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Our Philosophy

  1. The true value of good financial planning is not in the numbers, but in the life that the numbers make possible. We are dedicated to using our financial experience to help our clients build and maintain the lives that they desire.
  2. We like people, and really enjoy helping them. Therefore, whether or not it is required by law in any given instance, we always take a fiduciary approach. In other words, we always put our clients’ interests ahead of our own.
  3. The one unforgivable sin a financial advisor can commit is to withhold or spin material facts about an investment or strategy that would have made a difference to a client’s decision. While this breach of trust is more common than most clients realize, it is something we never, ever do. Our policy is full disclosure and full transparency at all times.
  4. We recognize that the best new clients are those referred by existing clients and their CPAs and attorneys. Therefore, in order to benefit everyone concerned, including ourselves, we strive to give outstanding service to every client and the other professionals with whom they work.
  5. In solving problems for, or making recommendations to our clients, we don’t shoot from the hip, wing it, or depend on our “intuition”. We have thorough, methodical, and proven processes for financial planning and investment management, and we stick to them religiously.
  6. We respect and trust our clients, and don’t like to sell. Therefore, we act as consultants, educating our clients on the pro’s and con’s of alternative solutions to their financial problems, so that they can make their own intelligent and informed decisions.
  7. Changes do occur in tax laws, the economy, the financial services industry, and the lives of our clients. To give good service we strive to stay on top of these changes and make whatever adjustments will give our clients the best chances of staying on track towards their goals.
  8. We collaborate fully with our clients’ CPAs and attorneys. We respect their professionalism, and need and want their input and agreement on the financial plans we create for the clients we share with them. We also keep them fully informed in real time of every action we take in implementing the plans they’ve approved.
  9. We do suggest pro-active Tax Planning strategies to our clients’ CPAs, who previously may have been involved only with historical financial reporting and the preparation of tax returns. We do this in the context of helping those CPAs to preserve, protect, and expand their professional relationships with the clients we share with them.
  10. Unlike many independent financial planning firms, we do not engage in the unlicensed practice of law on Estate Planning cases. When desired by our clients, we accompany them to their Estate Planning attorneys, or to ones we can recommend if they don’t already have their own, and collaborate with the attorneys in the proper professional manner. We provide our input regarding client data and investment and insurance issues, and translate the attorneys legalese into plain English our clients can understand. The attorneys interview the clients directly, design the Estate Plans, and draft the necessary documents. We then follow through per the attorneys’ instructions to help ensure assets get into trusts and all other implementation details are properly completed.
  11. Clients expect regular, pro-active communication from their advisors, to keep them informed of what’s happening with their money, even when nothing is happening, but especially when the market as a whole is doing poorly. We do our best to provide this ongoing communication in a number of ways.
  12. We believe that Modern Portfolio Theory (strategic asset allocation, diversification, and periodic re balancing) is the best approach for long term investment results, but not necessarily always for the short term. Major “statistical outlier” events such as the market crashes of 2000 and 2008 may not be statistically likely, but they can and do occur. We believe that it is irresponsible for an advisor to refuse to at least attempt some adjustment to the obvious reality of such events. Therefore we take a pragmatic, common sense approach to portfolio management, called “core and satellite,” in which the “core” portion “stays the course,” while the smaller “satellite” portion responds to short term market conditions driven by macroeconomic cycles and investor psychology, getting out of harm’s way before a major market decline has gone too far, and then jumping back in to take advantage of undervalued opportunities on the rebound. This approach, when successful, can reduce overall portfolio volatility and improve performance, compared to straight “buy and hold.”
  13. Regardless of the approach or expertise of an investment manager, there is only so much he can do to help his clients achieve gains and avoid losses. Sometimes the market just overwhelms everyone’s best efforts. At those times it is our job to help our clients manage their emotions (greed, ecstasy, fear, anger, grief) regarding what’s happening. Keeping a clear head gives us all the best chance of achieving favorable results in the midst of any crisis.
  14. There are many different types of investment vehicles, each with its own set of pro's and con's for different investor circumstances. We make our recommendations on a case-by-case basis without bias for or against any particular type of vehicle.
  15. In general we recommend life insurance only for family protection, business buy-sell agreements, the initial stages of certain types of high-income retirement plans, and high-net-worth estate planning.
  16. Our viewpoint is that we’re in the relationship business, not the transaction business. Therefore, when we have implemented the transactions we’ve recommended for a new client, our real work has only just begun. We remain immediately available to our clients as their ongoing financial friend and collaborator, in large matters and small.

For a complimentary initial consultation regarding any aspect of your financial affairs or concerns, please call us at 818-995-3500.