Signature Estate & Investment Advisors, LLC
Vince A. DiLeva, MS, CFP, AIF, Senior Partner
Eric C. Pritz, CFP, CMFC, Partner
Kathleen A. Adams, CFP, Senior Associate
- Written byLaura Watts
1815 Via El Prado, Suite 100 in Redondo Beach
310-712-2320 | seia.com
Signature Estate & Investment Advisors, LLC (SEIA) is a boutique, independent wealth management and financial planning firm with headquarters in Century City and offices across Southern California. With a combined 25 years of experience with the firm, Vince DiLeva and Eric Pritz opened the South Bay office in 2011, bringing their expertise and vision to their hometown market. Kathleen Adams and her team joined the firm in November 2012, bringing 13 years of experience.
SEIA was created in 1997 for the sole purpose of bringing much-needed independent, respected, top-tier estate and investment advisory services to the areas in and around Southern California. The firm—entrusted with managing more than $3.1 billion in client assets as of June 30, 2013—offers portfolio management, retirement planning, estate and legacy planning as well as philanthropic and family foundation management. Vince, Eric and Kathleen have earned multiple degrees and financial designations over the years.
Who is your typical client?
“We have a diverse client base, but most of our clients are successful professionals who have worked hard and saved well. Our clients are determined to live an active, fulfilling lifestyle and want to make sure their money is positioned so they can live life and not worry about day-to-day money management.”
What is the biggest challenge facing your clients today?
“Forgetting that investments are a means to an end; there is always some sort of goal attached. The focus is often on short-term price movement, which is understandable, with the speed and volatility of today’s markets. However it often leads to inappropriate actions—monitoring portfolio success or failure over short periods of time rather than monitoring long-term progress toward the goals. There is a great difference in investing for a foundation with ongoing contributions and mandatory distributions versus a business owner who has just experienced a one-time liquidity event from a private equity buy-out and needs to support his family for the rest of their lives. For some clients, integrating consultative financial planning with wealth management may bring more clarity and perspective to their investment strategy. Recognizing this need, SEIA recently purchased cutting-edge aggregation and planning software Signature Compass. Online investment accounts can be viewed from one personal financial website. Financial data can flow into customized planning tools. When strategy and planning are needed, this is an excellent, comprehensive way to monitor progress along with performance.”
What’s the most common mistake people make with their money?
“Complacency. Investors often expect the past to mirror the future and accordingly hold asset classes regardless of the economic environment. Bonds and cash are the most conservative asset classes to hold but unfortunately carry additional risks. Bonds are facing extreme headwinds with the current interest rate cycle, and cash is losing money after inflation. We have seen investors tip-toeing back into the equity markets, but they are blindly chasing dividends and recent returns. A plan needs to be put in place.”
What is your best piece of investment advice?
“Safety has a new definition; investors need to unfix their fixed income. As we enter a rising interest rate environment, we need to re-assess the definition of safety. Investors with exposure to long- or intermediate-term bonds are now facing principal risk. We saw this 30 years ago when Paul Volcker raised interest rates to combat inflation. The Fed will eventually have to normalize interest rates. We’ve seen the early innings of this trend which will continue to be a strong headwind for the traditional bond market. We run across a lot of investors who hold California Municipal bonds and feel this is a safe place to hide. They believe holding bonds to maturity is the right approach. We believe in actively managing fixed income as the markets adjust. Investors need to consider alternative approaches like floating rate bonds, emerging market bond and even increasing equity exposure. Emerging markets account for 35% of global GDP, yet they provide much less supply to the bond market. We expect demand to increase and drive up prices. We also like the variable interest rate that comes with floating rate bonds, which eliminates most of the interest rate risk. A diversified approach is always key to mitigating risk, but we believe in strategic allocation … especially in today’s environment.”Registered Representative/Securities offered through Signator Investors, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC,2121 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1600, Los Angeles, CA 90067 (310)712-2323. SEIA,LLC and its investment advisory services are offered independent of Signator Investors, Inc. and any subsidiaries or affiliates. SEIA-09062012-00783. VAD CA INS. LICENSE # 0B84300 and ECP CA INS. LICENSE # 0E55966 KAA CA INS. LICENSE # OC76833. SEIA-07022013-00898 Opinions expressed here are the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of SEIA.
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