What we believe and how we invest
Investing can seem mysterious and scary to many people. There is so much jargon and so much information available that it can be difficult to understand what to make of it.
Because of this, it's important to be intentional about your investing and have a clear philosophy behind it. The following is our investment thesis and guides how we invest and manage money for our clients.
We believe in diversifying investments across many different types of assets and styles. This reduces the risk of too much exposure to specific companies.
To support this, we invest primarily using mutual funds and ETFs. We build models using funds that cover multiple categories including large companies, mid-sized companies, small companies, international companies, emerging markets, and may sometimes include specific sectors and alternative investments as well as a limited number of single stocks in certain cases.
We believe in diversifying not only across asset classes but also in investing styles such as between growth and value funds.
We do not believe in market timing or day trading. We believe that the best outcomes are the result of following a disciplined financial plan and choosing investments that align with that plan.
We do make updates to our models from time to time. Some examples include:
- Increasing tilt toward certain sectors during certain market conditions
- Increasing tilt toward certain asset categories
- Replacing funds when appropriate to achieve better alignment with goals
- Including funds that have reached a level of maturity to be more strongly considered
- Including newly-formed funds when appropriate
We keep investments aligned with the Investment Policy Statement on file for each client.
We believe in aligning money with values that make a positive impact in the world. When possible, we seek out and use funds that are ESG-focused (Environmental, Social, Governance).
Many of these funds make an impact by excluding certain activities (for example: avoiding fossil fuels). Funds can also use inclusive criteria such as favoring companies that demonstrate empowered and equitable workplace policies or positive impact on the environment.
While it's not possible to achieve perfection, we continuously balance strong performance with socially conscious investment choices.
Some example of issues that are important to us and our clients include:
- Clean energy
- Protection of our natural environment
- Racial justice
- Diversity and inclusion in the workplace
- Positive and empowered work environments
- Support for marginalized populations
- Corporate responsibility
As ESG investing continues to mature, we will continue to seek out the best possible investments that serve both our clients' goals while aligning with these values.
Elevation Financial's Business Impact
In addition to aligning our investing with socially conscious values, we believe in making an impact as a firm. Being socially conscious goes beyond simply choosing ESG investments. It includes making continuous conscious decisions as a business to help create a better world. It includes seeking out partners and suppliers that share these values. It means actively and directly contributing to organizations making an impact.
Elevation Financial contributes money and/or volunteer time to the following organizations on a recurring basis:
- Anti-Racism Daily. Each day, Anti-Racism Daily offers an overview on current events and applies an anti-racism lens. This publication teaches how practices embedded in our politics, criminal justice system, and workplaces enforce systemic oppression – and what you can do about it.
- As You Sow. As You Sow is the nation’s non-profit leader in shareholder advocacy. Founded in 1992, As You Sow harnesses shareholder power to create lasting change by protecting human rights, reducing toxic waste, and aligning investments with values.
Our partners that share our values include:
- Altruist. Elevation Financial is proud to work with Altruist as a primary custodian. The custodian is one of the most important partners of any financial advisory firm. It's where your money is held. Altruist breaks the mold of the typical custodian not only with cutting-edge technology but with socially conscious business practices. Altruist demonstrates a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in hiring and leading its team as well as regularly donating to and supporting organizations that lift up and empower marginalized communities.
- XY Planning Network. Elevation Financial is a proud member of XY Planning Network. As a membership organization for modern fee-only fiduciary financial advisors, XY Planning Network consistently leads the industry in promoting conversations, education, and space for socially conscious financial advisors. This includes scholarship programs, diversity and inclusion resources, and other programs that support and empower marginalized communities.
We also have a "no minimums" policy, which allows us to serve anyone who needs help regardless of income or investable assets.