For over 20 years, Valued Aligned Partners (“VAP”) has worked in our client’s best interests by thinking and acting independently rather than blindly following outdated Wall Street practices. Our personalized approach, our total commitment to serving our clients, our independence from big Wall Street firms, and our investing experience make us unique. We know that shares of great companies are not part of the answer, they are the only answer if you want an income that outlives you.
After 16 years as a hedge fund trader and a corporate finance consultant, David, with his dad Bill, a mutual fund executive at Dreyfus, started VAP in 2002 to offer advice to his family and friends whose lives and finances were turned upside down by the Dot.com market crash in 2000 and the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
A Financial Concierge: Accountants, Attorneys, and Other Professionals
In a sense, we serve as a client’s financial concierge where they can direct all financial questions. If we don’t know the answer and/or need to bring in other experts, we will carefully coordinate and collaborate with other professionals such as accountants, attorneys, insurance agents, bankers, etc.
This means we have an obligation to always act in our client’s best interests. You might say that our interests are as aligned with our client’s interests as possible. Serving as a fiduciary is unfortunately not yet common in our industry. Most brokers and salespeople call themselves “Financial Advisors” or “Planners or Consultants” but much of their fee comes from commissions and kickbacks from other money managers where they are paid to sell products like mutual funds, ETFs, annuities, and other insurance products. That creates a conflict of interest and misalignment of incentives because their standard is “suitability” not necessarily the best investment for you (but it could be the best investment for them.)
The first thing we work to determine is what you're trying to accomplish, how much time you've got in which to accomplish it, and what resources you bring to the effort to achieve your goals. Then, together we develop a plan for reaching your goals. Then, and only then, we design a portfolio of stocks of great companies which, at long-term historical rates of return, will get you where you need to go. We’re essentially financial planners first, and portfolio managers only in the sense that our shares of great companies are the funding media for the plans.
Separately managed accounts (SMAs) have traditionally been a tool for the wealthy. Unfortunately, they’ve traditionally been out of the reach of most other investors. But with the incredible advances in technology, we can now offer them to all our clients.
SMAs avoid tax pitfalls by giving the investors the benefits of professional money management, with all the tax efficiencies associated with an individual cost basis for each stock.
Unlike mutual funds, hedge funds, or Exchange Traded Funds (“ETFs”), we craft individual portfolios for each client. This means that:
You won’t be forced to invest in unsafe stocks just because other clients hold them. We’ll invest your account only into stocks that still have a significant safety margin.
Your unique circumstances and wishes will be accommodated. Some of our clients ask to avoid tobacco or defense stocks. Others want to take capital gains or losses for tax reasons. We make those adjustments happen.
You’ll own your cost basis, so you won’t have to pay taxes on gains enjoyed by previous investors (as often happens in mutual funds).