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Investment Management

The appropriate investment of your assets is a critical part of your overall financial plan. At Focus, we practice a disciplined approach to achieve diversification and to manage risk appropriately on your behalf. Our management of your portfolio will be guided by your investment policy statement. This is a document that we create with you after a detailed review of your entire financial situation. It takes into account your total investment needs, your risk tolerance level, income tax considerations, your goals and dreams, and your unique time horizon.

Our Duty as Fiduciaries

As Fee-Only financial advisors, we have taken a fiduciary oath to act in good faith and to always act in our client’s best interest. As fiduciaries, we are also bound to put the interests of our clients ahead of our own. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) defines a Fee-Only planner as “one who, in all circumstances, is compensated solely by the client, with neither the advisor nor any related party receiving compensation that is contingent on the purchase or sale of a financial product.” Simply put, we will not accept commissions, rebates, awards, finder’s fees, bonuses or any other form of compensation for purchasing any investment product on behalf of our clients.

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Our Investment Approach

  • The process begins with in-depth client discussions designed to determine your current situation, needs, goals, timetables, and risk tolerance.
  • Next, we create an investment policy appropriate to meet your needs and respond to your concerns.
  • We then assemble a portfolio using a variety of diverse assets geared toward achieving a reasonable return while minimizing taxes and controlling risk. In addition to holding a diverse basket of equities and fixed income, further portfolio diversification may be achieved by including special asset classes such as commodities, real estate, hedged equity, or other alternative investments.
  • Where practical, investments that are tax-inefficient are placed in tax-deferred accounts, such as IRAs, where the tax consequences are reduced or eliminated.
  • Depending on your investment profile and current market conditions, your portfolio will consist of a combination of exchange traded funds (ETFs), index funds, individual bonds and actively managed funds.

 

Our Investment Philosophy:

While we are certainly not in the business of short-term trading, we are also not strictly “buy and hold” investment managers. The buy and hold philosophy, which has been touted in the popular financial press for many years, in our view, has serious drawbacks. Even investors with well-diversified portfolios lost up to 50% or more of their portfolio value during the bear market of 2008 while following this strategy. On the other hand we are not “market timers”. Market timing is often referred to as the opposite of Buy and Hold. Adherents to this approach attempt to maximize returns and avoid losses by trying to pinpoint the exact tops and bottoms of markets and individual security prices. We don’t believe this is possible, and we are unaware of anyone who has been able make these calls with any consistency.

If we are not purely Buy and Hold managers, and we are not market timers, what are we? Well, our philosophy represents somewhat of a compromise between the two camps. We believe in taking advantage of long-term established trends. We certainly prefer to make long-term investments, but we will reduce market exposures when trends clearly turn down. The goal here is to capture the greater part of a bull market, and avoid the full impact of a bear market.

Our objective is to provide our clients with a reasonable return on their investment, and one that is in line with their needs and goals. We do not believe in getting rich quickly by trading “hot stocks.” Rather, our approach is to preserve and grow our clients’ money over a period of time using a broad array of assets.