Services

Are you considering the services of a financial advisor? 

Financial planning is a management process. It involves fact-finding and assessment, then development of a plan tailored to your individual situation. It must be implemented and monitored to assure that it remains effective. Things change, and you change. Your plan is kept up to date through ongoing communication with your advisor, who will help you develop a realistic plan for your future.  It’s an opportunity to re-design your life.

How can we work together? You have a choice.

Some people are self-starters when it comes to financial matters, and wish to work with a planner to establish direction, but prefer to carry out the related tasks on their own. An Hourly Consultation provides a written plan and guidance for clients to carry out financial plan recommendations on their own. Clients may return for additional services as desired, but the Advisor does not monitor the affairs of Hourly Consultation clients on a continuous basis.

Other people are better served by delegating the financial affairs of money management to a trusted advisor. We call this integrated service Total Financial Management. Financial and investment plans are developed, implemented and monitored on an ongoing basis on behalf of clients. We coordinate with your other advisors (attorneys, insurance agents and tax professionals) to look out for your interests. As ongoing advisors, we are in a better position to manage your portfolio, to make portfolio changes for tax efficiency, and to address conditions on the financial horizon.

There are other issues beyond money management that will help you achieve financial independence and reduce taxes during your retirement years, though it can rarely be done without advance planning. A successful plan will build your financial resources and free you from the anxiety of not knowing what to do.

Investment Approach

We offer two methods for investing: our Strategic Buy & Hold approach is more suited to investors who are implementing the investment plan we suggest as part of our Hourly Consultations and need a less complicated plan. Our Tactical Asset Allocation approach is more responsive to market conditions, and trading may be required several times a year. We reserve the tactical asset allocation approach for clients who are on our Total Financial Management program. Regardless of which investment approach is suggested, you can have confidence that the investment plan is matched to your risk tolerance and structured to make income available from the least volatile portion of your investment portfolio when assets are needed to fund your goals.

Because hourly clients are usually looking for a more situational or short-term relationship, we use a more passive investing approach called Strategic Buy & Hold. These models are based on broad diversification, structured for easier implementation by clients. Portfolios are customized based on each client’s financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment time horizon.  In our judgment, actively managed funds are a little more costly to own, but provide higher expected performance vs. indexing.  Asset allocation weightings are assigned to various categories of stocks, bonds and cash based on a globally-diversified model, and are held throughout various market conditions.  Periodically, the portfolios are rebalanced.  Rebalancing forces an investor to sell high and buy low.  We monitor fund performance routinely, and use either mutual funds or exchange-trade(ETF) fund managers who have long-term records of outperforming their respective benchmark indexes.  In tough market conditions, active fund managers can be selective of the investments they hold as opposed to index-investing, where entire asset classes are held.
  
As part of our Total Financial Management program, we offer an investment approach based on Tactical Asset Allocation. This approach is dynamic, based on current market conditions. The goal is to buy low and sell high. Markets are often driven by investor emotions as much as by asset fundamentals like book values or relative stock prices. The euphoric response of investors en masse drives prices higher than they should go when markets are going up, and lower than they should go when fear drives markets down. Remember the unrealistically high stock prices in the late ‘90’s and the over-inflated housing prices prior to the 2008 debacle? How high or low markets “should” go up or down are based on the true fundamental valuations mentioned earlier. Tactical asset allocation takes advantage of market highs that over or under-shoot their marks. Employing this method can smooth volatility and take some of the pain out of a severe market decline.

Are these questions or concerns that you have? We can help.

  • How much money do we need to be able to retire? When can I retire?
  • I’m worried about the economy and the stock market. What should I do with my investments?
  • How much can I safely spend each year so that my nest egg will last throughout my life?
  • Do I need life insurance?
  • What pension option is the best for our situation?
  • How much does medical insurance cost for retirees? Where can I get a good insurance plan?
  • When should I start my Social Security benefits? What is Social Security optimizaton?
  • Do I need long term care insurance? How do I decide what coverage is needed?  Should I pay the rate increase to maintain my current coverage?
  • What can we do to help our disabled child after we are gone?
  • Should I contribute to a Roth IRA or a regular tax-deferred IRA?
  • Should I convert my traditional IRA to a Roth IRA?
  • Can I afford to work part-time from now until I retire?

Let us help you on your journey toward financial independence! If you are interested in pursuing a relationship with us, please contact us or call us at (425) 610-9762. We offer complimentary informational appointments to those who appear to be a match for our services.