How We Manage Your Investments

Our investment philosophy centers around long-term, low-cost, portfolio management designed specifically based on your time horizon and comfort level to help you reach your goals. You can have peace of mind knowing your assets are prudently managed.

A Portfolio to Meet Your Unique Needs

Before we begin to create your investment plan, we carefully listen to you so we can understand your financial concerns and objectives. Based on your goals and risk tolerance, we then formulate an intelligent investment strategy.

Our Asset Allocation Discipline

We allocate your investments across various asset classes (e.g. stocks, bonds, and cash) and investment styles (e.g. large cap value, international) to increase diversification and reduce the volatility of your returns.  Meeting your objectives with the least amount of risk is our goal.

Mutual Fund Selection

Our approach is to build your investment portfolio mainly with low cost index mutual funds that track consistently well relative to the benchmarks. All mutual funds are carefully screened using our Morningstar software and have excellent past performance and management track records. In addition to our own in house research, we use reputable third party research reports. Our research team’s role is to hold each mutual fund manager accountable to its category index so that you don’t have to. This approach typically results in investments with solid performance relative to their underlying benchmarks and low expense ratios to add value to your account.

By using mutual funds rather than individual stocks, when your personal circumstances change or market events occur, we can adjust your portfolio quickly and efficiently. Mutual funds allow us to tap top investment experts worldwide and the liquidity and diversification they offer is difficult to duplicate, even in very large portfolios. For large fixed income portfolios, we have access to individual bond managers who will tailor the fixed income portion to meet your needs.

Institutional Mutual Funds

Many of the mutual funds we select are not available to individuals investing on their own.  These “institutional” funds have very low expenses.  The long term savings on these funds can be considerable.

A few of the mutual fund families we use are:

  • Barclays iShares exchange traded funds (ETF’s)
  • Dimensional Investment Group (DFA)
  • Vanguard
  • Schwab
  • Guggenheim Investments
  • Pimco
  • Fidelity
  • T. Rowe Price
  • American Funds (no load funds)

Institutional Account With Charles Schwab

Your accounts are held directly in your name with the Institutional Group at Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. You get the best of two worlds, the clout and capabilities of a huge firm like Charles Schwab and the service and sensibilities of our firm.  We custody your assets at Schwab, but we are completely independent of them and receive no compensation from them or any mutual fund family.

Personal Investment Performance Reports

You receive monthly brokerage statements from Schwab.  On a quarterly basis, you receive a personalized portfolio report from Financial Planning Office.  Our reports are easy to read and understand and show you the portfolio’s true rate of return, net of all fees. We believe we are much more transparent than most firms at disclosing all the information you need to understand how your portfolio is performing. Throughout the year, you also receive concise market commentary and financial planning newsletters.

Over the years you have done well. You are successful today because of your skill and hard work. Making a success of your investments requires the same commitment. Yet, you may not have the time, the resources, or even the inclination to give your portfolio the attention it deserves. Now may be the time to let Financial Planning Office bring their in-depth research, thorough analysis, and constant supervision to your investments.
Hyrum Smith, PhD, CFP®, CPA