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State of the Union

Posted by kdadmin on February 14th, 2013.

As I watched the president’s speech on Wednesday night, one thing became readily apparent, (aside from declining stock futures). It doesn’t matter if I agree with the president’s fiscal policies or not (hint: yikes), but it DOES matter that I know how to build investment portfolios that can succeed in the face of political rhetoric.

Case in point, I’m changing the allocation in your investment accounts. Specifically, I’m going to eliminate your mid cap value holding, increase your small and large cap growth concentrations, and reduce your long term high quality bond stake, while keeping an eye on the high yield, automotive, real estate and emerging markets. My rationale for this shift is based on current and projected data through 2014. These data points include a lower core inflation, a slow decrease in unemployment, a near zero federal funds rate, the increasing trends in compensation per hour, a steady decline in the broad real dollar, the recession in the euro-zone, a slow increase in bond yields, and a relative stability in the yield spread.

If you’d like to talk about this in more detail, please contact me.

Because you are part of our community, I thought you might like to know about our plans to add new staff members. As with all firms, staffing is an evolution. Strong firms constantly encourage employees to grow and fulfill new roles as old processes become unnecessary, or are effectively replaced by technology. Sometimes, this growth can happen within the firm but sometimes it requires a change of scenery for the employee.

Certainly, change can be difficult especially when an employee has been with a firm for several years. I know that many of you had a close and personal relationship with David White, who left here about three months ago. I did too, and I truly wish him the best in his future endeavors. However, I want to be very clear that there’s a reason why the name of this firm is Zurich Awes Financial Management. No matter who you happen to be interacting with here, I am directly involved in everything that happens with your accounts. Your success has always been my direct responsibility and that will never change.

Yes, change can be difficult but it can also be exhilarating. Since Dave left, we have been able to focus on reworking some of our core activities in a way that has been nothing short of a boon for your accounts and for Zurich Awes Financial Management. In many key areas, we reduced processing time from several weeks to just minutes. We vetted and partnered with firms that specialize in highly technical subsets of our business, including economic forecasting, historical analysis, advanced strategic portfolio design, detailed investment research, and technical electronic design. For just over 25% of the net sale price of our old hardware, we increased our computing power by 500%.

As a result, we now have the ability to offer more effective financial service to you. You have access to more useful information, quicker, and with less effort. Your portfolio is better equipped to capitalize on market trends. Through our website, (, you can access all of your financial data, and performance reports, in one place. But best of all, you finally have the option to enjoy a thorough financial review, online, while sitting at home in your Snoopy pajamas.

Technical expertise aside, the most important job we do is client service. We provide a live person, one who knows who you are by the sound of your voice, understands your needs, appreciates your individual quirks, and who can resolve your concerns / issues / needs quickly and enjoyably. That’s why you’re here: excellent customer service. Therefore, we will be hiring an additional, new staff member, but we are moving carefully and deliberately to make sure that we find exactly the right fit. We want to make sure the new staff member is someone who is right for you and who will grow as we grow. We’re taking our time and are going to get this right.

p.s. Happy Valentines Day! – Live the Life You Love!


Minneapolis, MN | St. Croix, USVI
(763) 577-1900