“If you don’t know where you are going, you might end up somewhere else.” – Yogi Berra
In 1989 Jeff and a client planned to retire in 15 years. In 1999 Jeff became a registered investment advisor, 18 years after starting work as a certified public accountant. In 2023 Jeff and the client are still working, but “doing what we’re doing because we want to not because we have to.”
Understanding where you are and where you want to be is critical to what we do. However, we understand that things can change in a big way along the way. Investment markets and life do not follow a straight line. Rather than developing a narrow path to follow, we attempt to identity a wide lane to navigate.
We use leading financial planning software that enables us to provide a financial plan that is streamlined, engaging and dynamic. Our planning sessions can be handled in our Edmonds office, online or over the phone. We can also provide you with direct access to our planning tools, which keeps you more engaged and focused on the plan.
“Don’t look for the needle in the haystack. Just buy the haystack!” – John Bogle
Our goal is to provide clients with an appropriate investment strategy and to assist them in developing the confidence to stay with the strategy through all market conditions. Our overall investment philosophy is based on academic evidence.
In developing investment policies for clients, we begin with the consideration of their stock/bond allocation. We believe this decision has the greatest impact on portfolio risk (measured in return volatility and potential loss of principal and client comfort). Investors generally accept the fact that stocks are riskier than bonds, but most are unaware that both can subject investors to what is called “uncompensated risk” – risk exposure that does not result in correspondingly higher returns.
Index investment funds were developed in the early 1970's to allow investors to receive stock market returns without being subject to the uncompensated risk that comes with high concentrations of a small number of investments in individual businesses, sectors or markets.
Academic research has since improved our understanding of stock and bond markets, and certain risk factors with higher than “market” expected returns have been identified. These risk factors have been shown to persist and “make sense.” Investing based on this type of persistent evidence shifts the emphasis from tracking an index, to continually improving our understanding of these market factors that contribute to the returns we are seeking. We use this research to build structured portfolios using fund managers who apply this same evidence to their fund constructions, and efficiently incorporate credible new ones as they emerge.
“The hardest thing in the world to understand is income taxes.” – Albert Einstein
Income taxes are a drag on investment portfolio performance. We always look at constructing investment portfolios and choosing investment vehicles that provide maximum tax efficiency. Collectively we have over 75 years of working as Certified Public Accountants. Maintaining our CPA licenses requires 40 hours of annual continuing education, much of which relates to income tax planning and preparation issues for individuals.
We use our income tax knowledge and experience to make strategic recommendations that minimize tax exposure. Our services include: