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5 Years, Our Communication Commitment, and Small Bites at the Apple

Let’s talk about the five-year mantra and how that plays into a disastrous market like the one we’re in today. I also want to talk about a couple of other things: client communication commitment, and also taking little bites at the Apple. “Five years, five years, five years.” That’s the mantra that we have in mind when we’re building an asset allocation. What are we talking about? We’re talking about the desire to set up a portfolio so that it can sustain withdrawals for five years without touching an equity. And that’s very important in portfolio design because sometimes you’re going to need up to five years for that portfolio to recover. With rebalancing in 2008 it took three years. We have no idea how long this will take, but it’s very, very unusual to not have a complete recovery of an asset allocated portfolio in the five year window.

Also, I’d like to talk about the client communication commitment. Needless to say, as you can imagine, we have a lot of communication going on – and we’re doing our best. Everybody’s staying very busy doing their job, which is talking to the clients. Our commitment to you is if we get an email or a message prior to 2:00 PM you’ll get a response the same day. If it’s after 2:00 PM it may be the same day, maybe the next morning. But if you don’t get a response within 24 hours, please assume something went wrong and call or reach out if it’s urgent. But we are trying to triage calls to the best of our ability and we do promise that we’ll get back and that’s important because some people trust us so much that when they hear nothing from us, they figured there’s nothing to worry about or that there’s no response. Even if it’s to say, “I got your email,” we will respond. And that’s the client communication commitment.

Also little bites at the apple. Modern Portfolio Theory clearly states that in an environment like this walking away from the market with the view to getting back in at a later date is a classic bear trap. Almost uniformly, you will be worse off if at this point in the game you’d step off the tracks. The analogy I like to make is there’s two sets of tracks. You step off one and get hit by the train coming the other direction. And that train coming the other direction is the “V” nature of what will probably be the recovery to this. So that’s Modern Portfolio Theory. The mantra is important. Something to remember – and I don’t think I’ve communicated enough lately – but we’ve built portfolios to sustain withdrawals and disbursements for a prolonged period of time while not touching equities, thereby allowing them to recover. We wish you the best of investing success. Thank you.

Our Client Communication Commitment

At Efficient Wealth Management, we aim to return everyone’s calls and emails the same day. However, due to client meetings, investment activities and other client activities this is not always possible. Sometimes messages find their way into a spam filter or are otherwise misdirected; in case this occurs, please call us if you do not hear back within the following time frames:


We will respond to emails within one business day; we attempt to at least acknowledge receipt the same day.

Phone Calls

Phone messages received prior to 2:00 p.m. Central Time will be returned the same day. If we are unable to do so, we will reach out by other means (email, etc.).

Phone messages received after 2:00 p.m. Central Time may be returned the same day, if not the next business morning. If we are unable to do so, we will reach out by other means (email, etc.).


If documents are received via fax, our portal, or our secure-upload system, a Planning Associate will confirm receipt within one business day.

Your Wealth Manager

Your Wealth Manager is responsible for investment decisions and the implementation of your plan. They are also your main point of contact for any high-level discussions or concerns. Your Wealth Manager will always try to get back to you within the time frames noted above. If they are unable to do so, your Relationship Manager or Planning Associate will reach out.

Your Relationship Manager

Your Relationship Manager closely supports your Wealth Manager with much of the heavy lifting involved with your plan and individual accounts. They are typically the logical point of contact for most account and planning questions or concerns.  Your Relationship Manager will always try to get back to you within the time frames noted above. If they are unable to do so, your Wealth Manager or Planning Associate will reach out.

Your Planning Associate

Every client has a Planning Associate who assists with scheduling, meeting preparations, paperwork, and the initial build of your plan. Your Planning Associate will be able to answer many questions regarding your accounts, transfers and other administrative needs. Your Planning Associate will always try to get back to you within the time frames noted above. If they are unable to do so, your Relationship Manager will reach out.