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The Classics

For clients with long-term horizons, Mark Rosenbaum and Jana Basden say that nothing beats good ol' asset allocation.

Ilana Polyak, 04/01/2009

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With markets suffering from their worst performance in decades, it might be easy to try something a little more innovative than stocks, such as short positions, puts--anything to avoid further damage. But for one money-management firm in Portland, Ore., classic asset allocation still holds plenty of appeal.

"My sense is that the market is heading up over time," says Mark Rosenbaum, managing partner of Rosenbaum Financial. "We don't want to time the market, and we try to diversify to the greatest extent possible."

The Silo Approach
You would expect such a belief in the long-term possibility of markets from a firm that started in 1957 when Rosenbaum's father, Fred, began selling life insurance and other insurance products to local business owners.

Mark and the elder Rosenbaum started the current company in 1982 and called it Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum. Together, they expanded into other areas, such as executive compensation, estate planning, and benefits management, including pensions. They later changed the name to Rosenbaum Financial to better reflect the broader nature of their expanding business.

As more capabilities were added and the firm expanded into these different areas, Rosenbaum added staff who had the relevant areas of expertise. Investments were a natural offshoot of this progression, as clients then needed help managing pension assets. Much of the company's growth stems from the investment side now.

Today, the firm aims to manage all aspects of a client's financial life, so it is moving away from this silo system into a more integrated model. In addition to being registered investment advisors and stockbrokers, the associates are also charter life underwriters.

"The client will have one main contact at the firm, but we're getting to the point where they are also comfortable speaking with different members of the team," Rosenbaum says.

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