Wealth Planning

Our extensive background and experience in working with wealthy families for over three decades helps us in crafting and managing custom plans. Initially, we practice active listening. We analyze your current situation and listen intently to your overall vision with great sensitivity. We then give you a detailed outline of your current financial realities, while suggesting strategies to address potential problems and point out untapped opportunities. The mutually agreed upon course of action is comprehensive, integrated, dynamic and a complete reflection of your individual circumstances. It is a financial expression of your personal vision and will incorporate a customized strategy to each of the four pillars of wealth planning: enhancing wealth, protecting wealth, transferring wealth and donating wealth.

Life is full of changes, which is why our wealth plans are dynamic. Once your wealth plan is implemented, you should begin to enjoy an increased level of clarity and control. Your Wellspring Wealth advisor will assist with keeping your wealth plan current through scheduled reviews to monitor performance. This helps ensure that your plan is designed to work towards your goals as you and your family navigate and grow through life’s changes.

Investment Advisory Services

Disciplined and dedicated to excellence, Wellspring Wealth’s advisors combine years of experience, fresh viewpoints, and a shared learning to create custom strategies for you and your family. Our team fully coordinates the investment advisory process in conjunction with your overall wealth plan. Our team implements your wealth strategies within the context of your wealth philosophy.

Our wealth management strategies are customized for each of our clients. We are committed to truly personal service, and we back up that commitment by providing customized strategies for your investment needs.

Wellspring Wealth’s Core Tenets

  • It is not about managing investments, it is about achieving goals
  • Managing risk is more important than chasing returns
  • Our goal is to make the investment allocation as conservative as our client can afford to be
  • Clients and advisors can not control the economy or the markets, but they can have a well crafted plan that they remain steadfastly committed to, regardless of whether it is a peak or valley in the cycle
  • Design, construct and manage a globally diversified portfolio, the kind that have historically been shown to help reduce risk, and offer the potential to enhance return
  • Everything matters, so monitor it and make adjustments as necessary

Asset Allocation

Wellspring Wealth creates portfolios using defined asset class components, which attempt to achieve market returns in those asset classes.  Wellspring Wealth engineers structured market portfolios based on the semi-strong form of the “Efficient Market Theory” (EMT) of Eugene Fama of the University of Chicago. This form of EFT implies that a stock’s current share price reflects all public information. Neither fundamental nor technical analysis produces consistently superior investment gains.

Harry Markowitz won the 1990 Nobel Prize in Economics for his theory on how risk-averse investors can construct portfolios in order to optimize market risk against expected returns. His research showed that by combining low correlated assets in a portfolio, the portfolio’s return increased while its risk or volatility decreased. Also called “Modern Portfolio Theory” (MPT) it was pioneered by Markowitz in his paper “Portfolio Selection,” published in 1952 by the Journal of Finance

Furthermore, a study by Brinson, Hood, and Beebower (1986, 1990) found that asset allocation determined 94% of the variability of a portfolio’s return and that security selection and market timing determined very little of a portfolio’s positive return.  Wellspring Wealth assesses the correlation between asset classes and evaluates the impact of these correlations on a portfolio. We then match a specific allocation and its risk/return characteristics to the investment objectives of our clients.

* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.


With WealthVision, we bring your financial life together. The WealthVision platform integrates all aspects of your financial plan and wealth management. It supports our advisory process by providing a powerful engine capable of generating comprehensive financial planning analytics, calculating cash flow projections and modeling “what-if” scenarios. WealthVision is designed to consolidate all of your accounts, assets, and information into one secure personal financial homepage, making your personal financial life easier. Powerful analysis capabilities allow WealthVision to track changes in your assets and changes in your life, against your overall asset allocation. For our clients, WealthVision delivers an easy to use system to track and manage your balance sheet, investments and documents in one convenient and highly secure location.

The Dimensions of Investing

We believe that free markets work.  That assets generally reflect correct prices and you cannot reliably find undervalued securities or overvalued markets.

Active Management includes both security selection and market timing.  Security selection is the attempt to select mispriced securities within an asset class.  The active manager believes they are mispriced so he/she can buy the security at a low price when it is undervalued and sell it at a high price when it is overvalued.  This assumes that the market, the consensus of all investors, has failed to price the security at its true value and that the active manager can predict the future consensus of investors that they themselves cannot yet see.

Market timing is the attempt to determine when an entire market is under or overvalued.  The active manager attempts to shift assets from overvalued markets to undervalued markets at a profit to investors.  This assumes that the active manager can predict the direction of entire markets.  We do not dispute that if market timing were possible you could achieve tremendous gains.  However, market timing’s premise is on overvalued/undervalued markets or asset classes and requires an ability to predict interest rates, government action, consumer sentiment, and the other ambiguous drivers of market fluctuation.  In effect, market timing requires an ability to predict the future.

We believe that market timing in any form, even subtle shifts in asset allocation based on predictions of market movements, is futile and is not a sound strategy for investing its clients’ assets.  Studies show that in most recent years, less than half of money managers perform better than their asset class index.  The “out-performers” are different money managers each year and over longer periods, there are a decreasing number of index “out-performers”.  The number of managers who beat the indices is about what you would expect statistically, by chance.

Finally, active management often causes excessive trading which results in higher expense ratios, brokerage commissions, taxable gains, and bid/asked spread costs.  The costs of active management would require excess returns above market returns.  The evidence, however, is that active management does not improve market returns and costs the client dearly.

Passive Index Strategies do not attempt to predict the future and instead buy all securities of the market or of a certain index.  Thus, passive management does not use security selection or market timing to outperform the market.  It instead selects all securities in the index it is attempting to duplicate.  Most passive index strategies trade strictly according to the index but do not focus on trading costs.  Passive index strategies also do not select specific dimensions of the market that academic studies and modern portfolio theory have proven can add value to a portfolio.

Structured Market Portfolios, use precise asset classes, which capture the returns of unique dimensions of the market.  By combining asset classes with offsetting correlations, clients’ portfolios gain diversification as described in Markowitz’ Nobel Prize-winning theory.  In creating Structured Market Portfolios, we use asset class strategies, which, like passive index strategies, do not attempt to predict the future.  In contrast to index strategies, these asset class strategies are not necessarily attempting to duplicate an index, but to capture empirically proven dimensions of the market that provide unique returns to investors.  For example, we specifically target asset classes such as international small high book to market stocks, U.S. 9th and 10th size deciles stocks, or five-year maturity U.S. Government bonds.  Unlike passive index strategies, the asset class strategies in our Structured Market Portfolios focus closely on trading costs and do not place trades strictly to adhere to targets but to take into account both the assets needed and the trading costs associated with acquiring them.  Structured Market Portfolios provide investors with efficient portfolios, because they focus on both the return and correlation of specific asset classes while keeping trading costs to a minimum.