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My Services

Personal Financial Planning

As a "fee-based independent Certified Financial Planner and Investment Advisor in Houston, Texas, I work for my clients, not a brokerage firm or mutual fund company. Every client has their own needs, objectives and risk tolerance, and I will work to structure a financial plan customized for you. My objective is to develop a long-term relationship with each client toward helping them achieve their financial goals.

Personal financial planning is the development and implementation of a coordinated plan for the achivement of all your financial objectives. The comprehensive financial planning services that I offer include:

  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Planning for Small Business Owners
  • Asses Allocation Models
  • Retirement Planing
  • Tax Returns & Planning
  • Estate Planning
  • Life Insurance Planning

Most Financial Planners only recommend or "sell" the mutual funds or investment products offered by their firm. As an independent Certified Financial Planner I am free to recommend the investments most suitable for each individual client.

As a CPA, I can help you take advantage of the new tax savings and investment opportunities now available:

  • Roth IRAs
  • Education IRAs
  • Higher Education Tax Credits
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Capital Gain Rate Reductions
  • Deferral of Gain on Sale of Residence

Diversification / Asset Allocation

To increase risk adjusted returns, and provide stability to your portfolio, we will apply the concept of diversification. The importance of proper diversification cannot be overlooked. James Tobin, winner of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Economics, studied how wealth has been accumulated over the years in America and concluded that the single most important factor is diversification. Studies have shown that the decisions made with respect to choice of asset classes have a great deal to do in explaining investment results.

Everybody, consciously or unconsciously, has an asset mix. The question is how did you get to that asset mix? Did you construct it thoughtfully and consciously, or is it simply an accidental artifact of having chosen a bunch of individual funds and stocks?

The diversion of your investments must reflect your needs, goals and risk tolerance level, since no set of rules applies to everyone. The asset mix that I recommend will be based on :

  • Your age and situation in life
  • My understanding of your risk tolerance
  • My understanding of your goals and time frame for achievement
  • My own assessment of the current status of the financial markets

My diversification recommendations will include the following asset classes:

  • Cash reserves
  • U.S. equities
  • Foreign equities
  • Emerging Markets
  • Bonds
  • Precious metals
  • Real estate
  • Oil and Gas

Specific Asset Recommendations

I want to cover in general the methodology used in the mutual fund selection process- after all, there are about 10,000 mutual funds to choose from. I have carefully researched and selected a core group of mutual funds which I feel will generate good returns in any market environment. These mutual funds share the following characteristics:

  • Strong performance records. The selected funds, while providing low risk, have performed very well in rising markets, all outperforming their benchmark.
  • Very low risk and correlation to the S&P 500. In prior market downturns, these funds have proven track records of outperforming the overall market by wide margins. Their risk levels typically are only 30-50% of the average fund. In fact, several of the funds in our portfolio have zero correlation to the S&P 500. Our number one priority is preservation of capital.
  • All funds are no-load, so 100% of the money you invest goes work for you immediately.
  • Low expense ratios. Typically, funds charge annual expenses in the 1%- 3% range. The average expense ratio of our funds is 1%.
  • Longevity of fund manager. Most of our funds have managers that have been in place for five years or longer- many are legends in the investment community with most of their net worth invested in their own funds.

Stephen Gray CFP

Providing independent & comprehensive fee based financial planning and asset management

Stephen Gray, CFP
Certified Financial Planner
Registered Investment Advisor

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