Mark Robinson founded The Watchman Group in 2004 through a partnership with a former colleague and CPA who was preparing to retire. Mark recognized that most advisors were focused on gathering assets and were ignoring tax strategy as a means to add value for their clients. Partnering with an industry veteran who had already provided tax advice was the perfect means to create a firm that leveraged his skills in investment management. He named the new firm The Watchman Group. His vision was to build a firm focused on wealth creation through thoughtful financial planning and disciplined investment strategy. The name of the firm is a reference to the night watchman that protected the dark streets of Europe in the 17th and 18th century before organized law enforcement was created. Like the night watchman, our role as a fiduciary holds us to the highest standard of care and requires that we protect and guide our clients to solutions that are in their best interest. In 2019 the firm celebrated its 15th anniversary serving clients nationwide.
What Makes Us Different
- Lower Advisory Costs – Unlike most firms that work with high net worth investors, we don’t operate out of swanky office towers in a trendy part of town, nor do we spend money on high profile marketing engagements. We prefer to keep our business expenses down so that we can charge our clients less.
- Lower Portfolio Expenses – The portfolios that we craft for our clients are primarily a mix of individual securities and low cost funds. We tend to avoid high cost, “hedge fund” type strategies. When we keep portfolio costs down, it increases our clients’ bottom line.
- Focus on Taxes – Our firm originally grew out of a CPA practice, and today, we maintain two CPAs on staff. We regularly work with clients and their CPAs to review pay stubs, 1099s, and estimated tax payments. We’re also well-versed in more complex issues, like 1031 exchanges and gifting strategies.
How We Engage Our Clients
At The Watchman Group, we’re big on communication. Here are our tools for keeping people in the loop:
- Investment Commentary – Once per quarter, we send out an investment letter to our clients. The letter contains in-depth observations on the economy and capital markets.
- THE PAR 3 – Once a month, we also compile a list of short, quick‐hit observations on capital markets, updates at the firm, or anything else we find interesting. This message is delivered via email.
- Portfolio Monitoring and Secure Vault – Any time our clients feel like seeing an overview of their accounts, allocation, and overall performance, they can do so by simply logging onto our website or checking the app on their phone. Our easy-to-use portfolio monitoring tool is capable of relaying all of the aforementioned information AND data about outside assets, too—like real estate investments and 401(k) plans. Plus, the module includes a “Secure Vault” area for storing and sharing important documents.
- Ongoing Client Management – We offer online access to accounts through custodians like TD Ameritrade, Schwab, etc. Additionally, we’re reachable through regular face to face meetings, phone calls, video conferences, and more. Regardless of a client’s preferred style of communication, we’re able to stay in touch.
As a fiduciary, we are held to the highest standards of trust and care in managing your assets. One hundred percent of our revenue comes from our clients. We have no internal products with additional fees, we receive no commissions nor do we engage in fee-sharing arrangements. We pride ourselves on being an independent, unbiased wealth manager with only our clients’ best interests in mind.
The highest legal duty of one party to another, being a fiduciary requires being bound ethically to act in the other’s best interests.