What makes us different
We’re here to serve. We have clients, not customers. In fact, we’ve worked for most of our clients for so long that they are part of our family and we are part of theirs. We’ve known many of our clients longer than we’ve known our own children. We’ve lived through the ups and downs and ins and outs of each others lives. And while we know our role and why we get paid, our clients know that we care about them. Yes, wealth management is what we do, but as each of us knows, money isn’t the foundation of any caring relationship.
We’ve been at this awhile. The founder and senior member of our firm was standing in the center of the S&P 500 Futures pit on the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange during the historic 508-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index on Black Monday, October 19, 1987. He has managed our clients’ accounts through the last three investment bubbles, the last three recessions, the last three bear markets and more than a dozen of the last investment crises.
We start by thinking about risks. We don’t like losing money, so we think about risks (a lot of them), try to measure them and then develop strategies to minimize them. We try to avoid unrewarded risks. When we do take a risk, we are always trying to earn a reliable reward.
We want as few people between our clients and their money as possible. Our goal is to improve our clients’ peace of mind (and our peace of mind as well) and reduce the complexity of their financial lives and the number of expense “holes” in their savings and investment buckets. This helps us keep our clients costs down and they like that.
We have learned to be patient investors. Having been at this for more than 30 years, we’ve been presented with and seen myriad investment ideas and fads in all flavors come and go, promoted by all kinds of people, many of whom were in a hurry (wolves in sheep costumes). We favor the long-term compounding of returns that comes from dividend reinvestment in dividend-paying companies.
The money we manage is long-term bedrock money that forms our clients’ financial foundations. You may have heard many investment clichés, but for us, they have real meaning (remember, we’ve lived through the financial lives of a lot of other people). So, our eye is pretty well trained. We’ve learned to look for steak, not sizzle. And, we work to steer clear of men with big hats and no cattle.
We eat what we cook. Frankly, we do think about ourselves while we are working for our clients (sometimes we work really late). After all, we have the same needs too. So our investment ideas are just as much for our retirement plans as they are for our clients’ accounts. They come from our own self-interested thinking and independent, intellectually honest research. So we invest our own hard-earned money the same way we invest for our clients.
We don’t waste any time filling out applications to make it on someone’s 10 Best or 100 Best Advisors List. We invest our time, talent, energy and resources on behalf of our clients, helping them better manage their financial lives and their investments, and helping them achieve the goals they set in their plans.