Many financial planning firms seek clients who want unnecessarily complex services so that they can charge high fees. However, clients of Over Coffee Financial seek simple, straight-forward advice that they can easily understand and follow.
The purpose of financial planning is to help everyday people gain control over their financial lives. Rather than having to fend for oneself by researching, reading, and comprehending the vast array of information out there about investments, insurance, taxes, retirement, real estate, and much more, I offer objective advice to help you reach your goals. Even if you have a good grasp of financial products, services, and markets I offer a dispassionate approach to your finances. This can lead to better decision making than one may make on their own regarding their own finances due to the emotional nature of money.
We offer plain, straight-forward solutions that are effective, low-cost, and easily understood. Because we know that the most successful experiences are based on a series of carefully analyzed, future-focused decisions made throughout one's life.
HOW IT WORKS
Over the years, through much trial and error, I have determined that Comprehensive Financial Planning and Investment Management solutions go together like a hand in a glove. Your hand gets no protection without the glove, and a glove is useless without the hand inside it.
Therefore, these solutions are inseparable.
In the financial planning process, you determine your needs, wants, and wishes. These things require finite resources, specifically money. Part of our analysis is to determine the best risk-adjusted portfolio required to fund as many of your goals as possible. In that determination, we allocate funds to a personally created portfolio designed to reach your required rate of return while also minimizing investment-related risks.
In the past, clients were able to implement their own investment strategy based on portfolio recommendations. I discovered that many clients didn't follow my recommendations and often took on too much risk for their level of tolerance and capacity and became anxious and concerned about their investments whenever their portfolio value fluctuated. On the other hand, there were others who took on too little risk and fell short of their goals. In yet other experiences, I found that clients became too emotionally attached to the investments they personally chose and subsequently refused to relinquish those assets either after high gains or losses. Further still, most who decided to implement their own investment management failed to rebalance their portfolios regularly. Research shows us that routinely rebalancing portfolios to keep an optimal risk-adjusted allocation, benefits client portfolio values. Lastly, the ability to monitor progress and make routine changes within a portfolio is necessary, so making things simple to do so, is important.
Because of the issues above, I have determined that it is most beneficial to retain discretionary authority over client portfolios. While it is perfectly acceptable for someone to want to take the reigns of their own investment management, we decline to work with individuals who do not trust that we are well situated to this task and will always act as a fiduciary when considering a client's portfolio.
COMPREHENSIVE FINANCIAL PLANNIG
Some financial professionals will offer a cookie-cutter financial plan designed to give basic data to their customers in order to sell products and services, then continue to use the plan as a tool at subsequent meetings for the same purposes.
When considering large broker-dealers, it's hit or miss for the local representative to have even had input on the financial plan. In many cases, the broker or investment advisory representative (IAR) will input information and await results from a data entry clerk at the corporate headquarters. How much consideration is truly put into your goals if your plan is relatively identical to hundreds of, or thousands of, other brokerage customers?
Over Coffee Financial accurately and independently considers each client's personal situation to develop a well-thought-out plan, with your input and feedback considered. All financial plans are personal to each client and implementation only occurs after presenting the plan to you and making any updates based on your input. After all, as much information as you share, you still know your situation better than anyone.
It's not unusual for people to have a reactive perspective to their finances. With a well designed financial plan, however, you move from being reactive to events that happen to you financially, to being proactive and taking steps to secure your financial future before something happens or goes wrong.
A comprehensive financial plan helps in many different ways, such as:
Custom-designed structure to clearly define goals, make adjustments, and monitor progress.
Thoroughly evaluate options, see opportunity costs, and project likely outcomes.
Gaining confidence in knowing that a proactive plan of action is in place when negative events occur.
SCIENTIFICALLY-BASED INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT
The science is pretty clear. While some fund managers may have long track records of "beating the market," most have short-term periods of simply getting lucky. Even those with long track records of doing well, when analyzed scientifically show that there is little evidence that they do better than mere random chance.
If we take the example of Bill Miller, long-time fund manager at Legg Mason Capital Management, from the years of 1991 to 2005, this fund was routinely at the top of the list of the best performing mutual funds for the given year. Then, in 2006, for 5 consecutive years, Bill Miller's fund was performing last among all 1,187 large-cap US equity funds. Why is this? There was no big change in his management style or investment philosophy, but the collective marketplace did change. It just so happens that Bill had a long run of good luck followed by a run of bad luck, and in the end, he left Legg Mason on a bad note. The moral of the story being that individuals are no good at predicting the future, so why place your trust in someone who is trying to divine the future based on their incapacity to clearly appreciate this shortcoming?
Over Coffee Financial's Investment Philosophy is radically different from other investment managers - it's science, not prediction.
Understand that no one can predict the future, and even though our portfolios are built around scientific evidence, they still suffer losses and can still lag behind other funds. We never know what the future holds, and while the factors used in the investing process may go out of style tomorrow, they may be back in style the very next day, so rather than chasing the stock-du jour sticking to scientific factors makes the most sense.
One of the reasons most fund managers cannot outperform the market over a long period is because of the efficiency of markets. Billions, or even trillions of actions are being made within the markets each day. Multitudes of people buying and selling each second gives the markets their efficiency. It is the expectation of an in-efficient market that the typical fund manager is trying to profit from. This is the belief that they have information about an investment that no one else has and that they can use this to make money. In reality, however, it is naive to believe that one individual would have information that is not also known by millions of others in the marketplace at the same time. Therefore, prices will accurately reflect available information.
The science shows us that it is quite simple to successfully invest. It all starts with discipline. By creating an investment philosophy that takes into consideration risks, then building a portfolio to manage risks, and then having the discipline to stick with that philosophy through good and bad, is the surest way to successfully invest for the long-term. It's that simple.