How would you describe your typical client and their needs?

Our Vision statement says:

We are an independent investment boutique providing advice that is appreciated and trusted by experienced investors in the Pacific Northwest.

Reviews of our relationships reveal that;

  1. Most clients either live in the Pacific Northwest or have ties here. We serve clients in various locations throughout the US such as Vermont, New Jersey, Phoenix and Palm Springs to name a few.
  2. We are trusted and capable enough to be the primary or sole advisor for the vast majority of our clients.
  3. We have two major groups clients
    1. The larger group either already utilizes their portfolios to support their lifestyles or are close to that phase.
    2. The smaller group is in various phases of the accumulation process where “retirement” is 5-20 years down the road.
  4. The age profile of those utilizing their portfolios to support their lifestyle tends to be over 55. We tend to attract the “experienced” investor and not to work with the “35 year old retiree.”

Our client’s needs often include:

  1. A high level of trust, collaboration and service.
  2. A strategy and comfort level that they will not run out of money.
  3. A desire to minimize taxes.
  4. The planning for legacy issues.

We typically serve clients who have $2 to $10 million of investable assets and a total net worth from $3 to $15 million.  We are willing to establish relationships with those who have less investable assets if we can create value and all parties are committed to growing the relationship.  We often work with multiple generations of the same family.

I am concerned about running out of money.  How can we address this?

We believe the best approach is to have a realistic assessment of your current financial condition, a handle on your living expenses and then create a sustainable strategy.

Future expected returns may not provide a cushion for poor planning and execution.  Therefore, it is imperative to establish both realistic expectations and a sound strategy from the beginning.

The “How We Work” tab above discusses how we work with you to develop this strategy.

I do not like paying more taxes than I have to.  How can we address this?

We are sensitive to the fact that taxes are often the single largest expense in maintaining your lifestyle.  Therefore, we are thoughtful when it comes to the ways we can minimize your tax burden.

We collaborate with you, your Certified Public Accountant, Trustee and business partners as needed.

We plan with you and your other advisors regarding asset sales, IRA distributions, gifting, etc.  Simple steps can help minimize your tax liability.

We are careful about correctly holding your assets.  If you have both retirement and taxable accounts, where a particular investment or asset class is held has a material tax difference.  The tax ramifications are very different between family partnerships, trusts and retirement plans.

I currently get my advice from a big bank/brokerage.   How are you different?

Our high service model is different because our typical relationship is much larger than what is typical at a bank or brokerage firm.  Our desire for long term, in depth relationships allows us to have different incentives and focus than most firms.

Mike, Rich and David take the lead in working with you to manage and coordinate your financial affairs.  They have over 25 years of business experience and complementary skill sets.  We are geared solely to meet the significant needs of our clients that a typical bank or brokerage client simply doesn’t need.

We believe our client focus and this comprehensive, high touch, long term approach is different from other choices you have.

I have significant real estate holdings.  Can you help me here?

Yes.  Mike has an extensive real estate background.  Many portfolios include real estate investments made by, or coordinate by, Mike.

Mike can apply his experience and knowledge to your holdings.  The work could be done on a project or hourly basis.  The type of work could include;

  1. Analyzing an offer you have for a current holding,
  2. Helping you work through financing or refinancing options,
  3. Working with you to get a property ready to be put on the market soon or in the medium term,
  4. Calculating your current ROI, opportunity cost, etc., to determine if a current holding is worth retaining.

Throughout the process the focus is on maximizing the value of your real estate holding while building a lasting relationship.

What type of returns can I expect in the future?

Future returns are likely to be modest with many portfolios returning 6% to 7% in an environment where inflation is 2.5%.  We wrote a monthly newsletter on this topic in March 2012.  To read it, Click Here.

This has significant implications for planning and execution purposes.  No longer can one expect to retire, spend and experience a material real return increase in the value of their portfolio.  More likely, whatever lifestyle you can afford when you stop working for money, is the lifestyle you should become accustomed to.  Improving upon the initial staring point in a low return environment is either not realistic or would require more risk than most can absorb.

Your thinking should be that future returns can help you maintain a lifestyle, but will not allow you to make up for poor planning or irresponsible spending.

One final point is that staring points make a huge difference.  Some retire at the end of a multi-year bull markets.  Past returns were above trend.  However, they extrapolate those returns into the future when the most likely case is for lower future returns simply because of the past bull market.

Can you help me with my taxes and estate planning?

No and Yes.  We are not accountants, financial planners or attorneys.  However, we have deep backgrounds in these areas and we do know and work with professionals in these areas who we trust.

We can collaborate and coordinate any process with these professionals.  We do this at least on a yearly basis with many accountants.  We can do this on an ad hoc or regular basis with your attorney.

Our goal, as with other services we provide clients, is to provide you, the client, with a comprehensive approach to your unique situation and a collaborative process is how we can help you get great advice in areas that are outside our core competencies.

Do you offer insurance products?

We do not offer insurance products.  However, as with taxes and estate planning issues, we do know insurance professionals who can help you.

We avoid the conflicts of interest that are common with insurance products due to their often high commission compensation.

Where do you custody assets and how safe are they?

Private Asset does not take custody of your exchange traded securities such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds. We custody these assets at Charles Schwab. You can always “get at” these assets. The third party custodian provides you with statements so you can verify account balances and activity.

We do custody a limited amount of assets due to Michael Thayer’s affiliation with PAM Real Estate Group, PAM Real Estate Group II LLC and single purpose real estate LLC’s.

How do you charge for your services?

The objective of our pricing structure is to be fair and to create value.

Most clients are charged on a percentage of asset bases.  This varies by asset size and type of asset.  We strongly urge clients to utilize us for more than asset management so they do not view the fee or relationship as only an asset management fee or relationship.

Some portfolios are charged a fixed fee.  A percentage of assets fee is implied.  These accounts usually have liquidity, tax or other constraints that limit the account’s strategy and, therefore, the potential to add value for the client.  Again, our objective is to be fair.

Hourly work is done when appropriate.  This usually entails work on client assets not under our direct supervision like personal real estate holdings.

We are happy to discuss our alternatives with you.

Call for an appointment now and experience the difference.

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