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OUR BELIEFS

We are deeply committed to our core values, beliefs and ongoing professional growth.

Core Values & Beliefs

  1. The truest road to success lies in helping others succeed.
  2. We will always make recommendations that we believe are in our client’s best interest.
  3. We will always conduct ourselves in such a way as to bring honor to our firm and all those that we are associated.
  4. We believe that being independent allows us to provide a better level of service to our clients.
  5. We focus our effort on finding Win/Win relationships—defined as relationships that are profitable, involving people we enjoy working with, who appreciate what we do for them, and where we believe we can have a positive and meaningful impact.
  6. We believe that a well-thought out financial plan is the master strategy and all key financial decisions should stem from the plan.
  7. We are passionate about helping others!
  8. We hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards.
  9. We will do what we say we will do, when we say we will do it.
  10. If we make a mistake, we will acknowledge it and then work diligently to correct it as soon as possible.
  11. We understand that our primary role is to help our clients become good stewards of their net worth.
  12. We are diligent about continuing our education in any field that will help us provide better advice to our clients.
  13. We would never recommend that a client take an action that we would not take if we were in the same situation.
  14. It’s important to us that we manage our own personal financial situation in the same way as we advise our clients.
  15. We understand that risk and return are always related. Further, we believe it is almost always wiser to forego the opportunity to make a killing for the eternal blessing of never getting killed!

Investment Beliefs

  1. Capitalism earns a profit for its shareholders on average despite any political winds that blow.
  2. Companies have a cost of equity capital of about 10% and that cost of capital is paid to the shareholders.
  3. It is important to understand that there can be a complete divergence between the fortunes of companies and the countries in which they reside.
  4. We believe that no one can accurately predict the future stock prices. Further, future prices are randomly moved by unpredictable news as it comes to light. Bad news results in lower prices and good news results in higher prices, all in an effort to keep expected returns essentially constant.
  5. Uncertainty about the future usually causes investors to demand a higher expected return on investments because of the perceived additional risk, thus causing prices to drop until the uncertainty dissipates. As the uncertainty dissipates, stock prices will start to revert to normal valuations.
  6. Free markets work best and current prices are the best estimate of a Fair Market Value. That doesn’t mean that current prices are always right, rather just that investors should act like they are!
  7. All Investing involves risk. Greater expected returns only come from greater risk. We believe there are certain risks that you are compensated for taking and other risks that you are not compensated for taking. We believe you should only take the risk that have an expected return and avoid all the others.
  8. The expected return from speculation is zero and becomes negative after costs and taxes. It’s important to understand the difference between investing and speculating!
  9. In a study of 2,100 stock pickers over 32 years, 99.4% of managers were shown not to have verifiable stock picking skill. * Laurent Barras, Olivier Scaillet and Russ Wermers, “False Discoveries in Mutual Fund Performance: Measuring Luck (February 2010)
  10. In a study of 15,000 predictions over 12 years from 237 Market Timers, there was no evidence of market timing skill. *John Graham and Campbell Harvey, “Market Timing Ability and Volatility Implied in Investment Newsletters’ Asset Allocation Recommendations,” Journal of Financial Economics, vol. 42, no. 3 (1996)
  11. In a study of 660 hiring and firing decisions of investment managers, the fired managers beat the hired managers. *Amit Goyal and Sunil Wahal, “The Selection and Termination of Investment Management Firms by Plan Sponsors,” The Journal of Finance, vol. 63, no. 4 (2008).
  12. In a study of 8,755 hired investment managers, the average hired manager out performed their benchmark by about 3% per year for the 3 years before hiring, however, they under performed their benchmarks by about 0.5% per year for the 3 years after hiring. *Amit Goyal and Sunil Wahal, “The Selection and Termination of Investment Management Firms by Plan Sponsors,” The Journal of Finance, vol. 63, no. 4 (2008).
  13. The reason that every investment advertisement or piece of marketing material you see contain the phrase “PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT INDICITIVE OF FUTURE PERFORMANCE” is because it is true! Just because something has performed well recently is not a reason to invest in it.
  14. Recent Dalbar studies show that the average US stock mutual fund investor has underperformed the S&P 500 index by greater than 8% per year over the trailing 20years. *Average asset allocation investor return is based on an analysis by Dalbar Inc., which utilizes the net of aggregate mutual fund sales, redemptions and exchanges each month as a measure of investor behavior. Returns are annualized (and total return where applicable) and represents the 20-year period ending 12/31/2014.
  15. Recent Dalbar studies show that the average fixed income mutual fund investor has underperformed the Barkley’s Aggregate Bond index by greater than 4.8% per year. *Average asset allocation investor return is based on an analysis by Dalbar Inc., which utilizes the net of aggregate mutual fund sales, redemptions and exchanges each month as a measure of investor behavior. Returns are annualized (and total return where applicable) and represents the 20-year period ending 12/31/2014.
  16. The primary reason that “investor” returns dramatically underperform “investment” returns is “Investor Behavior”! Investors have a tendency to Buy High and Sell Low when left to make their own decisions! We refer to this difference as the “Behavior Gap.”
  17. Over the 87 years ending 2014, the annualized return of a US small stock index of beat US large stock index by 3.58% per year. Source: premium data provided by Centers for Research in Securities Prices (CRSP) university of Chicago April 2014 comparing CRSP U.S. Large Cap Index and CRSP U.S. Small Cap Index
  18. Over the 87 years ending 2014, the annualized return of a US Value index of equities beat US growth index by 4.8% per year. Source: premium data provided by Centers for Research in Securities Prices (CRSP) university of Chicago April 2014 comparing CRSP U.S. Large Cap Value Index & CRSP U.S. Large Cap Growth Index
  19. While studies show that small companies tend to outperform large companies and value stocks tend to outperform growth stocks over significant periods of time, investors should not expect that this will occur every year.
  20. We believe that investors are best served when they buy a risk appropriate, globally diversified, small and value tilted portfolio anytime you have money to invest. Hold. Rebalance. Loss Harvest when it’s appropriate.
  21. Save 20% of your annual income while you are working and spend 5% or less per year of your savings in your retirement.
  22. Only sell your investments when you need the money.
  23. Hire a good passive investment advisor. Everybody will benefit from their expertise, teaching, coaching, service and independent advice. A study concluded that indexers with an advisor were 27% more successful at capturing the returns of index funds than those without good advice.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.
The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market. Barclays Capital Aggregate Index covers the U.S. investment grade fixed rate bond market, with index components for government and corporate securities, mortgage pass-through securities, and asset-backed securities.

IN SUMMARY

The preponderance of the evidence shows that no one can accurately predict what individual stock prices will do in any given period of time because what does drive the change in prices is news, and news by definition is unknowable ahead of time.

And the preponderance of the evidence shows that no one can accurately predict what market sectors will perform best in any given period of time…..

And the preponderance of the evidence shows that no one can accurately predict the performance of asset classes…whether US stocks will do better than bonds or cash or international stocks in any given period of time……

And the preponderance of the evidence shows that no one can accurately predict when to get out of stocks before they drop and/or get back in before they go up…….

If you believe, like I do, that no one can accurately predict future security prices, of market sectors, of asset classes, or accurately time the market, then why would you be willing to pay someone to try to do what you don’t think can be done?
Why do those firms on Wall Street and the advisors that work for those firms continue to ask their clients to continue to pay billions of dollars every year to their firms to predict something that studies show they have yet to accurately predict on a consistent basis? I’ll argue that its because it is in their shareholders best interest, not necessarily their clients. The best explanation I have seen put forth is because it is very hard to make a person see a truth when his/her job is based on this truth not being true. Sometimes this is referred to as institutional blindness

“As far as I can tell, the only groups of people who don’t believe that markets are efficient and that capitalism works are the North Korean’s, The Cuban’s, and active money managers!”
– Rex Sinquefield

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