aiSource: Looking at the Year Ahead 2014

Since it’s the start of the new year, it’s common practice for people to start making their “New Year’s Resolutions.”  While many may find this practice cliche, sometimes it can be a good idea to write your goals, and share them with close confidants, so that you have someone to monitor your progress and “keep you honest.”  The management team at aiSource is no different.  In addition to having weekly meetings, we generally have a full-day meeting at the start of each year to discuss our yearly goals.  While many goals are focused on making internal practices more efficient, we thought we would share some that could directly affect our clients.  Please do not hesitate monitor the progress on our goals and “keep us honest.”

Improve Client Education

Client education is perhaps the most important aspect of investing in managed futures.  Whether a client is in the pre-investment stage, or has already invested, it’s important to educate a client on an on-going basis to ensure they understand the intricacies of CTA investments. The most common challenges we have with new clients is explaining notional funding, and cross margining.  Once a client has invested, the most important concept for them to understand is return on margin usage, trade selection, and risk management.  These are the areas we plan to focus on more in 2014, to ensure clients are understanding all the moving parts that go into a managed futures portfolio.

Increase CTA Search/Due Diligence

In 2013, aiSource averaged one initial due diligence call [with a new CTA] every 10 days.  The goal in 2014 is to source new CTAs and setup calls at least once a week in an effort to discover more interesting programs.  While it may seem like a lot to speak with a new CTA every week, the fact is that only five percent of CTAs we speak with, actually end up moving on to the next step of the process.  Therefore, it’s important to speak with as many intriguing managers possible, so you increase your chances of finding one deserving of an allocation. The only way we see ourselves failing this goal, is if not that many new CTAs start up in 2014.

Meet all our clients

As a liaison between clients and CTAs, we try our best to  meet both sides of the equation, however, while we generally meet most of our CTAs, we many times do not get the opportunity to meet most of our clients.  The relationship starts, and develops into a strong phone relationship, and many times it’s difficult to match schedules in order to make a meeting work.  Our goal in 2014 is to improve that and to meet ALL of our clients, and further strengthen the relationship we have with them.  If you are a current or prospective client, and have not yet met any members of the aiSource team, please let us know and we would love to meet you in your hometown or invite you to meet us in Chicago.

The above goals/resolutions are ones that aiSource wants to focus on this year.  We are always more than happy to entertain other requests, and suggestions for how to make the managed futures experience better for all parties. Happy New Year, and best of luck to all of you!