Investment Philosophy

At Financial Coach, we are evidence-based investors. We focus intensively on what works, what matters, and what we can control in the investing process. This also means that we avoid speculation, predictions, or pretending that there is some “wizard behind the curtain.”

Our investing process begins by recognizing core principles that evidence shows us to be true and meaningful. We create strategies  that reflect those truths, then employ the tactics and discipline required in aiming to maximize success for our clients.

For example, we believe:

  • Global diversification and asset allocation are of paramount importance.
  • Keeping expenses low adds an amazing amount of value over time.
  • After tax returns are the only returns that matter.
  • Markets are not predictable in the short run. They are not controllable ever, yet human intuition is at odds with these facts.
  • Avoiding mistakes is usually the most important tactic in investing.
  • Successful investing is somewhat boring, because it has no room for speculation.

When we design and implement investment strategies, sensibility and simplicity emerge as common themes. We integrate the investment strategy according to each client’s specific financial plan and personal benchmark. From there, ongoing investment management consists of overseeing the portfolios while managing investor behavior.

Our portfolio management process is driven by fundamental values:

  • Diversification reflects an acknowledgement of the basic premise of unpredictability.
  • Getting the correct allocation of assets among stocks, bonds, real estate, and cash is the most important step in anyone’s investment plan.
  • A “total return” approach to investing is superior to “yield based” investing.
  • Employing a rebalancing discipline adds value.
  • We insist on earning as much of the market returns as possible by reducing expenses and taxes.

Managing investor behavior is perhaps the most important determinant of long-term investing success. We focus continuously on guiding our clients away from poor decisions driven by anxiety, greed, or complacency. If acted upon, these emotional responses can be devastating to a long-term investment plan. At Financial Coach, we stress that one of our most important jobs as investment managers is to eliminate self-inflicted wounds wherever possible. We coach, teach, and consistently reinforce the truths that serve your interests.

Uncertainty is and always will be a part of financial markets and investing. We plan for the inevitabilities; we don’t try to predict them.

Investing involves risk, including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.

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Mike is the Chief Investment Officer and a Senior Advisor at Financial Coach. With over 25 years of industry experience, Mike has worked at major financial institutions such as The Vanguard Group, Blackrock, the National Stock Exchange, JPMorgan, and Susquehanna International Group.  His perspective has been shaped by serving in a variety of leadership roles at these diverse firms. “In the … » READ MORE

Michael Traynor CFA®, MBA
Chief Investment Officer, Senior Wealth Coach
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As the leader of the Financial Coach team and an experienced industry professional having worked at such firms as ING Variable Annuities, Merrill Lynch, and BB&T Investments, Owen takes pride in being able to connect with clients one-on-one and clearly walk them through the ins and outs of financial planning. A former college lacrosse All-American and current triathlete, one of … » READ MORE

Owen F. Mulhern, IV CFP®
President, Senior Wealth Coach
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Jeff began his career in 1999 with a small local insurance company, but knew something was missing in his career. In a world where bottom lines were more important than customer satisfaction, he craved an opportunity to be a more holistic planner for his clients and not try to hit a sales goal. “I knew that being more comprehensive was … » READ MORE

Jeff Mastronardo CFP®
Vice President, Senior Wealth Coach
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Money can be a taboo topic, it’s something we’re told not to discuss in public and that it’s bad manners to compare wealth. And those rules still apply to the Thanksgiving dinner table, but at Financial Coach, Carmen strives to let people feel comfortable with the topic. “The feeling I want someone to get is that yes, finances can be … » READ MORE

Carmen Mulhern
Events Coordinator
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The team atmosphere and opportunity for personal and professional growth is what drew Meghan to Financial Coach and now as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Wealth Advisor, her duties revolve around the client experience. As a CFP® Practitioner Meghan is required to ensure that client interests are put first and that their needs are heard and addressed. “The client/advisor dynamic is very unique … » READ MORE

Meghan Tait CFP®
Senior Wealth Coach
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While she now smoothly runs operations, marketing, and compliance for Financial Coach, Becky started her career as a journalist and didn’t know retirement planning would become the field for her. But under the tutelage of the team she found her calling, and she knows they can make it clear for you, too. In 2019, Becky earned the NRS Investment Adviser … » READ MORE

Becky Mulhern IACCP®
Compliance Coordinator