You’ve appeared on CNBC, Fox Business and Bloomberg an estimated 50 times, what’s it like to be a media darling and so sought after for your financial insight?
When we started Biltmore Capital Advisors 10 years ago now, it felt great that a smaller boutique firm was getting the media recognition of a large multinational firm. We made several great market calls as the markets were collapsing in 2008 and immediately started getting calls from CNBC, FOX Business News, The Wall Street Journal and others. They were eager to conduct interviews with us as they wanted our market insights and strategy. While its certainly flattering to be a part of national media, our job is to guide our clients through the various seasons of their financial lives and markets with out-of-the-box, independent, customized solutions.
Biltmore just moved its home office to Boca Raton, why are you so bullish on the move to Palm Beach County?
After leaving Merrill Lynch Headquarters in Manhattan as a Vice President and starting Biltmore Capital Advisors, we set up office space in Princeton, NJ. I was raising my two young daughters at the time and that area was a great place to raise a family. Over the years, we begun seeing an exodus of families from the tristate area retiring in Florida because of state income taxes, death taxes, high property taxes and other issues. Many of our clients were moving out of the area and people whom we wanted to work with were also moving out of the area. How could we advise people to be in a better tax environment if we didn’t take our own advice?
Surprisingly, while many of the large firms are present in the area, we didn’t see any clear leader in the asset management & financial planning arena. There wasn’t a firm that was really thinking out of the box, customizing solutions, and delivering a “Family Office” platform which wealthy families need today.
The stock market has steadily increased for the last nine years; you say this can lead to investor complacency… what should investors be doing and thinking about?
We have found that many investors are happy just because they are making money. Many of these individuals don’t look “under the hood” to see what’s driving performance, what kind of fees are being taken, what performance is relative to benchmarks, and what kind of risk is being taken to obtain those benchmarks. As a value-added service to families in the area, Biltmore Capital has been conducting complementary reviews of portfolios of Florida residents. We have been very surprised to see that many clients aren’t aware of the layers of potential hidden fees that they are paying. These extra fees, over time can have severe impacts on portfolio performance and they key is finding them.
We are also seeing that after nine years of markets increasing, that many investors aren’t properly prepared for a coming pullback in markets and are taking much too much risk than their plan and risk tolerance permits. These risks have been hidden because we haven’t seen a significant amount of volatility in markets over the past few years.
What makes Biltmore Capital different from the rest?
Biltmore Capital is set up as an SEC Registered Investment Advisor because, unlike the client/firm relationship at many institutions, we have a legal fiduciary responsibility to our clients. This is important because it drives us to keep client fees and borrowing costs low, eliminates conflicts of interest such as commission based and proprietary products. It allows us to be true advisors helping our clients with income protection, asset protection, estate & tax planning strategies just to name a few. Being a boutique, we have big firm resources but small enough to customize each clients’ financial planning and asset management strategies.
Additionally, we have brought the expertise of Wall Street and the New York area to Boca Raton. Our Chief Investment Officer, Dr. Donald Chambers is an industry thought leader on alternative investments with over 50 published books and articles.
Negotiating and restructuring debt is an expertise of your firm, what is it that you do that can make such a huge difference for businesses?
When looking into a family’s finances, most financial firms will only look at the asset side of someone’s balance sheet. At Biltmore Capital, we look in detail at not only someone’s assets, but their liabilities. Our firm has negotiated some of the lowest portfolio based borrowing rates in the country, where clients can borrow at rates as low at 1.50 percent. In today’s interest rate environment, this gives the ability for clients to pay off higher interest loans saving them in some cases tens of thousands of dollars annually.
We are finding clients who are purchasing boats, planes and other retirement toys. The interest rates on some of these loans are more than 6 percent. When borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions of dollars, a few percentage points goes a long way in savings. Whether they’re toys, margin debt, financing investment properties, refinancing home equity loans or other forms of debt, anytime we can save money is more money we can put back into our clients’ pockets. For more information call me at 888-391-4563 or visit www.biltmorecap.com.