Investment Strategies that Hedge Interest Rate Risk: A 2013 Top Ten Portfolio Manager Interview with Rick Gonsalves, the Founder and Portfolio Manager of AmericaFirst Capital Management

Wall Street Transcript

67 WALL STREET, New York - December 12, 2013 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Top Ten Portfolio Manager Interviews of 2013 Report. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with highly experienced Money Managers. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Top Ten Portfolio Manager Interviews of 2013

Companies include: Top Stock Portfolios Constructed Using Quantitative Analysis

In the following excerpt from the Top Ten Portfolio Manager Interviews of 2013 Report, an experienced money manager and the founder of AmericaFirst discusses his methodology for achieving top returns for his investors:

TWST: What would you add in terms of describing your overall investment philosophy?

Mr. Gonsalves: AmericaFirst is very unique. Again, we were formed and are managed by investment advisers who have managed investment portfolios for quite some time. We feel that this in-the-trench history gives us a perspective that many investment companies simply don't have, as they may be led or managed by people who have never actually managed investment portfolios. This history also helps us in the development of our products, as we are always looking for ideas to help us with our own retail portfolios.

One of the things that I learned very early in my career was that relying on corporate research just wasn't cutting it with my retail clients. On one hand, we had the country's largest mutual fund rating system admitting that their three-star recommendations had historically outperformed their five-star recommendations. On the other hand, I was seeing studies of how many corporate research departments' "sell" recommendations were outperforming their "buy" recommendations. So really, I came to learn that the only thing I could rely on was history, and it was basically this realization that has formed our investment philosophy.

In terms of philosophy, AmericaFirst will not create an investment strategy or product that hasn't been tested over time. In many cases, we are able to actually test our strategies over nearly 40 years of market data. For each investment strategy, we test millions of data points over 10,000 stocks and half a million bonds to find criteria and variables that have consistently worked in the past. It doesn't mean that a strategy is going to be 100% perfect, but investors should at least find comfort knowing that their AmericaFirst fund or unit investment trust has been thoughtfully constructed, and it's been constructed based on fact, not whims or emotion that are sometimes associated with the peer pressures this industry may give us.

When you think about it, we test everything in life - from the toothpaste we use to the car we drive to the house we buy - but for some reason, we just completely abandoned this philosophy when it comes to our money. I've never understood this.

TWST: Tell us a bit more about the different mutual funds and unit investment trusts that you currently offer.

Mr. Gonsalves: I manage four mutual funds. Three are in the top 5% of their peers over their longest traceable track record, and then the other one is in the top 1% or 2% of its peers for year-to-date performance...

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

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