How We’re Different

Portfolio Management First

Today, many financial advisors use an approach based on a methodology, which in our opinion, doesn’t line up properly with their client’s needs.

Clients will typically sit down with an advisor who has prepared a financial plan for them. Within this plan are projections on how the client can reach their financial goals.

For example, a client may wish to know what they need to do to reach their retirement goals. Within their plan will be listed how much to save between now and retirement, and what type of return on their investment portfolio they will need.

This is where we feel the problem lies.

Financial advisors will usually create a static “pie-chart” portfolio, based on a methodology that looks backward in time. The client is then told to just “hang on” during falling markets.

Periods like 2000-2020 have caused many individuals to re-evaluate their financial goals. Mostly due to the difference between the expected return of their financial plan vs the actual returns of their portfolio.

A lot of investors have built their financial plans around an assumed rate of return (typically 8-10%).

However, during this 20 year period, the S&P 500 index had an annualized rate of return of just 4.57%. This is why so many individuals are feeling unprepared for retirement.

We feel that there is a better approach.

The S&P 500 index’s annualized rate of return between 2000-2020 was 4.57% – much less than many investors were hoping for. (click to enlarge image)

We use tools, like Relative Rotation Graphs, to help us visualize the market to see which areas are getting stronger and which areas are getting weaker. (click to enlarge image)

Active Portfolio Management

We take the approach that the cornerstone of a successful financial plan is not the plan itself, but the investment return.

We don’t believe in buy and hold strategies, instead, we focus on building portfolios for our clients that can be on “offense” when markets are rising and on “defense” when markets are falling.

Through our ARTAIS (Absolute Returns Through Adaptive Investment Strategies) investment methodology, we manage our clients’ portfolios using an unemotional, quantitative system to help alert us to changing market conditions.

This allows us to focus on areas that are outperforming the market relatively during a rising market, with a goal of preserving wealth during market downturns.

Our ARTAIS methodology uses numerous technical tools to help us gauge market strength and direction. Using these tools we are able to construct risk-managed portfolios to help our clients feel more comfortable with their portfolios and financial goals.

How We Work With You

Our new client process focuses on your goals, concerns, and unique financial situation.  We will work with you to put together a plan that meets your goals and implement an investment strategy that manages financial risk, so you can sleep at night and not worry about the state of the stock market or the economy.

Our New Client Onboarding follows a 5 step process:

1) Discovery

A “get to know you” call/meeting/virtual to learn about your goals, concerns, and unique financial situation.

If we aren’t the right fit, we will work to guide you toward resources that are better suited to your financial needs.

2) Analysis

Your Financial Assessment will be guided by your answers to our questions, along with the documents you provide.

We will apply our expertise and understanding of your financial goals to analyze your situation and determine the optimal portfolio blend for you.

3) Solutions

In this meeting, we present your Financial Assessment. You’ll see in dollars and cents how our firm will improve your finances. We’ll also leave plenty of time for you to ask any questions on your mind.

If you are happy with the information we have provided and are ready to start working together, we discuss the next steps to formalize our relationship. If you still aren’t sure, we encourage you to take some time to think things over.

4) Think About It

We are interested in forming long-term client relationships. To that end, we want you to feel completely comfortable with your decision to partner with us, so it’s important that you take as much time as needed to make a decision. Consider the following:

  • Do I like/trust/respect the team at Riverbend?
  • Do I understand and agree with their investment philosophy?
  • Do their recommendations make sense to me?

5) Get Started

If you decide that Riverbend is right for your investment goals, we will provide an Advisory Agreement for your review and request additional personal information to get started.

During this meeting, we will answer any lingering questions you may have, engage in a deeper goal-setting exercise, review what you can expect from us as your advisor, and outline the logistical next steps of working together.

A multi-step process allows us to align your investment strategy with your financial plan. (click to enlarge image)

ACTIVE MANAGEMENT

“We believe that an investment strategy should be able to adapt to changing market cycles.”

-John Rothe, CMT