Too often these days there seems to be no direction in helping people plan for the future. So many decisions are made in milliseconds based on irrational decision making or noise from the media. There are not enough people taking the time to focus on what is most important.  Do I have a plan?

At The Wessel Group, we employ an investment process that begins by first identifying our clients' individual goals for the future. What is most important?  What concerns you?  We take that information and provide a thorough analysis of those goals to help prioritize what is most pressing.  Retirement? Second home? College savings? Legacy?  From there, we engage in an in-depth conversation regarding risk and return expectations in order to help meet those goals. That in turn allows us to create a portfolio that puts the client's needs first, so that they may continue to live their lives.

We believe diversification is the key component in designing a custom portfolio for a client. It is important to not only view diversification in its broadest terms such as stocks, bonds, commodities and/or real estate, but from a more specific standpoint.  Stocks need to be broken down into sectors, industries, countries, etc. and bonds should be analyzed by maturity date, rating and issuer.  Even mutual funds require an extra look to determine investment style, price and management tenure not just performance.

This portfolio philosophy stems from the study of Modern Portfolio Theory, which states that a statistical relationship exists between risk and expected return of each asset class. Historical data demonstrates that each asset class has its own risk profile and performance. As we know, from year to year, performance will vary depending on the economic environment, the political environment and investor sentiment. Nevertheless, published studies, including those by Gary Brinson et al., have concluded that as much as 93% of overall portfolio performance can be attributed to the portfolio's asset allocation.

In constructing our clients' portfolios, we employ asset allocation strategies consistent with their stated risk tolerance, time horizon and unique goals. This personal asset allocation then becomes the framework for all future recommendations and can be adjusted as the client's lives change.

Our consistent, disciplined approach to portfolio design along with the vast resources of Baird may help relieve our clients of the emotional decision-making that can come with investing without a plan. This is what we believe separates us at The Wessel Group and we are happy to spend a few minutes with you learning more about how you are planning your future.


Diversification does not guarantee profit or protect against loss in declining markets.
Source: Brinson, Singer and Beebower,'Determinants of Portfolio Performance; Financial Analysts Journal, May/June 1991. Note: this study was conducted on large pension plan portfolios.

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