FROM ASSETS TO OUTCOME

Services

Investment EXPERTISE AMPLIFIED by comprehensive service.

Built upon our deep investment experience, Ensemble Capital Management also offers a comprehensive and superior range of wealth management services and solutions to our clients to meet their unique financial needs.

Our team of dedicated specialists advances your objectives with a primary focus on efficiency. Our financial recommendations always integrate with your desired lifestyle to solve your financial goals. Our unparalleled client service, independent advice and experience make our recommendations simple and effective to implement.

OUR SERVICES INCLUDE
  • Comprehensive financial reporting and analysis
  • Charitable planning
  • Retirement analysis
  • Equity compensation and stock option analysis
  • Insurance analysis
  • Education planning
  • Analysis and review of estate tax strategies
  • Tax coordination
  • Coordination with client’s attorney and accountant
    on trust and estate strategies
  • Consultation on and implementation of gifting strategies
The Financial Advisor Landscape

The financial advisor landscape includes stock brokers, registered investment advisors, wealth managers, financial planners and many other financial professionals, all of whom play different roles and have different responsibilities to their clients.

Although many advisors use different terminology, in general advisors come in some version of the following:

  • Investment managers directly invest in a portfolio of stocks and bonds on behalf of their clients.
  • Asset allocators outsource investment management via mutual funds or other investment vehicles and concentrate instead on which managers to hire on behalf of their clients.
  • Fiduciary advisors have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of their clients and are paid to offer objective advice.

Non-fiduciary advisors are salespeople. Like all salespeople they are paid to sell a product or service and have no legal obligation to offer objective advice or act in the best interest of their clients.

Ensemble Capital is a fiduciary investment manager. We are paid to deliver objective advice.

OUR FEES COMPLETELY DEPEND ON THE VALUE OF YOUR
ACCOUNT — RISING WHEN YOUR ACCOUNT VALUE
INCREASES AND FALLING WHEN IT DECREASES.

Our INTERESTS ARE ALIGNED with yours —
to make your investments grow while MINIMIZING RISK.

Unless special circumstances exist, we do not outsource investment management services and the only fee you pay is ours. You do not typically pay a second layer of fees to mutual funds or other investment vehicles as do the clients of asset allocation-focused advisors.

Financial Planning | Long Term Planning

The PLANNING ADVICE you want, WHEN YOU WANT IT.

Whether you are working and building your portfolio, in retirement or overseeing a complex multigenerational asset base, Ensemble Capital can provide the advice you need. As registered investment advisors our work with clients goes far beyond picking stocks and bonds. When you hire Ensemble Capital, one of our portfolio managers will become your personal financial advisor assisting you in making complex financial decisions.

RETIREMENT PLANNING

If you are working and building your wealth, we’ll help you consider how much you will need to support your lifestyle after you retire and the tools available to help you get there.


INCOME PLANNING

If you are retired, we’ll work with you to understand how much spending your portfolio can support over the long term and advise you on the investment approach that is most likely to meet your goals.


MULTIGENERATIONAL WEALTH

Ensemble Capital is proud of the fact that many of our clients have two or three generations of family wealth under our management. If you are looking to put money into trust for your children or grandchildren or help fund their education, transfer assets to the next generation or otherwise coordinate multigenerational wealth management, we’ll work closely with you to make sure that this complex planning process is managed seamlessly.


ASSET ALLOCATION

After discussing your goals for your various portfolios, we’ll recommend an asset allocation that will best support your plans. Importantly, we’ll discuss the implications of various asset allocations so that you fully understand the basis for our recommendations.


STOCK OPTIONS AND RESTRICTED STOCK

If you have stock options or restricted stock, we will advise you on the best way to diversify your holdings or build a broader portfolio around these core concentrated positions.


MISCELLANEOUS

Our clients rely on us for a variety of financial advice. When we do not have expertise in the specific topic, we make it our job to locate the right person to help.

THE ENSEMBLE WEALTH MANAGEMENT PROCESS

Our 6-step wealth management process is based on the Financial Planning Practice Standards of the CFP® Board. Whether you are focused on a single issue or a more comprehensive and complex plan, we will help you achieve your financial goals:

  • Define Our Planning Relationship

    This first step helps you understand the planning process and determine whether the focus will be
    on one particular planning interest or creating a comprehensive plan.

  • Monitor the Plan and Your Progress

    We will monitor your progress towards your
    goals and help you take into account life events
    that may change your initial situation or goals.

    Refine Your Financial Goals and Gather Data

    We discuss your goals and gather
    the data we needed to create your plan. We
    ask about your financial situation and any
    other relevant information.

  • Implement Recommendations

    Once you decide which recommendations
    you wish to implement, we can help guide
    you through the implementation process and
    coordinate with other professionals, such as
    attorneys, accountants, or insurance agents.

    Our PROCESS

    Analyze Your Financial Situation

    We will perform a comprehensive
    analysis to assess your current situation
    and determine what you must do to
    meet your goals.

  • Present Recommendations

    Based on the analysis of your financial status, we
    will develop and present concrete recommendations that
    address your goals. We will walk you through our recommendations
    and the implications of each particular alternative so you can make
    an informed decision about your action plan.

  • Implement Recommendations

    Once you decide which recommendations
    you wish to implement, we can help guide
    you through the implementation process and
    coordinate with other professionals, such as
    attorneys, accountants, or insurance agents.

  • Monitor the Plan and Your Progress

    We will monitor your progress towards your
    goals and help you take into account life events
    that may change your initial situation or goals.

  • REFINE AND REPEAT
Portfolio Customization | Custom Built Portfolios

We are DEDICATED to producing the best RISK-ADJUSTED RETURNS possible in a UNIQUE PORTFOLIO that reflects your SPECIFIC SITUATION.

Unlike many advisors who place clients in a “model portfolio” that reflect their generic investment needs – aggressive, conservative, income, etc – we custom build each portfolio from the bottom up to fit each client.

When building your portfolios we take into account both quantitative and qualitative aspects of your personal situation.

Most importantly, every trade we place on your behalf will be made with your particular situation in mind. Rather than trying to make you conform to a cookie-cutter investment model, we spend the time and energy needed to customize a portfolio built just for you.

TAX CONSEQUENCES

Before liquidating your existing portfolio, we examine your tax situation and the implications of any unrealized gains or losses you might have. If warranted, we will continue to hold certain legacy positions in order to defer gains or losses until a more opportune time.


LEGACY HOLDINGS

In addition to tax related motivations for holding legacy positions, occasionally a client will have a holding of special importance. In these cases, we are happy to hold the position on a permanent basis while keeping the client updated on the investment characteristics of the holding.


EMPLOYMENT IMPLICATIONS

Being located mid-way between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, it is not unusual for our clients to work for companies whose prospects are driven by many of the same inputs that drive financial markets. If desired, we can customize your portfolio to help diversify some of the risk embedded in the nature of your work.


INCOME NEEDS

In general, we attempt to maximize the total return, both income and capital appreciation, of our clients’ portfolios. However, if you require a certain level of current income, we will customize both your equity and fixed income holdings to meet this need.

Portfolio Customization | Client Service

CLOSE CONTACT with our clients is how Ensemble provides SUPERIOR FINANCIAL ADVICE.

When you first engage our services, we’ll have an in-depth conversation about your financial situation and set long-term objectives. But an initial meeting only sets initial goals. Over time, we’ll be in regular contact with you in person, by phone or by video conference.

We think the best financial advice is delivered within the context of a relationship built on trust. By keeping in close touch with you, we hope to build a more nuanced understanding of your financial life.

Truly comprehensive financial advice needs to be delivered in coordination with tax and legal advisors. To that end, we seek to establish strong working relationships with your other advisors and make sure that our advice to you is fully aligned with their expertise and advice.

  • build a more nuanced understanding
    of your financial life
  • establish strong working relationships
    with your other advisors
  • our investment management team works
    directly with you
CASE STUDY | FINANCIAL ADVISING

JOHN AND WENDY HAD RECENTLY RETIRED
AND WANTED TO RETHINK THEIR LONG-TERM STRATEGY.

They came to Ensemble Capital looking for help to better understand their overall financial picture and to make sure that their investment strategy was aligned with their long-term goals.

The couple had a living trust, an IRA in John’s name and a large 401k with the employer from which Wendy had recently retired. Their two children are adults and their daughter was expecting her first child.

We sat down with John and Wendy in their home and spoke at length about their plans for the future. They discussed their desire to maintain a relatively modest lifestyle, while also being able to travel extensively. They were also interested in setting aside money to help pay for their soon-to-be-born grandchild’s education. Since they had recently retired, they were also contemplating becoming more involved in some of the nonprofits they had long supported and were interested in understanding how they could best provide financial support.

Philanthropic Planning

About ONE-QUARTER OF ENSEMBLE ASSETS under
management are held in PRIVATE FOUNDATIONS, NONPROFIT ENDOWMENTS,
CHARITABLE TRUSTS and other PHILANTHROPIC ACCOUNTS.

While our main efforts are concentrated on investment research and portfolio management, we also have developed special expertise in philanthropic planning.

Sean Stannard-Stockton, our president and chief investment officer, is well known in the philanthropic community for his popular Tactical Philanthropy blog that he authored from 2006 to 2011 as well as his regular columns in the Financial Times and Chronicle of Philanthropy. If you have an interest in maximizing the charitable impact and tax benefits of your giving, we can work with you to develop a philanthropic plan that meets your needs. We will then coordinate the creation of a private foundation, donor advised fund, charitable trust or other philanthropic account.

  • Private Foundations
  • Donor Advised Fund
  • Charitable Trusts

Private foundations are the MOST FLEXIBLE of
the various charitable vehicles.

They are a distinct legal entity that is controlled by your family. When you make a gift of appreciated stock into your foundation, you avoid paying capital gains taxes, take an income tax deduction for the full market value of the gifted stock, and permanently shield those assets from the estate tax.

Foundations are unique philanthropic entities that can engage in a variety of innovative charitable strategies. We help clients explore concepts such as loaning money to nonprofits, making grants to international organizations or otherwise leveraging the private foundation in ways not available to individual donors.

A donor advised fund is essentially a
“CHARITABLE CHECKING ACCOUNT.”

A donor advised fund allows you to avoid paying capital gains tax on asset transferred in, take an income tax deduction for the fair market value of those assets and then send charitable gifts to nonprofits at whatever time is right for you. Assets in a donor advised fund grow free of taxation, building your giving capacity.

A donor advised fund has the advantage of being incredibly simple and allows you to easily fund your philanthropy with assets you may not have considered in the past. In addition to stock or cash, you can deposit partial or whole interests in real estate, privately held businesses, and other non-publicly traded assets into a donor advised fund. In some cases, donor advised funds may offer larger tax deductions than private foundations to families who make large gifts in relation to their annual income.

Charitable remainder trusts (CRTs) pay income to an individual and, at a later date, pay the principal to a designated nonprofit.

CRTs are excellent vehicles for individuals who plan on leaving a portion of their estate to charity, but need to continue receiving income from their investment portfolios. Charitable lead trusts (CLTs) pay an annual amount to a designated nonprofit and transfer the principal back to the grantor or another person at some future date. These trusts can be structured to pull future tax deductions into the present or to significantly reduce gift and estate taxes on transfers of assets to heirs.

CRTs allow you to deposit highly appreciated assets (often common stock, real estate or privately-held business interests) and defer paying capital gains tax when they are sold. This allows you to tax efficiently exchange non-income producing assets for a diversified portfolio. You also receive an income tax deduction for the present value of your eventual gift to a nonprofit.

CASE STUDY | PHILANTHROPIC PLANNING

LAURA HAS WORKED IN SILICON VALLEY FOR 15 YEARS AND IS TURNING
HER INTEREST TOWARD HER PHILANTHROPIC IMPACT.

After working at a series of unsuccessful startups, she co-founded a company that eventually was acquired by a major consumer web company.

Now in her mid-40’s, Laura consults with new startups and has some significant investments in early stage companies. But her main interest these days is in her philanthropic work. She sits on the board of two nonprofits and has recently been learning more about how donors can achieve the most impact from their investments of time and money.

After spending time learning about Laura’s past work in technology and her current nonprofit work, Ensemble Capital proposed that she launch a private foundation. In addition, we suggested that she open a donor advised fund to receive a donation of her interest in a privately held business, which would receive more favorable tax treatment than if donated to her private foundation.

Technology

TOOLS TO SIMPLIFY AND ENHANCE.

Ensemble employs every technology that assists our investment process and strengthens our relationship with you.

Whether you are partial to online meetings, in-person consultations, or paper communications, our approach to technology is based on your preferences.

Our watchwords are “simplify” and “enhance,” and we employ any or all of the following tools to achieve those for you:

  • Interactive online and mobile reporting
  • Website with personal portal
  • Online and video conferences
  • E-signature
  • Social media communication
  • Secure and fast document sharing
  • Correspondence via text or chat
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