Why We Innovate – Autumn 2013
In mid-September, Financial Plan Inc. received the Best Practices Award for being a “top innovator” from Investment News; a fairly major publication in the finance world. They identified their winners based on a series of surveys and interviews and awarded the top 6 advisory firms from around the country.
As part of accepting this award, I was given the opportunity to travel to Chicago to participate in a best practices panel and workshop, educating other top advisors on what we are doing that is working and why. Throughout these interviews, I kept coming back to you, the client.
Our decisions at Financial Plan are driven by the vision of doing whatever we can to help our clients succeed. How sad that this is considered “innovative” in the world of financial planners. While many firms use the blunt tool of financial software to generate quick, one-size-fits-all financial plans, we have instead opted to merge the best aspects of a variety of technologies to develop a completely unique financial planning method. This method delivers real, customized advice specific to the needs and goals of each client.
We have been working hard over these past few years to ensure that our clients are getting the absolute best this industry has to offer and it was an honor to be recognized for it. But in the end, it all comes back to you. YOU are the reason we innovate.
NOBEL PRIZE IN ECONOMIC SCIENCE AWARDED TO DFA’S
We just learned on October 14th that University of Chicago professor Eugene Fama, who advises the fund family Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) has won the Nobel prize in economic science. This prize was awarded to both Fama and Lars Peter Hansen “for their empirical analysis of asset prices.” This research helps to explain how and why the prices of stocks and bonds change over time. Fama’s work demonstrated how new information is very quickly incorporated into the market, making it difficult to predict short-term changes in asset prices. Fama’s early work on efficient markets gave rise to the index funds many investors participate in today.
Dimensional (DFA) is one of our primary investment partners at Financial Plan, Inc. Our advisors have closely followed Fama’s work, and have had the opportunity to converse with him regarding how the securities markets work, and how best to build portfolios.
There are many different opinions regarding the best investing methods. It is assuring to see our methods validated in this way. Of course the ultimate validation is the excellent results in the DFA funds, with all of the DFA equity funds in our accounts outperforming their benchmark indices over long time frames.
DFA funds are not available to brokers or to individual investors with less than $20 million and they are extremely selective with whom they do business. In fact, we are the ONLY Bellingham firm with the coveted DFA relationship. Our relationship with DFA brings world-class fund management to our clients. You are on a winning team at Financial Plan, and we are happy to have been a part of your success.