Our process starts with your objectives; whether in a meeting, over the phone, or on Zoom, we discuss with you your most important financial goals and the current and future resources you will have to commit to those goals.
Once we understand your financial objectives, we share with you what we know about investing and how to develop an appropriate investment portfolio that can achieve your goals. The brochure from Dimensional Fund Advisors, 'Pursuing a Better Investment Experience,' is an excellent resource summarizing the concepts and investment philosophy we use.
After reviewing these principles together and how they should impact your wealth, we decide on a long-term asset allocation that is most appropriate for your goals. We believe the most effective approach to deciding on a portfolio allocation is to review the long-term historical risk and return data on various stock and bond mixes. The Dimensional Core Plus Wealth Index Models report is a tremendous resource that lists periodic results for a series of globally diversified, balanced portfolios that reflect the latest and most advanced thinking available on portfolio construction.
Once an investment policy is decided on, and an Investment Policy Statement is in place, we will implement your portfolio across your various accounts under our management while also considering the tax circumstances of each one; in taxable accounts we will alter the portfolio holdings to ensure maximum tax efficiency. We use the mutual funds and exchange-traded-funds (ETFs) from Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) when constructing portfolios, but will include pre-existing index mutual funds or ETFs based on the embedded gains and tax situation for each client. We manage portfolios on a continual basis and rebalance them when they drift outside their intended mix, or when cash is added or withdrawals are needed.
We talk with our clients regularly, reviewing their progress relative to their goals and answering any investment and financial questions they have. Unfortunately, even with a plan in place, most investors have a hard time "staying the course" when markets become erratic or exuberant. One of our most valuable services is the ongoing behavioral coaching that we provide to ensure our clients do not make bad investment decisions at the wrong time. For many clients, the value in this discipline more than covers the ongoing cost of our services.