Our team's core philosophies
“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.”
JK Galbraith, Economist and Harvard professor
One of our tenets is ‘We don’t predict, we plan.’ We believe that our focus should be on understanding our clients’ objectives and current situation. With that knowledge we recommend what we feel are the most effective and efficient solutions and strategies to address their concerns. Our clients’ portfolios reflect their needs, financial goals, values, and risk-tolerance.
“The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered.”
Dr. William J. Mayo, a founder of the Mayo Clinic
Care is at the root of everything we do. We work with a select number of families with the primary purpose of helping them secure their financial future. We do this by working with our clients to understand their unique issues and concerns in an effort to create a flexible but clear roadmap towards achieving their most important goals.
“When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: Those who make it happen; those who let it happen, and those who wonder what happened.”
John M. Richardson, Jr., Professor
A fundamental principle of our process is to draft a written Investment Policy Statement (IPS) for each of our clients. Using our 5 efficient portfolio models as a baseline, the IPS serves as the blueprint for the design of individually tailored portfolios. Each portfolio is aligned with the client’s planning objectives and personal risk tolerance. Once the target model is determined, we then employ a rebalancing strategy that adjusts the portfolio when predetermined thresholds are reached. Doing this helps position clients to take advantage of an ever-changing investment landscape.
Another integral component to our planning strategy is our team’s ‘Legacy Planner.’ This personal financial organizer is at the heart of our wealth management process.
Investment management selection
“Never try to cross a river just because it has an average depth of four feet.”
Milton Friedman, Economist
We seek performance and process consistency when determining which money managers will serve our clients’ needs most effectively. Through our own rigorous due diligence process, in conjunction with RBC Wealth Management research, we ultimately hire institutional money managers who employ a proven process and a tenured management team at a fair price.
“The four most expensive words in the English language are ‘This time it’s different.’”
Sir John Templeton, Founder of Templeton Funds
Fads and trends come and go in the investment world, which is why we use a limited number of fund managers who have consistently demonstrated a deliberate, well-researched approach. These managers have confidence in their discipline and are not swayed by short-term noise in the marketplace. Our team regularly measures the performance and processes of each recommended manager to ensure that our clients’ interests and objectives are being met.
- Discipline: We believe that emotion-based investing is why investors often achieve returns that lag the benchmark indexes over the long haul. We believe that the remedy is to have a customized, high-quality Investment Policy Statement and a predetermined planning review process. We believe the best course of action is often the least impulsive one.
- Education: We believe investors should understand what they own and why they own it— and we feel it’s our responsibility to educate our clients.
- Goals-based planning: We believe in a client-centric and planning-based approach in making investing decisions, not a market-driven approach.
- Dedication: Inertia and procrastination can often impede the journey to financial success. Effective planning requires a commitment on behalf of the consultant and the client—as partners. Our group will certainly navigate the ship but we do ask our clients to row from time to time!
- Alternatives: We believe that a portion of portfolios should be invested in alternative investments, such as assets with lower correlations to traditional stocks and bonds, that can help reduce volatility and potentially generate attractive risk-adjusted returns. Put another way, some people say, ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’—we say, ‘Don’t just buy eggs!’
- Opportunities: The Chinese word for “crisis” is made up of two symbols—danger and opportunity. We believe in never wasting a good crisis.
- Going global: Almost 2/3 of the stock market’s capitalization is outside the United States. However, international equity holdings are significantly underweighted in most U.S. investors’ investment holdings. We believe international equities should be appropriately represented in our clients’ portfolios.
- Tax minimization: A financial services advertisement once read, “You must pay taxes. But there’s no law that says you gotta leave a tip.” We believe that the financial advisor, tax advisor, and estate planning attorney must work together to help ensure that the client’s investment strategies and legal documents are as tax-efficient as possible.
- Beware The Black Swan: In his book The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Nassim Nicholas Taleb argues that we should never ignore the possibility or potency of unpredictable events. While we don’t let fear drive our investment process, we are mindful during investment planning process that rare but high-impact events can occur. We counter-balance this sentiment with one from the legendary investor Peter Lynch: "Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections or trying to anticipate corrections than has been lost in the corrections themselves."
"Well done is better than well said."
We have a very common sense approach to service-- treat our clients as we want to be treated. We believe that quality service demands the highest ethical standards combined with continued self-improvement and renewal. Here are our team’s mandates:
- Expectations: Deliver client satisfaction, not just client service.
- Follow up: It’s not done until the client knows it’s done.
- Actions: What we do is far more important than what we say.
- Teamwork (The Law of ‘Countability’): We count on each other and work together to make our clients’ lives easier. We’re all in this together.
- Follow through: Honor your commitments to clients and team members.
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
Henry Ford, American Industrialist
We work in collaboration with our clients to help potentially increase the probability for their financial success. We believe in an asset-based fee structure platform for our clients. The fee is determined by the total assets under management with our team and the services to be provided. This directly aligns our compensation to your portfolio’s performance. This program grants access to competitively priced institutional mutual funds through which commissions for transactions are waived.
“The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”
Henry David Thoreau, American Poet
We realize that every financial advisory team is replaceable and it is understood that we need to earn our fee year in and year out. On a daily basis we strive to earn and grow the level of trust and confidence that our clients have in us and our process. Our goal is to serve our clients by saving them time, removing any financial blind spots on the way to reaching their objectives, reducing their level of worry and concern and enhancing their portfolio returns through our methodology and process.
We accomplish these goals by guiding each client through our Legacy Planning process and communication systems:
Planning - Our team believes it is imperative to do the following for our clients:
- Clearly and comprehensively understand goals and family circumstances
- Help coordinate and organize all financial documents
- Create a formal financial plan and Investment Policy Statement
- Utilize experts in other financial areas (tax, legal, insurance, etc.)
- Coordinate and integrate all major financial and investment decisions
- Recommend asset allocation models and portfolio architecture
- Monitor portfolio mix and perform ongoing due diligence reviews of managers
- Clearly present fee structure, outlining what services are offered and available
- Proactively contact clients regarding upcoming tax and estate planning changes and other events that may impact their situation
- Establish quarterly update calls to discuss portfolio/market results, rebalancing opportunities, and wealth management topic issues
- Always return calls and email within 24 hours