Welcome to TERRIL & CO.

Terril & Company is an independent wealth management company founded in 1979 by John “Joe” Terril. Since then, referrals from satisfied clients and third-party professionals have fueled virtually 100% of its growth.

The company takes a highly personal approach to serving clients, which typically include high net worth individuals, trusts and private/corporate retirement plans.

Members of the Terril staff answer their own phones and truly offer close, personal service.

The investment selections Terril makes are based solely on their potential to produce positive, long-term returns for clients. The firm derives 100% of its revenue from client fees and 0% from commissions tied to the sale or purchase of securities.

Fundamentals foremost; patient, often contrarian investing

Recognizing that “bandwagon” investing and playing momentum historically result in catastrophic losses, Terril & Co. searches for investments with characteristics or catalysts not fully appreciated by markets. As a long-term investor (usually three years or more) Terril will hold out-of-favor investments until positive change in their fundamentals becomes evident. While Terril hunts for unrecognized investment opportunities, it stows investor capital in liquid short-term investments to produce income and protect principal.

Terril & Co. believes that its willingness to make disciplined investing decisions apart from “the crowd” is central to its success. Why? Because many professional money managers chase performance and buy the ”hot” investment trends of the day.

Psychologically, it’s far easier for managers to buy the investments their peers are buying because being wrong with “the crowd” is more comfortable than being wrong while standing alone.

Many investors – professionals included – are apt to underestimate investment risk. In bull markets, they are eager to buy more of what is high in price. They tend to manage to performance benchmarks and are more inclined to expand risk boundaries. In bear markets or with out-of-favor assets, their evaluations often fail to reflect the truism that many times, when an investment is low in price, significant financial risk is already eliminated.

Seeking 3X the reward for risk assumed

Terril & Co. seeks to manage risk by searching for investments with the minimum long-term potential to return three times the reward for the risk assumed.

It evaluates all forms of potential investments: equities and fixed income (domestic/foreign); preferred stocks (convertible/straight); commodities; exchange traded funds (ETFs); precious metals; MLPs and GPs of exchange-listed energy infrastructure trusts; real estate investment trusts (REITs); venture capital; and private placements.

Terril’s disciplined approach helps to remove emotion from investment decision-making. It tends to buy when the price reaches a favorable risk/reward threshold, which can lead Terril to being lightly exposed to markets that it believes are over-valued. The firm’s independence also frees it to take profits in successful investments when peers fear being underinvested.

Targeted annual return goal

Year to year, Terril & Co. seeks to generate 3% to 5% real growth (over and above inflation, taxes and fees) in client portfolios. Historically, wealth managers who consistently deliver investment returns in this range are rated in the top tier of investors.

Terril’s standard for acceptable investment return differs markedly from that of industry-driven money managers. In a year when the S&P 500 declines 21%, those managers are pleased to report a 17% loss to clients.

Fee scale reflects total return sensitivity

Conscientious cost control and an equitable fee structure help boost the net return to clients. Fees, calculated and billed quarterly, are entirely negotiable. Terril does not bill in advance. An advisory contract can be cancelled at any time without penalty.

The firm derives 100% of its revenue from client fees. It does not charge or accept any type of commission or other compensation for the sale or purchase of securities.

Fee scale

Market value of managed assets Annual fee as a percentage of managed assets
Up to $1 million 1.0%
$1 million to $3 million 0.75%
$3 million to $5 million 0.6%
$5 million and above 0.5%

*Illustration: Presuming the negotiated fee to manage a $1 million portfolio is 0.75%, the cost to the client is $7,500 on an annual basis. If a client can earn 5% self-managing a portfolio, Terril & Co. needs to earn 5.75% to justify its involvement.

Clients receive an easy-to-understand, two-page investment performance report every quarter. The report clearly presents eight key financial metrics.

  1. Current total value of assets in portfolio
  2. Current asset allocation (expressed as a percentage of total portfolio)
  3. Bond call/put information and maturities
  4. Accrued dividends and interest
  5. Deposits and withdrawals made during the quarter
  6. Portfolio gain or loss during the quarter (expressed in U.S. dollars)
  7. Five-year history of quarterly rates of return (deposits and withdrawals time-weighted)
  8. Annual rate of return (after four quarters)

If your performance report sparks a question, please call. Your call will be answered by one of our professionals who is eager to help.

Terril also welcomes client meetings to discuss investment performance and strategy.

To review a sample quarterly report, click here.

Quarter Ending March 31, 2019
Equities 48.47%
2,000 Sun Trust Banks 118,500
2,200 Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. 104,962
2,500 Citigroup Inc. 155,550
5,000 Plains GP Holdings L.P. 124,600
6,000 Bank of America Corporation 165,540
6,400 Bausch Health Companies 158,080
15,000 ClearBridge Energy MLP Opportunity Fund 144,150
Taxable Fixed Income 32.37%
25,000 Aberdeen Asia-Pacific Income Fund 105,750
3,500 Ally A FLT 8.1% 91,140
140 US Bancorp Series A Pfd FLT 3.81% 111,257
150 State Street Cap Trust IV Pfd FLT 3.61% 118,875
150,000 Int'l Lease Fin FLT 4.57% 12/21/2065 117,000
100,000 Dow Dupont Inc. 4.205% 11/15/2023 104,625
Tax-Free Fixed Income 6.07%
95,000 Chicago Water Rev 5.25% 12/1/2032 121,600
Other 3.28%
50 Ounces Gold 65,646
Cash Equivalents 9.81%
100,000 NetApp. Inc. 2% 09/27/2019 99,750
Bank Trust Department Money Market 92,017
Accrued Dividends Earned 1,333
Accrued Interest Earned 1,907
Accrued Tax-Free Interest Earned 1,663

CURRENT TOTAL $2,003,944

Deposit 1/04/2019 $3,000
Balance 12/31/2018 $1,859,723
Gains from Investment** $141,221
*Abraham Lincoln Family Trust is a fictitious name being used to conceal the identity of an actual client. The composition of the portfolio is representative of a typical “balanced” account managed by Terril & Co.
** Gain or loss from investment is net of any fees and includes the reinvestment of earnings.
Five Year Performance
Abraham Lincoln Family Trust ^
March 31, 2019
Quarter Ending: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
March 1.20% * -4.38% * 3.31% * -0.87% * 7.59% *
June 0.91% * 2.48% * 1.88% * -0.46% *
September -7.37% * 4.79% * 2.19% * 0.45% *
December -1.05% * 5.87% * 1.75% * -10.72% *
Annual -6.40% * 8.71% * 9.44% * -11.51% *

First performance reported March 31, 1988.
* Taxable Equivalent

2014 6.00% * 2009 23.55% * 2004 2.41% * 1999 0.56% * 1994 0.36%* 1989 16.36%*
2013 13.45% * 2008 -1.42% * 2003 15.11% * 1998 -1.65% * 1993 4.08% * 1988 5.05% *
2012 10.91% * 2007 5.65% * 2002 3.21% * 1997 13.76% * 1992 9.93%*
2011 -1.19% * 2006 9.33% * 2001 8.56% * 1996 7.02% * 1991 20.55%*
2010 17.06% * 2005 1.56% * 2000 23.88% * 1995 13.90% * 1990 8.04%*

^ Abraham Lincoln Family Trust is a fictitious name to protect the confidentiality of an actual client.

** The investment returns presented above are the actual results attained by Terril & Co.in managing a retirement plan with assets of $5-$10 million. Returns are net of any fees and include reinvestment of earnings. The client has a “balanced” investment objective. Results were achieved utilizing the following asset ranges: equities 0-50%; fixed income 15-95%; cash equivalents 0-80%; and other 0-10%. Terril & Co. believes the sample is indicative of its average performance over time. However, positive results are not guaranteed. Future results may be materially different. It is possible for clients to lose money.

Written Blog: Thoughts on the Economy

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

President Smoot (AKA Trump), tweeted this morning that the problem is not the trade war with China and others. His contention is that the FED is keeping interest rates too high. They need to lower them immediately and aggressively is his advice.

This is absurd. The ten-year U.S. Treasury is 1.70%. The cost of money is NOT keeping people from buying cars and homes. The ability to borrow money at all time low interest rates is NOT keeping corporations from borrowing to expand plant and equipment. For both business and consumers, loans are readily available at historical low interest rates. Does the President believe if the cost of loans was just lower, it would create a major spending boom by business and consumers?

The problem is indeed tariffs. This is a major cost increase that discourages both Chinese citizens from buying and U.S. citizens from buying. It destroys business confidence on both sides. It stops business activity. The U.S. and China represent approximately 45% of the world economy. The other 55% are beginning to see sales to both China and the U.S. slow.

Hopefully the President’s comments are just political posturing. It worries us that he may actually believe what he tweeted this morning.


Terril in the News

1/5/2020 3:33:32 PM

While not "wildly bearish" on stocks, Joe Terril sees 2020 shaping up as a lackluster year for investors. .

Joe Terril

Articles Terril in the News

Client Security/Privacy

Terril applies physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that meet industry standards for client security. It does not warehouse sensitive data (such as social security numbers) in its firewall-protected computer network. Its office is video-monitored 24/7.

All client communication, including your name, contact information and questions, is kept strictly confidential and made available only on a “need to know” basis to members of our staff. Click here to read our privacy policy.

Registered with SEC

“Terril and Company” is the operating name for Terril Brothers, Inc., an SEC registered investment advisor and a corporation wholly owned by John “Joe” Terril. Click here to view a copy of the firms SEC registration. If you would like a paper copy of the firm’s registration statement, please call.