The Hamlin Fine Group has over 90 years of combined experience in helping to manage the financial affairs of prosperous families. Our team is experienced in addressing the sophisticated complexities that often accompany great accomplishments. By taking a holistic approach, we deliver comprehensive wealth management strategies that add value across the entirety of your balance sheet. An emphasis on the many aspects of your financial life enables us to serve as your advocate and help secure a legacy for generations to come.
We will also serve as a dedicated liaison and contact to the local, regional and global capabilities of J.P. Morgan, one of the world's oldest, largest and best-known financial institutions. With more than 200 years of serving high-net-worth individuals and families, J.P. Morgan is seen by clients as a source of strength, stability and comfort.
Many of the individuals and families who come to us are seeking a second opinion on their current wealth management strategies. Their concerns are typically driven by a suspicion of underperformance, lack of communication, lack of transparency in their investment strategies, high costs and/or lack of thoroughness in regard to the handling all their financial affairs. We approach each new engagement with a time-tested, collaborative process. Our first meeting will be a discovery meeting, and we will focus on gaining a clear, in-depth understanding of your current portfolio as well as your future goals. After that meeting, our team will go to work. We will conduct and prepare a comprehensive analysis of your current situation. You will then be invited back for a second meeting, where you will receive an in-depth report, which will include a financial plan and a complete investment analysis. Importantly we will illustrate any gaps that are looming in your current planning.
We truly want this to be a helpful, no-obligation second opinion. We therefore welcome you to share our findings with any of your current advisors. In the event that you would like to have our team assist you with filling these gaps, we would welcome you to continue through our full client experience.
A Focus on What Matters Most
One of the key differentiators of The Hamlin Fine Group versus other options available in the financial advisory world is just how we define and deliver "Wealth Management." The Hamlin Fine Group defines wealth management as: Investment Strategy + Financial Plan + Advanced Plan + Relationship Management.
Investment Strategy—Leveraging the vast resources of J.P. Morgan to deliver a clear, concise, efficient investment portfolio that is based on high-quality blue chip stocks and a laddered portfolio of high-quality municipal or corporate bonds (see Investment Philosophy). The Investment Strategy would include: a portfolio performance analysis, a risk evaluation, a design of an appropriate asset allocation, a fee analysis, an impact of tax analysis and an Investment Policy Statement.
Financial Plan—A comprehensive blueprint for establishing and tracking progress toward important financial goals. A fluid document used in our reviews to help our clients make more informed decisions. It would include: retirement funding and cash flow analysis, college funding analysis, quality of life goals progress (e.g., vacation home, boat, plane, etc.), and debt financing cost analysis.
Advanced Plan—This is broken into four parts. Tax Planning: Using strategies to maximize tax efficiency of current assets and cash flow while achieving both growth and preservation goals. Estate Planning: Using strategies to legally structure the future disposition of current and protected assets effectively. Insurance Planning: Employing legally acceptable concepts to potentially protect and enhance an estate (e.g., life, property casualty, auto, umbrella, etc.). This review process is outsourced to our insurance referral network. Charitable Giving: Using strategies to maximize the effectiveness of your charitable intent.
Relationship Management—The establishment of a regular recurring review schedule that is implemented on your electronic calendar to provide for consistent and methodical communication, and review of your wealth management strategy.
Our Commitment To Our Clients
- Managing risk is the most important thing we do; generating competitive returns is second.
- We will help bring order to our clients' financial lives and always act in their best interests.
- We will strive to continuously improve our performance, process and people.
- We will tirelessly work to seek out and identify the best possible sources of information, data and research for our clients' portfolios.
- As portfolio managers, we will demonstrate a strong sense of fiduciary obligation to our clients.
- We will provide a high level of personalized service and attention to our clients, their families and their trusted advisors.
- We will maintain the highest level of integrity, and earn the trust of our clients each and every day.
In our team's opinion, there are two primary problems with today's investment advice.
- Overdiversification: We believe too many investors are encouraged to own hedge funds, commodities, managed futures, outsized percentages of overseas equities, annuities, etc., in the name of diversification.
As you examine the 10-year track records of varying asset classes (see chart below), one will observe a significant underperformance of these alternative asset classes relative to large-cap stocks. It is our belief that these additional asset classes serve to handicap a portfolio rather than to benefit a portfolio. Additionally, many of these products come with heavy fees, which may in part explain their underperformance. If you are currently overdiversified and have been disappointed by returns in hedge funds, commodities, annuities, managed futures and the like, this probably strikes a chord with you and your past performance in the markets.
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2. Overmanipulation of the Portfolio: In our opinion, investment results are just as dependent on investor behavior as on fund performance. DALBAR, an independent source in the financial community for evaluating investor performance, has examined data that supports this hypothesis in an analysis of investor returns that spans 30 years.
As you can see by the chart below, the average investor has experienced an annualized rate of return of 3.98% over the last 30 years versus 10.16% for the S&P 500. We believe this analysis competently suggests that investors need to own equities much the way real estate is typically owned, for the long term. It is our opinion that one should own high-quality companies through the cycles and not succumb to emotional decisions during times of turbulence. DALBAR cites the number-one reason for underperformance is "Loss Aversion" (fear of loss leads to a withdrawal of capital at the worst possible time, a.k.a. panic selling). One of the most important roles we play with our clients is to be the steady hand and voice of reason during volatile times.
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We manage flexible, taxable and tax-aware portfolios that combine active, passive and hybrid strategies to create durable, efficient, diversified and cost-conscious portfolios.
Equities: Our investment philosophy for equities is clear, concise and efficient. We leverage the vast resources of J.P. Morgan to select large, quality, blue chip companies with attractive growth fundamentals. J.P. Morgan Research has been ranked #1 by Institutional Investor 10 out of the last 11 years9. We would argue that superior research increases the potential for superior returns. For equity portfolios, we typically allocate 80% of the portfolio to 50 large, quality, blue chip companies, with the remaining 20% allocated to mid, small, international and emerging market equities. Our philosophy for equities is driven by our desire to own "quality" investments. Our team focuses on selecting companies with identifiable and sustainable competitive advantages that consistently generate free cash flow, trade at rational valuations, and have strong management teams and improving fundamentals that drive long-term shareholder value.
Bonds: Our investment philosophy for bonds is again clear, concise and efficient. We use the vast resources of J.P. Morgan to select a ladder of either high-quality municipal or corporate bonds with individual maturities rather than bond funds. A bond ladder is a portfolio of individual bonds that mature on different dates. This strategy is designed to provide cash flow while minimizing exposure to interest rate fluctuations. The advantages are:
- Diversification of assets
- Better control over exposure to interest rate risk
- Predictability and certainty to your cash flow
- Principal is reinvested from shorter-term bonds with lower yields into longer-term bonds with higher yields
High-quality bonds tend to protect investors during times of market stress, providing a diversification and hedge benefit with little to no correlation to stocks. Additionally, bonds offer a hedge to investors against making poor, emotionally charged decisions that adversely affect long-term returns, as exhibited in the DALBAR analysis.
We understand that investors may not have the emotional fortitude to have their entire portfolios in the equity market. It is unproductive, in our view, to implement an overly aggressive portfolio strategy if it's going to be difficult and challenging for an investor to stay the course. Bonds are an excellent tool for providing stability in the event of a market sell-off.