Leave no stone unturned
Getting impersonal service from a large broker isn’t fair. You deserve to be listened to and spoken to in a language you understand. Having clarity in our strategy and plans is really important, because without your buy-in we can’t be confident that we’re doing the right thing for you and your family.
Interview & Listen
Before digging too deeply into numbers, we start by listening to your needs, interests, and goals. Where are you in life and with your investments, and where do you want to go?
Gather Information & Analyze
Pulling together all your account statements, tax return information, trust documents, etc. will allow us to see the complete picture of your financial life.
Develop a Strategy
We can now put a plan in place for your current and future needs. Your strategy and portfolio will be a product of our collaboration, and only successful with your buy-in.
Implement the Strategy
We execute on the plan by putting your money and assets to work for you. Our regular reporting means you’ll always know where you stand and will always have someone to talk to.
Monitor & Modify
Staying nimble and flexible is important as we continually monitor your portfolio. We guide and advise you as things change in your life, always keeping an eye on your future.
“We’ve known Steve for decades. He’s honest, hard-working and trustworthy. He does his own research and does an excellent job with that.”
Our Detailed Approach to Investing
You may be coming to us with very little experience in financial planning and investing, or you may be a seasoned veteran. Either way, we want you to be informed, as we believe an educated investor is the best one to be.
We start with understanding our clients. What is their income needs and risk tolerance? Do they have an understanding of how their investments work and behave? What will be their income needs be 5 years from now?
Once we understand those things we will identify potential appropriate investments. We keep a list of approved investments that we have vetted over 25 years. This is a process that is always in motion. Before we approve any investment it must meet certain criteria. Is it safe? How could the investment go wrong? We read industry publications, independent research and go-to source documents like annual reports and company presentations. We read the financial statements and try to understand the true value of the investments. We keep a file on all our current investments and potential investments. We’re constantly reading and updating our investment thesis for all our positions.
We also take into consideration the big macro economic picture. Asset classes and sectors move in cycles. We want to have a feeling of where we are in the cycle. This is crucial. You cannot just assume that markets always go up. History has proved that not only can they go down, they can stay down or stagnant for a very long time.
We will reduce position sizes and add position sizes accordingly to protect our clients assets. While taxes don’t drive our decisions, we always take into consideration the affect of gains and losses on our clients’ tax returns. The last thing anybody wants at year end is a tax bill. There are strategies and tools available to avoid unnecessary costs.
While we are long-term investors and have owned some stocks for decades, we will not hesitate to reduce positions sizes to reduce risk.
Our process is not rigid. We are constantly trying to improve it all the time. Robbie and I are supporters and students of the Value Investing program at Columbia Business School in New York. Columbia is universally recognized as the elite investing program in the country. The Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd investing offers programs and is constantly researching investment methods, ideas and theories. We’re always learning and thinking about how the world is changing and how this affects our investments and our clients.
The fact is many of our clients are not wealthy. If they’re retired, chances are they will not earn any more money. Our mandate is not only to grow our clients assets but protect them as well. As stewards of capital, we cannot just sit idle and think everything will be fine. The world is changing rapidly and the investment environment with it. The future could look very different and we will not be blindsided.