Fee-only advisor with a fiduciary duty to clients, providing straight-talk about investments and no product sales
Decades of expertise providing integrated financial planning, including investments, retirement, taxes, trusts & estates
Disciplined, cost-conscious investment approach
Importance of Time Horizon
The most important decision that an investor makes is how much to allocate to stocks vs. bond/cash. An investor’s time horizon is a critical factor in determining the appropriate asset allocation mix. The significantly higher volatility of stocks makes stocks less suitable for funds that are needed soon, whereas, in the long run, stocks are likely to produce better returns even in worst-case scenarios. Investors with longer time horizons face the “Investor’s Dilemma.” Investors must choose between accepting higher volatility from stocks in the pursuit of higher returns or accepting lower returns from bonds in the pursuit of lower volatility.
Monte Carlo Modeling
The decision as to how much to allocate between stocks and bonds is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Long-term cash flow modeling (a.k.a. “Monte Carlo” modeling) provides helpful context for the asset allocation decision. Envision Financial LLC utilizes a proprietary Monte Carlo cash flow modeling tool to assist clients in evaluating the sustainability of retirement spending and provide context for the asset allocation decision.
Within the framework of the target asset allocation, diversification of investments is recommended to reduce portfolio volatility. A combination of passive (index) funds and actively managed funds is employed. Passive funds attempt to mirror the performance of market indexes (e.g. S&P 500, Russell 2000) by replicating or sampling such indexes. The passive nature of these funds results in lower fund operating expenses, which is important since cost is one thing that investors can truly control. While the goal of actively managed funds is to “beat” certain market indexes, many fail to do so after deducting fund operating expenses. The rationale for the passive approach is that investors can earn market returns while incurring lower expenses. In less efficient markets, active managers may produce incremental returns that justify their expenses. Also, active managers with unique styles can enhance returns relative to volatility by producing low correlation relative to market returns.
Portfolio allocations are reviewed regularly relative to targets and systematic portfolio rebalancing is intended to promote a “buy low, sell high” philosophy and mitigate emotional impulses to “chase” the market based upon momentum (which may result in buying or selling at the least opportune time).
Kevin P. Ellis, President and Owner of Envision Financial LLC, is a CFP® professional and a CPA® with more than three decades of experience providing comprehensive investment advisory, financial planning, tax, and trust administration services to high net worth individuals, business owners, corporate executives and related entities. Having worked his first 12 years with “Big Four” public accounting firms, Kevin has a unique depth of tax expertise with emphasis on individual and trust income taxes, estate taxes, and closely-held businesses. Kevin spent his next 20 years as President of an SEC-registered investment advisory firm originally formed as a private family office.
Education: UW-Madison 1988 (BBA - Double Major in Finance & Investment Banking and Accounting)
Mary Ting is a CPA® with over twenty years of tax consulting and compliance experience, including almost 18 years at Deloitte, a “Big Four” public accounting firm where she became a Tax Manager (Kevin actually interviewed Mary on campus for Deloitte and recruited her to Deloitte). Mary’s tax experience includes serving individuals (including expatriates and foreign nationals), small businesses and multinational corporations. In recent years Mary has expanded her professional interests into financial services and fulfilling clients’ comprehensive planning needs.
Education: UW Madison 1998 (BBA, Accounting); UW Madison 1999 (Master of Accountancy with emphasis in Taxation)