Successful retirement planning is an ongoing process. It begins with identifying the income needed in retirement and projecting the level of assets that is needed to generate this income. Projections are revisited periodically, and plans are adjusted for changing circumstances. In planning for retirement, we have the expertise to guide our clients in deciding on health care coverage, evaluating long-term care insurance, analyzing pension options, including IRA distributions and Roth IRA conversions, electing the appropriate social security options and addressing all of the many other issues that one must consider before retiring and during retirement.
We carefully manage our clients’ investments so that they have what they need for a satisfying retirement. Although immediate annuities are sometimes appropriate, we do not restrict our client’s flexibility by selling them annuities or other insurance products. Safe returns can be provided without tying up funds in insurance products that have opaque fee structures and surrender charges that restrict clients' access to their own funds. Our firm has extensive experience in structuring investments to provide the income needed in retirement.
Working closely with our clients, we design an investment portfolio that will provide the income needed in retirement. Every retirement portfolio is unique and is tailored specifically to the needs of the individual client. It typically includes a significant amount of fixed income, equity mutual funds and other investments that provide the best expected return for an appropriate level of risk. Diversification among investment categories is the key to lowering the volatility retirees need to avoid.
Although allocation among investment categories determines much of a portfolio’s return and certainly its volatility, we do not passively follow an investment allocation. We believe that active management can add value in changing market environments. We continuously monitor the financial markets and adjust our clients’ investments within the parameters of their allocations. The financial crisis of the past couple of years has reinforced our belief that we must be able to react quickly to changing market conditions.
For fixed income, we purchase very good quality individual bonds, mortgage backed securities and notes so that we can manage the returns and maturities of the fixed income for our clients. Fixed income mutual funds are normally considered safe investments, but in a rising interest rate environment they can have poor returns. We have a network of reliable fixed-income traders who give us the best prices for quality fixed income. Since we take no fees on the purchase of bonds and notes, the savings is passed on to our clients in the form of higher returns.
Foreign bonds and high yield bonds are a great way to increase the income generated by a portfolio. They do however have equity-like risk characteristics. We therefore buy shares of institutional mutual funds in order to avoid the risk associated with buying individual foreign or high yield (“junk”) bonds and to gain diversification in holdings
Institutional mutual funds are low cost, high minimum investment mutual funds that are not available to individual investors. They have much lower expense ratios and do not have the fees associated with the mutual funds brokers sell. Our proprietary mutual fund selection analysis goes far beyond simply looking at published ratings and simple returns. Risk, performance in down markets and the value added by fund managers are just a few of the criteria we evaluate when deciding whether a fund is appropriate for our clients’ portfolios. As fee only advisors and fiduciaries, our sole concern is providing the best investments for our clients.