Our History & Approach
Independent, Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisor
Taylor, Cottrill, Erickson & Associates, Inc. is a registered investment advisory firm offering fee‐based wealth and portfolio management services to individuals and institutions. The firm was formed on 12/31/2015 by the merger of Whitegate Investment Counselors, Inc. (founded 1992) and Taylor, Cottrill LLC (founded 2007). Wholly-owned by employees, the firm’s primary goal is to provide clients with financial peace of mind in a cost-effective, conflict-free environment.
In a world where asset prices are buffeted by news from across the world and where prices can overreact to even minor corporate announcements, how does an investor make decisions regarding asset allocation and securities selection? Doing nothing can be harmful and reacting emotionally can be even worse. Our guidelines are these:
- Diversification is the best tool for managing volatility when seeking returns that require risk-taking. There are rules of thumb, but the appropriate level of diversification is unique to each client’s specific situation.
- Asset Allocation is the primary determinant of investment returns. The choice between stocks or bonds is more important than the choice between which stocks, or which bonds.
- Execution is critical. Consistent execution of an investment strategy with consideration of easily measured costs (such as investment management fees) as well as less obvious costs, such as taxes, commissions, and trading spreads, adds value over time.
- Confidence in your advisor during difficult markets will help weather the storm and prevent the very common and very costly mistake of making drastic changes at precisely the wrong moment.
For many clients we recommend a portfolio constructed of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. Periodic rebalancing of these portfolios allows us to manage cash flow needs and to take advantage of market volatility. For other clients we recommend a portfolio constructed of high quality individual stocks and bonds selected to best meet their needs for diversification, liquidity, and income. For stock selection, we utilize a value and quality-based methodology that we have refined over the past 30 years. We incorporate the latest data on key variables including interest rates, corporate cash flows, profitability measures and projected growth rates, allowing us to calculate a “fair value” for a wide range of securities. There is no advantage to the firm in using one approach or the other, or some combination of the two.