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Volume 21 No. 1
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Precious metals, emerging markets enter mix

Luke Donald is going alternative, at least in his recent investments.

We’re talking pipeline companies, emerging market debt and precious metals to add diversity to his portfolio.

In the past few years, Donald has moved away from a portfolio featuring a nearly even split between equity and non-equity investment allocations to a portfolio with up to a 20 percent mix of alternatives investments, including precious metals, energy partnerships including pipeline companies and emerging market debt.

The remaining 80 percent of his portfolio is split between equity and non-equity investments.

On the equity side, Donald’s portfolio features a growing percentage in emerging markets like China along with mutual funds and exchange traded funds, which are funds traded like stocks. On the non-equity, fixed income side, he holds high-quality individual securities including municipal bonds, corporate bonds and treasuries.

“Within equities, we are globally diversified and over the long term we believe that emerging markets deserve a significant allocation,” said John Zaller, MAI Wealth Advisors senior associate and portfolio manager who works with Donald on his portfolio. “Our primary focus for Luke is wealth preservation with a secondary focus on growing his wealth over time by taking calculated risk.”

On the fixed income side, Zaller said the goal is “to make sure his principal is protected first and foremost.”

While Donald holds an art degree from Northwestern University, he can talk economics like a business school graduate.

“I am wary to keep injecting money into the market,” he said. “I have bought some gold, but it’s a fragile market. It is going to be a slow climb with the deficit in the U.S. and with unemployment and politicians not wanting to do anything radical.”

While Donald’s five-member investment advisory team at MAI is responsible for his day-to-day wealth management, the world’s top-ranked golfer takes a very involved role.

“I would call him a high-level client who is active and who participates well in his own management,” said John Ciancibello, a director at MAI who leads Donald’s investment team. “He has a good handle on what is going on.”