The investment philosophy of RMA is simple: Invest in good businesses at attractive valuations for the long-run. At the heart of this philosophy are two core investment principles.
The first of these principles is the belief that superior long-term returns can only be generated as long as first priority is given to protecting one's principal investment. We find it difficult to make any money from investing if the initial principal has been lost. As a result, we typically seek to minimize the risk to investment principal by focusing our efforts on identifying good quality, defensible businesses with solid financial positions and strong operating track records. It is our belief that these businesses will generally have the greatest probability of continued operational success into the future and represent potentially attractive investment opportunities. However, before investing in these opportunities we seek to further reduce our risk to investment principal by increasing our margin of safety. We feel this is accomplished by investing in these opportunities at valuations that we believe reflect a discount from our estimate of the businesses' intrinsic value.
The second principle is the belief that one must invest in businesses and not speculate in securities to have long-term investment success. This is predicated on the view that the long-term performance of a security will be determined by the operating performance of the underlying business and not the vagaries of fluctuating market sentiment. Adherence to this belief allows us to look through the short term noise of the market and focus on understanding the underlying business and its ability to generate a strong operating performance over the long-run. As a result, we expect to be long-term investors in these businesses. The decision to divest of an investment will generally be driven by either a change in the underlying investment thesis or as a result of the investment trading at an unjustifiably high valuation while more attractive investment opportunities are available elsewhere.
To implement this philosophy, RMA utilizes a disciplined, bottom-up, value-driven investment process. This process is designed to identify potentially attractive and appropriate investment opportunities through extensive fundamental research that analyzes a range of qualitative and quantitative factors. Once an investment has been made, it is monitored and reviewed on an ongoing basis to determine if it remains an attractive and appropriate investment.
Joel Looney, CFP, serves as President, Chief Investment Officer and a Portfolio Manager for RMA. In these roles, Mr. Looney is responsible for supervising the overall advisory services provided by RMA, as well as for the day-to-day portfolio management of the SRH Total Return Fund. Mr. Looney is also an "investment adviser representative" who provides investment management and financial planning services to a group of RMA private clients.
Prior to joining RMA in 2013, Mr. Looney was the Principal for Financial Management Group, LLC, an investment management firm, from 1999 to 2013. Prior to forming Financial Management Group, LLC, he was the Chief Financial Officer for Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS from 1995 to 1999. Mr. Looney formerly served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Boulder Total Return Fund, The Denali Fund and the First Opportunity Fund. Mr. Looney currently serves as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the SRH Total Return Fund. Mr. Looney also serves as President of the Horejsi Charitable Foundation.
Mr. Looney holds an M.B.A from Kansas State University and a B.S. from Marymount College. Mr. Looney is also a CFP charterholder.
Nicole Murphey serves as RMA’s CCO and fund operations manager. Ms. Murphey performs these roles in a consulting capacity through her company, Whistlepig Compliance Solutions, LLC (“WCS”), and is primarily responsible for supervising RMA’s compliance programs and policies as well as the operation of the fund business at RMA. Ms. Murphey serves as Chief Compliance Officer for another SEC registered investment adviser and is an operational consultant to a Boulder start-up company. Ms. Murphey also serves as an interested director of SRH Total Return Fund, Inc. (STEW).
Ms. Murphey has over twenty years’ experience in the closed-end fund industry, focusing on fund and adviser operations and, prior to the closure of RMA’s Boulder office in 2018, had been heavily involved in the day-to-day management and administration of the Fund, FAS and RMA. Prior to founding WCS, Ms. Murphey was Vice President of RMA, Assistant Manager of FAS, and Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Boulder Growth and Income Fund, Inc. (BIF).
Jacob Hemmer, CFA, serves as Vice President and Associate Portfolio Manager for RMA. In this role, Mr. Hemmer is responsible for providing investment research on current and potential portfolio holdings for the Fund. Mr. Hemmer also manages a small number of private client accounts.
Prior to joining RMA in 2018, Mr. Hemmer was a Financial Advisor for Raymond James Financial Services, Inc dba. Hampton Financial from 2012 to 2018. Mr. Hemmer holds a B.S. in Business from Colorado State University.
Mr. Hemmer is also a CFA® charterholder.
April McCullough serves as assistant compliance officer, administrative assistant, and an investment advisor representative for RMA.