With each of our clients, our objective is to maintain wealth while growing it at a rate appropriate to the individual client's goals and constraints. Over the years, we have realized that the most important part of investing is protecting the downside in the market. In a good market, everyone makes money, however, in a down market, if your portfolio does not have the appropriate risk measures in place, the gain that you obtained in a positive market will be washed away.
Our client portfolios are built customized to achieve a particular balance of risk and return pursuant to our clients goals and desires.
Attempts to outperform capital market returns by trying to identify market errors through security selection and by market timing have generally proved unsuccessful over an extended investment horizon. Therefore, we select investments designed to deliver capital market returns rather than speculate on the fortunes of individual securities. Rather than focus on current market events, we structure portfolios based upon long-term trends in the financial markets.
Asset allocation, or the strategic distribution of assets across various asset classes, is the primary determinant of results. By building portfolios in the light of financial market research, we seek to structure a portfolio in which risks are compensated by return at a level appropriate for the individual investor.
Consistent with our philosophy, our portfolios tend to have very low turnover and low fund expenses. Fixed income investment in most cases is managed directly, not through funds. Where appropriate, alternative and direct investments may be used to increase return, enhance diversification or reduce risk and correlation to the markets.
We do not sell product, nor do we receive any type of compensation from any firm, including our clearing company TD Ameritrade (Institutional). This relationship simply allows us to track your investment accounts on a daily basis and provides you with increased privacy and security.
We have a four step process to managing our clients investments.
First, our Investment Process begins with a clear understanding of our clients goals, their tax situation, as well as how they would like to distribute their assets. This initial step allows us to understand how much risk needs to be in our clients accounts. Often times, clients have a tendency to have more risk in their portfolios than is needed. As a result, their portfolio is at more risk and their income is not protected.
With a detailed understanding of our clients objectives, we spilt the assets into three separate categories:
- Short-term capital needs - These are assets that need to be protected. We calculate define term needs being less than 1 year. It is important to develop a strategy to protect these assets. As a result we have access to a number of short term vehicles to manage and protect these assets.
- Long-term capital needs - Defined as assets that are longer than 1 year.
- Inheritable Assets - These are assets in which are set aside to pass along to our clients heirs, as defined and outlined through our financial planning.
Second, once we have a clear understanding of our clients goals and have a proper risk analysis, we can then put together a proper asset allocation to offset the risk that is needed in the account. Asset allocation is defined as the proper exposure to the right amount of equities, fixed income and cash.
There are two types of risk, good risk and bad risk. We define good risk through a proper risk study to understand how much risk is needed to get the growth warranted via the clients objectives. Bad risk is the excess risk above what is needed. Too much risk can be tragic, but can also be avoided.
Third, once we have decided on the proper asset allocation, we then develop what investments we want to use. This is the part that separates us from traditional advisors that are not fee only. As a part of being fee only, we do not accept any commissions from the investments that we use, thus it allows us to be truly consultative and transparent. By not accepting any commissions from the investments used, this allows us to be truly efficient in the selection process for our clients. Because this allows us to work with anything that is available, whether it is a no-load fund, an ETF or an Index fund. Our goal with the third phase is to work with our clients to find the most efficient investment, without having to sell something with a high commission.
Fourth, upon the implementation of the allocation and the investments, our fourth phase in the investment process, and where we find the most neglected in the industry, we continue to back test the investments used as well as rebalance the allocation that is in place. Change happens, and when they do, we as advisors have to be on top of them to ensure that unnecessary risk is not added in to your plan. When the market moves in a way that the allocation is out of place by more than a pre-determined percentage, we rebalance your account.