Phone (310) 433-5378

Comprehensive Planning — A sophisticated look at the big picture


Although not everyone needs sophisticated financial planning, when you do, it's important to have a single point of contact who can coordinate with your tax planning, legal planning, and other professionals involved to help ensure both that your plans are carried out and that the end results you want are achieved.

Here are some key elements that factor into sophisticated financial planning:

  • Portfolio — Only one part of the entire picture. We strive to minimize taxes and fees while also providing a globally diversified portfolio designed to meet your life's goals.

    It's not about the maximum rate of return at all costs. Specifically it's about the right risk adjusted rates of return to achieve your specific financial goals.

    After all, having the possibility of tremendous upside gains is great, but not if the risk isn't appropriate for your goals.

  • Tax Aware — We know that the old saying, "It's not what you make, it's what you keep," is at the heart of wealth management and sophisticated planning.

    We design financial plans and investment portfolios to be as tax efficient as possible.

    With each investment we consider for your portfolio, we'll assess the tax and legal planning aspects and also execution techniques designed to minimize taxes.

    Income Tax Planning, Estate Tax Planning, Gift Tax Planning, and Capital Gains Tax Planning are all aspects of a tax aware plan to help minimize and manage taxes.

  • Budget and Cash Inflow and OutFlow — Whether you're a business owner, growing family, busy professional, or retiree, understanding the cash inflows and outflows you have is essential in planning for life events and investments. When you receive your cash inflows and outflows is critical to understanding how to make better decisions.

    Budgeting is key. Definitely. But the timing of budgeting items is equally important.

  • Retirement Planning — Everyone has a need for retirement planning.

    Even if you don't truly ever plan to officially retire, we'll all be faced with a time in our lives where we either want to stop working or know we'll be a little less productive.

    Planning for retirement and the lifestyle desired needs to be coordinated with the other aspects of the wealth management process. Really, it all starts with thoughtful conversation.

    Modeling how much is needed to live a certain lifestyle is only part of the equation. Help with modeling a variety of scenarios and the impact of inflation over time are crucial to establishing a retirement plan.

    Understanding risks and rates of returns to achieve the targeted savings amounts and implementation of different investment portfolios to meet the evolution of ones retirement plan are areas we help our clients understand and achieve.

  • Education Expense Planning — For many, paying for the expense of college for a loved one is a priority.

    Seeing how Education Planning fits into your overall investment objectives and other planning needs is critical to your financial plan's big picture success. It's not just about learning about grants and loans either.

    It's about a thorough grasp of the available tools to pay for education costs and planning specifically for things that can increase the overall effectiveness of your total financial plan.

    From Coverdell IRAs and 529 Plans to other vehicles, we'll help you choose the best options.

  • Life Events — The birth of a child, a new job or career, graduation from college, weddings, and unfortunately divorce and death are just some of the life events that we help our clients plan for and manage.

    Each has its own set of special needs and circumstances. We strive to help our clients effectively mange all of their life events.

  • Insurance — As Ben Franklin famously said, "Nothing is certain except death and taxes."

    Insurance serves an important role in protecting your family and your assets.

    We help our clients understand the needs of life insurance and just as importantly how to evaluate the right coverage amounts and products to fit your needs.

    We help you in understanding and structuring the right coverage. Another thing to consider: it's not just life insurance that's part of it.

    Having an appropriate amount of insurance for:
    • long term care
    • disability
    • liability
    • health
    all are areas of financial life that we can talk with you about.

  • Estate Planning — Good estate planning can mean a difference to your family and their quality of life. In fact, it can be the difference between planning the outcome and leaving things to chance.

    Consider also that there's more to estate planning than how much your portfolio is worth, given that an estate consists of all the rights, titles, and interest that a person (living or deceased) has in any property.

    We help our clients plan for the accumulation, conservation, and distribution of an estate to effectively and efficiently accomplish both tax and non-tax objectives. We work along with attorneys and tax professionals to coordinate and execute the right planning techniques to achieve your estate planning goals.

  • Charitable Planning — Many of us have charitable inclinations: we want to give back with both our time and money.

    The efficient titling and selection of assets can greatly enhance ones achievement towards their charitable goals.

    As your partners, we understand what can be accomplished and help identifying specific techniques and assets to achieve this goal.

  • Business Owners Issues — Is your business your largest asset? Are you not only financially but also emotionally invested in your business? Have you thought about Succession Planning?

    We help business owners understand the issues of a transition to the next generation or sale of their business. We help develop plans to ease the stress of how these things will effect long range retirement, estate and wealth transfer planning.

    Minimizing income taxes, balancing cash flow and retirement income needs, and post sale or transition investment strategy are areas we help you plan for.

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Things We Consider

90% of investment results happen because of correct asset allocation.1

The aim of asset allocation in the first place though is to balance risk and reward. In looking at how to best allocate your assets, we factor in your timelines, goals, and needs, and apportion your portfolio's assets accordingly.

And, it's customized for each client.

1 Research supports this claim. We don't just make this stuff up.

The old saying, "It isn't what you make, it's what you keep," is the core of an effective wealth management plan. Since taxes are inevitable, after tax returns are crucial to achieving wealth planning goals.

Asset location refers to how an investor distributes their investments over taxable accounts like Trust brokerage accounts, tax-deferred accounts such as IRAs and 401Ks, and tax-exempt accounts such as Roth IRAs and Roth 401Ks.

And, using asset location planning correctly can increase how much money is kept and not paid out in taxes.

Often also referred to as marketability, liquidity is the ability to turn an asset/investment into cash quickly.

For example, investments in ETFs, most company stocks, and bonds that trade on national exchanges have high liquidity; real estate on the other hand takes longer to convert to cash.

We strive to understand our clients liquidity needs so there's access to cash as needed.

Periodically, portfolios drift away from goals as the value of investments within the portfolio change.

Rebalancing brings a portfolio back into line with your goals and helps reduce risk.

Under-weighted securities can be purchased with newly saved money; alternatively, over-weighted securities can be sold to purchase under-weighted securities.

Our goals are to maximize returns and minimize taxes.

To help achieve these things, we look to do things like: sell tax efficient assets first, use Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) with low portfolio turnover, and buy investments with the biggest tax advantages.

Since every investor has different needs from fixed income to access to capital, we factor all this into your portfolio construction.

ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) offer clients a way to build a tax efficient asset allocation that's diversified, low cost, low conflict of interest, tactically tradeable, and highly liquid.

Building a core asset allocation using ETFs can provide exposure to all the necessary portfolio constituents with low minimums. We use ETFs to generate core portfolios that strategically expose our clients to investments that meet their risk tolerance and investment goals.

Using ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) significantly reduces portfolio conflicts of interest.

One of the more difficult things that happens when using Mutual Funds and Separately Managed Accounts is that portfolio managers may all be investing in the same investments for a number of reasons.

For instance a Value manager may be buying a stock that your current growth manager is selling. Often Mutual Fund Managers and Separate Accounts Managers suffer from style drift. This is where fund managers invest money outside of their mandated portfolio model, often to boost poor performance. Unfortunately, this can unintentionally raise the risks of--and to--a portfolio.

ETFs offer high transparency and often have low turn-over of positions that make up the fund. This helps eliminate conflicts of interest and allows us to look at making better choices for you.

"Don't put all your eggs in one basket," is one way of thinking of global diversification.

True diversification means to reduce risk by investing in a variety of assets that have low correlation of return to one another.

Diversification can be achieved many ways within asset classes, amongst asset classes, by sector, by size, by industry, and so on. The idea: don't expose all your money to the risk of a single investment.