Different isn’t always better, but in the complex and non transparent world of wealth and investment management it’s vital to be different.

What separates us from the vast majority in the financial and retirement industry are the following:

Leahy Wealth Management was founded in 2002 as one of the nation’s first advisors to offer inexpensive Index-Based ETF portfolios.

Our objective from day one was to offer portfolio solutions that cut costs for investors by more than 50%. We accomplished that by using index-based ETFs in both active and passive (buy & hold) portfolio strategies.

The investment product industry on average charges in fees and expenses roughly ten times that of an index-based ETF, and at the same time have underperformed them on a consistent basis.

In fact, according to Morningstar Inc. the average equity mutual fund today costs (including transaction expenses) 2% annually, and from January 2007 to January 2017 over 86% of equity mutual funds underperformed their corresponding market index.

From a bottom line perspective there’s nothing wrong with paying more if you’re getting more in return. However, in the investment product industry the results are clearly suboptimal, and the real bottom line is that most investors are paying more (much more) for less, and that’s especially true over 3, 5 and 10 year periods.

For articles of interest on this topic link to: The Hidden Costs of Mutual funds ,Real Cost of Mutual Funds , Wishing On A Star , Consistent Underperformance , Survivorship Bias.

At Leahy Wealth Management we believe that both active and passive (buy & hold) Index-Based ETF strategies have value.

With that said, active downside risk management, in our opinion, is vital to high net worth investor success. Buy and hold may be fine for small investors and young investors, but in practice when a mature investor has their life savings and future income on the line very few can tolerate a 30% plus loss in value like that of the early 2000′s and 2008.

Furthermore, in our experience, there’s absolutely no reason for high net worth investors to submit themselves to a buy and hold loss torture test.

We offer clearly explainable strategies on how to build well-diversified strategic portfolios that react to significant trends and changes in the global markets.

For related articles /research please link to: Mean Reversion and Equity Allocation And for a more thorough look at Leahy Wealth Management Group’s investment approach see: Investment Perspective & Strategies

In the investment world liquidity is about the ease at which an investment can be sold. At Leahy Wealth Management Group we feel that non-traded, or illiquid investments and products should be avoided.

Non-traded REIT’s, hedge funds, annuities, and other investments that restrict access for months, or years, in our opinion, are completely unnecessary and almost always counterproductive. Not coincidentally non-traded and illiquid investments are usually accompanied by some of the highest sales and management expenses in the financial industry.

Leahy Wealth Management Group believes that investments should be easily tradable – if the market is open – a sale should be possible in seconds. That may not sound momentous, but given the multiple ways it influences a client’s portfolio it is a significant risk and tax management factor.

Bottom line: If investors demanded trade based liquidity, transparency, and independent custodians (like Fidelity) to hold their assets, most of the front-page financial scandals would be a thing of the past.

At Leahy Wealth Management we offer tax-loss harvesting on an individualized basis at no additional cost to our investors.

Tax-loss harvesting is a strategy where investors sell a security to intentionally capture a loss to offset existing or future gains. The strategy has the potential to improve after-tax returns.

Index-based ETFs are optimally suited for tax-efficient investing and tax-loss harvesting.

For research and articles of interest see: Active Tax Management Adds 2% Annually , Tax Loss Harvesting Tips ,Tactical Tax Loss Harvesting.

At Leahy Wealth Management we do not sell commission based products, and our client’s quarterly statements include our management expense in a clearly identifiable manner.

We feel that avoiding non transparent and expensive products in an investor’s portfolio is key to success. We instead use transparent index-based ETFs to create:

  1. Portfolios that are much easier to properly diversify. There’s never a need to wonder what different product managers are changing, and how that impacts the risk and diversification of the whole portfolio.
  2. Portfolios that are much less expensive. On average an index ETF costs less than one tenth the average equity fund.
  3. Portfolios that are easily managed with tax efficiency. There’s rarely phantom capital gains, and positions can be easily held or sold with original cost basis.
  4. Portfolios that are fully liquid – there’s no lock-up periods or back-end charges.
  5. Portfolios that are easily portable – there’s no proprietary nonsense, surrender charges, or penalties, our ETF portfolios can moved to whatever custodian you’d like at any time.

In our opinion, having a mostly product-free portfolio is likely more than half the battle to better performance.

Mutual funds and other structured investment products are often very difficult to manage for tax efficiency, and likely should never be in one’s taxable accounts.

For example, you can buy a mutual fund and then have that fund distribute capital gains, and even though you didn’t own the fund long enough to profit from those gains you are still liable to pay the tax. That’s just one of the many problems in trying to be tax efficient with investment products.

For articles of interest see: Keys to Tax Efficient Investing

Leahy Wealth Management is not affiliated with an investment bank, and there is no corporate partner, or entity that we represent in any way. Our firm and our advice is completely independent.

We represent only our clients and our advice is always in their best interest.

The firm independently Contracts with Fidelity Investments as the custodian of client assets. This is entirely for the safety and peace of mind of the firm’s clients. Fidelity’s role as custodian also provides the firm with a back-office support team as the end-line processor of account paperwork, statements, and tax documentation.

Even though we are independent, our access to client assets is purposely limited to money management; we do not, nor will we ever, act as the physical custodian of client assets.

We are a fiduciary – as such we have a legal obligation to do what’s in the best interest of our clients. This standard is far more rigid than the “suitability standard” which most in the financial industry operate under.

Perhaps the most important benefit of working with a fiduciary is the confidence that comes from knowing that a trusted and qualified professional is sitting on your side of the table, helping you with decisions without the conflict of selling you products.

We specialize in retirement planning, and have the credentials to back that up. Robert Leahy is a Certified Financial Planner, Accredited Estate Planner, and Chartered Financial Consultant with a quarter century of retirement planning experience.

With decades of planning expertise we know how to help clients in this process. Our approach to planning is not cookie cutter, and isn’t used as a gimmick to sell financial products. We are here to be our client’s financial advocate not their financial or insurance salesperson.

This is likely the most important differentiator of all. Please visit: Investment Perspectives and Strategy.