J. Andre Weisbrod, a professional investor in both the public and private markets, formed the STAAR Investment Trust (the "Trust") in Pittsburgh, PA in the mid-1990s. And over 20 years later, now, the Trust continues to operate as an SEC-registered open-end management investment company.
In its design, Mr. Weisbrod wanted the Trust to present to retail investors a wider range of investment alternatives - wider than what he observed in many other investment companies at the time. The range included a set of options that, he believed, comprised a balanced portfolio if equal-weighted, but additionally, left room for the interested investor to adjust among asset classes and/or risk preferences as needed. Accordingly, the Trust registered six separate series, each a mutual fund, and each available to the retail investor.
Mr. Weisbrod served as the funds' sole portfolio manager during his tenure, and he managed the assets of the Trust through multiple economic recessions, many business cycles, and perhaps most noteworthy, through the global credit crisis that began in 2007. In 2018, however, Mr. Weisbrod retired from his portfolio manager position (among others), and in the process, a New York City-based SEC-Registered Investment Adviser was selected to be the subsequent investment adviser to the Trust by vote of the Trust's shareholders. Despite "retiring," however, Mr. Weisbrod continues to be an active investor, a working artist, and an avid proponent of plain language in all respects (to name three items on a long list).
Mr. Weisbrod - thank you, and Godspeed...
Barrel Park Investments ("Barrel Park") serves as the current investment adviser to the Trust. Barrel Park's doctrine is to provide professional investment adviser service, and in all respects. Among other things, Barrel Park believes in the utmost importance of fiduciary duty, "doing homework," practicing fortitude, and seeking investments in the "places hardest to find." Figuratively, in a single case, the successful investor needs to identify something that's second-guessed (or overlooked) today, but sought-after tomorrow. And in a career, the successful investment professional needs to repeat this outcome time and time again. Most economic models yield the basic result that a large majority of a market's actors will fail at this "game;" whether in the short run, or in the medium run, or in the long run.
At Barrel Park, we believe in this basic result; and therefore, we approach investment management with a dynamic mindset that focuses on, among other things, the potential that the "game" can (and we believe will) always change; additionally, we hallow something that reflects Mr. Weisbrod's fiduciary character - the need for a margin of safety at all times. Investing in the public markets necessarily involves judgements and decision-making under uncertainty, and given this, we believe room for error is, in plain language, a necessity... Thank you for reading, and welcome to the Trust.
President of the STAAR Investment Trust
Portfolio Manager of Barrel Park Investments
+1 (888) 717-8227