Welcome to Buttfield & Associates

Back in 2008 history was made in this country when we elected Barack Obama as the first bi-racial President. He served for two terms and established himself with strong public persuasion skills and commitment to equality and fairness for all. The Affordable Care Act, nicknamed “Obamacare” did get off to a rocky start, but it has steadily gained strength and is now a solid program for our country.

Under Obama’s leadership, the United States pulled back from the most severe recession since the great depression. Government bailouts of firms such as General Motors and Chrysler, while questioned at the time, were ultimately successful, and resulted in the preservation of many jobs. In short, under his watch, the Economy turned around. Due primarily to the George Bush tax cuts, as well as the financial crisis in 2008; Obama inherited what is universally considered a mess. During his first year, he put through an economic stimulus package that, along with his leadership, eventually was instrumental in turning the tide. While unemployment did peak at 10% in October of 2009, due to the recession, it then started dropping, and reached 4.7% at the end of his second term. Then the unthinkable happened.

In November of 2016, by the slimmest of margins, we elected Donald J. Trump as our 44th President. A “businessman” with absolutely no political experience, Trump was elected under highly suspicious and incredulous circumstances. Strong suspicion became certainty of Russian interference, a forceful push against immigration with “build a wall” becoming a campaign slogan along with “Lock Her Up”, gerrymandering of election districts, and lies – a whole bunch of lies. In the end, only about 36% of the population voted for him, but those votes were in key “winner take all” states and were just enough to take those states. This was despite a 3,000,000 popular vote advantage for Hillary Clinton.

Now we have a “President” who has been described as a racist, bully, womanizer, twitter-er in chief, and has now successfully alienated our closest allies, as evidenced with the G7 meeting this year in Canada, while simultaneously befriending and “sucking up” to dictators and strongmen such as Vladimir Putin and Rodrigo Duterte. His White House Staff has been riddled with firings and resignations and his former campaign chairman is in jail. All of this plus we also have Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen, and the Robert Mueller investigation, to name just some of the scandals or investigations of them. In short, after 8 years of President Barack Obama, where there was not a whiff of a scandal, we have a president with nothing but scandals. According to the 2018 President Ranking by the American Political Science Association, which evaluates presidents according to 10 different criteria, the #1 President is Abraham Lincoln, #8 is Barack Obama, and #44 is Donald Trump – dead last.

Despite all of this, and the embarrassment Trump is subjecting our country to, there is still a huge segment of our population that wants positive social change along with growth and prosperity. For example, I assert many of us want to see positive social changes in the world and I believe this is happening.  For example, I assert that we are witnessing the death throes of an unsustainable oil-based global economy.  From this, we are beginning to see the emergence of new industries and a resurgence of existing ones.  I believe this will eventually lead to more employment opportunities in areas such as infrastructure rebuilding, alternative energy, energy conservation, technology, and other areas.  So, is there a way to benefit from these changes and even profit from them?  Yes!   Is there a way to minimize and reduce the negative impacts of our current administration?   Yes!

First, you need a plan.  Second, you need a way to have your wealth make a difference by acting as a lever towards the changes you want to see.  A Financial Plan first allows you to make sense of your finances while providing a blue print or road map towards your financial future.  It lays out the best course of action towards your financial objectives and then helps you to stay on that course.  Once you know where you are going and how to get there, the next step is to harness the engine that will get you there – your investments.

SRI Examples FlowchartThere are many quality investments available to choose from.  The right mix of asset classes, properly managed, will likely allow your investment dollars to reward you over time.  However, if you could invest in areas that reflect your values, and offer commensurate and perhaps superior returns to areas of investment that do not reflect your values, would you not prefer that?  Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) allows investors to earn competitive returns while making a positive impact at the same time.  Money is a very powerful lever, and SRI allows investors to use that lever to create the world we want.

At Buttfield and Associates, we offer two services.   First we write a Financial Plan for our clients.  This creates the path for success in all areas of finance and minimizes the potential for sabotage.  Then, we establish Socially Responsible Investment portfolios for clients that are professionally managed by a third party.  We empower and support our clients to first make sense of their financial affairs and then use their wealth to make a positive difference in the world.

Scott M. Buttfield, CFP®, AIF®, Member: NAPFA

Headquartered in Red Bank, NJ, Buttfield and Associates works primarily with clients in the tristate area but also with clients all around the United States.

 

*Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Mention of specific securities is not an offer of sale of that security. To determine the suitability of any investment for your portfolio please contact a professional investment advisor.