We believe the process of investment management should begin with a careful and honest look at each client’s risk tolerance. Through getting to know our clients and having them complete risk tolerance questionnaires, we put together the best investment strategies to match their risk tolerance. We believe that if this very critical step is properly done, then our clients have a better chance at reaching their goals and remaining confident with their investments.
Our basic philosophy of investing is to first determine the overall asset allocation most appropriate for your situation. The three main categories are: cash, fixed income and equities (stock market investments). This allocation depends on your time horizon, current asset base, income level, tax bracket and risk tolerance. For the fixed income category, we use individual bonds, CD’s, fixed annuities and money markets. We do this at little to no cost to our client’s to keep their ongoing investment expenses down. For the equity category, we use mutual funds and/or variable annuities that pay us a small ongoing fee. If you have existing individual stock holdings that you do not want to sell, we charge little or no fee to hold. Unlike Granville Financial, many investment advisors charge a fee on all of the assets under management, which results in a higher overall cost to you.
Within the equity category, we balance between growth stocks, value stocks, large-cap, mid-cap, small-cap and international stocks. In order to balance your equities within these categories, we use a sophisticated program put out by Morningstar, the leading rating agency for mutual funds. This program will allow us to input all of your equity holdings, whether they are individual stocks, mutual funds or variable annuity funds and shows us your current mix. We then recommend changes so that you have primarily four and five-star rated mutual funds and are balanced within the equity categories appropriately. Not only does it break down the categories, but it also shows the overall beta (volatility), alpha (performance) and expense ratio levels. It also shows the percentages in each sector and compares it to the sector weightings within the S&P 500 Index. We can also do a stock intersection report that breaks down the weightings of the individual stocks within all of your mutual funds. This allows us to make sure that you are diversified and not overinvested in one stock. Our carefully formulated balance among stock sectors and asset classes helps portfolios succeed even during severe market volatility.
Our brokerage accounts are held with Raymond James & Associates, Inc., which exposes you to greater protection. Your account is insured by the SIPC, a government agency, for $500,000, including up to $100,000 of cash. There is an additional $1.9 million insurance per account on cash holdings through Lloyds of London. In addition, there is also insurance that covers securities in excess of what the SIPC covers up to a firm aggregate of $750 million.