Our Unique Approach to Investment Management
At First Financial Consulting, we believe we offer a truly unique approach to investment management in Pasadena. We understand that your money is extremely important to you. This is what you’ve saved and built up over the years. Ultimately, this money has to see you through retirement.
This is a double-edged sword because your portfolio must be preserved, but it must also grow. You don’t want to lose money, but you also don’t want to lose ground to inflation. It may not seem obvious, but if you simply end up with the same amount of money as you started retirement with, you will still have lost ground to the inevitable increase in living costs. Keeping pace with inflation must be at the center of every investment management plan, and we recognize that.
We believe our approach to investment management is unique because it is built on three key concepts: Objectivity, predictability, and accountability. We truly believe that any successful portfolio must include all three of these pillars.
The advice and recommendations you receive must be unbiased and free of any conflict of interest. If you want to trust the recommendation of your investment advisor, you need to have absolute confidence that they’re not selling some product for the sake of a commission. You’re looking for advice and guidance, not for a sales pitch. We at First Financial Consulting provide 100% objective investment management. This means we do not sell any stock, bond, mutual fund, annuity, or insurance policy to anyone.
To properly manage a portfolio, we believe you must have a goal. Has your financial advisor honestly discussed what target rate of return they believe they can earn for you over a reasonable period of time? If not, how could you possibly know if you’re making real progress?
Sounds like common sense, right? You’d be surprised at the number of investment management advisors, consultants, or portfolio managers who won’t do that. Most shy away from that discussion. At First Financial Consulting, we embrace it. We want to share exactly what we believe we can earn for you over a reasonable period of time. Relating that to your financial goals is paramount. We want you to have confidence that by targeting a certain return, you can achieve your goals and dreams.
In some ways, this is the most important part. If we lay out certain investment target returns and their associated risk levels, and if we help you choose which one fits your personality and your goals, then we absolutely believe we should be held accountable to achieving that target return over a reasonable period of time. Therefore, we measure the performance of your portfolio against the goal. You will know whether we are achieving the goal, falling short, or surpassing it. That’s true accountability.
It’s very much like a job performance review. We’ve all been through those. We sit down with our supervisor periodically and review our work relative to our goals. If we’re falling short, we have to identify what we’re going to do to get back on track. That’s accountability.
It’s no different in the investment management world. If we are not achieving the target return over a reasonable timeframe, we need to acknowledge that and determine how to get back on track. So, while there are no guarantees, that shouldn’t mean there are no goals. Investing without being accountable to a target is just foolish.
How First Financial Consulting provides all this is also worthy of a few words. You’ll notice that we have not discussed specific stocks, or bonds, or real estate in our discussion about investment management. They are important, and we bring the same objectivity to reviewing and selecting the best specific options for you, but they are all secondary. We need to first develop a concrete investment plan. Then we make the specific recommendations of how to implement that plan. It is at this second level where we get into the specifics of which stocks, bonds, real estate, etc. to use.
As we move forward, we will monitor your portfolio structure and your detailed holdings against the goals we’ve established on a regular basis in order to recommend any necessary changes or adjustments along the way. “Set and forget” is not a good tactical plan; nor is day trading your way to ruin.
A properly constructed portfolio needs to be monitored regularly and changed incrementally only as needed. Markets will go down, and markets will go up – sometimes with huge swings. We stay with you every step of the way to prevent greed and fear from disrupting your plan and your goals.
Fear and Impulse in Investment Management
Numerous studies have shown that most investors fail because they replace planning and reason with fear and greed. They watch the news, read the newspaper or popular magazines, or listen to a friend’s latest hot tip, and they buy or sell the wrong thing at the wrong time.
First Financial Consulting seeks to protect you from making emotional decisions and from the lure of all the marketing hype you hear from people who are selling some investment product. We provide wise, unbiased advice and are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. Objectivity, predictability, and accountability are the necessary ingredients for a sound financial future.