Our Strategic Investment Approach

Securities Brokerage Services

Strategic Investment Approach

Serve First is the characteristic that best defines our approach to both the investment advice and service we seek to provide our clients.  The Serve First philosophy and investment approach is drawn from many years of training and experience in working with clients in an effort to help them achieve their financial objectives.  It’s a philosophy introduced to the financial planning profession nearly 80 years ago by Stuart Smith, a planning professional working in Pittsburgh.

Mr. Smith spent most of his professional career refining this methodology.  At its core, the Serve First approach requires an advisor to gather data on a client’s financial situation as a means of understanding his/her financial needs (even if these needs are not currently perceived by the client), define the needs in terms of objectives, research the various methods of achieving the objectives, make appropriate recommendations based upon prudent analysis, and then implement those recommendations.  With respect to the work we do for each client, putting their objectives ahead of all other concerns is our single focus.

While the Serve First approach may be best understood in terms of the service we seek to provide, it is also at the core of the investment approach we take with every client.  We recognize that investing in the world’s financial markets is risky business.  Focusing on the client’s needs with every recommendation means that our sole concern is whether or not the product or planning recommendation serves the client’s financial objectives.  This methodology also demands a prudent approach to investment selection.

It is simply not possible to eliminate risk from any investment strategy.  There are many forms of risk.  For example, there is market risk.  Market risk is the risk that a particular investment may lose market value.  There is also, interest rate or earnings risk. This is the risk associated with committing monies to one investment at a given rate of return for a period of time and thereby not having those monies available to invest in a future investment offering higher returns.  Another form of risk is default risk, the risk associated with a company or entity we invest with going bankrupt or defaulting.  There are several other forms of risk as well.

Our approach is to construct portfolios and make investment recommendations based upon how well products serve the client’s financial objectives, how well they fit the client’s risk tolerance and how well they meet the standards of prudent portfolio diversification and proven performance methods over time.  For this last test we adhere to a disciplined structure of product research, knowledge of individual investments and market performance, and the use of non-correlated asset mixes to reduce price volatility and help enhance returns.  This approach enables the portfolio risk factors to be as conservative or as aggressive as the client’s risk tolerance and investment objectives may require but nonetheless remain tempered by prudent judgment and objective analysis.