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Visit CORDA Investment Management at https://cordamanagement.com
In a marketplace where mutual funds and commissions are the norm, a wealth advisory firm that does not broker mutual funds or compensate their advisors in a commission structure may be hard to imagine. Who, in 2018, doesn’t deal in mutual funds?
To suggest that such a firm could be compensated through a fee-only model and registered with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) may be hard to conceive by investors who have come to accept certain conventions of the financial services industry.
Yet, such a firm does exist. And it has been working for its clients for nearly two decades.
In 1999, CORDA Investment Management, LLC, was founded by Bonner Barnes, AIF®, the current Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, as a firm that manages portfolios on behalf of clients.
Mutual funds were not part of the equation.
Barnes, a Duke University graduate, who had worked as an analyst, portfolio manager, and business development professional in financial services firms since the early 1980s, had a vision when he founded CORDA that he proudly calls “contrarian.”
At the founding of CORDA, Barnes’ concept was to create wealth for investors by helping them buy shares in publicly traded companies that were currently out of favor with Wall Street--though paying great dividends to their shareholders--which showed the potential to grow over time.
“Rather than deal exclusively in mutual funds like many broker-dealers,” Bonner explains, “we spend our energy understanding the companies in which we have ownership stakes. Our clients are able to build wealth as companies gain traction on the turnaround.”
CORDA is a Registered Investment Advisors and, as such, is required to adhere to a fiduciary standard of care more stringent than that of most broker-dealers. Their fee-only model ensures that the potential of conflict of interest is also minimized.
In 2018, the results that CORDA has produced for its clients over the last 18 years have proven that this strategy, while uncommon, is as solid as a Texas belt buckle. While their firm has three offices in the Lone Star State, CORDA’s clientele is marbled throughout the United States, proving a nationwide appreciation for CORDA’s maverick spirit and results--particularly with clients with assets in excess of $500,000.
While CORDA clients generally hold single-stock investments, client portfolios may consist of holdings with 25-30 individual businesses.
CORDA views dividends as a major element of their wealth creation strategies, as dividend income is taxed at a lower rate than other forms of income, and dividends can provide income to stakeholders as the businesses in which CORDA and its clients invest gain momentum in their upswing.
CORDA’s team of independent researchers seek to select companies that can deliver building blocks of wealth to clients within the span of three to five years. Timelines of investments are explained to clients during information gathering interviews, where CORDA advisors listen to the needs and goals of clients.
CORDA’s rare blend of contrarianism and discipline in the selection of stocks and the timing of their purchases and sales has led the firm to be recognized by Barron’s as one of the top 1,200 advisors in the country in 2017, and by Forbes as one of “America’s Top Wealth Advisors,” also in 2017.
In addition to helping hundreds of clients create wealth through their investment strategies, CORDA is also a pillar in the Houston community. CORDA Investment Management proudly supports three local non-profits: Galveston Bay Foundation, an organization which protects and conserves the natural environment; SEARCH Homeless Services, which addresses homelessness in the Houston area; and Bike Houston, a nonprofit working with local government as well as other stakeholders to create safe bikeways in Houston--a cause that is very personal to Barnes, an avid cyclist.
“I find riding to be a great way to mentally and emotionally refuel,” Barnes declares. In fact, the lessons of achievements in cycling can inform wealth creation strategy: staying focused, pushing past discomfort, understanding the path before embarking, and keeping the goal at the forefront of stakeholders at all times.
In competition, cyclists often need to find openings and take ahold of them. Often, the best cyclists have to pull away from the pack and take calculated risks to seize the championship, an approach CORDA understands and has integrated into their wealth management strategies.
“Opportunity is found not in the consensus,” says Barnes, “but in the contrarian.”
As Seen in Kiplinger
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