FAQs

What is an Investment Counsel?

It’s a person or business that offers financial and investment advice. This term is synonymous with “financial advisor.” Yet, we prefer “counsel” as it expresses a deeper, more trusting relationship.

What makes SFEIC different from other firms?

  • SFEIC has a concentrated portfolio. We believe in a portfolio with fewer stocks. Typically, our client portfolios hold between 20-30 stocks. This number is far below the average mutual fund, which may hold between 120 and 160 stocks.
  • SFEIC is committed to finding companies that make the world a better place. Since our founding, this has always been a part of our culture. We care about local communities and strive to find companies that are pillars in their communities and models of good corporate citizenship.
  • Stock Pickers – there is no middle man. We construct the portfolio. No extra hands are in your investments.
  • Fee based – we are your partners. When you grow we grow.
  • Team effort – our team is made up of philosophers, lawyers, CPA’s. We come from various backgrounds to collaborate and discuss the best positions for client portfolios.
  • We believe in concentrated diversification. Conventional wisdom says more diversification is better. Yet, this mainly helps protect you from volatility. And, research shows over-diversification produces returns that mirror the market. Yet, this is not ideal for delivering great performance over time. Our track record shows 20-30 carefully selected and monitored stocks allow us to out-perform the market with limited volatility. SFE achieves diversification by combining stocks from many industries with different market values. Plus, we balance growth stocks with established firms that pay dividends.
  • Believe strongly in dividends to achieve a total return. Our Total Return approach to investing refers to our conviction that both price appreciation and dividends are important to achieving attractive returns over time. Stated as a formula: Stock Price Increase + Dividends Paid = Total Return.
  • We use a collaborative approach to separately managed accounts. With your client liaison as the lead, our team views your portfolio of accounts a minimum of twice per quarter. As a team, we collectively make buying and selling recommendations for our clients.

What type of accounts does SFE manage?

SFEIC manages a large variety of Taxable and Non-Taxable Account Registrations. Please see below for a sampling of our current registrations.

Account Registration – Taxable

A – Corporate

B – Trusts

B1 – Trusts – Executor

C – Limited Partnerships

D – Individual

D1 – Individual – Joint Community Property

D2 – Individual – Joint Tenants in Common

D3 – Individual – Joint With Rights of Survivorship

D4 – Individual – Custodial (UTMA, UGMA)

D5 – Individual – Sole Proprietorship

E – Insurance

F – Investment Club

G – Foreign

H – Multi-Employer / Union / Gov’t Employee Plan

I – Mutual / Pooled / Commingled / Hedge Funds

J – Banking / Thrift Institutions

Account Registration – Non-Taxable

K – Corporate

L – Endowment

M – Foundation

N – Religious

O – Charity

P – Foreign

Q – Public

R – Retirement

R5 – Retirement – IRA Traditional

R2 – Retirement – IRA Rollover

R3 – Retirement – IRA ROTH

R4 – Retirement – IRA SEP

R1 – Retirement – IRA Simple

R6 – Retirement – Keogh Money Purchase

R7 – Retirement – Keogh Profit Sharing

R8 – Retirement – Keogh Voluntary Money Purchase

R9 – Retirement – Transfer on Death (TOD)

R10 – Retirement – 401(k)

R11 – Retirement – 403(b)

R12 – Retirement – Profit Sharing Plan

R13 – Retirement – Defined Contribution Benefit Plan

R14 – Retirement – Defined Benefit Plan

S – Multi-Employer / Union / Gov’t Employee Plan

T – Mutual / Pooled / Commingled / Hedge Funds

U – Banking / Thrift Institutions

V – Other

How do we communicate with our clients?

  • Quarterly reporting
  • Open meeting policy: every Wednesday we have an open meeting where all of our clients are welcome and encouraged to join us around the conference table.
  • Here at SFEIC we tailor communication based on the client’s personal needs, goals, objectives, etc…

What does “Total Return” mean?

Our Total Return approach to investing refers to our conviction that both price appreciation and dividends are important to achieving attractive returns over time. Stated as a formula: Stock Price Increase + Dividends Paid = Total Return.