A dynamic wealth management process requires strategic focus and the tactical flexibility to make course corrections along the way. We work with our clients to balance risks while striving to capitalize on opportunities.
Clients who work with us can expect a robust approach centered on the following steps:
- We start by devising your financial plan, which focuses on identifying realistic goals and objectives. We want to meet these goals and objectives with the least amount of risk possible. The question isn’t how much risk you can stand, but how little risk would you have to take to achieve your goals.
- Next we create a customized asset allocation strategy that defines the correct percentage of stocks vs. bonds vs. cash. Maintaining an efficient allocation of assets among these three asset classes maximizes the investor’s opportunity for return on investment while minimizing the inherent risk associated with each one.
- We regularly review and update your plan, taking stock of market conditions as well as changes in your circumstances, opportunities, and goals. This tactical approach helps to keep your strategy relevant and responsive to market realities.
Strategy for the Long View
Strategic asset allocation is the backbone of our wealth management process. We believe investors can harness insights from past market performance to help construct portfolios that properly balance risk and reward. We embrace the concepts of Modern Portfolio Theory, a time-tested approach pioneered by Nobel Prize-winning economist Harry Markowitz that recognizes risk as an inherent part of higher rewards.
We also work to ensure our clients are focusing on the taxable status of their assets. Taxable, tax-deferred, and tax-free assets may all have a place in a client’s portfolio, and striking the right balance is important.
Tactics for the Here-and-Now
Setting a wealth management strategy into motion isn’t enough to achieve goals. Market conditions and circumstances change, as do financial resources, priorities, and assumptions. Recognizing this, we can help fine-tune portfolios by actively managing investments, in an attempt to better seize short-term opportunities and control risks. We focus on several rules to help make adjustments when necessary.
- Recognize Price Impact. Looking at historical returns can help us understand the connection between the price paid for an asset and the subsequent returns to investors over five to 10 years. But when asset prices rise and fall rapidly, it’s time to re-assess. When prices rise to significantly higher levels than their long-term price trend justifies, we usually see the case for under-weighting them. When prices dip significantly lower than expected, we usually want to overweight them because they offer better value.
- Don’t Fight the Fed or the Trend. Monetary policy is a powerful force to reckon with, and we work to help clients keep their portfolio strategy with what the Federal Reserve and other central banks are doing. When interest rates are rising, a more cautious investment strategy is generally indicated. Similarly, market momentum cannot be ignored, but rallies and routs inspire too many impulsive investment decisions. We work with you to focus on how markets are behaving today rather than where they are heading tomorrow so that you can invest accordingly.
- Beware of the Crowd at Extremes. Being willing to entertain contrarian points of view can protect investors from making emotional decisions. Smart people do sometimes buy high, sell low, and make other logic-defying financial decisions. Markets periodically become oversold or undersold, losing tough with investment fundamentals. These are the times when we tend to invest with a contrarian bias to help clients buy low and sell high.
Your Customized Portfolio
Your unique needs and circumstances make you, unlike any other client we serve. While our model portfolios work in many circumstances, customization is also appropriate in others.
- Tax Management. Sometimes it is necessary to reposition a portfolio, but capital gains taxes have to be considered. We work with clients to try to build appropriate portfolios without incurring unnecessary taxes.
- Concentrated Positions. Clients who have large exposures to their company stock through options, employee stock purchase plans or restricted stock units may need to diversify. We help those clients design hedging or sales strategies, take the emotion out of the process, and control risk while still allowing for possible appreciation.
Managing Your Costs
Expenses can add up and eat into investment returns, so we emphasize choosing low-cost, tax-advantaged vehicles at the core of portfolios. We carefully analyze each investment we recommend and understand net costs, to measure against potential benefits.
We believe in helping clients develop a portfolio as tax efficient as possible. We review the tax impact of changes to portfolios across all clients, before making adjustments, and help clients harvest tax losses to offset any gains realized.
Proactive Client Service
Both you and your other trusted advisors will hear from us at regular intervals. We generate monthly account statements and customized quarterly updates reflecting quarterly performance and asset allocation. Portfolios are benchmarked against stated guidelines and objective measures, and we review investment performance annually to make revisions needed to keep portfolios on track.
Our dynamic wealth management process provides an integrated method of managing your financial affairs.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.
This information is not intended to substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor.