Broker Check

228 Hamilton Avenue
Suite 300
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Robert M. Cheney, CFA, CFP®



In the Press

Interview with CNBC Digital on Dow 20,000

"What Investors Should Do With The Dow At 20K,", January 25, 2017.  In reality, Dow 20,000 is just another 5-digit number and nothing much has changed for long-term investors.  I discuss in this CNBC article that we do not know whether the stock market will steamroll right past this milestone like it did with Dow 5,000 in 1995 and Dow 15,000 in 2013 or if we will continue to revisit the milestone for 12 long years as after achieving Dow 10,000 in euphoric 1999.  For this reason, investors need to keep their long-term perspective and not make rash decisions in their portfolios.  I implore clients that they should pursue investing success by concentrating most on the time horizon of their investments and how they fit into their financial plan and much less on timing the market and short-term predictions. Download

Interview with The New York Times on Dollar Cost Averaging

  "How Regular Investing Smooths The Market's Ups and Downs," New York Times, October 14, 2016.  With the stock market near all-time highs, many investors ask me if it is the right time to invest a lump sum or to “dollar cost average,” investing into the stock market gradually over a period of time.  My response is that trying to time the market is futile and the choice depends on their individual financial planning situation; do they anticipate having future discretionary savings available for investment?   Studies consistently demonstrate that the absolute vast majority of both individual AND professional investors do poorly when attempting to time the market.  By contrast, the financial planning process can help investors identify that although they may have a sum that can be invested now, barring a significant change in their career, they will likely have more discretionary savings available for investment in coming years.  In the event that there is a stock market correction or bear market after investing their current available savings, they can use future discretionary savings to invest at lower prices.  It is through this method of dollar cost averaging over a career, not just a limited one or two year period, that provides the potential to achieve a successful retirement.*Download

Interview with Financial Times Financial Advisor IQ on Solo Practice Financial Advisors

"The Solo Advisor Is Anything But Dead," Financial Advisor IQ, a Financial Times Service, June 1, 2016.  “Bigger is better” is a concept that is ingrained within us.  When it comes to financial advisors, we think that firms with a lot of employees and mahogany offices must be the right choice.  “They are big, have a lot of clients, and do a lot of advertising, so I must get the best results for my money and fees paid, right?”  The popular view of the world of financial advisors these days is that there is a collective race for size of staff and economies of scale because only the largest can survive.  However, that popular notion flies in the face of trends in financial technology and opportunities for partnership occurring in the last 5 to 10 years.  Independent financial advisors are certainly not isolated from these advances in technology; in fact, their size and flexibility allows them to be the fastest to adopt beneficial technology.  By partnering with cutting edge, best-of-breed third-party services and implementing new technology, independent financial advisors like me do not have to build expensive resources “in-house” that may quickly become obsolete.  The reduced cost for these third party services can be passed on to clients as lower investment and advisory fees compared to bigger competitors.  By establishing this network of specialist partners in areas like tax planning, investment management, alternative investments, insurance, business retirement plans, and estate planning, it allows me to act as the expert generalist for my clients, like their own private banker.  In addition, having less staff and “in-house” resources to oversee actually frees up a lot more of my time to do what needs to be focused on most: meet with clients and develop and implement a tailored wealth management plan to secure their future.  Download

Interview with The Fiscal Times on Strategies To Reduce Taxes

"9 Ways The Rich Maximize Their Tax Breaks (Some You Can Use, Too)," The Fiscal Times, March 24, 2016.  As core, traditional portfolio management increasingly becomes a commodity, it is up to advisors to add value for clients in other wealth management services, such as tax planning.  Particularly in the state of California, where combined income tax rates approach 54% and combined long-term capital gains tax rates approach 37%, every dollar that an advisor can save a client in reduced taxes means more retirement savings working for the client and reduced or offset overall advisor fees charged.  Download

Interview with Wall Street Journal on Helping Start-Up Employees

"Voices: Robert Cheney, on Advising Tech Start-Up Workers," Wall Street Journal, July 3, 2014.  Robert M. Cheney, CFA, CFP, was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal regarding unique challenges faced by early-stage start-up employees and founders and focused on three primary challenges. With both their net worth and income stream dependent on the start-up, which may be a niche business, these clients obviously face a challenge becoming better diversified. They also may need broader perspective and an advisor can help them see where their role and investments are positioned relative to historic market cycles and in the overall global economy. Last, clients are challenged with tax burdens, particularly in the state of California, and tax planning can keep more stock and options proceeds at work for retirement, charitable, or other causes important to the client. * Please remember that diversification and asset allocation do not guarantee a profit nor protect against loss in a declining market. They are methods used to help manage risk.  Download

*Dollar cost averaging does not assure a profit and does not protect against a loss in declining markets. This type of investment program involves continuous investment in securities regardless of fluctuating price levels of such securities. Investors should consider their financial ability to continue their purchases through periods of low price levels.

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The information has no regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any specific recipient, and is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation, or an offer, to buy or sell any securities or related financial instruments, nor is it intended to provide tax, legal or investment advice.  We recommend that you procure financial and/or tax advice as to the implications (including tax) of investing in any of the companies mentioned.