Investment Approach

The four bars in the Cowan Asset Management logo represent the four pillars of our investment approach: 

1)    We believe in common sense investing: We are independent thinkers and use rational judgment as we navigate the investing landscape. We tend to be skeptical when the market is exuberant. It is our view that volatility is not risk: volatility creates opportunities.     

2)    We take a long-term approach: We don’t chase short-term performance to the detriment of long-term success. We invest in companies in which we have strong conviction. We expect to own these companies for three to five years. We are patient investors. Low turnover in our portfolios allows taxes and trading costs to be minimized. We look to partner with clients who are also long-term focused.

3)    We look for opportunities where the risk-reward trade-off is in our favour: We believe that the key to long-term performance is the avoidance of a permanent loss of capital; therefore, we aim to protect capital first and increase returns second. While it is impossible to eliminate all risks, we constantly balance upside potential versus worst case scenarios. 

4)    We put a strong focus on asset valuation: We look for investment opportunities across a company’s entire capital structure; opportunities that are under-appreciated by the market. We focus on intrinsic value and insist on a margin of safety when pursuing an idea. We don’t attempt to predict bull or bear markets - when we find a good idea, we act.  We are cash flow- and balance sheet-focused investors. We strive for a combination of capital gains and income to achieve returns. When we deem investments to be too expensive, we are not afraid to hold cash until better opportunities arise.