Here are Five Core Beliefs that Govern our Actions and Recommendations
1. Investors need not accept mediocrity in any aspect of their financial plan.
We have built our partnership around having the time, resources and desire to deliver both a detailed, customized financial plan and a superior portfolio management process. We believe that investors too readily accept mediocrity in one of these two core areas – when excellence in both areas is often necessary to achieve their goals.
2. Although having wealth is a blessing, managing it can become a burden at times... but good advice and careful planning can help mitigate this.
Wealth can facilitate many of life’s joys – both for us and for those close to us. However, it also brings its own set of stresses that can often make it feel like a burden.
Will my current savings rate enable my family to maintain our standard of living – even if we live to age 95?
Will my children squabble over my estate after I’m gone?
Am I paying more tax than I need to?
Am I taking too much risk with my investments?
The ongoing management of your financial affairs can be complex and time consuming. The burden often comes from not knowing whether there is a plan in place and if it is managed appropriately. We believe we can significantly mitigate this burden through open and detailed planning sessions with our clients.
3. Investment portfolios should be managed within the context of a big picture financial plan.
Although our team is very passionate about our investment approach, it’s not where we prefer to start. Investment selection shouldn’t be done in a vacuum. We believe it’s important to first determine what personal goals your money is intended to facilitate. A big picture financial plan can act as a road map to reach these goals. With the benefit of this customized road map, we can help ensure our clients make investment decisions appropriate for their unique circumstances.
4. Emotional capital can be just as important as monetary capital – and investment decisions should reflect this reality.
It is commonly accepted that stocks outperform bonds over the "long-term”. When you consider that interest income from bonds or GICs is taxable at twice the rate of capital gains, this divergence in long-term returns becomes even more substantial. Therefore, based on logic alone, any investment portfolio with a relatively long time horizon should include a substantial percentage in equity (stock).
However, the logical decision isn’t always the right one. For some investors, enduring the stress of market volatility can be a substantial burden in itself. In some cases, lifting this burden can be more important than earning a few extra dollars. Put another way, investing a high percentage of your portfolio in equity may increase your "monetary capital” over time, but could leave your "emotional capital” drained. We believe in constructing portfolios that recognize this trade-off.
5. Alignment of interests is a key foundation of trust between clients and their advisors.
We take great pride in doing well by our clients and hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards. We believe that anyone of our clients would confirm this if asked (and a number have actually done so....see the "Client Testimonials” section of our website).
One of the many ways we try to ensure that our interests are aligned with our clients is by how we get compensated.
By reducing the cost (commission) of a trade to $0 and charging clients only as a percentage of their assets invested with us, our interests remain aligned. If we recommend a trade, you can be confident that we think it’s in your best interest, because our compensation is based on the value of your portfolio rather than the number of trades we do.