Welcome to Buttfield & Associates
With some five years now after the last recession, we are still feeling the residual after affects. While the economy is improving, the unemployment rate is still higher than the historic average and many people are either under employed or only able to secure part-time work. The Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, had been rolled out with mixed results. Our federal deficit is starting to shrink, but it is still higher than we are comfortable with. Last year was a record year for the U.S. stock market, while this year has started off in negative territory.
Our world is changing. A number of dysfunctions have been revealed in our now global economic system. We have witnessed the European debt crisis, our own deeply embattled government that brought our country perilously close to default, a downgrade of our own U.S. Government’s debt, and record volatility in the world’s stock markets. In addition, we are experiencing dramatic weather events, such as this winter’s snow here in the eastern part of the country and at the same time, record tornados in the U.S. and heat waves in Russia last year. Global climate change is very real, and we are only just beginning to confront this, let alone act on it. These situations can certainly be viewed as breakdowns. However, breakdowns also offer us the seeds for breakthroughs, which we have witnessed throughout history.
Many of us want to see positive social changes in the world and I believe this is happening. For example, I assert that we are witnessing the death throes of an unsustainable oil-based global economy. From this, we are beginning to see the emergence of new industries and a resurgence of existing ones. I believe this will eventually lead to more employment opportunities in areas such as infrastructure rebuilding, alternative energy, energy conservation, technology, and other areas. As another example, we are also beginning to get our global fiscal houses in order. While it is certainly not pretty, we are witnessing our government grapple and begin to deal with our national debt, as we are also seeing with many European countries. So, is there a way to benefit from these changes and even profit from them? Yes!
First, you need a plan. Second, you need a way to have your wealth make a difference by acting as a lever towards the changes you want to see. A Financial Plan first allows you to make sense of your finances while providing a blue print or road map towards your financial future. It lays out the best course of action towards your financial objectives and then helps you to stay on that course. Once you know where you are going and how to get there, the next step is to harness the engine that will get you there – your investments.
There are many quality investments available to choose from. The right mix of asset classes, properly managed, will likely allow your investment dollars to reward you over time. However, if you could invest in areas that reflect your values, and offer commensurate and perhaps superior returns to areas of investment that do not reflect your values, would you not prefer that? Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) allows investors to earn competitive returns while making a positive impact at the same time. Money is a very powerful lever, and SRI allows investors to use that lever to create the world we want.
At Buttfield and Associates, we offer two services. First we write a Financial Plan for our clients. This creates the path for success in all areas of finance and minimizes the potential for sabotage. Then, we establish Socially Responsible Investment portfolios for clients that are professionally managed by a third party. We empower and support our clients to first make sense of their financial affairs and then use their wealth to make a positive difference in the world.
Scott M. Buttfield, CFP®, AIF®
Headquartered in Red Bank, NJ, Buttfield and Associates works with clients primarily in the tri-state area but also works with clients around the United States and abroad.
*Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Mention of specific securities is not an offer of sale of that security. To determine the suitability of any investment for your portfolio please contact a professional investment advisor.