Investment Process

Ascend Wealth Advisors, LLC (AWA) will explore and consider investments in various securities such as common stocks, preferred stocks, corporate and government issued fixed income. In addition, certain equities based upon real assets like commodities, gold or oil may be utilized to provide a counter-cyclical hedge against market and economic uncertainty. Exposure to foreign companies and economies may be employed to take advantage of growth opportunities in other regions of the world. Alternative investments, where prudent, may also be used to create a balanced, yet flexible portfolio. We are not adverse to holding cash positions, if warranted, due to market conditions or due to exiting positions.

Equity Investments: Opportunistically buying high quality companies at a reasonable price, monitoring their progress, and trimming back or selling the position at an appropriate time, is key to achieving long-term positive returns in the equity markets. We seek out equity investment choices by evaluating companies based on their historical fundamental strengths such as revenue and earnings growth, which often results in a pattern of consistent dividend growth. Identifying companies who are leaders in their respective industry, geography or product specialty is another key to good performance over the long run. Searching the pool of public companies for the best performing and best managed companies will be the primary source of AWA’s equity investment ideas.

Determining future growth potential of the company, its industry and the competition is essential to making sound purchase and sale decisions.

The characteristics of an ideal equity investment may include:

Sustainable leadership position in market share, brand or technology; high industry barriers to entry and above average growth rate;
New product innovation that may lead to accelerating revenue and profitability
Strong financial performance and condition in terms of profitability and balance sheet leverage;
Experienced management team with meaningful insider ownership and proven ability to manage through difficult economic periods;

Ascend Wealth Advisors, LLC will target a potential return on each investment and selling it as deemed appropriate. These actions will be based on the changes in valuation or based upon changes in the company’s outlook, the industry’s future growth prospects or changes to the economic landscape. It is good to take profits when they are achieved, even when the company continues to perform up to expectations. Minimizing losses or avoiding a large loss is often as valuable as a realized positive return.

Fixed Income Investments: Typically, AWA will consider and evaluate potential corporate bonds (or corporate preferred issues) if AWA first has a favorable opinion of, or outlook for, the corporate issuer. In general, though not exclusively, the prospect of steady or improving financial performance by an issuer lessens the likelihood of deteriorating credit quality and default risk. Seeking reasonable returns for a given credit risk will provide balance and current returns to the portfolio. Utilizing Treasury issues may also be appropriate in constructing the fixed income portion of a portfolio.

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