"Performance comes, performance goes.  Fees never falter." - Warren Buffett[1]

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett

While many clients gripe about attorney fees, attorneys should themselves be focused on reducing asset management fees.  This blog post begins a series examining the negative effects of high fees and how fee reduction should be a cornerstone of financial planning. Most Ultra High Net Worth (“UHNW”) investors pay

their advisor(s) an asset management fee between 75 and 100 basis points, in addition to the underlying expense ratios of the investment vehicles used, such as separate accounts, mutual funds, and exchange-traded products.  For an investor with $10 million in assets under management (“AUM”), these fees typically total to 1.25 to…

Manhattan is a high tech version of an old mill town.

financial planning

Photo:  The Bannerman Arsenal on the Hudson River from urbanghostsmedia.com

This post is the first in a series discussing financial planning for attorneys and innovative approaches to risk management, asset protection, estate planning, and investments. De-Risking Balance Sheets Private wealth management should encompass de-risking the client’s entire balance sheet.  In my experience, most advisors give cursory attention to the balance sheet

and instead focus on the financial assets. This is a serious mistake. My approach begins with an overview of what I call total wealth and includes the client’s entire balance sheet as well as their future cash flows.  This philosophy reveals hidden risks that would not otherwise be apparent.…

Multiple brokers, investment advisors, and product vendors, all hostile to each other and fighting a land war for the client's assets.

Map of former Yugoslavia.

Map of former Yugoslavia.

Many of our clients have what I call the "typical Balkanized attorney portfolio" that makes it difficult to manage.  Frequently, they use multiple brokers and investment managers, in addition to having direct investments in hedge, venture, and private equity funds. This results in a monthly deluge of statements and confirms

that can easily aggregate to hundreds of pages. Balkanized Investment Management Most people are aware of the term "Balkanization", which means to break up into smaller parts. In the political context, where a country disintegrates into smaller factions, Balkanization is malignant because the groups are hostile to one another, which…

Many firms talk about making impact investments. Bantam is an impact investment.

purposeful capitalism

Four states for the relationship between investment management and society. CFA Institute

In April 2017, the CFA Institute published a white paper entitled "Future State of the Investment Profession" that examines what they call purposeful capitalism. What is Purposeful Capitalism? In the paper, the writers examine four potential directions for the industry (P.5): Fintech Disruption:  New technologies promote new business models; disruption

and creative destruction are endemic; challengers do better than incumbents; major disruptions to the world of work; Parallel Worlds: Different segments - by geography, generation and social group - engage in society differently; a higher baseline for financial services participation with wider dispersion; product preferences for personalization, simplicity and speed;…

We've just taken fiduciary advice to the next level.

We are pleased to announce the official launch of Bantam Inc. a registered investment advisory firm and benefit corporation with an initial niche of fiduciary services for attorneys. Bantam is bringing a new level of fiduciary guidance to our clients for all aspects of their finances and investments.  Our clients

benefit from our flexible consulting arrangements, where we serve as their outsourced chief investment officer and help them manage their finances. Importantly, clients can work with us on a consulting basis without having to move their assets.  This model allows us to address the specific needs of our clients quickly,…