Focus On You

Every investment firm has principles. And they usually sound exactly the same. We believe Middleton Associates is different in almost every way. Our principles were deliberately created with you in mind. We don't just talk about personal service. We're built to deliver it.

Every corporation has principals. Usually, these are lovely artwork in someone’s office that has little to no direct impact on the business. We here at Middleton Associates feel differently. We pride ourselves on using the values we uphold to guide our decision making and create ideal customer service trainings so that each client feels like a million bucks.

Your dedicated financial advisor – It's your financial future, so an 800-number or Internet search for financial advice doesn't cut it. You have a relationship with a competent Middleton Associates financial advisor, who spends time to learn why you're investing and then develops a personalized strategy. No cookie-cutter plans here.

Having a relationship is important. That means having a dedicated employee that is responsible for your account and how you invest. Knowing your investment personality and your portfolio will help them match you to the right investments and create a better opportunity to help you maximize your portfolio.

Tailored for individual investors - All of our resources – including investment research, online account access, easy-to-understand statements, sophisticated software and detailed reports – are developed with you in mind.

Investment research and online access is important to make sure that you are getting your goals achieved. Using statements that make sense and having conversations about your progress will help make investing less daunting.

Experienced support team - Backing up this personal service is highly experienced support team and advanced technology. Your financial advisor uses these resources to develop the best strategy for you.

Having the right team in place is important and gives you the confidence to rely on us. Our teams are well-experienced and having the best strategy for you in place.

We spend the time and have the knowledge to help you sort through complicated financial questions. Most financial services firms claim to focus on you and your needs, but can they really do it? We believe Middleton Associates is uniquely positioned from the ground up to provide the attention, respect and service you deserve.

We believe in having complicated financial questions answered for you. We believe in bringing you the attention, respect, and customer service you need and deserve from someone you are entrusting your hard-earned money with.

There is no "one-size-fits-all" investment strategy. That's because you invest to achieve what's most important to you. That's why your local financial advisor will take the time to understand exactly what you're trying to accomplish, and then work with you to develop a personalized financial strategy. Before we recommend investments, we ask the right questions to better understand your goals, life stage and risk tolerance.

We do not believe in the cookie cutter approach. Before we recommend how to invest, we want to make sure we know YOU and how to best maximize your investing. We want to know you, your risk tolerance, goals and life stage.

The steps below can help you identify a Portfolio Objective that you and your financial advisor can use as a starting point to help build a portfolio that's just the right fit for you.

Having a Portfolio Objective will help you with a starting point to get you pointed in the right direction.

1. Consider your life stage

It's important to understand how your life stage impacts your financial situation. For example, if you're younger and retirement is a long way off, your investments will probably look different than if you're planning to retire in five years.

Knowing where you are in your investing career will help us guide you to the right product. You will definitely want a different strategy depending on when you need to cash out, your current needs, and how to maximize your earning potential.

We've identified five investing stages of life: three “accumulation” phases for investors saving for retirement and two “distribution” phases for those in retirement.

There are give stages that will help you identify where you are in your earning/investing career. Three are the stages where you are accumulating funds. Two are when you will be getting distributions from your retirement funds.

The Accumulation Stages. Because most investors will spend more than 20 years in retirement, these stages are a critical first step in working toward building wealth and generally defined as the following:

Because most investors will spend well over 20 years in retirement, these stages are important to gather all the funds together to get you on the right path:
Early Investing Years - When you begin your first full-time job.
Good Earnings Years - When you have 10 to 20 years until you retire.
Higher Income and Savings Years - When you have up to 10 years until retirement.

The Distribution Stages. Because your retirement can last about as long as your accumulation years, consider how wealth is distributed during the following two stages in retirement:

Because retirement can be a long period in your life; we have broken this time period into two different stages.

Early Retirement Years - When you still have 15 years or more to rely on your investments for retirement income.
Late Retirement Years - When you have fewer than 15 years to rely on your investments for retirement income.

2. Weigh your risk tolerance

Your risk tolerance, or how much risk you're comfortable taking, makes a big difference when choosing appropriate investments. Different types of investments carry different levels of risk—but also offer different levels of return potential. Find the right balance between the risk you’re willing to accept and the returns you anticipate receiving. Then, you’ll be in a better position to stick with your investment strategy regardless of what the market is doing. Your financial advisor will walk you through a series of questions so you both can gain a better understanding of your risk tolerance before implementing any strategies.

How comfortable you are taking financial risks is called your risk tolerance. Different products carry different levels of risk. You will need to balance the risk you’re willing to accept and the returns you want to receive. Having a large financial goal is okay but when that is coupled with a low risk tolerance, you may need to tailor your investments to long-term investments and react accordingly.

3. Identify a portfolio objective

A Portfolio Objective helps you and your financial advisor determine the mix of investments that's right for you. Any one of five Portfolio Objectives could be appropriate for your long-term goals and unique financial situation. Use the Portfolio Objective Guidance Table below as a guide. First, find your life stage across the top. Then, estimate your risk tolerance using the descriptions on the right side.

A portfolio goal helps you determine what the mix of your portfolio should be. Using the portfolio goal below will help you identify the goal of your portfolio. Estimating your risk tolerance is part of this exercise as well.

The portfolio objectives that closely map to both your life stage and your risk tolerance may make sense for your situation, especially if your primary goal is retirement income. But remember, this is just a starting point for your meeting with your financial advisor. Together, you'll discuss your goals, comfort level with risk and your entire financial situation to help build a portfolio that makes sense for your situation.

Mapping out your life stage and risk tolerance will make sense to determine your primary goal. This is just a starting point for you. Discuss your goals, comfort level and the entirety of your financial situation to see what’s the best choice for you.

Working with a Financial Advisor

Whether you're new to investing or have been investing for years, you owe it to yourself to experience the difference of working with a Middleton Associates financial advisor. Our financial advisors focus on understanding what's important to you and building a personalized strategy to help you reach your financial goals. We'll help you stay on track by partnering with you throughout your life, making adjustments along the way if your goals change.

Using a Financial Advisor will help you to focus on your goals and to get you where you need to be. By staying on track with your partnership you will see your returns continue to grow as you get closer and closer to your distributions phases.

How we can help

We get it. Investing can be complicated. Ask all the questions you want, and we will answer them in plain English. Your financial advisor is your long-term financial partner. You have important goals, and you need an advocate – someone who listens and really understands what's important to you. We believe that's the best way to develop a personalized financial strategy.

Understanding investing isn’t easy. We are here to answer all of your questions. We want you to feel like we are an advocate for you and that we really hear you out. The best way to start is by developing a personalized financial strategy.

Before we can develop an investment strategy for you, we get to know you. Why are you investing? What do you want to do? This is your financial future. It shouldn't be left to chance or some off-the-shelf plan.

Developing a personalized financial strategy starts by answering some questions. We want to know about you and your financial present and future.

The approach we work through together should be as individual as you are. When you partner with a Middleton Associates financial advisor, we follow an established process that starts with asking, "What's important to you?" And then we listen. Really listen.

After we understand what's important to you and why, together we build a strategy tailored just for you based on your financial needs.

We pride ourselves on building tailored plans for your financial needs. We will help you by listening, really listening to you.

To work toward achieving your goals

By working through the Middleton Associates 5-step Asset Management Process with you, your local financial advisor can:

There are five steps to help you understand your financial needs and get on track with a strategic approach

• Help assess your tolerance for risk
• Create a quantifiable, actionable financial goal based on what's important to you
• Recommend investments and strategies that support and align with your goals
Step 1: Where am I today?
It's difficult to plan for the future without an understanding of where you stand today. This means identifying and prioritizing your needs, assessing your tolerance for risk and understanding what impacts your current financial picture – things like income, expenses and any savings. Talking about these factors helps shape the advice your financial advisor can offer and the strategy you'll build together to get you where you want to go.

Understanding where you are today is the first part of this plan. Knowing where you are will help you detail how you are going to get there. Talking about income, expenses, and savings will help you understand where you need to go and how to get there.

Step 2: Where would I like to be?
After determining where you are today, the next step is identifying where you'd like to be. What does your vision for the future look like? What are you trying to accomplish?

Where do you want to be? What are you trying to accomplish?

This discussion is very important. Your financial advisor will use this information and our tools to translate your vision into a personal, measurable goal and to develop a written strategy to track your progress.

Your financial advisor will use this information to translate your idea of success into a written strategy and achievable goal.

Step 3: Can I get there?
This is where the rubber meets the road. You know where you stand, what you want to do in the future and how much risk you're comfortable taking to get there. Your financial advisor can now help you answer the big question "Can I get there?" Together, you'll analyze what you're currently doing and discuss any adjustments you can make to better position you to achieve your goals.

The next step is understanding if you can get there. You can look at a wide range of products and see what is possible for you and what may be too uncomfortable for you.

Step 4: How do I get there?
Discussing the first three steps allows your financial advisor to understand your complete financial picture – your needs, attitude toward risk, progress toward your goal, and current investment strategy.

Taking these factors into consideration, along with our firm's investment principles, your financial advisor can identify the most appropriate investments, protection and services to get you where you want to be.

It's also important that you understand and are comfortable with the fees that come along with these investments and services. That's why your financial advisor will walk you through the costs involved before you implement these recommendations.

Discussing your needs, attitude toward risk, and your goal will help you to get a financial picture. These will guide them on a track of how to get you where you want to be. There is a roadmap that will be created that will help you understand what you need to do to get where you need to be. Don’t forget, there are fees associated with some products so you will want to understand what those are and get comfortable with those fees.

Step 5: How can I stay on track?
The last step may be one of the most important. After building a solid strategy, we'll work together to make sure you stay on track. This is more than just what we do in the office – it's about regularly checking in about questions you have, or changes in your life or the market, that may affect your current path.

After building your roadmap, you’ll need a resiliency plan. This plan is how you stay on track. How do you keep moving forward to get you where you need to be.

Putting your team in place
We believe that when it comes to financial matters, the value of professional advice cannot be overestimated. Depending on what's important to you and the strategies you put into place, it may make sense to bring your legal and tax professionals into this process. Your financial advisor will work in partnership with the other key members of your team – like your CPA or attorney, and the associates at our home office – as needed to help achieve your success.

Professional advice cannot be overstated. With the help of your financial advisor, CPA, attorney, etc. we can help you get you where you want to go.

How we can help
Starting this process is as simple as answering a few questions to help determine what's important to you. Get started today by contacting your local financial advisor.

Get started today to get your life situated so that retirement comes sooner rather than later.