Broker Check

A Word From Our Founder, Lew Baker

Take Charge of Things We Can Control.  Plan for Things We Cannot.

In the past 25 years, I have seen three tremendous opportunities to build wealth in public markets. But I have also seen two periods that wiped away years of savings amassed by investors, when the markets declined by more than 50% from peak to trough.  From those times, what I have humbly learned is that a lot of an individual’s financial prosperity, especially when it comes to retirement, largely depends on luck. Some retire and see their wealth grow tremendously even while withdrawing income. Others who retire in poor market environments live on restricted budgets and end up with little to pass on to heirs. I suspect that over the next 25 years, we will see similar patterns in the markets. 

My experiences have led me to the philosophy which guides the firm to this day, “Take charge of things we can control, and plan for things we cannot.” We can control how much we earn, how much we save, how much we spend (and on what), and how we manage our taxes.  We cannot control how long we live, unexplained illnesses/injuries, or markets. 

My early years were grounded in an investment-only approach which is still prevalent among many advisers in the industry, especially at larger firms and online brokers. Compensation to these firms and advisers is still largely based on the size of a client’s portfolio, which can be irrespective of the quality of financial advice given by the adviser. An investment account is not a financial plan.  I find it surprising That the  bursting of the "tech bubble  in 1999, the subsequent market slide through 2002, and the great recession of 2008-2009, has not caused more “financial advisers” to place an emphasis on quality advice and planning for these events versus trying to “beat the market”. 

Our planning process dives deep into Who? What? and When?; so that we can deliver on the How.  Our guidance is never encapsulated in a single investment portfolio recommendation..  We provide comprehensive planning that addresses long-term goals, tax efficiency, and contingencies for the unexpected. 

We welcome the opportunity to show you the advantage of a detailed planning process versus what many are pre-disposed to in a "portfolio management only" based approach.