Asset Management

Our Core Beliefs

Utilizing asset allocations for each client by first determining the client’s true risk tolerance and return objectives is paramount, as it greatly impacts investment outcomes.  Multiple studies have shown that roughly 90% of portfolio performance can be explained by asset allocation and a disciplined adherence to that plan.  Conversely, only 10% of portfolio returns is explained by security selection.

With properly assigned risk targets, we strive to optimize portfolio diversification to reduce individual security and manager risk and create more efficient portfolios.

While we don’t believe that tax should be the only factor in asset allocation decisions, taxes can create a significant drag on the performance of a portfolio.  Therefore, we are very mindful in our investment allocation decisions.

Identifying disciplined active managers with superior long-term performance and low costs can add significant value long term.  While we believe that effective active managers will provide the most value long term, we believe that both passive and active managers can provide value to a client’s allocation.  We have a disciplined methodology to evaluate and select both active and passive strategies.

Investment Team

With over 80 years of combined investment experience, Epiqwest Culver Wealth Advisors has the knowledge and experience that most boutique investment firms lack. 

  • Mark Culver managed our Equity Income and Growth & Income models and leads the ECWA investment team and brings a wealth of knowledge and real-world experience having managed equity portfolios for Culver Investment Company since 1995. 
  • Ivan Sichkar, CFA manages our tactical value model and leads all mutual fund and SMA research.  Ivan has held the chartered financial analyst designation since 2012 and has completed extensive investment research and written multiple papers while president of the Colorado CFA Association.
  • Bryan Sullivan, CFP was head of asset allocation and correlation research at Epiqwest Financial.  Bryan brings extensive knowledge and experience in the areas of separately managed account research and has coordinated research from CFA investment teams at Envestnet and more recently SMArtX.
  • Ronald Besonen has a BS with a double major in Economics and Finance from St. Cloud State University (summa cum laude) and an MBA in finance from Vanderbilt University.  Ron’s unique skills for analyzing prospective investments reflect not only his experience as an investment advisor, but also his experience working for operating companies and input from his personal advisory board.

Investment Scope

With access to thousands of Mutual Funds, ETFs, Separately Managed Accounts, and Hedge Funds we have the scope to provide any client with access to nearly every investment asset class; however, our industry experience and systematic process enable us to narrow and identify best in class managers and strategies.

Our Scorecard System

Mutual Fund Research Scorecard system by Retirement Planning Advisory Group (RPAG) is a proprietary scorecard system that delivers quantitative and qualitative metrics on the entire universe of 25,000+ funds.

SMA and Hedge Fund Research
While mutual funds may be utilized in our portfolios for access to certain asset classes or for smaller portfolios, we have found that many mutual funds tend to grow so large that they become closet indexers with higher fees.  One solution to avoid this issue is to utilize smaller managers through separately managed account platforms.  We have developed our own Scorecard system for selecting or removing separately managed account and hedge fund managers from our client portfolios.  The scorecard analyzes both quantitative and qualitative factors that research has shown to deliver long-term outperformance.

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