Arbor Wealth Investment Team Member Profile: Patrick McDowell

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

Patrick R. McDowell has recently earned the Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Investment Fiduciary designations while serving on the Arbor Wealth investment team. During his tenure with Arbor Wealth Management, McDowell has been interviewed multiple times by the Wall Street Journal regarding individual securities and market trends.

“I think it’s important for an advisor to stay current with the legal and regulatory environment, and to demonstrate a passion for monitoring markets,” he said. “An advisor’s mentality should be, ‘We are in the office every day, monitoring client accounts and studying markets, and loving it.’  We have a passion for investing and overall financial planning and client service.’”

“I am fortunate to be a part of a “fee-only” investment advisory firm that sells no products and accepts no commissions. Being “fee-only” allows us to focus on the fiduciary standard, which is acting only in the client’s best interests.  In my opinion, this is the cleanest relationship model available between advisors and clients.”

“Also, when I joined the firm several years ago I understood that Margaret’s (firm founder Margaret R. McDowell, ChFC, AIF) team employed tactical asset management. And after seeing what transpired in 2008, I am so glad that our firm’s investment team is committed to this philosophy. Most of our clients are nearing or in retirement, so capital preservation for them is extremely important.”

“We also believe that our clients should get paid from their investments,” he continues.  “Margaret, who has been in the business for nearly twenty years, talks frequently about the dot.com bubble in 2000 and other recessions.  And about how she wants our clients to take home something tangible from their investments.  Our firm serves many clients who desire to receive income from their investments, so I wholly embrace our firm’s philosophy in regard to investing in dividend-payers.  In addition, dividends that increase over time can provide a hedge against inflationary forces.” 

“Naturally, we also work with many clients who are still working and/or who do not need income generated from their investments, so we understand that for these clients, growing their portfolio is of paramount importance.  Regardless of investment objective, though, whether it is growth or income or both, our portfolios are custom created. This allows us to actively pick stocks and to essentially assemble our own mutual funds, which means our clients can avoid the front-end and top-heavy fees associated with many such products.  We generally don’t buy broad market indices, because we don’t want our clients to have to take the laggards with the leaders.  We attempt to pick the leaders.”

 “Margaret and I work side-by-side ten hours a day in our investment ‘war room’, says McDowell.  “You hardly ever see us either of us out of the office while markets are open.  We are managing portfolios, analyzing potential buys and sells, monitoring accounts, and meeting with clients.  There’s not much time for glad-handing at public functions.  We manage every dime of our clients’ assets right here in this office.  And I love it.”

“Another thing that I have learned and like about Margaret’s investment advisory model is that we don’t attempt “to be all things to all people.”  We know our strength, which is dealing with the complexities that accompany managing larger private wealth portfolios.  Performing a tax analysis on new accounts, processing RMD’s and selecting tax sensitive investments is a big part of what we do.  Providing financial strategies for clients with significant assets is our niche.  And we stick to it.”

“I also think it’s extremely important for investors to be able to speak with the person who actually manages their money.  Because we do all our own research and manage all client assets in house, when clients do call with questions, they are speaking personally with the investment team that actually manages their assets.”