Investment Process

Our investment process is clear, understandable, repeatable and easily communicated with the goals of long-term success.

1. Financial Planning

Planning drives our entire Investment Process. To fully understand the specific needs of each client, we begin each relationship with a thorough Financial Plan. Often the hopes, fears and dreams we learn about our clients in developing the Plan and what they uncover in themselves, becomes as invaluable as the Plan itself. This Plan then becomes the backbone for developing an appropriate portfolio, an acceptable risk / return profile and an overall blueprint for making future financial decisions. All aspects of the client’s financial situation are considered, including titling of assets, tax planning, insurance coverage, charitable gifting, and wealth transfer to successive generations. The plan is clearly communicated, flexible, and updated periodically, in order to strategize the portfolio’s evolving goals of accumulation, income, and distributions.

2. Manager Selection

The primary focus here is on income, capital preservation and cost control. Rigorous ongoing research and due-diligence is conducted on all managers and investment vehicles being used or considered. We may use separate account managers, mutual funds, ETFs, alternative investments, structured products and some individual bonds to implement our portfolios. Where appropriate, we are firm believers in the use of alternative investments and structured products, including managed futures. When the specific client’s situation dictates, we implement our proprietary discretionary management of bond portfolios, both investment-grade taxable bonds and quality tax-free municipal bonds. We also have the ability to manage special requirement accounts with discretion, including balanced portfolios, legacy low-basis stock positions, covered call writing and ETF portfolios.

3. Reviews

We perform comprehensive quarterly performance reporting and we urge periodic in-person reviews. The reviews include overall return, asset allocation and risk management measures, reviews of specific money managers being used and any due-diligence updates. We also overlay the positioning of the current portfolio onto views of current and projected market and economic conditions. Tactical recommendations will be made when merited. Client reviews include assets “held away” from our client’s primary custodians and are put in context of their Financial Plan. Annually, we ask for updates of key planning inputs. We review current income, projected planning needs and life events, updated goals and timelines, tax exposure, gifting and estate planning issues.

4. Risk Management

Attention to risk is the foundation upon which we design all client portfolios. We believe that by avoiding certain risks, an investor can improve his or her long-term performance. It is our philosophy that diversification of capital is paramount in achieving positive long-term returns. Based on the Plan’s required long-term return and our longer-term outlook for the capital markets, we develop a broad target allocation for each client’s portfolio. Within this allocation we design a combination of money managers, asset classes and investment styles that are not closely correlated and have performed well in the past during volatile periods. All portfolios are regularly rebalanced. When conditions merit, we may recommend tactically “tweaking” portfolio allocations based on shorter-term market conditions or expectations.

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