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What Gets You into Trouble...

Dear Family, Friends, and Clients:

I would like to take a moment to explain our foundation. While the tower at the top is pretty to look at, the principles on which we are built carry all the weight. It is under the watch of these enduring sentinels that we help you convert dreams into goals, and goals into action. Our Principles set boundaries to contain our Processes, which in turn guide us in combining your thoughts and numbers into a plan of action. Your personalized plan of action is designed to maximize your ability to define and reach your goals.

Our Investment Philosophy is comprised of a set of principles intended to help you attain success over your lifetime. While we measure progress on an annual basis, we can only measure success in “the aspect of eternity”[1]. Our Principles are convictions that we believe to be objectively true and are not influenced by market fads. They are not mathematical in nature because they do not depend on interest rates, economic growth rates, P/E ratios or other market metrics often cited in news media. Our processes, on the other hand, are flexible and are constructed based on our Principles. The following Seven Principles guide us through every political, economic, and market climate:

  1. Carefully contrasting investment versus speculation, and avoiding the latter.
  2. Always trying to invest with a Margin of Safety.
  3. Defining risk as permanent loss of capital.
  4. Carefully managing liquidity.
  5. Always thinking long-term.
  6. Careful use of diversification.
  7. Careful consideration of costs.

(links will be updated as new articles are added)

Over the coming months I will expand on each of these to share our thoughts on why these concepts are paramount to long-term financial success; even when they may sometimes appear out-of-step with the financial herd. Benjamin Graham once said "You’re neither right nor wrong because other people agree with you. You’re right because your facts are right and your reasoning is right—and that’s the only thing that makes you right. And if your facts and reasoning are right, you don’t have to worry about anybody else.”

Coupling Graham’s logical individualism with Mark Twain’s call for intellectual humility is a delicate balancing act; and one that we believe sets us apart. We strive to have faith and conviction in those things proven to be true over long periods of time, while remaining grounded in the reality that our main purpose is making sound decisions in the face of uncertainty. Our commitment to you is to always search for the truth, and to never be blinded by hubris.

In closing, I want to thank our entire team for the hard work that has gone into this transition. We have faced uncertainty together, risen to the challenge, expanded and improved our capacity, and discovered new leaders, all in an effort to help you improve your chances of achieving financial success.

Warm Regards,

W. Allen Wallace
Director of Wealth Management


[1] “Sub specie aeternitatis” Baruch Spinoza