Lyons Wealth Management, a recognized top-ranking wealth advisor and portfolio manager* with a proven track record in launching award-winning portfolio strategies, today announced the launch of its first digital asset offering, self-directed accounts that seek to track the CoinDesk Large Cap Select Index (DLCS).
CoinDesk Indices, the underlying index provider for this product launch, sat down with Lyons’ management team to find out why Lyons believes this offering is valuable to their clients and how they view opportunities in digital assets.
What follows is an interview with Sander Read, CEO of Lyon’s Wealth Management. The interview was conducted by CoinDesk Indices and is not associated with CoinDesk editorial.
Q1: What are your clients saying when it comes to crypto?
Like all investing trends, we get the following question at the end of every client meeting: “Thanks for the portfolio review, but can I ask a question about crypto?” Investors are curious about investing in crypto and our professional advice on it. Many investment professionals agreed, and we believe they still do, that a portion of everyone’s portfolio should have a crypto allocation.
The complexity and “unknowns” of crypto investing have been an obstacle for investors to participate in the asset class. Unfamiliarity with the blockchain, crypto wallets and other new realms unique to crypto assets kept investors away. Advisors equally struggle with transparent and easy-to-use methods to gain exposure to the crypto asset class. The portfolio managers at Lyons have searched for ways to gain exposure.
Q2: What do digital assets mean to you and your business?
Corey Roun started with Lyons Wealth in 2009, and in 2012, he began an in-depth study of the crypto space. In 2015, he began mining cryptocurrency. As the space evolved and clients in general became more aware of crypto as an asset class, Corey enlisted Sander Read, CEO of Lyons Wealth, to find a secure, liquid and easy-to-use method to gain exposure to crypto.
In 2021, the firm launched a crypto basket of publicly traded stocks to give clients proxy exposure to the crypto space. In February 2022, at a chance meeting with a colleague at a conference in Chicago, executives from CoinDesk and Lyons met. In that meeting, the concept of an RIA-led digital asset offering was conceived.
Even with the downturn in the markets over the past 12 months, we’re still seeing continued investor demand for safe and diversified exposure to the crypto ecosystem. Rather than trying to pick and choose specific coins and tokens, financial advisors can now access a thoughtfully designed, diversified portfolio of assets via a singular framework.
With this launch, we think we finally have a way to get the investment vehicle we have been looking for.
Q3: Sander, how do you personally view digital assets from a portfolio implementation stance?
Let me start by saying that I have managed money through the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the 2001 dot-com crash, the 2007 real estate crash, the 2008 market crash and, there are always buying opportunities at the lows. I remember reading articles on how the internet “might not make it” in 2001. Those were your screaming buying signals. I think that’s where we are with crypto right now. It’s a currency portal that is not going away.
I believe in allocations to digital assets, and now is the right time and opportunity. Through this index-based exposure, we now offer clients access to a thoughtfully designed and diversified basket.
Q4: Tell us about the offering and the underlying index.
The underlying index is the CoinDesk Large Cap Select Index (DLCS), which measures the market capitalization weighted performance of some of the largest and most liquid digital assets that meet pre-defined trading and custodian requirements. As of January 4, 2023, DLCS consisted of the following assets: Cardano (ADA), Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Polygon (MATIC), Solana (SOL).
“DLCS offers a simple exposure into crypto beyond bitcoin with confidence that the altcoins meet our quality standards in tradability.” said Jodie Gunzberg, CFA, Managing Director at CoinDesk Indices. “In fact, the index rules we put in place were responsible for elimination of FTT from all our indices initially since it wasn't priced by at least two eligible exchanges.”
These digital assets will be managed through HeightZero, a technology solution that allows financial advisors to easily provide their clients direct exposure to crypto assets. HeightZero is integrated with BitGo, a leader in digital asset security, custody and liquidity. Assets held at BitGo Trust are kept in institutional-grade, offline storage accounts to ensure the safety and security of client funds.
Q5: Where can someone go to get more information about your firm, and the index?
*Lyons Wealth Accolades:
The Catalyst Lyons Tactical Allocation Fund has been awarded 5 Stars by Morningstar for 10 years through December 2022
“America’s Top Performers” by Thompson Reuters Lipper Fund Awards for 5 years, 2019
“REFINITIV” Lipper Fund Award for 2016, 2018, 2019 for highest consistent return value among 351 funds for the 5 years ending 11/30/2017
“Investors Choice – 10 Year Anniversary” Award. 2021 Top Performers Award – Equity Category best fund under 100m