We are fee-ONLY. Not fee-sometimes. Not fee-mostly. Fee-ONLY and ALWAYS. This means we ONLY receive income from our clients. We don’t accept sales commissions, referral fees, loads, 12b-1s, or lavish sales award trips to the Bahamas. Our fees are simple and transparent. This means that clients can rest easy knowing that our investment decisions aren’t being influenced by the size of our commission check. We just think that’s the right way to provide advice.
Our firm has provided investment advice since 1988. It’s safe to say we’ve been around the block a few times. We’ve seen good times and bad. This perspective grounds our decisions when markets get cranky, and when they are overly optimistic.
While each client has someone responsible for their care, all our investment decisions are made by our Investment Committee. No gunslingers. No rogue traders. Just a prudent, disciplined committee of experienced professionals that meets weekly, giving each client the benefit of our best thinking, research, and friendly debate.
This means our clients fully delegate the role of managing their assets to us. With their permission, we obtain authorization to take the investing reins in their accounts, making changes to the portfolio as the various investments, markets, or economies warrant. Of course, we always stay anchored to the agreed upon level of risk that we and the client decide on together and document in a written Investment Policy Statement.
We take diversification to another level. We accept that the vast majority of return comes from the asset classes represented in the portfolio and diligently manage our clients’ exposure, primarily through broadly diversified open-ended mutual funds and exchange traded funds. We even go beyond stocks and bonds into assets classes such as Real Estate Investment Trusts, Commodities, and if it’s appropriate and a client meets the regulatory qualifications, in to private investment funds.
We know that the surest way to lose money when investing is to overpay for management. Our investment screening and selection process places a significant emphasis on keeping costs low so our clients keep more of what they earn.
We discuss and gain understanding around the key areas that affect a client’s investment plan, such as their objective for growth and income, the need for liquidity, their tolerance for risk, expected contributions or withdrawals to the portfolio, their tax situation, and whether they wish to prohibit investment in any specific companies or industries for ethical or other value-based reasons.
We integrate these factors in to an Investment Policy Statement, which we use as a guide in the implementation and ongoing management of the portfolio. This document is a mutual agreement between WWP and the client, and most importantly anchors us to a targeted allocation between growth-oriented asset classes, such as stocks and more conservative asset classes, such as bonds and cash.
If needed, we establish discount brokerage accounts (Trust, IRAs, 529, etc.) at reputable and trustworthy independent custodians, upon which we will have the authority to receive information, place trades, and provide service. We will facilitate the transfer of assets to those accounts as needed.
We then build the portfolio using a combination of carefully screened open-end mutual funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and, if appropriate and with the client's specific consent, non-publicly traded private investments.
We do not actively "trade" the investments though we do periodically rebalance the portfolio and occasionally make adjustments when our ongoing assessment of economic and market conditions dictates. We make ourselves available to clients as often as needed and proactively reach out at least annually to ensure the client’s objectives are still consistent with their investment policy.
Clients receive monthly statements and online access from the custodian holding their accounts. Additionally we provide the option to view a daily consolidated report of the portfolio via our secure client portal. We also send clients a quarterly report illustrating their asset allocation, detailing their portfolio performance relative to appropriate benchmarks, and providing commentary about global economic and market activity.