TRUTH or CONSEQUENCES?
Proper Financial Guidance focuses on your life goals, uses knowledge to enhance results, avoids negative consequences, and is an advocate for your best financial interests.
Over a professional career spanning more than 35 years, I have continuously sought to use my knowledge, skills, and experience to benefit others in a manner consistent with their best interests. This is what Fiscalis’ DNA is all about.
First serving the general public as a paramedic firefighter for a large Southern California all-risk fire rescue agency, and now working as a financial planner and tax professional, I still see my work as a type of the same mission-driven service. Yes, the office environment and the body of knowledge are different, but the quest is essentially the same – being of service, and doing right by others.
Unlike the professional fire service, the financial services industry has few ‘white knights’ you can simply count on to not take advantage. Because of this, I’ve gone to great lengths to create a professional advisory firm which is different from most, and therefore, I believe, worthy of consideration for your trust.
I’ve done this for one very simple reason, clients should never have a reason to question their advisor’s motivations for rendering the advice they are given.
The Firm Itself
FISCALIS ADVISORY is a professional advisory firm focused on creating personalized solutions for your advanced financial planning and money management needs. The Fiscalis method of practice brings together the fields of taxation, investment, and advanced planning; integrating them into a financial life solution driven by your personal goals and objectives.
Whether you’re in need of smart wealth protection, management, or accumulation (decumulation) strategies, building a trusted relationship with a professional who CAN and WILL provide OBJECTIVE GUIDANCE is of utmost importance.
Quite unlike the overwhelming majority of ‘financial advisors’ who owe their first loyalties to the brokers for whom they work, Fiscalis Advisory’s animating principle and primary focus is that of a fiduciary with a primary duty of loyalty to clients.
In addition to acting in a fiduciary capacity, your FISCALIS advisor is a board-certified financial planner, tax advisor, and investment specialist, who works strictly in Fee-Only engagements.
Fee-Only, not to be confused with fee-based (meaning both fees and commissions), means no compensation is received for the sale or recommendation of financial products or services.
The purpose behind this compensation method is to maximize your certainty that all recommendations are made with nothing other than YOUR BEST INTERESTS in mind.
Fiduciary and Fee-Only
Approach to Planning
For your financial plan to be most successful, it must rationally and rigorously connect where you are today with where you want to be tomorrow. Unlike the paper plans of yesterday which are mostly obsolete as soon as the ink is dry, the Fiscalis plan is fully dynamic. This allows you to visualize and test your assumptions as you fully consider your options for moving forward.
To do this most effectively, it is of utmost importance to fully understand your goals and resources. After this is accomplished, it becomes possible to begin considering potential obstacles, followed by rationally constructing your goal achievement, and implementation plan.
Working in this manner, the financial plan becomes both a blueprint for your goal achievement and a rationale for your investment plan. My role as your advocate and guide, is not only to educate you, but to keep you on track and facilitate your progress through smart tax and money management.
I’ll provide course corrections as required, and speed your progress by helping you avoid the pitfalls and mistakes so commonly experienced by those pursuing their financial well-being through trial and error.
After all, the best experience you can benefit from is someone else’s, and a dream without a plan is merely a wish!
According to a search of the Morningstar mutual fund database¹, more than 80% of U.S. investor assets are invested using traditional investment management strategies which typically employ some mix of prospectively oriented market timing and stock selection based methods. This is the case, in spite of empirical evidence revealing the ongoing failure of such strategies to meet, let alone beat, their appropriate benchmarks!
Ongoing, regularly updated, apples to apples, comparative studies conducted by the Standard and Poors, Index vs. Active (SPIVA)² project shows the degree to which Wall Street’s best and brightest managers fail to keep up with their benchmarks.
Based upon the 2018 year end review, an overwhelming 81% of all domestic U.S. Equity Funds were outperformed by their benchmarks over the most recent 3-year period. While these numbers are new for this last year, the trend isn’t. The failure rate for 5-years is 88%, followed by 84% for 10-years, and 88.9% for 15-years.
An astute observer might conclude from these results that over each timeframe, somewhere between 11% and 19% of the fund managers DO beat their benchmarks, and simply go invest their retirement capital there.
Unfortunately, these ‘winners’ don’t tend to persist, suggesting there’s more at play here than outright skill alone.³
In the Fiscalis’ view, the proper conclusion is that traditional investment methods are flawed, and the appropriate action is to find a better way.
This is why the FISCALIS ADVISORY investment philosophy is an evidence-based approach, rooted in Nobel Prize winning research, and based on the following key elements:
Markets Work: Security prices reflect available information.
Diversification Is Key: Diversification reduces uncertainty. Concentrated investments add risk with no additional expected return.
Risk and Return Are Related: Exposure to meaningful risk factors such as market, size, value, and expected profitability in the equity space along with term and credit factors in fixed income are the primary factors that determine expected return.
Portfolio Structure Explains Performance: Allocation exposures between differing asset classes and along the risk factors mentioned above are what primarily determines the results of a broadly diversified portfolio.
Anchored in the rigors of financial science rather than the intuition and prophesy based strategies of Wall Street, an evidence-based investment approach works with the markets to harvest the returns on offer, rather than attempting to outsmart them.
Accordingly, the hallmarks of a lifelong, successful investment experience are to:
Focus on what is controllable.
Minimize and eliminate when possible, uncompensated risk, taxes and fees.
Secure your income stream.
¹ Morningstar database as of 12/31/2018; Index funds total assets vs. All funds totals assets; Funds of Funds are excluded from the Index Funds included
² U.S. SPIVA report for the year end 2018
³ U.S. SPIVA Persistence Scorecard