• Investment success with less risk

    Brothers Matt and Erich Patten of Cutler Investment Group play it conservative to give their clients safe and solid gains
  • Risk is inherent when it comes to investing. Risky behavior, however, is another matter.
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  • Risk is inherent when it comes to investing. Risky behavior, however, is another matter.
    For brothers Matt and Erich Patten, who oversee two mutual funds and other investments for Cutler Investment Group, aversion to risk was a trait passed along from their grandfather, Ken Cutler, who founded the company in 1977 and moved it to Southern Oregon in 1983.
    A typical portfolio under management will possess large-cap — or mature — companies with a strong dividend history, easily liquidated during market stress, said Erich Patten, 34.
    You won't see Facebook or other trendy stocks on the Cutler buy list.
    "We avoid risk for the sake of avoiding risk," said Matt Patten, 36, the company's president. "Why have it?"
    The Pattens entered the investment game not long after the dot-com bust and steered clear of the real-estate bubble's liquidity crisis that took out Lehman Brothers and reduced the value of Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch to pocket change.
    "We both invest in the same things we put our clients in," said Matt Patten, whose office is in the firm's Bigham Knoll headquarters in Jacksonville. "We want our risk aligned with our clients' risk."
    The approach was lauded in this month's Kiplinger's Personal Finance report by contributing editor James K. Glassman.
    "The fund, run out of Jacksonville, Ore.," Glassman wrote, "topped the (Standard & Poors) index by an average of 2.1 points per year over the past five years and by 0.5 point per year over the past 15. But its true attraction is below-average risk. Its portfolio of 35 mega-capitalization stocks is headed by IBM and American Express, both selling at 13 times estimated earnings."
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