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Investment Philosophy

We look forward to sharing our current investment philosophy and market outlook with you when we meet. In the meantime, here is a look at what we've published in the past.

November 22, 2016

  • Cash levels in the U.S. are extraordinarily high right now.
  • We are in a growing, profitable economy.
  • Cash deposits: CDs, money market, etc. are not keeping up with inflation.
  • Just focus on the 'cash' buildup and where it is likely to go next.
  • You, quite possibly, could miss the next big run for U.S. stocks as that cash gets invested.


UPDATE: Tap here for the St. Louis Fed's real-time (updated) M2 or 'cash' as % of GDP.
Spoiler Alert: it's even higher today!
December 15, 2016

  • Sitting in cash is essentially market-timing when done outside of a proper long-term financial strategy.
  • Market-timing, as an investment strategy, is a very difficult one to defend -- for both amateur and professional investors alike.
  • “Trying to time the market” is the #1 mistake to avoid.
    “People that think they can predict the short-term movement of the stock market — or listen to other people who talk about (timing the market) — they are making a big mistake”
Princeton Economist Burton Malkiel:
    “I have never known anyone who could consistently time the market. And in fact I've never known anyone who knows anyone, who was able to consistently time the market”.

February 23, 2017

  • When you graduate to investing money held outside of your IRA/401(k), it’s a whole new ball game — taxes matter.
  • Californians give up, in taxes, as much as 1/3 to 1/2 of each year’s interest, realized stock and bond gains, etc.: 'short-term investment income'.
  • Only France and Denmark have a higher long-term capital gains tax than California’s 33%+ (of the 35 OECD nations).
  • Most investment strategies are optimized on something other than after-tax profit...the same about most investment products on the market.
  • You can build wealth faster and with less risk by being tax-smart.

Aug. 29, 2017 (2.098% yield)

  • 10-year Treasuries are a bad investment right now.
  • You can expect to lose value over time, after taxes and inflation.
  • Taxes matter; inflation matters.
  • A well-constructed investment portfolio needs to take into account current expected real returns and not robotically follow outdated, and thus unrealistic, portfolio allocation assumptions from a different era.


NOTE: As yield goes up; price goes down. The yield on Treasuries hit a post-election low (2.02%) within a few days of this article and has since soared to ~3%.
Nov. 28, 2017 (~$9.5K/BTC)

  • The unleashing of professional sales & marketing for crypto-based investment products over the next few months will make 2018 The Year of the Crypto Asset Class.
  • It’s anyone’s guess when and at what level this bubble in bitcoin will burst.
  • The last thing I’d want to be right now is short bitcoin.
  • With a good sales & marketing team just about anything can and will be sold; especially a sexy new asset class.
  • Nonetheless, with respect to bitcoin, I still believe, as quoted in Forbes this month: “The price level and energy usage are unsustainable. There is far better technology emerging to meet the same needs.”


NOTE: 2.5 weeks later BTC had doubled to more than $19,000/BTC before trading below $7000/BTC 2.5 months later.
Dec. 31, 2017

  • At ImpactAdvisor, we’ve been busy all week with tax-optimization.
  • The #1 action item: topping up your estimated state income taxes before year-end.
  • Our clients who took this advice expect to save thousands of dollars, each.
  • In some extreme cases, if you underpay $10,000 in state income taxes before 2018, you will have missed out on $3900+ in federal tax savings.


Tap here to fastest marginal tax calculator on the Internet. Within seconds you can estimate what Tax Reform did to your estimated 2018 tax bill:
Dec. 31, 2017

  • Mainstream philanthropists and non-profit organizations drew the short straw.
  • If you regularly make an impact with philanthropy, but otherwise, you have few deductions, you may have lost your tax deduction from donating, especially if you are married.
  • If you are married, in 2018 you get a $24K standard deduction just for breathing.
  • If you are single, in 2018 you get a $12K standard deduction just for breathing.


Tap here for the fastest marginal tax calculator on the Internet. Within seconds you can estimate your tax benefit from charitable gifting in 2018:
The Newest Metric for Financial Success: Customers’ Emotions

Tearsheet, August 2017

  • For Jason Escamilla, CEO of ImpactAdvisor, a wealth management firm that focuses on values-based investments, emotions and money are inextricably linked, as values-based investments are often driven by emotional responses to causes.
  • For example, an investor may choose not to invest in companies that he or she sees engages in practices detrimental to the environment.
  • But..."Being emotional is not an edge in investing," he said.

Beware Of The Bitcoin Bubble: Investment And Financial Advisors Warn

Forbes, Nov. 4, 2017   (~$7K/BTC)

  • But it is anybody’s guess what inning. It looks to me like we’re well ahead of the 7th-inning stretch,” said Jason R. Escamilla, CEO of ImpactAdvisor, an investment advisory firm in San Francisco.
  • “The price level and energy usage are unsustainable. There is far better technology emerging to meet the same needs.”

Should I Invest in Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology?

U.S. News, Nov. 13, 2017   (~$6K/BTC)

  • "We view crypto-investing as driven by the greater fool theory of investing or speculation, and we genuinely mean that in a bullish way for now," says Jason R. Escamilla, CEO of ImpactAdvisor, a wealth management firm in San Francisco
  • "As an investor, you have to ask yourself, if you are getting into bitcoin today: what's your edge over the person selling to you? Simply looking at a chart showing the price rise is not enough," [for bitcoin or any other second-hand good that trades in a marketplace].


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