When constructing individual investment portfolios we believe the most important step is understanding the client’s investment objectives and risk tolerance.
We focus on understanding the client’s:
- Return Requirements
- Risk Tolerance
- Liquidity Needs
- Time Horizon
Furthermore, we take into account the client’s individual:
- Tax Considerations
- Legal or Regulatory Constraints (where applicable)
- Unique Circumstances
Based on the aforementioned, we assist the client in establishing the appropriate asset allocation. Because no two individuals or institutions have exactly the same financial goals, we custom tailor each portfolio. Through meetings and analysis we work with clients to determine the appropriate asset mix for them. When we construct individual portfolios that address their needs, we consider not only the potential return of an investment but also its risk level.
We believe our success is tied not only to how well we achieve our client’s financial goals, but also their emotional goals of being able to “sleep at night” with their investments. We believe that earnings growth and dividends are the primary drivers for total return. Therefore we focus our efforts on investing in high-quality, growth common stocks with strong fundamentals and a history of paying dividends. Dividends have historically been a key component of total equity investment returns, having represented approximately 43% of the average annualized total return generated by the S&P 500 Index from 1926 to 2010.
We believe that investing in growth companies with dividends offers the following benefits:
- Significant Source of Total Return
- Lower Relative Volatility
- Downside Protection During Turbulent Market Cycles
- Higher Returns Regardless of Interest Rate Movements.
We look for companies that have the following characteristics:
- Strong earnings potential
- Strong Free Cash Flow
- Solid Dividend Policy
- Below Average Debt
- Solid Management Teams
- Valuation That Offers a “Margin of Safety’”
We maintain a consistent and disciplined approach to selecting securities, always staying true to our fiduciary responsibilities and philosophical beliefs.
- Over the long-term, we believe share prices follow earnings growth and dividends.
- High quality businesses with strong franchises and solid fundamentals (high free cash flow, low debt, strong ROE, and solid management).
- Companies with greater earnings stability offer a “Margin of Safety” as they tend to outperform in declining markets.
- Diversifying stock portfolios among 5-7 different sectors (Technology, Health Care, Consumer Staples, Consumer Discretionary, Industrials, Financials, Energy and Materials) reduces risk.
- We believe investing in 20-30 individual large/mid capitalization dividend paying companies offers further growth and diversification.
- For further diversification we may utilize Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) such as S&P 400 Mid Cap, S&P 600 Small Cap, EAFE and the Emerging Markets (EEM) where appropriate.
- Where we deem appropriate we utilize low-cost/no-load mutual funds to further enhance the overall diversification of the over portfolio.
We believe in adding value by actively managing fixed income securities, building on a disciplined, research-driven framework. Our investment process is based on historical data that demonstrates that excess returns are driven by four distinct decisions:
- Shape of the Yield Curve
- Sector Allocation
- Security Selection
Our active management approach to fixed income securities are aimed at adding value over the market rate of return by focusing on:
- Changes in interest rates
- Changes in the shape of the yield curve
- Changes in yield spreads among bond market sectors
- Security Selection
We construct individual bond portfolios by investing in individual short-to-intermediate, taxable and tax-exempt bonds based on the client’s individual tax constraints. We believe that most investors utilize fixed income investments first and foremost for capital preservation, income and overall risk reduction to an investment portfolio. Therefore we invest in investment grade fixed income securities among the various economic sectors to enhance capital preservation. Our approach to fixed income portfolio management emphasizes safety and stability with minimal credit or interest rate risk.
Diversified High Credit Quality Bond Portfolios
For portfolios of municipal (tax-exempt) bonds we look for strong underlying credit rating regardless if the bond is “AAA” rated by the way of insurance. For portfolios of taxable bonds we typically focus on high quality corporate bonds, U.S. Treasuries and government agencies.
Multiple Lending & Custodial Solutions
Our clients have the security of knowing that their assets are being custodied at the largest, best known and trusted third party institutions like TD Ameritrade Institutional and Fidelity Institutional.
Through these relationships, we are able to bring our clients access to multiple lenders, thereby giving our clients choice and a competitive edge for their lending needs.
- Through our custodial relationship with TD Ameritrade Institutional, we have access to TD Ameritrade Margin, TD Ameritrade Bank and TriState Capital Bank.
- Through our custodial relationship with Fidelity, we have access to Fidelity Margin, Goldman Sachs Select and US BanCorp.
The best financial plans help solve some of life’s biggest questions:
- “Will I have enough money for my lifestyle in retirement?”
- “Will I be able to take care of my kids and grandkids?”
- “Will I be able to create wealth for multiple generations” and
- “How do I reduce taxes?”
A good financial plan helps answers these questions and more.
Our Financial planning process involves 5 steps:
- Identifying your financial goals and making sure we prioritize needs from wants.
- Gathering all of your data into a centralized format by working with you, your attorneys and your CPAs in order to get a comprehensive picture of your situation.
- Assessing where we see gaps. Frequently this is in areas like comprehensive estate planning, long term care and health care.
- Developing a customized plan with the necessary action items to help secure your financial goals.
- Reporting and monitoring your financial health for any updates and adjustments being made in your life.