Three Steps to a Successful Financial Future
As a fiduciary, we place our clients at the very center of our practice. We do this because it is a good fit with our view of how the world should work both in terms of investment management and ethical responsibility. As a fee-only fiduciary and advisor, our success is based wholly on our clients’ success: financial incentives are aligned. We believe that a successful client relationship is highly personal and our philosophy is to achieve client investment objectives using a professionally managed, customized investment program. We structure each portfolio based on a client’s financial circumstances—both now and in the future.
Step 1: The Personal Meeting
The first step in our process involves an assessment of a client’s investment objectives. This step includes the evaluation of the amount of financial monies to be invested, the extent of other financial assets and any non-financial holdings. In addition, we discuss current and future income requirements, liquidity needs, time horizon, tolerance for risk and any other client concerns. This assessment phase is not static—regular communication is necessary to insure that accounts are being managed to meet clients’ changing financial needs.
Step 2: The Customized Investment Program
Once we have reached agreement on financial objectives, we develop an investment plan. The plan is then implemented subject to market conditions and is continuously updated to reflect any changes in the client’s circumstances. In more complex situations, we work with existing advisors such as an accountant or estate planner. Client portfolios are carefully monitored to ensure consistency with agreed-upon investment policy. Tracking client results allows us to measure our progress and provides us with the opportunity to discuss any change in a client’s financial situation.
Step 3: The Client Partnership
Our approach is to provide each client with a unique investment solution based on a well-defined strategy. We are committed to keeping clients informed about the management of their assets and are dedicated to maintaining two-way discussions. Clients are kept up to date with easy-to-read quarterly reports that summarize their holdings and investment performance. Our Financial Markets Perspective provides clients with a review of and outlook for global financial markets. Face-to-face meetings are scheduled at regular intervals and the availability of video-conferencing provides a forum to interact with our professionals.
By remaining committed to a limited number of individuals we are not inhibited from implementing investment decisions that can protect client assets during difficult market environments. This flexibility is a major differentiator from large financial institutions that are incapable of implementing portfolio changes that protect assets simply because of their size. We have implemented portfolio protection strategies in late 2000 and in mid-2008 that substantially reduced the losses that would have been incurred if a client portfolio had been fully invested during these turbulent times. We are not market timers but we do believe in taking reserve positions when we cannot identify securities that meet our buy or hold criteria.
Keystones of Our Philosophy
As a trusted investment advisor to a select group of affluent individuals and families, our philosophy has been built with these keystones:
Integrity and Continuity
We maintain the highest standards of confidentiality, integrity and professionalism in all matters involving clients. Our independent status removes any possibility of conflicts of interest. Our client relationships coupled with our performance record has led to our growth based solely on referrals.
We work closely with existing tax and legal professionals to understand a client’s financial situation and to ensure that appropriate investments are made.
Our investment management relationships provide investment guidance for non-taxable assets exceeding $1 billion in addition to managing individual taxable accounts. These relationships demonstrate our credibility as value-added providers of investment strategies. Our strong belief in a “client partnership” has been the key to our success.