I have a good understanding of the investment markets myself, so why should I consider using a money manager?

There is a big difference between understanding the investment markets and dedicating the time and effort required to research securities, and effectively manage a portfolio of individual securities. Some of our largest clients definitely have the ability to manage their own portfolios, but have chosen to invest their time and efforts elsewhere, trusting our firm to handle the details.

How is Stellar different from a bank or brokerage firm?

The difference is striking. Unlike most banks and brokerage firms, we do not require custody of your funds nor do we sell any products. Stellar serves in a fiduciary capacity, which means we have a legal obligation to act in your best interests even when they are in conflict with our own. Our sole business is successfully managing your investment portfolio in the most cost effective way.

In addition, Stellar does not have a revolving door where our contact people and managers are continually changing. We have a long term and dedicated staff and strive for consistency in everything that we do.

Will my current financial situation allow me to achieve my goals?

That is one of the first questions that should be asked, and the answer can be complicated. To help us determine whether we can meet a clients objectives in the long-term, we use a proprietary program to run a type of “acid test” to determine whether the size and type of funds we are expected to manage, combined with your preferred risk tolerance, expected cash flows, and the realities of the economy and markets are sufficient to meet your objectives over longer-periods of time.

We think it is instructive to work through these variables before we get started to better understand what will and what will not work out.  Granted, for those with longer time horizons, many things change over the course of 10-20 years (or longer), but discarding unworkable strategies early on, is much more preferable than waking up to an insurmountable surprise late in the game when many things cannot be changed.  For those with shorter time horizons and specific lifestyle needs, there are less alternative courses of action, because either enough money has been put aside or it has not.  For those situations we typically recommended annual check-ups to make sure we stay on the right path with regard to income, growth and spending.

Due to the very personal nature of the information exchanged, and the customization required to run these estimates, we would ask only those that are seriously considering a relationship with our firm complete this form (with hotlink) and 602-778-0307 to set an appointment to discuss this process with one of our investment professionals either in person, on the telephone, or via an internet based video call.

How will I know that my investment securities are safe and secure, so I don't fall victim to a Bernie Madoff type situation?

We operate in an environment where custody and investment management are segregated. This is called bifurcation. It defines responsibilities and creates transparency that makes your investment accounts easier to follow, monitor, and manage. In our opinion, it creates a system of checks and balances that greatly reduces the risk of fraud. In addition, not being captive to a custodian's internal trading desk permits the investment manager to have greater access to investments, which can increase investment choices and reduce transaction costs.

How do you manage risk in the portfolios?

Managing risk is an essential component to managing client portfolios.  Great care is taken to properly match the management of your assets to your individual desires and the realities of the investment markets. We spend a good amount of time at the onset of a relationship understanding your specific situation and craft a portfolio to meet those needs. We are in regular communication with you as we make portfolio adjustments, and have entry, as well as exit plans for the investments in the portfolios we manage.

Am I going to get a flood of transaction confirmations for odd lots of securities every month?

No. Your portfolio is custom managed and not subjected to the strict model management in many heavily marketed programs which typically spit out multiple small transactions. As an investor, one needs to resist the temptation of confusing activity with achievement. We aim to make meaningful transactions that manage both tax liability and/or trading costs.

What sources of information do you use when you analyze investment decisions?

We use a variety of sources ranging from direct access to economic data, market data, and company data, to opinions rendered by top Wall Street firms and other global investment research firms.  We feel it is important to compare our internal analysis of raw data with the opinions of other respected analysts at key outside firms. Access to the right data and analysis is the key to having the ability to make the right decisions.

How do I engage your firm?

The paperwork is very easy: we have an investment agreement that spells out both of our responsibilities, and a corresponding investor profile that becomes a starting point for our understanding what is important to you as our client. Technically, with those two forms we can begin managing your portfolio. Click here to download our investment profile.

We would like to spend as much time with you to best understand your situation before we get started. Whether that time is in person, on the phone, or via an internet based video conference.

If you choose to keep your investment assets with your current custodian, they will probably have a form for you to sign authorizes them to follow our direction with regard to investment activity. If you choose to use one of our institutional relationships to custody your investment assets, we will prepare signature-ready forms for the chosen custodian to initiate the transfer process, and we will monitor that transfer through completion.

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Portfolios are prudently managed by integrating your specific investment objectives with the prevailing opportunities and risks presented in the investment markets. In our opinion, the resulting portfolios reflect the best method of achieving your investment objectives.