Welcome to Wealthsights!
I think you’ll find I do things a bit differently than most financial advisors. While some claim it's the red hair, I prefer to credit my experience. Not surprisingly, every advisor on the planet promises to help clients reach their financial goals. However, very few actually have the skill set to do so. My professional background is in analysis and strategy, not sales. This makes all the difference in the world with regard to process and achieving long-term results.
Earlier in my career, I worked as an investment analyst for America’s third oldest mutual fund company. If you have a 401k, an IRA, or a traditional brokerage account - you most certainly own mutual funds. But how did you select those funds? How do you discern the good from the bad? I know what happens behind the scenes and what to look for. My clients can rely on my own personal industry experience.
As the founder and President of Wealthsights Financial, I’m also entirely independent. This means my clients’ best interests always come first as part of a fiduciary standard. Big bank and brokerage advisors face all sorts of conflicts in the form of sales quotas, proprietary products, and captive investment lists. Rest assured – my only focus is you.
Finally, Wealthsights offers comprehensive planning solutions that include both traditional investments and insurance. I am both a registered Investment Advisor Representative (IAR) and a licensed insurance agent in the state of California. There are many advantages to having an integrated in-house approach.
Whether you're at the mid-point of your career, retired, or nearly retired - you need a financial plan. I provide clients a path to protect and grow their money for the long term.
Graduated Cum Laude from the University of South Carolina Honors College in 1999
B.S. in Business Administration, Concentration in Finance
Investment Analyst at Pioneer Investments in Boston, MA
Senior Financial Analyst at Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles, CA
Commercial Banking Strategist at Wells Fargo in Los Angeles, CA
Understanding Your Risk Tolerance
How risky is your portfolio? Let’s try a new approach to the “risk” conversation.
“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Services & Fees
Investment advisory services offered through Columbia Advisory Partners, a registered investment advisor. Wealthsights Financial, LLC and Columbia Advisory Partners, LLC are independent of each other.
You’ve heard it before – “It all begins with a plan.” I couldn’t disagree more. At Wealthsights, it all begins with a conversation. My primary mission is to identify and understand a client’s needs and desires – their circumstances and time horizon. The initial meeting is one of discovery.
“Welcome. What brings you here today?” ---- “Well, we’re hoping to retire in five to seven years.”
“Great. How can I help?” ---- “Quite frankly, we’re looking for assurance that we can retire with financial independence.”
Whether it be a retirement plan, an estate plan, or just an irrational desire to keep up with Bill Gates – goals must be defined. Once we have a goal, it’s time to discuss how we get there. Now we need a plan.
The Wealthsights Process:
Allow me to stress the word “analysis.” Since this is the first step of the planning process, it’s also the most important. Here we’ll review your own personal income statement and balance sheet. This includes items like annual income and expenses, savings rate, net worth, and insurance coverage. What about time horizon, Social Security benefits, and future inflation? Whether you know it or not, you have a lot going on, and there are many things for your advisor to consider. In a modern world of problem-solving software and automated sales tools, there’s no substitute for good, old-fashioned number crunching and analytical expertise.
The risk/reward conversation is a very important one. Not only does it help to shape expectations, it also serves to coach investor behavior for you, the client. Many investors react first and allow their thinking to take up the rear. When you see your account go down in value, coupled with media hysteria, the knee-jerk reaction is to sell everything. This may be the worst mistake the average investor ever makes. Since this behavior is typically recurrent, investment losses over one’s lifetime can be significant.
So how do my clients view risk? I can tell you it varies from client to client, just as it should. We all have different tolerances for most things in life. But through conversation and coaching, all of my clients understand that volatility is a common part of investing. Financial markets are constantly in flux. The real challenge is identifying a client’s own personal and unique tolerance for risk. It involves setting expectations via a potential range of positive and negative returns (aka “risk/reward”). To assist with this task and to enhance the discussion, I ask clients to fill out a simple questionnaire, developed to assign them a specific “Risk Number.”
Note: For my entirely risk-averse clients, who wish to eliminate downside completely in exchange for limited upside, there are, indeed, strategies available. I refer to these as “principal protection” strategies.
At this point, I have a clear understanding of a client’s needs, personal finances, perception of risk, and tolerance for volatility. With a goal in mind, it’s time to lay out a roadmap of how we get from here to there. Perhaps the goal is to have sufficient income for retirement, or to provide for loved ones long after you’re gone. Maybe the goal is to start saving for the future and to develop good habits that will lead to financial security and flexibility. More likely than not, you’ll have several goals and we’ll want to prioritize. Once I’ve designed your plan, we’ll meet to review, make any adjustments, and agree on how to proceed.
After an account is opened and any applications are processed, the plan can be implemented. This stage introduces hands-on investment management, detailed protection planning strategies, and the ongoing monitoring of both.
In addition to monthly, quarterly, and annual account statements, as a Wealthsights client, you’ll find I’m always just a phone call (or email) away. I may also reach out to you directly, at times, to discuss large market movements or significant world events that could affect your account. Though most plans are designed to achieve longer-term goals, I urge all clients to schedule periodic meetings to review plan progress and to discuss any life changes that may affect it.
The Wealthsights investment is rooted in Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) for which Harry Markowitz won a Nobel Prize in Economics. MPT is an investment theory that describes ways to diversify and allocate assets within a portfolio (based on an investor’s risk tolerance) in order to maximize the expected return. To the extent that assets are non-correlated, the portfolio will experience investment returns with mitigated risk. One position may zig while another zags or even zogs. To put it more plainly, Markowitz aimed to suggest that portfolio construction isn’t just about selecting individual stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, but rather choosing the right combination of investments.
Once an allocation model is selected (weighing a client’s age, time horizon, circumstance, and risk tolerance), my mission is to select the best funds, fund managers, individual securities, and/or alternative investment strategies in each asset class. There are many factors that go into the selection process, but in general, I am screening for historical track record, management tenure & philosophy, performance vs. benchmark, industry & geographical exposure, and expense ratio.
Client portfolios are diligently monitored, with a disciplined approach to keep investment turnover to a minimum. Not only does this satisfy the Wealthsights philosophy to be long-term minded, but low turnover leads to more tax efficient and cost effective management. Allocation models and portfolio weightings can always be adjusted with discretion, dependent upon prevailing market, economic, and geo-political conditions.
Full disclosure: Without a crystal ball, I’m unable to predict or control financial markets. It will never be a Wealthsights practice to try and time markets or engage in short-term, speculative trading.
I am a fee-based planner. For traditional investments, Wealthsights clients pay an annual fee, billed monthly, as a percentage of their assets under management (AUM). Insurance offerings are commission-based and are not included as AUM.