Articles

Are Your Financial Strategies Working? How to Evaluate Performance

By Ron Ross | September 18, 2018

When prospective clients meet with us to evaluate their portfolio, many investors are unaware if their portfolio is experiencing sub-par performance relevent to the appropriate benchmarks. Here’s what to look for when you’re evaluating your investments’ performance.

Ignorance is bliss. When it comes to investment performance, there’s a ring of truth to this old adage. It’s not difficult to see how active managers – investment professionals who attempt to “beat the market” in search of greater returns – can

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Why Diversify? Improve your Wealth Management Strategies

By Bruce Smith | September 12, 2018

Long before the days of investment management solutions, financial derivatives and modern portfolio theory, Sancho Panza -- Don Quixote's sidekick – wisely noted, “It is the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow and not to venture all his eggs in one basket.” Of course, Don didn’t take this sage advice – but you should.

Our clients often ask us how to diversify; while they understand the basic importance of not putting all of those eggs in the same basket, they’re just not sure how to go about it in the most effective manner. Here’s how to avoid diversification pitfalls and create a blueprint to evaluate your own portfolio.

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A Guide to Understanding Investment Professional Credentials

By Teresa Conley | August 25, 2018

When it comes to selecting a wealth advisor, one thing is certain: You have a lot of choices. But how do you determine if an investment professional is truly qualified to help you with your strategic wealth planning? After all, the planning decisions you make now impact your financial future for years to come, so you need to vet your wealth advisor carefully.

Credentials offer one way to evaluate a potential wealth advisor. These designations indicate that an investment professional has attained a certain level of education and training. Here's a guide to eight common credentials.

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8 Qualities to Look for in a Wealth Advisor

By Ginger Weber | August 19, 2018

Choosing the best wealth advisor isn’t easy. With so many options out there -- from brokers to insurance agents -- investors often find it difficult to select the right investment firm for their individual needs.  In fact, we’re often asked what to look for in a financial advisor.

We understand that choosing an advisor is one of the most important decisions an investor can make. After all, advisors influence your retirement planning, estate planning and future financial stability. Here are some of the key qualities that we recommend investors seek in an advisor.

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Finding A Great Financial Advisor - Part 2: Costs and Fees

By Jeremy Sorci | August 13, 2018

Have you ever wondered how much difference there really is between one financial advisor and another?  On one level they all do the same thing - they invest people’s money.  However, like every other profession, each financial advisor has their own area of expertise, skill set, experience, training, and educational background. 

And just like when seeking professional services in any other industry, it's important to choose a financial advisor that best meets your unique needs. Since a financial advisor you choose can dramatically impact

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The Rational Investor - Why Diversification is a Means and Not an End

By Ron Ross | August 07, 2018

Clients often ask us for investment guidance about diversification – why is it so essential? How is it achieved? We are always glad when our clients bring up this important topic.  

It is so important - in fact, we’ve blogged about it before - because diversification is not only the cardinal rule of investing, but also the one rule most often violated.

Perhaps Shakespeare said it best in The Merchant of Venice:

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The Advantage of Wealth Advisors: Are the Fees Worth it?

By Jeremy Sorci | July 26, 2018

If you've ever wondered if the costs associated with working with a wealth advisor are worth it, you're not alone. In fact, an article at the Motley Fool described the cost of using a financial advisor as "brutal," referring to a hypothetical 1 percent of assets annual fee reducing net returns, as well as the longer-term impact of fees that aren't reinvested. 

While the article may have come across as a bit hyperbolic, it wasn't all negative... and it did bring up a valid point: Investors should always evaluate the services they receive from their investment professional to determine if the services are worth it.

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Ask a 401(k) Advisor: 7 Keys to 401(k) Success - Part 1

By Bruce Smith | July 20, 2018

Often people ask our retirement plan advisors: "What is the best way to invest in my 401(k)?"

While many companies provide 401(k)s as a benefit to their employees, the frequency that we hear this question is alarming. This question underscores that many 401(k) participants haven't had enough education from their 401(k) plan providers to know how to fully participate - but the stakes couldn't be higher. Once you have worked through your higher income years and reached retirement you will not get a 2nd chance. Either you will have prepared properly - or not. In our opinion, however,

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The Rational Investor: What's the Cost of High Portfolio Turnover?

By Jeremy Sorci | July 14, 2018

Recently, a new client asked one of our advisors how high portfolio turnover would effect their portfolio. This timely question makes sense; after all, we often warn our clients and other investors about the disadvantages and high costs of wealth management strategies based on active management. 

Our answer? High portfolio turnover is the source of most of the extra costs associated with active management – costs that are completely unnecessary and avoidable with more efficient investment guidance. Read on to find out why.

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3 Reasons Why You May Need To Drop Your Financial Advisor

By Jeremy Sorci | July 08, 2018

If you have the suspicion that your investment professional may not be the best fit for your needs, you could be right -- and you're not alone.

We often hear tales of less-than-stellar performance and unmet expectations from new clients who've just "broken up" with their last financial planner or are considering a change. 

While every situation is, of course, unique, there are a few red flags that you really shouldn't ignore. Here are a few warning signs that it may be time to say goodbye to your current financial planner.

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