Feb 10

A Look at the Future

by Anthony Farella

As we venture into 2010 and beyond, I would like to share some information about our firm, Rockbridge Investment Management.  We have a clear vision for why we exist as a firm.  While our vision guides what we do on a daily basis, it is important to know where we stand today and set goals that will ensure continued success.

Our Vision
Rockbridge Investment Management is a group of like-minded professionals working with a select group of clients with whom we can have a significant impact.  Everything we do is focused on building and preserving wealth for our clients.  We help remove complexity so clients can focus on the simple but often difficult process of successful investing.

Where We Are Today
As of December 31, 2009, we manage $194 million in client assets.  To put that in perspective, Rockbridge is the 4th largest of the 30 local registered investment advisory firms (in terms of assets managed).  The chart below breaks down our client base in terms of relationships, asset size and revenue.

# of Clients % of Total Assets % of Total Revenue
Institutional 6 47% 20%
Individual/Family 142 32% 48%
Retirement Plans 68 21% 32%

Rockbridge is jointly owned by its principals Craig Buckhout and Tony Farella.  There are four additional employees focusing on different areas of the business. Mary Habib is responsible for client services and also serves as Chief Compliance Officer.  Julie Murfitt heads up our administrative areas including trading, portfolio software management and is our excellent newsletter designer.  Patrick Rohe is responsible for managing client portfolios for both individuals and small business retirement plans.  He is also starting his pursuit of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation.  Lastly, Dick Schlote has joined the firm to help design and implement our new wealth management initiatives.

Goals for 2010 and Beyond

  1. Portfolio review meetings – Our goal is to have a direct conversation or meeting (at least) annually with our clients to review and update their investment plan.
  1. Adding wealth management services – While portfolio management remains the focus of the firm, we do realize that risk management, tax planning and estate planning are important dimensions of financial planning.  We plan to address these important client issues by building a network of referable professionals with expertise in areas outside portfolio management.
  2. Client appreciation/education events – We are anticipating hosting events periodically throughout the year that will cover topics relevant to many of our clients.  Dick Schlote will head up our design team and you should be hearing about our first event soon, to be held in Spring 2010.
  3. Rockbridge awareness campaign – While most new clients come by way of referral, we are aware that our name is not well known outside our existing relationships.  We are looking for cost-effective ways to bring awareness of our firm to the community and our natural social and professional networks.  We have capacity to grow and are eager to do so.
  4. Communication enhancements – We’ve hired a firm to update our website.  Newer technologies will provide us with ways to interact with our clients more often.  The content of our website will be expanded to allow our clients and the public to examine our investment management philosophy.  We’ve also invested in upgrades to our email technology, allowing us to interact with clients more quickly by disseminating important information instantly when appropriate.
  5. Compliance – Coming legislation will demand more attention to various legal compliance issues.  Mary Habib will be heading our compliance efforts in the coming year.  Rest assured, as a fiduciary, we are most concerned about our clients’ money and will work with appropriate agencies to ensure compliance with any future legislative changes.
  6. Reporting upgrades – We are continually looking at ways to improve the value of the reporting we do for our clients.  Recent software enhancements will allow us to improve our current reporting formats.  Look for some changes in the spring or summer of this year.

As a group, we are very excited about the coming year and beyond.   We are passionate about our investment philosophy and derive much satisfaction from helping our clients move confidently toward achievement of their financial goals.  Our vision and goals will be the foundation of success for each of us and our clients.  Happy New Year!

About the Author

Tony Farella, is a Certified Financial Planner® and a Principal Founder of Rockbridge Investment Management.  Tony is a contributor to Forbes, CNN Money, NAPFA’s FI Guide, Advisor Perspectives and local tv, radio and print publications.  Tony is the board director for NAPFA New England-Mid Atlantic Region), previous board member of the Financial Planning Association of CNY, acting Board Member of the Downtown Syracuse YMCA, as well as the Board of Directors for Countryside Credit Union.
Learn more and/or Contact Tony »


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