Our Investment Philosophy


We provide five investment strategies for our clients: Conservative, Moderate Conservative, Moderate, Moderate Aggressive, and Aggressive. In an effort to provide our clients with the greatest probability of success over the long term, we created an investment philosophy that focuses on three central principles: diversify efficiently, tilt to small cap and value stocks, and manage risk accordingly.

Bull Oak Investment Strategies Small


The firm’s investment strategy is one that carefully allocates between equities (for growth) and fixed income (to reduce volatility) based on individual goals, risk tolerance, and the market cycle.

The data is clear – the markets are extremely efficient, and ‘beating’ the market with individual securities is highly unlikely. Therefore, we put the odds back into your favor by relying heavily on low-cost, passive ETFs to fully capture market returns.

Our Guiding Principles

1 Diversify Efficiently

2 Small & Value

3 Risk Contribution

1Diversify Efficiently

Nobody can reasonably predict which individual security, sector, or asset class will outperform the others. The markets are very efficient. As such, it makes sense to diversify.

We diversify across asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and alternatives: US Stocks, Developed Market Stocks, Emerging Market Stocks, US Government Bonds, International Government Bonds, Investment Grade Corporate Bonds, High Yield Bonds, Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, Real Estate Investment Trusts, Cryptocurrencies, and more.

It is important to note that while we invest in emerging market stocks, we intentionally do not invest in Chinese or Russian stocks. For more on this decision and the reasons why, read on here.

Many investors make big bets, often without knowing it, typically on a particular company, country, or asset class. By diversifying properly, we help our clients avoid this mistake. We rely heavily on low-cost, passive ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) to accomplish this.

2Small Cap & Value Stocks

Small company stocks have been empirically proven to outperform large company stocks. This can be partially explained by risk – small companies are inherently riskier, so investors demand a premium for taking on this risk.

Small Premium

Value stocks have also been empirically proven to outperform growth stocks. We focus on broadly diversifying across cheaper companies with higher levels of profitability as they have a higher expected return than growth stocks, which are more expensive with lower levels of profitability. This is especially true during periods of higher inflation.

Value Premium

3Risk Contribution

To help keep clients from making the grave mistake of selling during periods of high volatility, we created the Risk Contribution Method. This methodology helps remove the natural human instinct of buying high and selling low (where we should be buying low and holding on for the long-term). It will instead underweight asset classes of high risk and overweight those of low risk.

While the sub-asset class levels (e.g. U.S. large-cap stocks) are largely efficient, the major asset classes are not. It is common for stocks to be at risk when an economic slowdown is imminent, whether that be a growth rate slowdown or an economic expansion. Sometimes, but not always, this coincides with periods of investor euphoria. In short, when stocks have had a good run and they are at their riskiest, we simply take some money “off the table.”

Bull Oak economic and leading indicators. Graph that shows that specific leading indices can provide enough lead time to adjust portfolios accordingly.

It is also common for stocks to be underpriced during periods of investor panic and economic contraction. After a stock market crash, we are able to take advantage of cheaper equity prices and buy at discount prices.

The Risk Contribution Method identifies these periods by carefully evaluating reliable forward-looking indicators. We then underweight those risk assets and overweight others to take advantage of these misaligned prices.


You will have 24/7 access to your accounts that includes balances, positions, asset allocation, performance, statements, tax forms, RMD amounts, and others. In addition, you will also be able to track your overall net worth in real-time, a critical piece when evaluating your long-term financial goals.


Our fee schedule is designed to be fair and transparent. As a fiduciary financial advisor, we do not receive commissions, kickbacks, or other forms of outside compensation. All of our services are included in this schedule as we do not have any other fees. In fact, there is no charge for the initial financial plan nor the continuous financial planning services you would receive as a client.