- Getting to Know You
- Beating Inflation
- Financial Planning Process
- Investment Portfolio Management Process
Getting to Know You
At A&O, we don’t believe in cookie-cutter approaches to investing. We take the time to get to know you and understand your investing philosophy and goals. This starts with our initial meeting to determine:
- What are your retirement goals?
- What is your investing risk tolerance?
- Do we work well together?
- Are you open to learning about basic investing principles?
- Are you willing to trust our investing philosophy and approach?
Once we understand your goals and investing timeframe, we recommend an investment strategy and portfolio customized to your needs.
Our primary investment goal is to achieve a rate of return equal to or above inflation so when you retire your money has the same buying power as today. Based on this goal, our investing process employs the following principles:
- Embrace market pricing
- Don’t try to outguess the market
- Don’t chase past performance
- Let markets work for you
- Understand what drives returns
- Practice smart diversification
- Don’t try to time the market
- Avoid reactive investing
Our investing strategies are designed to stay the course, except when circumstances indicate a change in portfolio is needed. We avoid reacting to short-term ups and downs of the market while helping you stay focused on your long-term goals.
Financial Planning Process
Making smart investments for your retirement starts with knowing where you are in life and where you want to go. Yet, we find that many individual investors don’t take the time to get clear about these key elements, which can lead to misguided decisions and inappropriate investment instruments for your particular needs.
To help you make the right investment decisions, we offer a six-step financial planning process:
- Establish and define our relationship with you. This takes place in the initial meeting described above. The most important part is getting to know each other and making sure we understand your goals.
- Gather your data. Here we get into the details of your current financial status. How much do you earn? How much can you afford to set aside for investment?
- Analyze and evaluate your status. At this step, we explain the need for a certain amount of risk in any investment portfolio, and determine your level of risk tolerance, or investing “comfort zone.” Your tolerance level, along with other factors, will determine the type of investment products we recommend.
- Develop and present recommendations. Once we understand where you are and where you want to go, we recommend investment options to help achieve your retirement goals.
- Implement recommendations. When we are in agreement on the investment tools and strategies, we move your funds into the investment products that best support your plan.
- Monitor performance. We pay close attention to the performance of your investment vis-à-vis your goals and make adjustments when necessary.
Investment Portfolio Management Process
If you already have clear retirement goals and objectives, we offer a four-step process for assembling the right investment portfolio for your needs.
- Identify investment goals. Since you have already completed this step, our role is to review and analyze it, identify strengths and weaknesses, and make recommendations for improvement.
- Determine asset allocation to suit your objectives and constraints. Here we identify the investment products that align with your strategy and time frame. For example, planning to retire in five or 10 years would require different strategies and products than if you still had 30 to 40 years of work ahead of you.
- Portfolio construction. This involves putting together a balanced portfolio that minimizes risk while optimizing returns.
- Monitor and adjust portfolio to reflect long-term objectives. Life changes, and so can your retirement goals. We continually track the performance of your portfolio to ensure it remains in alignment with your goals. If not, we make adjustments as necessary.
This requires a disciplined approach that involves investing for the long-term and the patience to ride out the inevitable ups and downs of the market. It also requires trust in our investment approach and in our commitment to doing what’s best for you. If you hope to get rich in a few years, you should seek out a different type of investment advisor. If you want to engage in disciplined investing to achieve your financial goals, we’ll be happy to help you get there.