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Investment Management Development & Planning

We want to get to know you personally. By scheduling an appointment with us we will strive to learn about your life and your unique history, not just your financial assets. Understanding who you are serves an essential role in how we develop solutions that focus on your distinct investment and financial needs.

By knowing your background, your areas of interest, your income and liquidity needs and other unique tax and risk considerations, we put you first.

Aspen creates and maintains an investment policy statement for each client, which serves as the foundation for a comprehensive and disciplined investment management process.

Client Background

Investment Objectives

Risk Tolerance

Income Needs

Liquidity Requirements

Investment Experience

Time Horizon

Tax Considerations

Asset Allocation Targets

Return Expectations

Aspen Investment Management Development & Planning

Client background:

The first step we take towards establishing your unique investment management strategy is getting to know you thoroughly. Knowing your background, where you come from, what your goals are, and what you value are the most important components in developing a financial plan and investment portfolio that is tailored to you specifically.

Investment Objectives:

Once we have developed a more comprehensive understanding of our client and their goals, then we can develop investment objectives. The investment objectives will usually depend on what walk of life our client is currently in. A younger client who is still in the accumulation phase of their lives may be more compelled to position their portfolio in a growth strategy, and a client who is
now in the distribution phase of their life may be inclined to position their portfolio in a manner that prioritizes income and capital preservation.

Risk Tolerance:

The client’s risk tolerance will ultimately drive the investment decisions. Some clients tend to be risk seeking, while others tend to be risk averse. A client who is risk seeking and understands the inherent market risk that investing in the stock market presents may be interested in having their investment portfolio positioned heavily into equities. A client who is risk averse, and is not as
comfortable with the fluctuations in the stock market, may be interested in having their portfolio include fixed income securities, along with other asset classes for further diversification. Understanding a clients risk tolerance is one of the most important factors we consider when developing an investment portfolio, as we want to make sure that the client is comfortable with how they are invested.

Income Needs:

Some investors, generally those in the distribution/retirement phase of their financial journey, need consistent income generated from their investments to help fund their everyday lifestyle. If a client has income needs, we can structure the portfolio so that those needs are met or supplemented. This is generally achieved through investing in fixed income securities that pay interest
over the life of the bond and by investing in equities that pay dividends during the year.

Liquidity Requirements:

Liquidity means how quickly an investment can be turned into cash. At Aspen, we only invest in liquid securities that are traded on the bond and stock markets. We don’t invest in any privately held securities that require you to “lock-up” your money over a certain period of time. Everything we own can be bought or sold as long as the stock or bond market is open, and the proceeds
will generally be available within 1-2 business days. We especially focus on liquidity with clients who have consistent income needs.

Investment Experience:

Some clients have been investing their money on their own for their whole lives, while others have just passively invested in their employer’s retirement plans. Some have experienced multiple market cycles while others are new to the markets. No matter what end of the spectrum you are on, we make sure to explain every step of our process, and our goal is to set up an investment
portfolio and financial plan that helps you sleep at night and takes the burden of worrying about your investments off your shoulders. Our team has decades of investment experience including managing billions in institutional assets. Our main priority is to set up an investment portfolio that is suited for your specific needs so that you can spend your valuable time focusing on your career, your family, or whatever else you prioritize.

Time Horizon:

Understanding a clients’ investment time horizon is crucial for making the decisions on asset allocation and portfolio composition. If a client is 30 years old, they still have ~35 years till retirement. But what a lot of people don’t take into consideration is the fact that their investment time horizon continues past retirement and goes all the way until they die. Investors with longer time
horizons may have a different perspective on their ability to take on more risk than those closer to retirement because they have more time to recover from a market drawdown. Older clients, who are near or in retirement or have a shorter time horizon, may be inclined to position their portfolio’s more defensively to help prevent their investment portfolio from decreasing by too much in a drawdown.

Tax Considerations:

Understanding a client’s tax situation also comes into play with portfolio implementation and financial planning. We work alongside your CPA to understand your tax situation, and actively manage the gains and losses in your portfolio in order to minimize your capital gains taxes if possible. We also work to maximize the most tax efficient way for charitable giving through the use of DAF accounts (donor-advised-fund), if a client so chooses to do so.

Asset Allocation Targets:

The most important decision in the investment management process that historically has had the most impact on returns is the asset allocation. The asset allocation is the end result of digging into a client’s time horizon, liquidity needs, income needs, risk tolerance, etc. The asset allocations we generally use for clients are equity (100% equities/0% fixed income), growth (70%
equities/30% fixed income), balanced (50% equities/50% fixed income), conservative (30% equities/70% fixed income), and fixed income (0% equities/100% fixed income).

Return Expectations:

Return expectations are generally correlated with the amount of risk you are willing to take on over long-term market cycles. Typically, lower risk results in lower long-term returns with less volatility, and higher risk typically results in higher long-term returns with more volatility. We look to understand what your goals are, and how much annualized return you would need to achieve
those goals.

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