Our Process

In today's 24-hour-a-day global investment environment, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with the ever-expanding universe of investment choices. Often, investors will follow market trends as an alternative to seeking sound advice (e.g. Silver run up in 2011). But trying to achieve financial goals by pouring all of one's assets into the latest stock or commodity tip is not a sound financial plan. It is more akin to gambling since the risk/reward is too great and it contradicts our investment philosophy.

The investment philosophy we use is based on five principles below. We concentrate on asset allocation and diversification among asset classes- two critical determinants of investment planning success. The end objectives are to (1) produce consistent returns, (2) lower overall volatility, and (3) measure progress toward goals.

Our investment philosophy is based upon these 5 principles:

Asset Allocation - the most important step in the investment process is the first step: deciding how to allocate assets among broad asset classes such as stocks, bonds, non-correlating investments and cash. So the most important step requires properly defining objectives. We do this during the discovery meeting by asking a series of questions to help determine the time horizon, risk tollerance and investment history. Then we recommend the appropriate asset allocation strategies to support your objectives and design a portfolio.

Investment Manager Selection - we have found that identifying and utilizing specialist money managers helps deliver a more consistent performance. We call this process "managing the managers". Money managers who specialize in a particular area of a market have the experience necessary to perfect a specific investment style. They not only know where to seek opportunity, but how to anticipate favorable and unfavorable changes. We may also use multiple managers within each investment style. While diversification is not a guaranteed protection against market risk it may help to manage risk and enhance returns.

Portfolio Construction and Management - the number and variety of investment choices, or asset classes, keep growing all the time (US Equity, International Equity, US and International Bonds, Emerging Markets, REITs, Hedge Funds, etc). Each market and each segment within each market can be associated with different characteristics, return potential and risks. So we believe that a division of assets is only the begining of the asset allocation story. Success requires diversifying the portfolio structure itself.

For example, the US Equity market has four distinct sub-asset classes: large cap value, large cap growth, small cap value and small cap growth. Because no one can consistantly predict where the next source of alpha will come from, you may want to consider diversifying your portfolio across as well as within these asset classes. In other words, you may want to have a mix of large and small cap, growth and value and even alternative investments. And this discipline should be exercised across all the asset classes involved. This integral part of the investment process can provide the potential for greater consistency and less volatility.

Tax Management - Taxes play an integral role in our investment process. As a result, we employ a special focus on tax management to help control tax implications within your portfolio and to help you enhance after-tax returns. Because we all know that when it comes down to it, it's not the money you earn, it's what you keep!

Risk Management - to keep the investment progress on track we employ a systematic rebalancing program to make sure your portfolio does not "drift" and become overweighted in any part of your allocation. We also monitor the managers and make sure that they are performing up to our standards and not changing their investment style and objectives. All of this is done seamlessly.

Investing is more than picking a few stocks or mutual funds, you need a plan and an Advisor to keep you on track. Our systematic approach helps take the guess work out of investing.