Our Investment approach promotes safety in a world of unpredictability
Strategic investment planning is at the core of any successful wealth management plan. Private Wealth Management Group works closely with each client to create an asset allocation strategy specific to the client's needs and objectives. We consider the following: return expectations, risk tolerance, income and liquidity needs, income tax situation, estate and wealth transfer planning, philanthropic intentions and legacy aspirations. These criteria will assist us in charting the course for designing a wealth plan appropriate for your goals.
After the investment strategy is drafted and approved by you, the plan becomes a guide, but is always a work in progress. We closely monitor the strategy for rebalancing opportunities to take advantage of movement in the market and improve your personal after tax return. Meeting with us regularly to keep us current with any changes in your lives will also help us keep your allocation relevant. To make sure you stay informed, we will send you quarterly performance reports that will help you understand where you stand financially and how you have performed against a related benchmark.
What makes a successful investor?
The short answer is knowing when to let a conscientious, dependable fee-only expert partner with you to manage your wealth, someone who can give you the advantages of their experience and contacts and still preserve your wealth autonomy. The world is ever changing but the elements of a successful investment strategy remain the same; participate in the market at a level you can endure and control all the other factors in your life that will ensure the abundance you desire. From childhood we are taught to be educated and attempt to get ahead. This is fine as a general axiom but it doesn't always translate well for the individual investor going it alone.
"There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: when he can't afford to, and when he can."
Avoiding the Pitfalls of Emotional Investing
Even with all the studies that have proven that active management cannot consistently outperform the market people continue to attempt to do so. Why? Is it fear and greed? Overconfidence in our ability to make investment decisions? Allowing our sentiments to control our investment choices? Behavioral investing is letting your emotions and behavior influencing your investment choices; believing you can beat the market. Little tricks we use to fool ourselves into thinking we are smarter than the professionals.
"The investor's chief problem—and even his worst enemy—is likely to be himself."
-Benjamin Graham, American Economist, Professional Investor, Columbia Business School Professor
Investors have a strong tendency to overweight the importance of recent events and assume that recent trends will continue into the future; that what happened in the past will keep happening. This leads one of the quickest and surest ways to destroy wealth: performance-chasing. Another decision based on emotional anxiety is holding onto a losing investment long after it would have been smarter to sell and swallow the loss. Effectively managing your wealth on your own can be difficult; with the assistance of an objective fee-only advisor it is exceedingly possible. Even an investor armed with the investment knowledge and the quantitative skills necessary to manage a globally diversified portfolio is unlikely to be able to overcome the behavioral impediments leading to sub-optimal decision-making. It is just human nature.
"...The idea that any single individual without extra information or extra market power can beat the market is extraordinarily unlikely. Yet the market is full of people who think they can do it and full of other people who believe them. . . . Why do people believe they can do the impossible? And why do other people believe them?"
-Daniel H. Kahneman, Co-recipient, 2002 Nobel Laureate in economics*
How do you avoid making investment decisions that will decrease the likelihood of a successful investment strategy? To achieve the returns that are available for your level of risk, it is sometimes necessary to sell the best performing asset class and buy the worst-performing asset class. In addition, it is the advisor's responsibility to do what is in your best interest; making methodical rational decisions based on a wealth plan, not by an emotional response.
Strategic Asset Allocation
Asset allocation is the largest determinant of your portfolio's performance. How much you have invested in each asset class is more important than who is managing each asset class.
"All the time and effort people devote to picking the right fund, the hot hand, the great manager, have in most cases led to no advantage."
-Peter Lynch, Author, former manager of the Magellan Fund
Based on the wealth management plan, we start with the long-term asset allocation that is designed to provide the greatest probability of fulfilling your goals. We are constantly challenging our current beliefs, process and investments to make sure we are doing what is most appropriate for our clients. If we see the need for change the adjustment will be executed in a methodical manner to ensure the implementation is precise.
Tax-management is critical in maximizing portfolio returns. Asset Location preference is a tax minimization technique utilized by our firm. We recognize different types of investments have different tax consequences. Some have taxable interest income, while others primarily are taxed at capital gains rates. In addition, the timing of taxation varies by account type. All of these factors are taken into consideration when developing your investment plan.
Private Wealth Management Group works with our clients to ensure that Strategic Asset Allocation, Asset Location and Logic--not emotion- form the foundation for investing your investment plan. It is reassuring to have wealth. It is even more assuring to be able to keep and grow your wealth.