Asset Allocation and Portfolio Management


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:

  • An appropriate mix of investments for your unique situation
  • Opportunity to achieve good investment returns
  • Smaller chance of short-term losses
  • Ongoing maintenance that reduces worry & stress

The Stats about Asset Allocation

This is interesting—and sad! Investors struggle to go it alone:

Asset allocation
SP500 returns
Morningstar investor
DALBAR 2022 investor

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?

Sources: Ibbotson and Morningstar and Investopedia and DALBAR

Our Academic Approach to Asset Allocation

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.

Investment Strategies

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. 

How We Build Your Portfolio

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.

To Get Started

We begin with:

Client Stories

Client stories included on this website reflect hypothetical client situations that represent
those commonly encountered by AIWM representatives, they do not reflect actual client relationships.
Grandma’s College Fund
Surprise from a Family Steward

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.

Some Investment Services We Provide

Stock and Stock Fund Investments

Stock & Stock Fund Investments

We build high-quality, actively-managed equity portfolios using academically-proven techniques.

Concentrated Equity Strategies

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.

Concentrated Equity Owner Guy Espresso
Single Stock Diversification

Single Stock Diversification

Learn how we build an investment portfolio around your large equity position and help you diversify—not double-down (or worse) your risk.

Stock Option Planning

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.

Tax and Estate Planning

Bond & Fixed Income Investments

Learn how our team makes recommendations for the portfolio we call “Foundation Income.”

Hedging Strategies & Alternatives

Learn how we carefully select some alternative investments to provide income and growth for some clients.

Hedging Strategies
Investment Performance Analysis

Investment Performance Analysis

Learn how we perform investment performance analysis and provide our clients access to this information, on demand, with great technology.

IRAs: Roth, Rollover, Inherited and More

Learn how we solve the complex problem of providing retirement income and reducing income taxes.

Financial Planning
Annuity considerations

Annuities of All Kinds

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.

401K Advice for Individuals and Businesses

Learn how we provide retirement plan advice for our clients 401k accounts, and for employers who want to provide advice to their employees.

401k Advice

Learn more!

An initial conversation with one of our experts is always free of charge.

Roger G. Ibbotson & Paul D. Kaplan (2000) Does Asset Allocation Policy Explain 40, 90, or 100 Percent of Performance?, Financial Analysts Journal, 56:1, 26-33, DOI: 10.2469/faj.v56.n1.2327

Talk with an Expert

An initial conversation is always complimentary. We are often told that our discovery process is the best conversation about money a person has ever had.

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