Balancing the risk and reward between investments helps you achieve your real-life financial goals.
Asset allocation and portfolio management provides you and your loved ones many benefits:
This is interesting—and sad! Investors struggle to go it alone:
More than 90% of the variability of an investment portfolio is due to asset allocation. The average return for the SP500 index of equities is around 10% per year. In survey after survey, individual investors underperform their own investments. Morningstar’s annual study, Mind the Gap, says investors underperform by an average of one-half-percent per year. In another recent survey from DALBAR, investors underperformed their own investments by 3% or more! How can that be?
We are careful in setting your long-term investment objectives. Then, we plan your investments. Once we have worked with you to determine your time horizon and risk approach, we begin the task of building your investment portfolio. The first step in this process is asset allocation.
Asset allocation is the process of deciding how much of your portfolio to invest in different investment types, or asset classes. The most basic asset allocation choice is between equities and fixed income, also known as equities and bonds. Equities allow you to participate in the long-term growth of companies and the economy. Bonds are fixed obligations of governments and corporations.
Equities are partial ownership units of a company, whereas bonds are loans made by a company or government with a promise to repay the principal plus interest. The asset allocation may include short-term investments, foreign equities and bonds, and alternative assets. These have a large effect on your long-term, total return.
Once you have determined your asset allocation, the next step is to select the investment strategies. Our investment philosophy document describes how those investment management decisions are made, the processes, and the people behind the scenes. Your investment team will manage the risk and return, periodically rebalance these investments, and keep your money invested in alignment with your goals and values.
We are now ready to build a diversified, high-conviction portfolio based on your individual goals and needs. To do this, we use the latest in academic investment research and the work of two research teams, Litman/Gregory and Athena Invest. Ask your financial advisor for more information, or download our investment philosophy.
We begin with:
As Helen approached her 90s, she knew her money would outlast her life on earth. Her oldest grandchildren were having children. Her youngest grandchildren were approaching college age. Helen wanted to provide them a college education, and she didn’t mind saving taxes either. But she wanted to do something fair to help all the different generations, and also give a little more to those who needed a little more. We:
Discussed fairness, and what it means to Helen, and helped her feel confident in her decision
Set up education accounts and trusts
Funded them in a manner that helped Helen save on taxes
Kept things simple and elegant
Managed the assets prudently
Helen recently passed away. She is remembered by her family for her elegance, prudence and generosity. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are all a little better off, financially and otherwise, because of her good decisions.
Uncle James passed away a few years after becoming our client. Because James never had children, he left the assets in trust for his three nieces. While the children grew up, we managed the investments and their father kept their inheritance a secret. When they were college-bound, James’ nieces received a pleasant surprise—college was free, thanks to Uncle James! We:
Set up and help James fund the trusts, making it easy for James
Managed the investments prudently with Uncle James’ goals in mind, making it easy for the trustee
Managed and reduced tax costs
The accounts continued to grow, even after paying for college. James’ oldest niece was able to pay for a wedding and make a down payment on her first home. Uncle James’ generosity will be forever remembered by this family.
We build high-quality, actively-managed equity portfolios using academically-proven techniques.
If you have a large amount of your net worth in the equity of a single company, learn how to reduce your risk, reduce your taxes, protect and grow your wealth.
Learn how we build an investment portfolio around your large equity position and help you diversify—not double-down (or worse) your risk.
Learn about how we manage incentive stock options and nonqualified stock options to help you grow and protect your wealth, reduce your taxes, and achieve your personal goals.
Learn how our team makes recommendations for the portfolio we call “Foundation Income.”
Learn how we carefully select some alternative investments to provide income and growth for some clients.
Learn how we perform investment performance analysis and provide our clients access to this information, on demand, with great technology.
Learn how we solve the complex problem of providing retirement income and reducing income taxes.
For some clients, an annuity may provide a safe and prudent retirement income. We have independent, expert annuity agents with a huge array of providers to choose from.
Learn how we provide retirement plan advice for our clients 401k accounts, and for employers who want to provide advice to their employees.
An initial conversation with one of our experts is always free of charge.
(2000) Does Asset Allocation Policy Explain 40, 90, or 100 Percent of Performance?, Financial Analysts Journal, 56:1, 26-33,