Joe's Beliefs and Business Practices
I believe that the number one priority of my clients is to achieve financial peace of mind. My portfolio management practice is built around how best to help clients achieve this goal. Here are my core beliefs and business practices.
1. Investments are a means to an end – where are you headed?
Many investors have little understanding about how much money they will need to meet their short-mid- and long-term goals. In fact, many people have never even clearly articulated their goals. More concerning are people I meet who think they can simply tell me the value of their accounts to get a proposal maximizing their rate of return. This is a shallow exercise at best.
I believe that any successful investment process must include a Financial Plan. I provide this service to every interested client. During planning, we identify the client’s needs and risk/reward tolerance together. I need this information to construct a truly customized portfolio. We also talk about what other steps are necessary to achieve the client’s goals. These might include tax-sheltering strategies, insurance vehicles, trusts, wills, estate planning or services to address cross-border issues.
Once the Plan is complete, I develop a customized Investment Portfolio. I manage the Portfolio, taking into account any other strategies or vehicles we have in place to achieve the client’s goals. My clients feel confident that through my systematic approach, all avenues have been explored. They know that through a single source (me), they are able to access a breadth and depth of services that is second to none in the industry.
2. Clear communication is essential for portfolio performance and client satisfaction.
I believe in a consultative approach with clients. This covers the financial planning and investment review processes to make sure we’re on the same page about needs, expectations and market realities. This is particularly critical for my discretionary clients.
A cornerstone of my portfolio management practice is the use of a written Investment Policy Statement (IPS). This document, which is signed by both the client and myself, clearly identifies the client’s investment goals and spells out the risk the client is comfortable with taking in the process. Also, the IPS contains an asset allocation model, which I rely on heavily at review time. The IPS is something I review with clients quarterly to see whether circumstances have changed.
I believe that clients should expect regular communication from my team. As well, I realize that being accessible to my clients provides them with peace of mind, and builds trust and confidence. So, while my primary responsibility is to ensure that all my clients’ portfolios are managed effectively, I make every effort to be available for any client needing to speak to me directly.
3. Clients deserve unbiased advice from a trusted source.
Clients should know that their needs are being addressed without a hidden bias, or sales motivation, on the part of their advisor. My clients have this confidence because of my fee-based approach. This approach allows me to rebalance portfolios in the most cost-effective manner possible, while providing the objectivity to search for the best investment alternatives for my clients. Just as importantly, my team’s success is driven by the success of our clients’ fee-based portfolios. Fee-based accounts help build long-term trusting client relationships.