Become a Better Investor
After decades of experience, curiosity, and reading research with an open mind, a picture emerges of the actions and decisions that improve your chances of success or higher returns. Correspondingly, there are actions and decisions that harm your chances of success. It must be stressed – this is not a theory – this is data and intellectually honest research and impartial experts coming to these conclusions. It is equal parts purposeful action and purposeful in-action, because there are many practices in our industry, even by advisors, that harm investor’s chances of success. Delivering the goods AND taking away the bad – now that is a powerful, probability increasing, combination!
We provide advice that offers better probabilities to achieve the highest return in the long-term.
Please consider this simple graphic and the actionable list of items we would encourage anyone to follow to improve your probability of success (getting to point A). Success is also about avoiding mistakes, so we highlight actions and decisions we would not recommend which will decrease your chances of success.
What actions and decisions help investors get to Point A?
What increases your probability of reaching point A?
• Think rationally, not emotionally. Avoid behavioral mistakes. As an advisor our greatest contribution to your long-term returns is much less about the portfolio and much more about helping you avoid behavioral mistakes. Highlighted repeatedly by academic research, the greatest contribution an advisor has on your returns is helping you avoid behavioral mistakes. It is so well known it has a name – the Behavior Gap. Here is a graph of the research studies and their estimate of the Behavior Gap in terms of annual return loss. The most recent study done by Russel Investments in 2023 (and not part of this graph) estimates the Behavior Gap to be 2.54%.
Is 2% that much? Yes, it is incredible: $100,000 invested for 40 years:
Advised Investor, 9% annual return = $3,140,942
Average Investor, 7% annual return = $1,497,445
• Do not attempt to time the market
• Financial planning: Do not overlook: held away assets, human capital, dependent needs, inheritance, insurance, estate and trust planning, retirement income, retirement withdrawal strategies, etc..
• Use index funds rather than individual stocks
• Use passive funds rather than active funds
• Be tax efficient: Do not use funds that distribute capital gains
• Choose low cost, low spread investments
• Use portfolio design that reduces the ups and downs / reduces emotional response / improves ability to remain disciplined / improves probability of success
• Use RIA rather than Broker Dealer: behavior subject to conflicts of interest and lack of objectivity
What decreases your probability of reaching point A?
• Not incorporating your 401k, your spouse’s 401k, your pension, your insurance, or any of your unique circumstances or assets into your overall plan and portfolio – ignoring is not planning
• Selling proprietary products to you – a firm’s own funds, someone else’s funds while receiving a kickback, the firm’s structured notes (can be replicated synthetically without the creditor worries) – conflicts of interest are damaging, underappreciated, and often ignored
• Ignoring the tax implications of investments or turnover – we all live in the same after-tax world
• Purchasing particular classes of shares or utilizing separately managed accounts – its not in the best interest of clients to purchase assets that must be sold to be transferrable – no hooks and additional taxes please
• Outsource key aspects of management – the planning and portfolio are informed by each other, therefore, planning and portfolio construction should be integrated, not outsourced
• Using a manager who receives any compensation, monetary or otherwise, from anyone other than clients
• Using a manager who pays any compensation, monetary or otherwise, for business
We operate analogously to a family office. We can provide your family with the same special treatment and promise the same loyalty and care as you would expect from family.
When we agree to work together as partners, you can expect us to serve you with genuine care and loyalty. You can expect us to speak with candor, as if we were family, and fully inform you of the merits and pitfalls of each potential decision and action. We operate with the highest ethical standards and professional conduct because we can’t tolerate behaving differently. We maintain a client roster that allows us to deliver the attention and time to serve each client exceptionally.
Would you like to be served in this manner?
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