The ALM First Approach

ALM First’s investment team offers deep market experience. Dedication to market research, trading level analytics, and a balanced approach guide ALM First’s portfolio management decision-making process. As your partner, ALM First will work to ensure your investment portfolio can enhance performance, quickly adapt, remain compliant, and respond to changes in markets. Each fixed income strategy portfolio is managed to a specific mandate based on your institution’s goals and risk tolerance.

ALM First’s Proven Strategies

Asset liability management is at the heart of ALM First’s investment philosophy. Focusing on our client’s portfolio goals, objectives, and liquidity needs is paramount to our continuing success. ALM First utilizes a thoughtful investment framework that seeks to maximize risk-adjusted returns within stated risk guidelines. Additionally, all investment decisions are regularly reviewed to ensure that actual performance is aligned with expectations. When goals and performance are no longer aligned, portfolio rebalancing must be considered.


ALM First focuses on strategies based on four different portfolio frameworks: Core Spread, Cash+, Enhanced Liquidity, and Investment Grade Credit.

Core Spread Portfolio
The Core Spread Portfolio strategy targets a duration of 2.25-2.75%, and portfolios seek to generate excess returns relative to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 1-5 year Treasury/Agency index. The investment team generates outperformance via duration targeting, sector allocation, and security selection, in that order, and portfolios are built with an emphasis on credit quality and liquidity. Example holdings can include agency mortgage-backed securities (single-family and multifamily), floating-rate securities, repurchase agreements, and bank notes.

Cash+ Portfolio
The Cash+ Portfolio targets investment advantages for institutions looking for very short-term portfolios, but a portfolio delivering returns in excess of the Federal Reserve’s rate of interest on excess reserves (IOER). The effective duration of the portfolio is equivalent of a 3-month Treasury bill or shorter. The benchmark for the portfolio IOER rate, ICE BofAML 3-Month Treasury Bill Index, and the interest-rate risk limit is based on an effective duration target of 0.25%.

Enhanced Liquidity
The Enhanced Liquidity portfolio strategy targets a duration similar to a 6-month Treasury bill. Emphasizing credit quality and liquidity, Enhanced Liquidity portfolios seek to deliver excess returns relative to its T-bill benchmark and the interest rate on excess reserves (IOER) at the Federal Reserve. Portfolios consist primarily of agency mortgage-backed securities (single-family and multifamily), floating rate securities, repurchase agreements, and bank notes.

Investment Grade Credit
The Investment Grade Credit strategy focuses on investment grade credit in the 1-5 year area of the yield curve. It is designed to deliver a low tracking error return relative to the BAML 1-5 A-AAA corporate investment grade index. As with many of portfolio strategies, ALM First seeks to add excess returns through sector allocation and security selection.


>> Contact us today to determine the best strategy for your portfolio.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the value of partnering with a registered investment advisor?

As a leading strategic partner for financial advisory services, ALM First Financial Advisors has a simple goal: Generate superior returns per unit of risk for our clients through our clearly defined investment process. Discover the differences between working with a registered investment advisor and a broker-dealer:

• SEC-registered investment advisor – ALM First has a fiduciary duty to always do what is best for our clients, given their portfolio, policy guidelines and risk appetite, and market conditions.

• Fee-based – Unlike commission-based broker-dealers, ALM First does not receive compensation for trades made on behalf of clients, nor do we own or hold fixed-income securities. Our fees are tied to the total assets we manage, not the number or type of transactions we execute. This allows our Investment Management Group (IMG) to only focus on providing clients objective advice that fits their needs…not ours.

• Holistic approach – ALM First customizes its investment strategy design for each client, grounded in a sound structure that is in line with the client’s specific balance-sheet risk profile. Our process involves risk assessment and management, analysis of hedging alternatives, and expert modeling techniques that allow clients to quickly respond to market fluctuations and regulatory changes.

What is ALM First's investment process?

Instead of simply analyzing a particular security that a broker is showing, ALM First believes the first question should be: Is this instrument even in the asset or sector we should be purchasing? ALM First’s team of professionals monitor the markets and assesses the relative value opportunities to maximize clients’ risk-adjusted returns in any market environment. Our IMG combines sector allocation, security selection, trade execution, risk management and rebalancing within a disciplined framework to ensure the best portfolio performance. This requires robust analytic systems and the professional expertise to drive those systems.