What led you to become a financial planner?
The various disciplines in this industry are often confusing. Often financial planners, insurance brokers, stock brokers, and money managers are lumped together as many cannot distinguish one from another. About 30 years ago, I started off with a desire to manage money, and not to sell products, I have never drifted far from that specialty. To me, managing individual investments is far more interesting than financial planning, and it is refreshing to offer clients the ability to work directly with an investment manager rather than serve as a costly conduit.
Please describe your most common engagement / service provided? And the type of client or client situation you target?
Stellar Capital Management is most commonly engaged to manage investment portfolios consisting primarily of stocks and bonds in developed markets, or manage the investment menu for company sponsored 401k retirement programs. As for the type of situations that hold the most interest for the firm, we are most interested in working with ethical individuals and businesses that want a professional team to manage an investment portfolio, and appreciate the ability to work directly with a portfolio manager.
What are your areas of specialty?
We have become well known for our applied economic analysis as it pertains to economic and industry growth prospects and interest rate forecasts, which have direct application to asset-allocation, bond, and equity management.
What are the key areas of interest for investing at present times?
With the year-end run-up in 2013, capping a dominating period for US stock market performance, one could argue that it (the S&P 500) has approached full valuation based on current earnings expectations, and foreign markets, specifically Europe and some developing markets seem to offer better valuations. If one believes that Europe is turning, current economic forecasts likely understate the economic growth rates that many countries will report for 2014. If that is the case, current earnings forecasts may also understate what will be reported by many companies based in Europe as well.
What are the trends in the near future that you think should serve as opportunities for investment?
Going forward, some of the more significant trends we see are: Continuing governmental support on a worldwide basis to accelerate and balance economic growth, and while currently battling the possibility of deflation, once economic growth turns more broadly positive, the battle may turn to the reality of a skilled worker shortages and managing potential inflation.
What is your approach on financial planning?
The approach we follow for financial planning is that we typically refer financial planning out to those that engage in that practice.