Research Methodology Our disciplined approach to research is designed to identity opportunities in the markets that will assist us in achieving our objective of above average returns with below market risk for our clients. The dynamic nature of the financial markets makes it necessary to conduct research on an on going basis. In our experience, individual investors who attempt to manage their own portfolios often underestimate the time required and the expense of obtaining and maintaining the tools necessary to conduct research in a professional and consistent manner. We can help you leverage your time and perform these tasks for you. Independent Research The importance and value of making your investment decisions based on independent research can not be over emphasized. If your advisor works for the same firm that is conducting research and providing investment banking services to the very firms they are supposed to be analyzing, you should have cause for concern. This “traditional” approach to the brokerage business is full of conflicts of interest that can have a negative if not devastating impact on your returns or initial investment. The market crash of 2001 and 2002 brought these issues to light in a series of congressional hearings surrounding Enron Corporation. Enron had pressured virtually all the investment banking firms on wall street to produce favorable opinions in exchange for investment banking fees. This resulted in investors losing substantial portions if not all of their investment in these types of companies. This was not an isolated event, this practice was wide spread. The federal government has since instituted a series of legislation to restrict and require full disclosure of these conflicts of interest. We believe they still have a long way to go. We believe in using independent research, in addition to our own, to make our investment decisions for our clients. Investment Policy Committee Our investment policy committee meets once per week to discuss macro economic trends, federal reserve policy, interest rates, asset class performance, sector analysis and individual security selections. We make adjustments to our portfolios as necessary based on our research and discussions. Our Research Process We structure our portfolios with the goal of providing higher quality, superior growth (both rate of growth and consistency of growth), and better value than their appropriate benchmarks. We continuously monitor these parameters with a well-defined approach that incorporates quantitative and qualitative analysis. By regularly reviewing our portfolios' quality, growth and value characteristics in relation to its benchmarks, we seek to proactively control risk and to produce superior-risk adjusted returns.