The cornerstone of our investment philosophy is doing the right thing for clients. Period. Our process is results driven, not merely return driven. While our goal is to deliver competitive returns, we don’t judge our value solely on beating a specific benchmark or picking the “best” investment vehicle over some arbitrary time period. Instead, we measure our success by how well we are able to help clients meet their overall financial goals, paying particular attention to downside risk. We do this well because of our singular focus on the client and our unwavering commitment to honesty and integrity.
Our core beliefs:
Goal-based Investment Planning
Good investment planning by itself is not sufficient for good financial health. It also requires an effective, comprehensive, durable, client-specific plan that addresses goals, resources, risk tolerance, tax efficiency and more. That plan needs to be implemented and managed in a disciplined manner that meets the test of time and withstands the volatility of the market.
Managing Client Expectations and Emotions is Crucial
Our job is to make sure clients understand and commit to a plan; otherwise it will not be effective. Part of this involves making sure clients are realistic with themselves about personal needs, goals and risk tolerances. In a world where personal financial issues have become increasingly (and, often, unnecessarily) complex, we help clients figure out what is true and what isn’t, what works and what doesn’t, what matters, what is useful and what can go wrong. We help take the emotion out of what can be a very emotional area of our lives.
Diversification is Essential
No one has the ability to accurately and consistently predict what asset classes will out-perform in any given market condition or over any particular time period. We firmly believe that diversification across asset classes, investment styles and managers is the only way to provide reasonable and appropriate exposure to the equity and fixed income markets. To do otherwise invites dangerous exposure to concentration risk, which in turn can lead to emotional reactions that are never healthy in financial matters.
Investment Vehicles Matter
We consider both active and passive (e.g., index) funds and believe that both can have a place in a well-positioned investment portfolio. In many cases low-cost mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) are the best investment vehicles to achieve broad diversification within asset classes. These tools allow us to diversify portfolios in ways that cannot be done with a single manager or a group of individual stocks or bonds.
Taxes and Expenses Matter
Taxes and expenses are two elements of investing over which we have some control. Taxes, if not managed properly, can be the biggest drag on a client’s investment returns. Fees charged by some investment companies and advisers are often not justified. We ensure that clients are getting the best value for their investment dollars.