Integrated Investment Management
Our approach to investment management reflects our collective decades of investment experience at firms both large and small, as well as our experience working directly with hundreds of families. Our process is carefully designed to increase our clients’ chances for long-term success. We believe that any successful investment organization must have core beliefs to keep them grounded and focused. Our core beliefs are:
“If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.”
Aligning a portfolio to each client’s specific profile is a pre-requisite to long-term investment success.
Risk Management Is Critical
Both in strategic portfolio design and ongoing management throughout each cycle.
Sound academic theory is important and useful, but experience, wisdom and good judgment are critical as well.
You must be honest, open-minded, and flexible through various economic and capital markets cycles.
Intermediate - Term Perspective
It is impossible to predict with consistency or certainty what the markets will do over the short-term, but an inflexible, static long-term approach can miss opportunities to play both offense and defense.
Investing is not hard, but it is far from easy. Greed and fear are unavoidable emotions. Discipline and conviction must be maintained at all times.
Your chances for success increase if you avoid conflicts of interest and combine objective research with an open architecture approach to portfolio implementation.
Our Research Process – While we conduct extensive in-house research, we have also identified a small number of third party research providers who we think provide the best and most actionable insights. Many of our favorite research sources are independent, boutique providers.
Our Toolkits – Many of our peers cling almost religiously to a particular type of product or solution, not venturing far from their comfort zone. That’s not us. We think there are real dangers in that approach. Rather, we strive to remain product agnostic and open minded, simply choosing whatever solutions we think make the most sense for our client portfolios. Depending on the asset class, the portfolio size, and other factors, we utilize mutual funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs), interval funds, illiquid vehicles, and third-party Separate Account Managers (SAMs).
Integration – We call our process “Integrated Investment Management” for a reason – we are not managing a mutual fund against an index, we are integrating the management of your assets with your financial plan to help you achieve your goals. That’s an important distinction. We will consider not just your risk tolerance and time horizon, but also the tax profile of your accounts, your savings (accumulation) and withdrawal strategies, and your needs for liquidity.
No matter how simple or complex an investment approach, your chances of success will be low if you do not have the confidence to stick with it. That’s why we go to great lengths to explain our process to our clients at the beginning of each relationship and why we communicate clearly on regular basis.
Financial Planning is not rocket science. Yet, the old axiom that most Americans spend more time planning their vacation each year than planning their retirement is unfortunately too close to the truth. We believe that most of our clients can achieve significant, life-changing benefits from following a comprehensive structured financial planning process. While this process does not need to take dozens of hours each year, the initial work up front may be significant. It’s worth it - the end result is not a leather bound 100 page hardcover document that gets put in a file cabinet. Rather, like a modern GPS app on your phone, it’s a real, dynamic, informed roadmap to help you achieve what’s important to you, when you want to achieve it, and to manage risks throughout your journey.
"Our goals can only be reached through a…plan in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success."
Our planning process begins by asking a lot of questions and simply listening. Learning about your goals, your needs and the decisions you’ve made, or not made, so far. We will work hard to understand you and every part of your personal situation, and only once we understand not just your finances, but also your personal values, hopes and goals, will we begin our analysis and strive to identify potential solutions.
We will tailor our services to your needs, financial complexity, and how you prefer to work with us. Most of our clients for whom we provide financial planning services will explore:
Every business owner or corporation will maintain a balance sheet of assets and liabilities. Each family should as well.
Retirement and Cash Flow
Analyzing your existing cash flow, and estimating what you will need in retirement, are critical elements to any financial plan.
Investment Portfolio Analysis
How you are currently invested? How much risk are you taking? What costs are you incurring? Are you missing important opportunities? What is the tax profile of your investments? All of these questions are important to ask to know if you are on the right track.
Insurance and Risk Management
We can help you identify and catalogue risks, evaluate your current policies and help you determine whether you are fully and efficiently protecting the things and the people important to you.
Tax management can significantly affect, both positively and negatively, your finances. We can help you sort through the noise and confusion and make better, informed decisions.
One of the more unpleasant topics, but also one of the most important. Our planning process will help you minimize taxes and be well organized so as to avoid leaving your beneficiaries with unnecessary complications or confusion.
Whether you want to set up a personal foundation, take advantage of a Charitable Gift Fund, or simply structure your annual gifts in a tax effective manner, we can help you determine what makes the most sense for you.
As the cost of education outpaces core inflation seemingly every year, the need to plan for education expenses is something that nearly every family needs to discuss.
Retirement Plan Consulting
It’s hard to focus on your business - your clients, customers, partners, competitors and more - while finding time to make sure that your company’s retirement plan is well designed and being used effectively by your firm’s most important resources – you and your employees. We understand that and we aim to help.
In our experience, many corporate retirement plans (such as a 401k plan) may suffer from neglect and poor service. The results can be inferior, outdated investment menus, non-existent or ineffective participant communication strategies, an absence of modern design elements that may lead to dissatisfied plan participants, unwanted regulatory risk for plan sponsors, and a supposed “benefit” that is not benefiting either the company or its employees enough. Without too much time or expense, we can conduct a high level objective evaluation of your current plan to identify its strengths and weaknesses. If, after this analysis, it makes sense to dig deeper or to make changes to your plan, we can join you in an ongoing relationship to help you make your plan better.
As an independent investment advisor, we will act as a fiduciary along with you, sitting on the same side of the table. We will also use our independence, expertise, credibility and professional network to source the most competitive solutions for your plan from some of the leading retirement plan providers including Fidelity, Charles Schwab, VOYA, Empower, John Hancock, Vanguard and Nationwide.
The combination of our highly personalized consultative process, independence, in-house knowledge and strong professional network allows us to deliver what we believe an effective retirement plan services for plans of all sizes.