Investment Advisory Services
We understand that investment decisions are influenced by many factors, such as a client's current life stage, unique life experiences and their perceptions about investing and taking risk. We work with our clients to develop a complete understanding of these factors, as well as their specific financial goals and their time frame for achieving those goals. Once we have gained this understanding, and before making any investment recommendations, we collaborate with our clients to develop a personalized investment policy. This Investment Policy Statement establishes the parameters and expectations for their investment portfolio, as well as provides guidance for making consistent informed decisions.
Once the investment policy has been established, we work with the client to design a diversified investment portfolio that integrates their unique objectives with their risk profile. Historical market returns show that, over long periods of time, there is a positive relationship between the level of risk taken and the level of return that can be expected. This means that, generally, the higher the level of risk taken, the higher return one can expect. While it may be easy to take higher risk when the markets are doing well, it can become very difficult for investors to do so when markets are down considerably. We work extensively with our clients to find the right mix of investments, allowing them to achieve their long-term goals without keeping them awake at night.
Why is diversification so important? Think of diversification as another way of saying, "don't put all of your eggs in one basket." A diversified portfolio provides the potential to prudently grow the portfolio, while providing income and reducing losses in more difficult market environments. Research has shown that deciding how to allocate among the various asset classes is often more important than the underlying security selection or market-timing. Thus, at SilverOak, we are not "stock-pickers" nor "market-timers". Our approach provides clients with a thoughtful, objective and disciplined strategy for prudently managing and building wealth. Our portfolios consist of a customized mix of multiple asset classes and strategies, including actively managed investments to maximize performance relative to the markets, and passive investments to lower overall portfolio costs. While we are agnostic to both active and passive investments, all of the investments we utilize must be low-cost, transparent and tax efficient. In addition, we only hold high quality liquid investments. We do not invest in hedge funds, private real estate funds, private equity funds, venture capital funds or other illiquid investments.
Long before a potential investment option is considered for inclusion in a client's portfolio, it is put through our rigorous proprietary Investment Quality Scoring System™ (IQSS™) process. We thoroughly analyze the short-term and long-term investment returns of each investment while looking at how it compares against relevant benchmarks and peer groups, as well as whether the return compares favorably to the risk taken. We are in regular communication with the investment management teams in order to better understand their overall investment strategy and evaluate whether their process will likely continue to generate superior returns. Once selected, our investments are continually reviewed to ensure they are meeting our high standards.
After a client's portfolio has been constructed and implemented, we schedule periodic meetings to discuss how their portfolio is performing relative to the markets and their long-term goals. We review how their current portfolio allocation compares to the long-term targets that were established in the Investment Policy Statement and whether any adjustments need to be made. While we are "buy and hold" investors, we rebalance portfolios periodically to adjust for fluctuations in the markets. We believe that doing this will balance the overall long-term risk of the portfolio, thereby helping the client achieve their long-term goals. We also make adjustments to the portfolio as a client grows older, utilizing "glide-paths" to lower risk and keep the portfolio in-line with the client's goals through every stage of life.
Our advisors provide continual investment education and coaching to help reduce behavioral biases that are common among investors and which can significantly impact their ability to reach personal goals. Our firm hosts quarterly webinars in which we highlight the economy, market events, and other timely topics that are relevant to our clients. The investment process should not be a one time "set it and forget it" plan. Rather, it evolves over time and requires ongoing monitoring of the portfolio and the periodic reassessment of changes in goals, constraints and expectations.
Socially Responsible Investing
When working with clients on establishing an investment policy statement, some clients have sought to align their capital with their personal values and goals. Investment strategies focused on socially responsible investing (SRI) have seen increased interest over the past decade with endowments, foundations, institutions and individual investors. Investors’ increased awareness of global climate change, demographics, resource scarcity and generational trends are some of the driving forces that have propelled responsible investing from a niche market into one of the fastest growing investment areas of asset management. Socially responsible investing managers utilize Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria in their investment decision making process to select securities that have a positive societal and environmental impact while generating competitive returns.
At SilverOak, we have developed a framework for constructing ESG-based portfolios for those clients interested in such a strategy. As the responsible investing market evolves, we continue to monitor new research and available strategies. With some of the largest managers of capital in the world focusing resources into growing their responsible investing research and product offerings, the segment continues to evolve, requiring ongoing due diligence. SilverOak has a long history of manager due diligence and investment management. Our analytical process, combined with our industry knowledge, gives our clients access to premier managers with strong teams of experienced investment professionals and proven track records of advancing research and creating positive societal change in the industry.
For more information, click below to view SilverOak's whitepaper on Socially Responsible Investing.
More Services: > Comprehensive Financial Planning
Interested in learning more about SilverOak?