Our founder grew up in the family accounting business and from a young age was steeped in the world of numbers. It introduced him to a way of doing business that always put the client first. Jamie saw first-hand how good accounting and tax advice benefited clients and could turn them into lifelong friends. He also saw (all too often) the damage that bad financial advice could cause when a fiduciary relationship was missing. This was a driving force behind his decision to help others avoid the negative effects of bad advice and get the advice that they needed for their situation, not for the broker's bank account. Over the years, the virtues of saving, long-term investing and hard work were continually reinforced through frequent conversations with his grandmother, who was an ardent investor in the stock market, his father, a CPA and early CFP holder and his mother, a CPA and former math teacher. Seeing too many tax seasons up close and personal taught Jamie that he didn't want to join the family business but instead use his interest in numbers to help others achieve their financial goals and dreams. After many years of education including two MBA degrees, a Master's degree in History, a CFA Charter and a CFP certificate, and a career in institutional investment management, Jamie founded Ebersole Financial LLC in 2014 to fulfill his vision of bringing independent, institutional-quality advice to individuals and families.
At Ebersole Financial, we believe that investors' needs should always come first. We don't sell products, nor do we accept commissions on any recommendations that we provide to you. This allows us to provide you with the advice you need and helps us minimize conflicts of interest. We don't think that merely suitable is an appropriate criterion for your investments and the advice you receive.
Ebersole Financial offers financial planning for all stages of life. We are ready to guide you as you plan funding for your children’s education, for your retirement or to meet another life goal. We work with executives to help them understand their RSAs, RSUs, ISOs and NQSOs. We work with seniors to develop spending plans to meet their active lifestyles. And in today’s dynamic career environment, we are ready to counsel the youngest working generation as they manage 401(k)s and other benefits as they transition between jobs. Let us tailor a personalized and well-designed plan that will help you implement financial solutions and realize your goals. You don't need to and shouldn't make these important life decisions alone.
We believe that there is a strong link between financial planning and investment management, and coordinating these activities is key to achieving your goals. Based upon our expertise, investment management is a core element of the services we provide for our clients. Mr. Ebersole’s extensive background in private equity and the institutional asset-management world give him a unique perspective on investment opportunities. He specializes in bringing the skills and focus of institutional investors to the individual investor. For more information about our services and fees, please see our Form ADV and our Fee Table.
Here are some of the ways we work with our clients.
You are recently married and have your first child on the way. You have few investment assets but a lot of questions about the steps you need to take to get started in the right direction.
Targeted Strike Planning Package
We will work with you to develop a targeted financial plan focused on the 3-5 key priorities at your stage of life. This may include budgeting, insurance needs, maximizing work benefits including retirement accounts and a strategy for saving for a home and the expenses of a growing family.
Do-it yourself Investor
You have accumulated significant assets and consider yourself a DIY investor. You also see the value in having an expert help you think through and implement your strategy, as two heads are better than one.
We will work with you to review, assess and manage your existing portfolio on a non-discretionary basis. You keep your assets wherever you like and you manage the portfolio. We will provide the advice and ideas.
You are a busy executive in a high-paced firm with barely enough hours in the day. In addition to your day job, you are dealing with the complexities of RSAs, RSUs, ISOs and a compendium of other abbreviations that make your head spin.
Integrated Investment Management and Financial Planning
We work with you and your team of existing advisors (CPA, Estate Planning Attorney) to develop a comprehensive financial plan that includes integrated investment management. By integrating investment planning, tax planning and estate planning considerations, we can help you maximize your wealth while reducing your stress.
You've built and managed your portfolio on your own and you are looking for some peace of mind that you are making good choices. Or, maybe you are working with an advisor and have questions about your portfolio but don't know the right questions to ask.
Portfolio Review / Second Opinion
We work with you to review your portfolio to answer whatever questions you may have. Amongst other things, we review performance, asset allocations, costs, and individual mutual funds and stocks. There is never a bad time for a second opinion.
No one knows exactly what the future will hold, but we all need to make decisions today that will impact the following days, weeks and years. At Ebersole Financial we work closely with you to develop a financial plan for two main goals:
1) to help you understand your current financial situation, and
2) to guide you on your chosen path forward.
The financial planning process is different for each client. Factors such as whether or not you have completed financial planning in the past, your stage of life and the the complexity of your individual situation will influence the process. Whichever situation you may be in, we work with you to identify what is important, to highlight concerns and then develop a plan to help you reach your goals.
Working together to identify your goals and needs - Through a series of initial meetings we will get to know you (and your family) and the goals that are important to you.
Collecting and Analyzing Data - After identifying your goals, we work with you to collect the relevant financial information to develop a detailed picture of your current situation. Only at this stage, with your goals and information in hand, will we begin to formulate recommendations that will help you move toward your goals. It's not uncommon to find that some of your goals may not be realistic based upon your current situation. In such cases we work with you to prioritize what is important so that you can work toward a future of possibilities, not limitations.
Building a plan to move you forward - Armed with your input from the data collection process, we will craft a plan that is both realistic and achievable. This will become the basis of your financial planning dashboard which will be the guiding document to make the plan a reality.
Periodically revisiting your plan to make sure it is working for you - Follow-up is one of the most important elements of our process. There is a tendency to celebrate (prematurely) once the initial plan is finalized. But if the plan only sits on a shelf and collects dust, it doesn't do you any good. We check in with you on a mutually agreed schedule for the first year to ensure we are taking steps to move the plan forward. Most clients decide to continue on as long term clients as they understand the value of having a guide help them stay on their chosen path.
At Ebersole Financial we help you manage your investments so you can focus on the other important areas of your life. Our approach relies heavily upon academic research that indicates that long-term, low-cost, market-oriented strategies give you the best chance to achieve your goals. We don't chase performance.
1. Focus on controlling the things you can control. We believe that controlling operating costs and managing risk through proper diversification and asset allocation are a winning strategy. We don't try to actively beat the markets as that has proven a losing proposition for the vast majority of active investors over the long run.
2. Let the markets and time work for you. It is expensive and difficult to beat the market. We advocate using market-based mutual funds from Dimensional Fund Advisors and index-oriented mutual funds and ETFs from firms like Vanguard and BlackRock to ensure we are taking advantage of market levels of return. By investing in strategies based upon well-tested academic theory and by keeping costs low, we can take advantage of market level returns for the long term.
3. Develop a plan and stick to it. At Ebersole Financial we believe it is critical to have a long-term plan and to stick to it. The average investor is prone to moving in and out of stocks at exactly the wrong time because they don't have a long term plan. They tend to be overly focused on short term market movements that can cause them to make bad decisions. We will work with you to develop an investment policy statement (IPS) that captures your unique circumstances, risk tolerance and long term investment goals. We will then build a low-cost, diversified portfolio to help you reach those goals. We harness the power of markets and market level returns to help you avoid mistakes and reach your long term financial goals.
4. Values-based investing doesn't necessarily mean underperformance. ESG, SRI and impact investing are growing areas of interest for our clients and a passion of our founder. The development of new technologies and investment products focused on values-oriented investing means there are many ways to incorporate such an approach into your portfolio without sacrificing returns. Whether you are concerned about global carbon emissions, gender-equality, or areas such as environmental stewardship or firearms, we can help you build a portfolio and investment approach in-line with your values.
At Ebersole Financial LLC we know that investment performance is important. We also know that your values are equally important. And we don't believe that investing based upon your values necessarily means lower expected performance. Working together we will review your current portfolio and develop concrete action steps you can take to make your portfolio more SRI or ESG friendly, based upon your individual goals. In the process, we can likely find ways to reduce the overall cost of your portfolio, which will be friendly to your wallet, too.
We know that the values-based investing landscape is littered with buzzwords, acronyms and jargon that, quite frankly, can be very confusing. In order to help you better understand how we think about values based investing, which we take to include SRI, ESG and Impact investing, we have provided a short primer below.
What is values based investing? This is investing that is based upon defined values that you hold. This has generally come to mean a concern about the environment or defined social causes, gender and economic equity and the local economy. But, it can be defined much more broadly or narrowly than that.
What is SRI? - Socially responsible investing (SRI) began as a faith-based initiative at the behest of large Church pension funds and tended to initially have a negative based approach, such as screening out guns, alcohol, tobacco or firearms. Today SRI has become relatively mainstream and has broadened its approach to include a focus on social causes such as diversity, gender equity and privacy rights. An industry has developed around providing SRI-type investment vehicles, including mutual funds and ETFs.
What is ESG? Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) is generally thought of as a positive approach to screening investments. The United Nation Principles of Responsible Investing (UNPRI) tend to be the guiding framework for the ESG movement as adopted by large, multi-national corporations and global pension funds. ESG tries to identify and support the good corporate citizens with positive relationships to major stakeholders groups (employees, local community, shareholders, etc.), strong corporate governance (board diversity, audit controls, etc), and a record for promoting good environmental stewardship (low or no carbon emissions, low pollution, reducing antibiotics in the food supply chain, etc.) This is a growing segment of the financial services industry and as such, there are a significant number of investment products focused on this space. Because of the scale of this market, major index providers have developed SRI and ESG focused indices to help investors monitor the performance of "good corporate citizens" and which also serve as the basis for many mutual fund and ETF products.
What is Impact investing? - Impact investing is the most recent addition to the mix and has tended to be focused on hyper-local activities that directly affect a cause in a local community (e.g. CRA lending programs, community farms, local affordable housing, etc.) Because this is a local activity, it is a relatively fragmented market and more difficult to access without significant time and resources. This is not a mainstream asset class as of yet, but there are more and more investment options appearing every day.
While this primer is intended to be educational, it only scratches the surface of values-based investing. It is a dynamic market segment that we expect to grow and evolve as more investors realize that investing for good can be good for their finances. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of values based investing, Ebersole Financial can help you find a solution that is right for you. Please contact us today to schedule a review of your portfolio and to discuss your values and how they can be incorporated into your investment strategy.
If you prefer, send an email and we'll find out if we are a fit. In the case that we can't help you, we are happy to refer you to someone who might be better positioned to do so.