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How to Maximize Your Investment Potential — Asset Diversification Strategies and Allocation

As a devoted reader of ColoradoBiz, you know the importance of making your money work just as hard as you do. Colorado’s business community is not only passionate about their work but also about embracing the great outdoors during their downtime. Whether it’s hiking, running, biking, skiing or simply immersing themselves in nature’s beauty, active business professionals like you deserve to have your assets working just as diligently as you do.

As a financial advisor, I have some exciting news to share. Over the past 20 years, investment assets and real estate have experienced a remarkable 77% growth in valuation. However, I believe it’s crucial to address the lagging growth of productive investments such as infrastructure, machinery, and equipment, which has only seen a 23% increase. To ensure the economy’s true growth, this number must rise. Nevertheless, for those striving to achieve their financial goals, there are numerous ways to diversify assets.

READ: 4 Key Asset Allocation Strategies for 2023

In a time marked by volatility, maintaining a diversified portfolio across asset classes, risk levels, styles and time horizons is essential. It’s an old adage, but it still holds true: don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Often, I observe an overconcentration of assets in a business person’s area of expertise. For example, real estate professionals tend to be heavily weighted toward real estate investments. As an advisor, I recommend balancing this with an investment portfolio that includes equities and alternative investments.

2021 and 2022 ushered in a new era for investment portfolios. After a decade of seemingly foolproof investment opportunities, people needed to adapt to a changing landscape. Even though some investors faced challenges during this period, it provided valuable insights. Liz Ann Sonders, the Chief Investment Strategist for Charles Schwab, declared in early 2022 that the era of passive investing was over, a sentiment she has reiterated in every monthly talk since. As an active and tactical investment manager, I wholeheartedly agree.

The frequency of “Black Swan” events in finance, traditionally considered unpredictable happenings occurring once a decade, has intensified. From the COVID-19 pandemic to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the looming China-Taiwan conflict, these events have had far-reaching effects on the economy and markets, impacting everything from gas prices to supply chain disruptions. Historical models were not designed to handle several unpredictable events in a single year. To minimize exposure to risks and identify opportunities, managers must be more active and attuned to current news.

READ: Choose Your Own Adventure — What’s Your Investment Path? 

When I transitioned from a large financial firm to my boutique practice, a critical decision was to customize portfolios that aligned with my clients’ personalities and goals. Instead of relying on model portfolios imposed by big firms, which often concealed hidden fees, I wanted to empower my clients with transparent and tailored solutions. The pressure on advisors to conform to big firms’ interests is significant, as these firms seek to maintain control over client finances.

A fundamental aspect of my approach to finance is education and empowerment. I actively speak to empower women in finance and young individuals because the industry remains predominantly male-dominated. I believe that a woman’s approach to finance is unique, and I’m eager to share ideas that can help ensure your portfolio truly serves your needs.

Consider the following questions to gauge the effectiveness of your portfolio:

  1. Are you adequately diversified across asset classes?
  2. Do you have different time horizons and risk categories aligned with your financial goals?
  3. Has your advisor discussed the shift from a traditional 60/40 portfolio (equities to bonds) to one that includes alternative investments? Are you invested in alternatives?
  4. Are you in a model portfolio from a firm or a custom-built portfolio designed specifically for you?
  5. How frequently does your advisor rebalance or adjust your investments given the market’s volatility?
  6. Does your advisor strive to educate and empower you regarding your investments, enabling you to navigate the emotional aspects of investing more smoothly?
  7. Do you receive a corporate narrative on the market and economy, or do you benefit from your advisor’s unique research and thought pieces?
  8. Does your advisor have the courage to deliver honest assessments of the market, even if they aren’t necessarily positive?
  9. Are you aware that market fundamentals are worse now than they were six months ago? How has your advisor addressed this?
  10. Remember, your advisor works for you. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and advocate for yourself, just as you would in a medical setting as a patient.

Colorado business people, your hard-earned money deserves to work just as hard for you. Be as strategic with your investments as you are in business and when enjoying the incredible lifestyle Colorado has to offer.

 

Lisa Durant headshotHaving spent years in San Francisco at Morgan Stanley in wealth management, Lisa Durant moved to Telluride, Colorado and launched her own firm, Lion’s Eye Wealth. Prior, she launched Martha Stewart’s nationwide events program in NYC, and led marketing at San Francisco Magazine. For over 15 years, she has advised founders on business, marketing, communications and social media plans. Lisa combines creativity and innovation with financial know-how. 

Best of Colorado 2023 — Finance

Many of this year’s Best of Colorado winners embody the art of specialization. They don’t pretend to be something they are not, rather they concentrate on one element and aim to perfect it. That in turn has clearly helped them make a name for themselves.

Our readers (Best of Colorado customers) not only remember them but make a concerted effort to vote for them. That’s a tremendous accomplishment in this era of overwhelming messages, marketing and mindshare. But that takes time. Here at ColoradoBiz, we’ve heard many serial entrepreneurs and CEOs depict their success as a climb rather than a meandering journey. After all, the highest summits are always uphill and rarely scaled on the first day.

So, here’s to this year’s Best of Colorado winners. They have found a way to perfect their craft, grow their brand, and be recognized for their specialization. They have scaled the summit of success.

Check out our Best of Colorado 2023 issue here!

BEST BANK 

FirstBank employees at Az Gives Day Winner 2022
FirstBank

FIRSTBANK 

In business since 1963, FirstBank is among the largest privately held banks in the U.S., with nearly $28 billion in assets and operating in more than 100 branch locations across Colorado, Arizona and California. 

FirstBank’s products range from personal and business, loans for mortgages, commercial real estate and construction, 1031 Exchanges, as well as online and mobile offerings.   

Runners-up:

BEST PERSONAL BANKING SERVICES 

ALPINE BANK

In business for 50 years, Alpine Bank has branches across the Western Slope, mountains and Front Range. 

From Denver to Durango, Boulder to Battlement Mesa, Alpine serves individuals and businesses with online and mobile banking, deposit accounts, loan financing and wealth management. Customers appreciate Alpine’s size and streamlined structure that enables it to provide one-on-one service and make local lending decisions quickly.  

Runners-up:

BEST CREDIT UNION 

COLORADO CREDIT UNION 

CCU’s story dates back to 1973 when 35 Johns Manville employees combined their funds and started a member-owned financial cooperative. In 1998, membership was extended to other employer groups and local communities, and in 2005, the name was from Johns Manville Credit Union to Colorado Credit Union. Today, CCU serves more than 20,000 members across several employer groups and communities in Colorado. 

Runners-up:

BEST MORTGAGE BROKER 

ASLAN HOME LENDING 

Aslan operates in 14 states and has access to every lending option leading to the purchase or refinance of a home. 

Other loans Aslan can make happen: renovation and new construction loans; no-income verification investor loans; loans in which borrowers verify income from bank statements or P&Ls, not tax returns or pay stubs. 

Aslan also can advance loans for commercial buildings valued up to $5 million dollars and can greenlight loans for individuals with a 500 FICO score – if they can deliver 10% down. 

Runners-up:

BEST SBA LENDER 

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LIVE OAK BANK 

Live Oak is a digital, cloud-based bank serving small business owners in all 50 states. With a stated mission of becoming “America’s small-business bank,” Live Oak is the No. 1 SBA lender by dollar volume in the country. Through its technology- and service-driven banking products, Live Oak aims to help business owners buy, build and expand. 

Runners-up:

BEST TAX ADVISER (TIE) 

MOSS ADAMS

With more than 4,400 professionals in more than 30 locations across the West and beyond, Moss Adams works with some of the world’s most innovative companies. Its strength lies in the middle market, and it advises clients at all stages of development – from startup to rapid growth and expansion, to transition.  

In business for 110 years, Moss Adams advises and executes on all aspects of taxation, from public-company accounting to audits to personal taxes, and more.  

H&R BLOCK 

H&R Block aims “to get you every dollar you deserve,” and it strives to do that without adding much to what you already might owe your rich uncle, Sam. Services range from free (online) to $55 for Deluxe to $85 for filing with a tax pro. 

H&R Block’s software downloads directly to your computer, making it simple to get started on your taxes. The company’s tax pros have an average of 10 years’ experience handling all kinds of tax solutions, and the Max Fund Guarantee means your tax preparation if free if you find a bigger refund somewhere else. 

BEST TITLE COMPANY 

FIRST INTEGRITY TITLE CO. 

First Integrity Title has been locally owned and operated for more than 20 years and has consistently grown its market share to become one of the top-tier title companies, with more than 170 employees. With seven locations, the Denver-based company strives to maintain a client-first focus when it comes to service, product quality, pricing and insuring the real estate transaction. 

Runners-up:

BEST VALUATION CONSULTING 

Causey Leadership 2023
Causey Demgen & Moore

CAUSEY DEMGEN & MOORE P.C. 

Among its many services, Causey Demgen & Moore boasts a valuation & litigation team that brings years of experience and expertise to the job. The firm has performed hundreds of business valuations for companies appraised for less than $25,000 to more than $30 million. 

Causey Demgen & Moore’s extensive list of industries served includes professional services firms, manufacturing companies and retailers. The list includes accounting firms, medical practices, law firms, construction companies, wholesale/distribution companies, asset holding companies, software companies and many others. 

Runners-up:

BEST INVESTMENT FIRM 

CHARLES SCHWAB

Charles Schwab Corp. provides a full range of brokerage, banking and financial advisory services through its operating subsidiaries. In February, Schwab was named among Fortune magazine’s top 50 “World’s Most Admired Companies” for the sixth consecutive year. Schwab ranked second in the Securities and Asset Management category, with a top rank for innovation, use of corporate assets, quality of management and quality of products/services. 

Runners-up:

BEST WEALTH MANAGEMENT/FINANCIAL PLANNER 

OBERMEYER WOOD INVESTMENT COUNSEL

With offices in Denver and Aspen, Obermeyer Wood Investment Counsel has been providing independent investment advice, financial guidance and problem-solving since 1982. Clients include individuals, families and nonprofits that have trusted Obermeyer Wood to help them identify and achieve financial goals. The firm’s investment management services, along with financial planning strategies, are aimed at putting clients on a path to financial peace of mind. 

As fiduciaries, representatives of the firm are legally bound to provide advice and guidance they believe will be best for the client and his or her finances. That means a duty to seek to avoid conflicts of interest and to disclose any that cannot be avoided. 

Runners-up:

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This article is part of the 2023 Best of Colorado Business Choice Awards. Explore all the winners and runners-up:
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES | TECHNOLOGY/ELECTRONICS | TRANSPORTATION | FINANCE
FOOD/BEVERAGE | LODGING/ACCOMMODATIONS | MAINTENANCE | REAL ESTATE
HEALTH | LIFESTYLEPERSONAL FULFILLMENT | OFFICE | RECREATION