Hugh R. Taylor – Taylor Wealth Management Partners
As much as technology has helped simplify investing—giving traders of all stripes instant access to global markets—there’s a flipside to all that availability: unprecedented noise.
Forty years ago, when Hugh Taylor, founder of Boston-based Taylor Wealth Management Partners (TWMP), started in the business, the average holding period for a stock was 10 years. Today, it’s one. It’s a dynamic that Hugh Taylor is well-prepared to address.
“Technology today allows for tremendous turnover. Our philosophy is fundamentally different,” Taylor says. “We believe that the most successful approach to managing money is to take a long-term investment perspective.”
As a fiduciary, TWMP is legally bound to work in the best interest of its clients, which include high net-worth individuals and families, trusts, estates, ERISA sponsored and 401K plans, family offices and charitable entities.
Still, firms might have different ideas about what the “best interest” of a client actually means—such that the spirit of the law is often lost in the letters.
The art of listening
For Taylor, being a good wealth manager starts with the simple, yet oft-forgotten recognition, that the money TWMP is managing belongs not to the firm, but to the client.
“You hear about it all the time, where a client comes in and notifies their manager that they need a certain amount of money,” Taylor illustrates. “And the manager sort of grimaces or pushes back without having a discussion about how this decision impacts the client’s financial well-being. We’re here to be their trusted counselor, helping them achieve their financial objectives.”
Engendering the client’s trust requires more than the occasional good advice; it’s built up through years of thoughtful communication and guidance.
Taylor also believes that it is critical to meet the management teams of the companies they’re considering investing in—not just to understand where they are, but where they’re going.
“At the end of the day, it is ‘good’ people who get things done,” he says. “And that’s important no matter who it is we’re working with.”
Wealth of experience
During his 50-plus years in the business, through booms and busts and every market in between, Taylor has never wavered in his belief that, when it comes to success in the wealth management industry, it’s the relationships that matter most.
Owing to their multi-generational approach to wealth management, Taylor and his team could be communicating with as many three generations at any given time.
“If you do this work well, you get to know a lot about what makes these families tick, about what their values are,” Taylor explains. “If you do not understand your client, you are not going to have the information necessary to make sound decisions.”
For a long-term investment strategy to be effective, the Taylor team must first ensure that the manager-client relationship is properly nurtured. Doing so, he says, requires equal parts psychology, education and patience.
Indeed, with world markets more unpredictable than ever, Taylor believes being on the same page is paramount to actualizing those goals.
The firm never manages pools. Instead, it holds separate accounts (meaning your investments are never comingled with those of other clients), giving the client more say over their investment strategy.
“A lot of wealth managers rely exclusively on a passive approach through products such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or mutual funds,” Taylor explains. “We invest in publicly traded stocks of individual companies and bonds.”
Before doing so, Taylor and his team must first conduct “fundamental analysis”: looking at the history of the company, examining the management team, gauging the competitive environment and the like.
“In the final analysis, earnings and cash flow are the drivers of a stock’s price,” Taylor explains.
With interest rates approaching 3 percent and market volatility likely to increase, Taylor wonders if that will compel people to take a closer look at their portfolios.
“When dealing with their future, people still like to know there is a trusted person watching out for their best interest,” Taylor says. “Through high touch client service and good stock and bond selection, we bring a proactive approach.”
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