When Sheryl Rowling was starting out in the financial services industry, she saw a lack of affordable, easy-to-implement, research services focused on tax efficiency. “I thought that was a necessary tool for all advisors, and I wanted to make it available at a reasonable price,” says Rowling, who founded San Diego-based financial planning and investment firm Rowling & Associates. As a result, she created InStrategy for Advisors, a fee-based investment strategy and research service that helps advisors create and maintain efficient client portfolios.
InStrategy gives firms that don’t have the capacity to do their own investment research access to top-notch information and analysis. While traditional turnkey asset management programs typically charge a fee based on a percentage of assets under management, InStrategy charges a fixed fee. In return, advisors gain access to research on mutual funds and portfolio models, as well as information about financial strategies such as tax loss harvesting and capital gains distribution avoidance. Rowling and Associates also provides quarterly letters and client-ready emails that respond to major market events.
Rowling and Associates approaches its research with a unique focus on tax optimization. “It’s becoming harder and harder to add value based solely on investment choices,” says Rowling. “But advisors can help clients add risk-free value by becoming more tax efficient.”
One of Rowling’s goals is to reach the next generation of investors. InStrategy offers small, “building-block” portfolio models that are suitable for younger investors who are just beginning to build wealth, enabling advisors to provide this solution through a low-cost outsourced option, saving them time and resources so that they can profitably provide this choice.
InStrategy is a tool designed by an advisor to help other advisors save time, money and resources so that they can best serve their clients. “I think of other advisors as colleagues doing a service for the general public. The more I can help them do their job well, the more people they can help,” says Rowling.