With 2016 officially behind us it is time to reflect on where we have been and more importantly, where we are heading here at Cedarstone. Once again we had a tremendous year of growth, doubling in size for the second year in a row, reaching over $64 million in assets under management. Once again the overwhelming majority of this growth came from referrals from our clients, demonstrating that our process really is creating a better experience. We thank you all for your trust and support.
2016 was an exceptional year in many ways but the investment performance of our portfolios was one that really stood out. Both our stock portfolios and bond portfolios substantially beat their benchmarks with our stock portfolio returning over 15% compared to a global stock benchmark of 9.7% and an S&P 500 return of 12%. Similarly, the bond portfolios returned over 4.5% compared to the Bond Aggregate Index at 2.4%*.
Of course, we do more than invest money. We provide guidance to our clients and this year we have walked beside our clients through life’s ups and downs including retirement, divorce, deaths, surgeries, home purchases, and more. I treasure each of our clients and the relationships that we have built, and we are honored to be trusted counselors in those key moments.
We continue to work hard to be the best in the industry. Here are some of our big accomplishments in 2016:
Launched our second office in Denver, Colorado
Held our second annual Cedarstone Investor Conference
Collectively wrote and published more than 100 articles to deliver on our commitment to educate our clients and communicate frequently and clearly
Launched our Cedarstone blog for women, “The Cupcake Club,” to speak to the unique financial needs of women
Upgraded our client portal to be easier to use and read
Created a new client packet to enhance the onboarding experience for new clients
Our very own Hannah Boundy passed the 3rd and final level of the Chartered Financial Analyst exam, one of the most difficult and challenging designations in the industry.
We are so excited about what 2017 will bring and we have big goals for the new year. We are already working on our second book, planning the 2017 investor conference, reviewing additional upgrades to our client portal, and further enhancing our processes to consistently provide excellent service. Through it all, we remain focused on our clients because you are why we are here. We wish you the best in 2017!
*Returns reflect annual time-weighted returns for composite portfolios. Client portfolios are most often comprised of both stocks and bonds and will therefore be a blend of the stock and bond returns.