Page 20 - BusinessWest March 17, 2021
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underappreciated companies that are selling at a discount,” Landon explained. “But we feel they’ll get the recognition they deserve in the near- or medium- term horizon.”
Landon also made it clear that Napatree takes the long view toward investing. “We’re not traders; we are long-term owners of companies.”
All advisors at Napatree are fiduciaries, meaning they can only recommend investments that are in the client’s best interest. By contrast, financial advi- sors who are not fiduciaries are held to a much more lenient ‘suitability’ standard. For example, two index funds based on stocks listed in the Standard and Poor’s 500 may seem similar on the surface. If one fund charges high fees and the other low fees, they are technically both suitable investments. A fiduciary, however, is required to recommend the fund with the lower fee because it is better for the client. Landon pointed out that he enjoys sticking with a fiduciary approach.
“It makes doing business very simple when you operate from a fiduciary standard,” he explained. “If you do what’s in the client’s best interest all the time, it’s an easy path to follow, and everyone wins.”
Upward Projections
Liguori pointed out that growth in his business comes in two ways: investment performance and taking on new clients. When the world came to a halt last March, however, meeting with potential new clients became extremely difficult. As advisors and investors, Liguori and his colleagues listened to the concerns of panicked clients, while at the same time they continued to research and act on investment strategies.
“We are also business owners worried about our business,” Liguori said. “We saw assets evaporate, so
that meant our fees went down 30%.” Digging in and working harder was a key to getting through the try- ing times, he added. “As the founder of the firm, and on a personal level, I couldn’t be more grateful for where we are now after what we went through last March.”
Landon added that the pandemic strengthened client relationships as communication became more important and frequent, especially for clients whose industries were hit hard by coronavirus. While there are clear challenges and roadblocks ahead, the market horizon looks further out and toward
more recovery.
“We try to reinforce to our clients that bet- ter earnings and brighter days are ahead, along with being empathetic to where they are right now,” Landon said.
After a slowdown at the beginning of COVID, Napatree saw a big uptick in the fourth quarter of last year. Liguori said that set the table for projected 20% growth in 2021.
have money for up to three decades after they retire. Recent findings prove the point. Data from the CDC shows the average life expectancy for everyone
born in the U.S. to be 78.9 years, but when calculat- ing life expectancy after reaching age 65, it’s a differ- ent story. According to 2018 findings from the Society of Actuaries, there’s a 50% chance that a 65-year-old male lives to age 87, and that a 65-year-old female lives to age 89. For couples at age 65, there is a 50% chance at least one of them will live to age 93, and a
“About 80% to 90% of the people we talk to have not been trained in investing; they would rather be gardening or hiking. So, if we can help put them at ease and feel good about the path they are on, it’s enormously rewarding.”
     “The last 12 months have been similar to a
full market cycle, something that usually takes place over a five-year time period,” he said. “Cli- ents who were full-on panicked in the begin-
ning and were able to stay invested are now reaping the rewards of their patience.”
He admitted that even clients who have stayed invested are still anxious about the future. Most con- cerns are ones that existed long before COVID-19. In addition to parents who worry about saving enough for their children’s college education, the number- one concern Landon hears involves retirement.
“People often ask if they will have enough to retire comfortably and live with dignity,” he said, noting that, because people are living longer, financial plan- ning for retirement now involves making sure people
25% chance one will live to 98.
Disruptive events, like pandemics, can create the
kind of fear and anxiety in people that lead to bad decision making in their efforts to reach long-term savings goals such as college and retirement.
Liguori said behavioral investing, whether it’s driven by fear or greed, usually leads to dangerous outcomes. His firm looks to avoid the herd mentality that can happen during volatile markets and instead focus on the
client’s long- Napatree
term objec- Continued on page 22
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