Behind the Scenes
Written on February 01, 2017
CRISTINE MARIK CFA, CFP®

Behind the Scenes


Throughout the year, you periodically receive a brief letter or email from us letting you know that we have reviewed your portfolio and perhaps made some adjustments.  While our letter to you is short and specific, the process generating that letter is quite extensive.  Below is a sample of factors we take into consideration in reviewing your portfolio:

  • Where are you relative to your overall target blend? Is the difference meaningful enough to merit an adjustment?
  • Are your holdings within each asset class in line with our Investment Committee’s targets?
  • What are your upcoming cash needs over the next 6 to 7 months? Do you need monthly income? Do you need to satisfy your required minimum IRA distribution?  Where does it make sense to pull cash from to fund your needs?
  • Have there been contributions that need to be invested? For large lump sum contributions, should the funds be invested immediately or over time depending on market trends, stock valuations, etc.?
  • Have there been changes to investments on our buy list? If an asset is owned in a taxable account, do the potential tax consequences of selling outweigh substituting a replacement asset?
  • What is your personal tax situation? Are you in a higher tax bracket? Or are you in a lower tax bracket where income and capital gains may not be taxed (or taxed at a lower rate)?  Do you have a capital loss carry forward available?
  • When deciding on purchasing an investment, how tax efficient or inefficient might it be? What is the preferred “asset location” for a given investment vehicle (e.g., a tax deferred account vs. a taxable account)? Do we have the flexibility based on your unique portfolio / account structure to implement an asset location strategy?
  • Have recent short-term market movements created unrealized capital losses in a taxable account? Does it make sense to “harvest” these losses to capture potential tax savings and offset future gains?
  • Are any mutual funds anticipating making capital gain distributions in the near future? Do we need to avoid purchasing a fund until after a distribution is made? Does it make sense to consider selling a fund to avoid a distribution?

There is both “art” and “science” involved in reviewing your portfolio and determining when (or whether) to make adjustments.  Our knowledge of your unique goals, tax situation, investment preferences, etc. make this a personalized process.


All information is believed to be from reliable sources however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.  All economic and performance information is historical and not indicative of future results. Any market indices mentioned are unmanaged and cannot be invested in directly.  Additional information, including management fees and expenses, is provided on our Form ADV Part 2. All investments involve risk and past performance is not a guarantee of future results.