Principle 1 – Integrity
Provide professional services with integrity. Integrity demands candor which must not be subordinated to personal gain and advantage. A wealth manager is trusted by clients, and the ultimate source of that trust is the manager's personal integrity. One sign of integrity is a manager investing personal funds in the same manner as clients.
Principle 2 – Objectivity
Provide professional services objectively. Objectivity requires impartiality. Regardless of the particular service rendered or the capacity in which a manager functions, I protect the integrity of the work, maintain objectivity and avoid subordination of objective judgment. One policy to implement objectivity, which I learned forty years ago from John Hothkiss, is to always employ an independent custodian for money under management.
Principle 3 – Competence
Maintain the knowledge and skill necessary to provide professional services competently. Competence means attaining and maintaining an adequate level of knowledge and skill, and application of that knowledge and skill in providing services to clients. Competence also includes the wisdom to recognize the limitations of that knowledge and when consultation with other professionals is appropriate or referral to other professionals necessary. I have a continuing commitment to learning and professional improvement. In the past decade I have learned computer programming to create proprietary risk management algorithms, become a recognized expert on the emotional aspects of investment management after studying for three years with Ed Seykota, and continue to maintain relationships with other experts in the field of wealth management.
Principle 4 – Fairness
Be fair and reasonable in all professional relationships. Disclose conflicts of interest. Fairness requires impartiality, intellectual honesty and disclosure of material conflicts of interest. It involves a subordination of one's own feelings, prejudices and desires so as to achieve a confluence of interests. Fairness is treating others in the same fashion that you would want to be treated. One implementation of this principle is low fees for management, and employing deep-discount brokers with lowest margin interest rates.
Principle 5 – Confidentiality
Protect the confidentiality of all client information. Confidentiality means ensuring that information is accessible only to those authorized to have access. A relationship of trust and confidence with the client can only be built upon the understanding that the client's information will remain confidential. Client accounts are protected by extensive security measures to such an extent that they have never been compromised.
Principle 6 – Professionalism
Act in a manner that demonstrates exemplary professional conduct. Professionalism requires behaving with dignity and courtesy to clients, fellow professionals, and others in business-related activities. We cooperate with fellow managers to enhance and maintain the profession's public image and improve the quality of services. To share accumulated time-tested knowledge with others, I am currently writing a monograph on my method which saved client accounts from the 2008 stock market disaster.
Principle 7 – Diligence
Provide professional services diligently. Diligence is the provision of services in a reasonably prompt and thorough manner, including the proper planning for, and supervision of, the rendering of professional services. I monitor the markets and cleints' positions each day assessing risk and measuring profit.
Principle 8 - Community
While maintaining a world-view, and with protocols in place to invest in any prudent opportunity worldwide, when feasible, I choose community investment over multinational investment.
Principle 9 - Planet
Practically speaking, this means we invest in companies which promote peace, not war, companies which affirm life, not kill it. For thirty-five years I have committed to the principle of non-violence, including refraining from involvement in companies that harm living creatures, which according to some experts, and as this chart suggests, is the single most effective change one can make in one's life to save the planet.
Princple 10 - Charity
Giving back resources makes for a balanced business. I served as a Budget and Finance Commissioner for the City of Davis, and am involved in ongoing charitable activities.
Princple 11 - Independence
An independent family business, the firm is run by the proprietor, who is as concerned as our clients to see investments succeed. Because we are not subject to public shareholder pressure, because we do not rely on external funding, nor have the constraints of operating in a large group with its inherent conflicts of interest, we are free to choose our strategic direction and free to make the best choices for our clients' investments. Our goals are aligned with our clients in trust, the cornerstone of any relationship.
Principle 12 - Communication
Open communication is the basis of trust. I've always believed that if someone is managing one's money, they should be available 24/7. Clients have a private number to reach me on weekends or any time day or night.