"What criteria should I use in comparing different financial advisors?"

It is always a good idea to compare the services of different investment managers. Having quality alternatives increases one's confidence in ultimately choosing the most suitable manager. Investment philosophy, experience and trust are essential selection criteria. Ask each prospective advisor to explain their investment process and decide whether it is a discipline that employs common sense. Since any investment program requires a long-term commitment, make sure that the firm's investment philosophy increases your confidence and comfort level. Study the background of the firm's decision makers and compare their investment experience. Meet personally with each one and spend sufficient time discussing your needs. Thorough understanding of investment philosophy and comparisons of experience will help ensure that you choose an advisor you can trust.

"What distinguishes Osher Van de Voorde Investment Management from larger, institutional investment advisory firms?"

Osher Van de Voorde Investment Management is focused on managing quality portfolios, not a vast quantity of employees. Unlike large institutions, we have no dedicated sales force and rely instead on qualified referrals from satisfied clients and professionals. Our family-owned environment is more suitable for knowing each client and tailoring portfolios to their specific objectives. In contrast, investment managers at large institutions monitor so many portfolios that primary contact with clients is delegated to sales staff.

"I am considering mutual funds. Am I better off with an investment manager?"

While the cost is nearly identical, mutual funds lack the ability to tailor portfolios to unique priorities such as income needs, tax considerations and risk tolerance. For instance, investors have no influence over a fund's tax planning, and so may receive unpleasant capital gains surprises at year-end. If invested in a fund, your wealth is pooled with others whose objectives vary significantly from your own. A financial advisor provides the personal attention and individualized supervision not offered by mutual funds. Other considerations that lessen the appeal of mutual funds include investment limitations due to extensive size, and reporting that is often mysterious and less frequent.

"I have relied on my stockbroker for many years. Am I able to take advantage of the services provided by an investment advisor, yet maintain the relationship with my broker?"

We make all investment decisions and then implement buy and sell orders through a broker. Because of the synergy that exists between investment advisors and brokers, replacing your broker is not necessary. In fact, brokers often refer clients that desire independent portfolio management to us. In utilizing our services, clients may choose their own custodian, either broker or bank. We are pleased to recommend preferred custodians to our clients.

"What is your fee and how is it based?"

Our 1% annual fee is calculated quarterly as a percentage of assets under management. As a fee-only investment advisor, we do not subscribe to "wrap fee" programs and receive no commission compensation.

"What is the best way to measure performance?"

There is no singular, uniform way to measure and compare performance. It is important, however, to gauge performance relative to underlying risk. Additionally, it is always important to remember that past performance does not guarantee future results. Means of performance comparison include benchmarking one's portfolio to an appropriate index such as the S&P 500. This will provide a sense of how the portfolio has fared relative to a widely used barometer of the overall market. Other clients are more interested in analyzing their returns on an absolute basis, factoring for risk and the attainment of long-term objectives. Osher Van de Voorde Investment Management seeks consistent returns within a conservative risk-reward framework.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your individual investment objectives and answer other questions you may have.