Investment Management

Comprehensive financial planning includes investment analysis and recommendations, but we don't have to stop there.

In addition to the standard risk/reward assessment used to create a systematic portfolio allocation across all of your investment accounts, investment management improves your return on investment via the following:

  • A customized portfolio (and we do mean "customized" -- see "client-driven investing" below) that efficiently optimizes the tradeoff between volatility and returns

  • Portfolio implementation via such money managers as Dimensional Fund Advisors, a top-performing, research-based investment manager only available to institutional, long-term investors

  • Opportunistic rebalancing -- "volatility harvesting" -- keeping your risk levels where you want them and improving returns by "buying low and selling high"

  • Tax-loss harvesting, improving returns on taxable accounts by deferring taxes

  • Tax-efficient asset location, improving returns by locating asset classes in the most optimized way between traditional, Roth, and taxable accounts

What's the client-driven investing item mentioned above? Effectively, it comes from our belief that investment management isn't about the client handing over the proverbial keys to their financial advisor. (We'll say it again: we're former engineers. What engineer wants to relinquish control of, well, anything?) Rather, every step should be collaborative:

  • The asset allocation (split between stock, bonds, and other asset classes) will drive the majority of returns -- and volatility. Therefore, our clients have a major hand in determining that allocation, and we deeply explore the tradeoffs before they make that decision.

  • Once the allocation has been determined, we then determine whether to invest in the lowest-cost funds available, or to use slightly higher-cost money managers if we believe that increases the chance of outperformance. It's your money -- the choice should be yours!

  • Another layer is "Socially Responsible Investing", where we tilt our portfolios towards companies that are a proven force for social good (while maintaining the overall asset allocation). Clients who wish to engage in impact investing are given this option.

  • Finally, once an allocation has been determined, clients sometimes want to reserve a portion of their portfolio for speculation on particular companies or technologies which they believe will outperform the market. That's fine! We'll set up a systematic way to integrate "your" part with "ours".

Our annual fee starts at 0.6% of assets under management for accounts under $1MM and decreases beyond that. We have a $150,000 minimum of assets managed, unless you are also engaging in Comprehensive Financial Planning, in which case the minimum is waived.

Want to learn more about optimized investment management? Check out these articles.

 

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