Investment Process

Illustrated below are the steps we take to help you reach your goals. This five step process has a proven track record in delivering consistent, reasonable returns over complete market cycles.


Step 1: Analyze global macroeconomic data to develop 3-5 year outlook.

Taking our cues from the leading global economic and social thinkers, as well as fundamental data, we synthesize a broad array of information into our 3-5 year outlook. Using both quantitative data like current valuation levels and qualitative data like demographic and regulatory trends, we develop an annual comprehensive outlook for the global markets.


Step 2: Allocate portfolios across six main asset classes.

You’ve heard it said the most important decision is: location, location, location. Asset class location, that is. Taking into consideration our 3-5 year outlook, we then allocate each portfolio across six main asset classes: U.S. stocks, U.S. Bonds, International Stocks, International Bonds, Cash, and Alternatives. This allocation decision is based on the overarching objectives of each particular investor.

Investment Process Chart


Step 3: Structure portfolios across 12-13 investment styles and 35-40 asset strategies.

Structure is to a portfolio what an airplane is to a pilot: without a clearly defined and disciplined way of creating a sound portfolio, the weak structure is likely to lead to a crash. Institutional research has shown that within each asset class there are 2-3 distinct investment styles, and within each investment style there are anywhere from 3-8 very specific asset strategies. Furthermore, the research indicates these styles and strategies come in and out of favor during the various stages of the market cycle. Most mutual funds cover only one investment style, and many often drift from one asset strategy to another. Here at Plan Financial we maintain strategic exposure to all investment styles and asset strategies, over-weighting and under-weighting each depending on our economic outlook.


Step 4: Implement utilizing 35-40 institutional money managers.

Each money manager is hired to maintain a very distinct asset strategy, enabling them to hone their ability to predict favorable and unfavorable market conditions. In addition, because these strategies come in and out of favor over complete market cycles, this type of monitoring is uniquely able to discourage chasing returns – a factor that can cause significant damage to a portfolio’s success.


Step 5: Provide ongoing portfolio management.

We provide ongoing portfolio management in three ways. First, we rebalance portfolios quarterly to “lock-in” gains and buy new shares at low prices. Second, we continue to evaluate money managers against relevant benchmarks and ensure they do not deviate from their specific, pre-determined strategies. Third, we update our economic outlook at least annually, making adjustments to changes in the overall economic environment.


Get Started

Your road to retirement or other important goals requires an investment process that will get you to your destination. By systematically following this proven investment process, Plan Financial can help you get there. If you agree with our disciplined process and you would like to learn more about how our investment philosophy can help you accomplish your goals, we welcome you to discover the Plan Financial difference.