All wet and warm
Not ten miles away
Approaching My Mexican home

John Prine, Mexican Home


By Ted Schwartz

Well, some of my best friends love golf. I can sort of understand it and believe you should pursue it if that is your passion. Golf is just not in my genes and never will be. So, as I look at what makes my life worthwhile and joyous, there are quite a few things to enjoy. Work at Capstone remains one of them. In recent months, I have been able to cut back some of my time at Capstone and allocate that time to some other life pursuits that I find meaningful at this point. As I look forward to my continued restylement (i.e. being able to spend more time doing the things which I find significant and worthwhile), I plan to continue to spend time at work, time at travel, time with family and friends, and time by the sea in Mexico.

The work balance is both fascinating and rewarding at this point. My ability to cut back my time is based on Capstone’s team growing stronger and better every day. That starts with my advisory teammate, Hillary Hienton. Her instincts are terrific and her gap in experience is her only limitation (i.e. my almost twenty-five years and her couple of years). That is where I have an opportunity to continue to both serve you as a client and mentor Hillary as a Capstone advisor and fiduciary. To be able to mentor a wonderful young woman in our profession is a distinct honor and opportunity. Our field needs more smart young women, who I truly believe have an advantage in connecting on a personal level with clients and making sure that your best interest is served first at all times.

The second place that Capstone is growing is in our newly revitalized investment committee. Portfolio construction and maintenance has been both my primary duty and one of my primary loves in this business. It is time to begin training the next generation of Capstone investment management. We have begun the process of working together on portfolios as a team. The team will be responsible for building, maintaining, and changing portfolios in order to best meet your financial goals. The process includes our ongoing due diligence process, in which we essentially “manage the managers” that we hire for you.

Specifically, we concentrate on the 4 Ps- people, philosophy, process, and performance. While performance is, of course, important it is last on that list for a reason. When the regulators insert the term “past results are not a guaranty of future performance,” they are not kidding. Bernie Madoff had great performance, but…scrutiny of people, philosophy, and process should have raised many red flags. We overweight caution and humility in our assessment of people, the first P and the one that drives the others. In baseball terms, that means that we tend to look for singles and doubles hitters rather than home run hitters. We think this is worthwhile risk management for you as home run hitters tend to strike out quite often. That conflicts with our belief that you want to meet your own financial goals with as little risk as necessary.

In terms of seeking meaning in life, I hope in my own small way to carry on the fight to make life fairer and better for more people on the planet. That is my way to honor my grandchildren and to set the stage for them to inherit a just world. Along with that, Capstone, reading, spending time with friends and family, and sitting back and enjoying an occasional sunset remain on the to-do list for now.