Our Approach


A remarkably different wealth management experience.

C.M. Bidwell & Associates focuses on individual portfolio management, both for institutions and for individuals.  We apply an academic, research oriented, and disciplined approach to pursue superior relative performance for client accounts.  We continue to maintain that goal of superior portfolio management as we move into the realm of private wealth management.

In our 30+ years in the business, we have observed that fiduciary responsibility is often lacking in the wealth management industry.  Many wealth management programs levy high fees for underwhelming service to their clients. They have nice office spaces, are friendly, appear knowledgeable and helpful but are self-serving.  Clients are often placed in financial products  with high fees, some hidden, which are paid to the advisor and his/her firm. The fees may appear to be low, but over time, they greatly reduce the growth of client portfolios and wealth while enhancing the wealth of the advisor.

Our wealth management approach addresses those deficiencies. We strive to be as transparent as possible by educating the client and emphasizing the importance of low fees coupled with an appropriate allocation of portfolios to different asset classes. We build relationships with the select group of clients we have to fully understand their situations before making any recommendations. Our private wealth management approach incorporates the knowledge, experience, dependability, and objectivity we have acquired from a long history in the business. Our interests and our clients’ interests are one and the same.

Doing the little things right.

We believe that the following principles taken together separate us from other managers. Adhering to these principles will maximize the probability of your success.

ACADEMIC. Dr. Bidwell has always managed money using an academic approach that exploits known inefficiencies in the stock market. This means we are objective: sticking to what the research has shown us, as opposed to following the hunches of the talking heads on television or the Wall Street gurus who sometimes lead the country (and the world!) down a path of dangerous speculation.  We continue to research the markets, sticking to what we know without blindly following the newest trends in money management.  

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ACCOUNTABILITY. Rather than simply providing the change in account balances over a period, we show you the percentage return of your account as well as the corresponding return of a relevant benchmark index.  That benchmark is specifically tailored to your account by working with you at the outset so you have an objective measure to gauge performance. Many other advisors do not provide benchmark comparisons.

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COMMUNICATION. Every quarter you receive in a timely fashion a quarterly appraisal providing account performance and news regarding the markets to keep you informed and up to date. As a small boutique firm we are available to meet with you at any time to discuss your results and any questions you may have.

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CONTROLLING FEES. Fees are an important part of your portfolio’s performance over time. We control the two types of fees that impact performance the most – management fees and fund fees. We believe our management fees are low relative to other investment advisors and we seek funds that have a sound investment approach with relatively low fund expense fees. There have been numerous studies that show how high fees, management or fund fees, have negative impacts on returns.

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DISCIPLINE. We develop a financial plan for you using a rigorous analytical process and we stick to this strategy through thick and thin. Periodically, we rebalance your portfolio to ensure your assets are allocated as prescribed.  If subject to taxes, we will rebalance your account with an eye toward minimizing taxes to increase returns.

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NO MARKET TIMING. We do not attempt to time markets. Period. The evidence against market timing is overwhelming. If your advisor thinks that he/she can time markets, then ask to see a verifiable track record of their timing ability for an extended period of time. We doubt that one will be forthcoming.

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OBJECTIVITY. We select funds that will best suit you, basing our decision by their approach, track record, and low fees. We do not receive commissions or compensation for choosing any of the funds we invest in and therefore are not biased in our selection.

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TAX EFFICIENCY. Our goal is to increase your after-tax returns and after-tax wealth; we achieve tax efficiency through asset allocation, a buy-and-hold strategy, Roth IRA conversions, and investment selection. Tax efficiency is important to our approach and we take the necessary time to incorporate it into your strategy.

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