Dear Clients and Friends,
Another Record Year – Anchor ended 2021 as healthy as we have ever been, with $9.8 billion in assets[i], enabling us to add six new associates in the past year. Anchor remains a very desirable place to work – we are privately held and make our own destiny – we invest in and support our people by paying for certifications (CFA, CFP, CPA) and continuing education (MBA) – we take care of our people and their families – and we continually push each other to achieve excellence in each of our departments. This fall we had a retirement party for three associates, each of whom have been with Anchor for over 30 years! Anchor’s culture is our secret sauce, and the reason that we are able to attract and retain the caliber of employees we have.
Adapting to the Shifting Investment Landscape – Anchor has always been a stickler for upstanding shareholder governance at the companies whose shares we own. We have taken this a step further, to employ a robust suite of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) metrics throughout our investment process. We believe that it benefits clients and society at large, and we also believe that companies that are at the forefront of responsibility will continue to be rewarded by their customers and by investors. However, clients should not expect any other changes to our meticulous and conservative investment process, which dates back almost 40 years. We remain a thoughtful, low-turnover, tax-efficient, risk-averse fiduciary of clients’ assets. We are also proud to announce the formation of a Diversity and Inclusion committee, as we continue to promote a welcoming and diverse workplace.
View of the Markets – The equity markets were broadly rewarding for investors in 2021 as the Fed continued its easy money policies and interest rates remained low. The shifting pandemic landscape caused volatility in various sectors, with “reopening” stocks surging at times of optimism, followed by declines at the discovery of new variants. The best performing areas included cyclical deep value sectors such as metals and mining, oil and autos. These areas tend to boom and bust and thus we tread cautiously investing in them. We are optimistic that better times lie ahead, and that we will be able to navigate the equity markets using the same tools that have served our investors since 1983. We note that similar to this time last year, the disparity between the valuations of growth and value indices remain at historically unprecedented levels, thus we believe that a value skew remains sensible. We are not particularly enthusiastic about the fixed income markets, with their generally miniscule yields.
We are Invested Alongside You – Anchor associates have substantial allocations of their retirements and other investments invested alongside your assets in Anchor strategies. I am proud to be able to say that the Rice family has virtually all of our investable assets at Anchor. We require our management teams to be aligned with us as investors and we are aligned with you, our clients.
Thank You – We are thankful to you, our clients, for the trust that you place in us. It is an honor to be the trusted fiduciary of your assets.
William P. Rice Jr.
Chief Executive Officer