a member of our investment team, I enjoy every aspect of this process; from our discovery meetings where we learn about financial goals, to the analysis and construction of a financial plan, to the educational meetings where we help put all the pieces into place. Ultimately, building a relationship with clients that centers on creating financial security and establishing confidence in their financial plan is extremely gratifying.
James and other members of the CCM Investment Team regularly post articles of interest including investment insights, recommended reading on timely topics, and articles on portfolio management which you can find here.