Communities Corner

Connect with Leading Strategists that Align with Your Investment Philosophy

Communities Corner highlights what’s happening within Orion Communities, our robust investment model marketplace. Find out about the newest investment strategists to join Communities, get valuable market insights, plus stay informed of enhancements to Orion Advisor Tech.


New Investment Strategists

Meet the latest investment strategists to join Communities. Learn their history, core competencies, investment philosophy, and how they can add value to your model portfolios.


Losses Are More Powerful Than Gains

Losses are more powerful than gains, and volatility has become the new normal. Beacon Capital Management believes in eliminating emotion and limiting downside exposure. Each of our portfolios is designed based on Nobel award-winning research and simulation-tested risk management tactics. From conservative to aggressive, we provide a range of customizable portfolio solutions featuring Vanguard ETFs designed specifically for today’s volatile markets and busy advisors, working to capture gains and limit losses with mechanical precision. The ultimate goal? To reduce volatility and deliver more consistent returns for long-term investors.

Beacon Capital Management is an innovative registered investment advisory firm dedicated to fundamentally improving the science of investing by redefining risk management. We have experienced significant growth in recent years as more investors have become dissatisfied with the emotional rollercoaster of market extremes. Founded by Chris Cook, best-selling author of “How to Slash Your Retirement Risk,” Beacon has been named to the CNBC FA 100 list two years in a row, recognized as one of the Top 10 Fastest Growing RIAs by Wealth Management Magazine and a Top Registered Investment Adviser by Financial Times among other accolades and national media exposure. This overwhelming need for consistency in today’s economy could not be more clear; as of August 2021, Beacon’s assets under management have grown to more than $4.2 billion.


Macro factors are increasingly influencing investment returns and capturing the attention of income investors concerned about keeping up with inflation.

At Columbus Macro, we specialize in active, multi-asset macro investing, connecting the global dots between data and policy. When economies and markets transition from one phase or regime to another, it often can create periods of increased risk and opportunity. We are currently in the early stages of such a regime shift as central banks around the world are transitioning from emergency stimulus to tighter monetary policy. This change will produce significant implications for income investors and the strategies they utilize.

Learn how Columbus Macro’s Global Income strategy can help you and your clients navigate the changing macro environment. Macro data is both dynamic and complex with factors frequently rotating and often overlapping. Our strategies seek to identify the macro factors that are currently influencing returns and the assets that have the strongest positive relationship to those factors. We then drill down to the company-specific level, analyzing dividend-paying stocks using rigorous valuation and technical analysis frameworks. Our investment process therefore relies on both quantitative modeling and human analysis. This approach allows us to flexibly adapt to changing market or economic environments.

The Columbus Macro Global Income strategy targets a long-term 60/40 stock bond allocation which includes a core of high-quality dividend-paying individual stocks combined with other income-producing ETF assets to enhance diversification and yield. As of 09/30/21, the strategy had a yield of 3.40%.


Confidence through an Unemotional Quantitative Approach to Fixed Income and Equities

Kensington Asset Management believes the best way to generate steady, above-average positive returns with low volatility and downside exposure, is to employ an investment methodology that has the potential to recognize and measure consistent and repeating behavioral patterns in the financial markets. With that goal in mind, we have developed clearly defined quantitative decision models that strive to minimize subjectivity in the decision making process.

Kensington currently has two models available in the fixed income (Managed Income) and equity (Dynamic Growth) asset classes. Both models seek to allocate in a “risk on” state during rising trends, while moving to a “risk off” or defensive position in trends of decline or increased volatility. The Managed Income model, Kensington’s flagship strategy, dates back to 1992 and has been through numerous market and interest rate cycles. The Managed Income model seeks to allocate to higher-yielding fixed income securities when “risk on” and Treasuries or cash equivalents when in a “risk off” state. The Dynamic Growth model seeks to allocate to broad equity indices, with a focus on large growth when “risk on” and Treasuries or cash equivalents when in a “risk off” state.

Strategist Spotlight

Each month we shine a spotlight on an investment strategist or two. There’s no better time to find out what’s new from these strategists.

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The Quiet Investment Risk: Index Concentration

A handful of companies increasingly influence returns of supposedly diversified equity indexes globally, a danger in particular for passive investing. Head of Quantitative Strategies Michael Hunstad, Ph.D., says active strategies may help.

For more on this topic, check out these timely resources from Northern Trust:

Strategists to Watch

Keep an eye on new models and the latest offerings from strategists you’ll find on Orion Communities.


Risk-managed strategies. Independent approach. The Frontier way.

Frontier Asset Management is an independent investment strategist with a Downside First Focus philosophy. Founded in 2000, Frontier is headquartered in Sheridan, Wyoming, and as of September 30, 2021, has approximately $7 billion in assets under advisement. With a belief that investors can “gain more by losing less”, Frontier’s goal is to deliver competitive returns with less downside risk. Frontier offers a full suite of diversified risk-managed strategies that are designed to satisfy the core portfolio needs of investors at defined downside risk target levels. Each strategy is dynamically managed and comprised of institutional non-proprietary mutual funds and/or ETFs that have been researched and selected by Frontier.


Emerging Firm Delivers Blue Ribbon Performance

2020 was a crazy market year. We witnessed a worldwide pandemic, combined with social media’s rise in prominence and ending with a presidential election. All of this brought fear, uncertainty, and risk. Scarecrow Trading’s equity strategy turned this chaos into an opportunity. Our Crow Chaser algorithms delivered a 98% gross return for 2020. Last year’s performance eclipsed our previous high of 82% gross.

Learn more about our Crow Chaser strategy and see how our emerging firm can deliver exceptional performance for your client.

Strategist Pairings

Portfolio Recipes, a monthly webinar event, brings together two investment strategists to create customized model portfolios to satisfy your clients’ unique needs. Join us each month as we introduce you to a fresh pair of industry-leading strategists, explore the value each brings to the table, and how they can complement each other in your model portfolios.

Portfolio Recipes: The Tactical Allocation Portfolio

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Join Chief Investment Strategist and Portfolio MasterChef Rusty Vanneman, CFA, CMT, as he stirs up the Tactical Allocation Portfolio, a tasty pairing featuring Howard Capital Management & PIMCO All Asset.

The Tactical Allocation Portfolio

Thursday, Dec 16th
2:30 PM CST/3:30 PM EST

Register Now


How to Make SMAs Accessible for All

SMAs were invented in the 1970s to accommodate the needs for high net worth individuals, whose investment objectives didn’t fit well into standard mutual fund strategies. But that was then and this is now!

Recent history shows that SMAs actually hold more wealth than either ETFs or mutual funds. One study found that they comprised 35% of U.S. equity assets in 2018, while ETFs held 34% and mutual funds came in third at 31% of equity wealth.1

The steady growth that SMAs have shown may be about to get much higher as well. Another study suggests that demand for SMAs may double by 2023.2

Download our ebook to learn more about the benefits and roadblocks to using SMAs and how you can make them more accessible to all your clients.


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Streamline and Scale Your Investment Management Process

When Kathy Kraft, owner and founder of Kraft Financial, LLC, logged on to an Orion Communities webinar, she thought she was there to learn about how to better market her firm. And in a roundabout way, that’s exactly what happened. Learn how Orion Communities is helping Kathy to grow her business “at least four times over, in the next couple of years.”


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