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From left, SignalPoint Asset Management co-owners Skip Motsenbocker and Mike Orzel are planning an August move to third-floor space on South Avenue.
From left, SignalPoint Asset Management co-owners Skip Motsenbocker and Mike Orzel are planning an August move to third-floor space on South Avenue.

Asset management firm heads downtown

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Though investing has not been without challenges in the last couple of years, one local money management firm attributes its focused, emotion-free investing strategy with growth that paved the way for a move planned for later this summer.

SignalPoint Asset Management LLC owners Skip Motsenbocker, Michael Orzel and Thomas M. Veale are expecting to move in August to third-floor space at 400 South Ave. The company opened in August 2008 in leased space it now occupies at Walnut Capital Management’s building, 1201 E. Walnut St.

Managing Director Motsenbocker said the South Avenue building was purchased in May from Scott and Emily Wehr with a mortgage from Arvest Bank for an undisclosed amount.

He said the 15,000-square-foot building is owned under South & Walnut LLC, a separate entity created by the three partners. A deed of trust recorded May 10 in Greene County shows a note for $845,108 from Arvest Bank to South & Walnut LLC.

Room to grow
Motsenbocker said the building’s first-floor tenant, Bugsy Malone’s karaoke bar, will remain in the building.

“We don’t know at this point if we will reserve the second floor for future growth or lease it,” he said, noting that SignalPoint plans to add at least two more employees to its current staff of 12 by the end of the year.

Motsenbocker said the building was chosen for its history as well as its downtown location.

“We’re currently located in a historic home and clients seem to like to come into a building with some history,” he added. “Our new building is 114 years old, and we’re looking forward to preserving the architecture while trying to create a new classic modern feel in a loft space.”

The property was on the market for just six months – August 2009 to February when it went under contract – according to listing agent Michelle Cantrell of Murney Associates.
“I think that having an established business already in the building helped,” she said.

SignalPoint strategy
SignalPoint’s investment strategy involves several platforms, Motsenbocker said, but the overall process combines absolute diversification through the use of exchange-traded funds, maintaining cash on hand to allow the firm to invest when prices are low and a strict, emotion-free approach.

“Most individual investors are driven by emotions that tell them to buy when the market is up and stay out when the market is down,” Motsenbocker said. “Our strategy is counterintuitive.”

SignalPoint’s investment platforms include the Signal 10 domestic equity portfolio, a charter domestic portfolio and portfolios for high, moderate and stable incomes, according to www.signalpointinvest.com. While the portfolios target different types of investors, all work on the relatively emotion-free premise of allowing money to move with the market.

The company also partners with Fidelity and Charles Schwab to give clients investing options, he said.

Though the company’s privacy policies prohibit him from sharing client names, Motsenbocker said SignalPoint Asset Management manages investments for between 500 and 1,000 clients, with a minimum investment of $100,000. In just two years, he said, the company has grown to $165 million under management, up from zero assets under management when it first opened its doors.

“This year, all of our equity portfolios are beating their benchmarks by an average of 5 percent through the second quarter (ended) June 30,” Motsenbocker said. He projects that SignalPoint will have more than $200 million in assets under management by the end of the year and $250 million by July 2011.

SignalPoint Asset Management also can work with other financial services firms that want to offer the SignalPoint strategy as an investment option for their own clients. Among those users is SignalPoint’s current landlord, Walnut Capital Management.

“We inform our clients about SignalPoint because it’s easy to understand for the client and is cautious and conservative for a stock portfolio,” said Walnut Capital Managing Partner Jon Timson.

He noted that the SignalPoint firm’s move is good for both companies, as both need room to add staff.

SignalPoint representatives also present seminars nationwide for investment advisory firms. Tulsa, Okla.,-based Ward Financial Services recently invited 10 clients to attend a SignalPoint seminar, said owner Phil G. Ward.

He noted that his clients were definitely intrigued by SignalPoint’s approach to investing.

“They asked questions and it went on for four hours. The typical seminar is about an hour,” he said, noting that his company typically considers as many as 40 programs before choosing only a few each year.

“I like SignalPoint because it is a good, logical approach to managing money, and they are competent and enjoyable to deal with,” Ward said, adding that most of his clients who select SignalPoint strategies for investing are typically 55 or older and are managing retirement funds.[[In-content Ad]]

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