Broker Check

Coach Approach

My philosophy regarding financial planning is: Financial planning is the problem, coaching is the solution!

I say this despite the fact I passed the examinations and acquired the CFP designation way back in 1978.

Just as those at the top of their fields of endeavor, such as entrepreneur / personality Oprah Winfrey, basketball legend Michael Jordan, opera super star Luciano Pavarotti, award winning actors too numerous to mention and tycoon Richard Branson as well as myriad others retained coaches to enable them to reach peak performance, so must investors. 

Wealth or investor coaching focuses on YOU. It makes you a major participant in your own, unique investment process. Wealth coaches are educators and mentors that provide you with distinctive tools and strategies necessary to build financial freedom.

Our coaching approach provides a firm foundation of a core investment philosophy, global asset class diversification and execution as well as continuing investor education and discipline – which we endeavor to accomplish with a minimum of stress.

As in any coaching relationship, permission must be granted to a coach to “coach!” When given, a coach can provide knowledge, wisdom, and discipline and will say “NO” to an investor when needed. A top notch coach doesn’t tell you what you want to hear but rather, what you need to hear and will not enable or facilitate behavior that the coach believes is detrimental to a long-term, successful investment outcome.

A coach provides a “process” which is more important than even the coach and which can provide successful investment guidance to the investor and his or her family that can last well beyond a current generation. Why is process so important? If or when a coach dies, retires or becomes disabled a properly constructed portfolio process and philosophy survives beyond the coach and as noted, even the investor for surviving spouses and even future generations!

This is why one of the most important questions that can be asked is: is a process established that can survive both the coach and even the individual investor or investors?

Our shared beliefs:

1.Markets are efficient and they work! All knowable and predictable information is already factored into prices today. Over one hundred years of social and economic experimentation have shown the failure of philosophies predicated upon the premise of inefficient markets.

2. Attaining your goals within the proscribed conventions of your investment policy statement shall be the benchmark against which the performance of your investment portfolio(s) shall be measured.

3. Short term events: economic, political, psychological or financial shall not cause us to deviate from the terms of the investment policy statement. Neither shall the importunes of: relatives, friends, the media or other so called “experts.” We both acknowledge an understanding that it is the long-term results and attainment of goals, not short-term, expected variances (which can be both positive or negative) that shall be the basis of any changes in investment modalities or the investment policy statement.

4. We believe in the importance of non-correlated (not moving the same way at the same time) asset class diversification in order to manage the level of risk in an investment portfolio(s). While investments of the moment may beckon with their siren song, we recognize that pursuing them in the hopes of spectacular gains in the short-term amounts to gambling (speculation – betting on an outcome) rather than investing. With the funds that are being accumulated to attain the stated goals, we both state firmly that we are investors, not speculators!

5. With respect to diversification, we mutually acknowledge the primacy of Modern Portfolio Theory (non-correlated asset classes combined into a portfolio) as the underlying investment philosophy guiding the construction and management of the portfolio. We recognize and accept the fact that by following this theory, there will likely be, at all times, a certain asset class or classes that will be underperforming. We both acknowledge that we will not deviate from this underlying philosophy in order to engage in the fruitless task of “chasing performance.” Since it is impossible to know, in advance, which asset classes will outperform in the future, the only prudent course is to be appropriately diversified in a broad spectrum of them — both domestically and internationally and incorporating “alternative” types of investments – if appropriate.

6. We are in agreement that, in the long term, active management, that is: attempting to pick individual stocks, time the market(s) or reliance upon past performance is not an effective or useful investment strategy.

7. Utilization of “passive,” institutional, asset class funds are the best means of constructing an investment portfolio, the exception being in the area of “alternative” investments or investments that address specific needs such as income generation or tax planning. We both acknowledge that historical evidence has demonstrated that the long-term “winners” are the markets themselves, in that the markets have consistently outperformed the vast majority of professionals attempting to “beat” them. In this regard, we are in agreement that attaining “market performance” is a “winning” strategy.

8. We both acknowledge the immense body of academic research and evidence supporting the agreed upon investment modality. Our beliefs and convictions are based, in large part, upon this. In the pursuit of intellectual honesty, we agree that neither of us will demand of the other any change occur unless new evidence or research can be found that legitimately refutes, within a rigorous academic framework, our previous evidence or research.

What you (the client) can expect from me:

1. I will care for you (and your family) and promise to be deeply and firmly committed to the realization of your financial goals. I acknowledge that a “long-term” relationship shall constitute a lifetime relationship — absent retirement, illness, disability or death.

2. I promise to, effectively, place myself in your shoes and invest your capital as carefully as if it were my own.

3. I promise to always tell you the truth — telling you what you need to hear rather than what you may want to hear. I will not be an enabler! Over the years, there will, no doubt, be various times when you might call into question the methodology that we are utilizing. Knowing full well the underlying basis for the means we are employing, I will not become an enabler or facilitator, to assist you in taking a course I know and believe to be counter-productive or harmful. I shall remain the steadfast coach, friend and provider of objective advice.

4. I promise never to tell you I can do something that I can’t nor will I tell you that I will do something and then not do it.

5. Based upon the above stated beliefs, I will supply whatever professional, moral and spiritual support required — even in the most difficult of economic times — to help you maintain your course towards the attainment of your stated goals. I will do this even if it runs in the face of overwhelming pressure from media, friends, relatives or other entities or even if it is to my own financial detriment.

6. I acknowledge that you may feel the need or desire to “speculate” (gamble) on occasion and as long as this speculation does not have the potential to financially impair your long term goals, I will be agreeable to it. However, I will not be an implementer of any speculative strategy.

7. I promise to take up the burden of worrying for you. It is important that you understand that if you have retained me as your investor coach, and then worry about what it is that we are doing or I am advising, then a problem of trust exists. It is imperative that trust should be the basis of our relationship and “worry” is a symptom of an absence of trust. Should this symptom exist and/or persist, I shouldn’t be managing your investment /
financial affairs.

8. Should I be unable to provide advice or services due to a lack of “competence” in a specific field or area, I will immediately so inform you and refer you to other, competent professionals, should you so desire.

9. I promise to always remember and never forget that you are entrusting both yours and your family’s financial future to me. This is a mission that I will take very, very seriously!

10. I agree to allow you to hold me accountable for all of the foregoing promises and statements.

What I (the advisor) can expect from you:

1. You agree that the term: “long-term” constitutes a time frame, which encompasses an entire lifetime.

2. You give me permission to “coach” and advise you and to accept said coaching and/or advice whenever it is appropriate to your circumstances. More specifically, you agree to allow me to coach you so that you can effectively manage your "emotional" money state.

3. Your understanding that any portfolio — yours specifically — may underperform, relative to others, any particular benchmark and even your own investment policy statement — for periods of time. You agree that these variances are to be expected and are accepted as a natural part of the investment process for a long-term, lifetime plan.

4. You promise to inform me, promptly, of any doubts that you might later have with respect to any aspect of our relationship, including “trust” or philosophical issues.

5. You promise to contact me whenever you have apprehensions or questions relating to your investments or our agreed upon methodology.

6. You will not “divide your loyalties.” This means that so long as we are in philosophical agreement, you will not, at the same time, pursue a parallel investment course utilizing another investment (philosophical) methodology and advisor. Excluded from this are any speculative actions you might take as previously enumerated.

7. You promise to share the knowledge and “success” that you acquire, directly or indirectly, from me, with others who matter to you. This includes your making personal introductions and referrals, to others, for my services. While I should not have to contact you, you give me permission to ask, periodically, for said referrals and introductions and you will provide them to the extent that it is feasible and you are able.

8. You agree to allow me to hold you accountable for the foregoing statements.

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