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What each of our clients expects of us, because that’s what others expect from them.

Focused on the wealth management of high performing entrepreneurs, physicians, professors, athletes, and coaches.

  • Investment Philosophy

    Many other financial service firms offer an approach based on "active management." Active management assumes that the markets are generally inefficient, allowing clever individuals to regularly exploit and profit from the anomalies. And yet, there is overwhelming academic evidence that the collective wisdom of all market players - especially in today's electronic era - results in highly efficient markets. Markets reflect fair pricing almost instantaneously upon release of any good or bad price-related news.

    In offering a "passive management" approach, we heed the academic wisdom. We assume that the opportunities to exploit market inefficiencies are too few and far between to effectively and affordably pursue. Many investors realize that a passive investment approach offers many benefits when compared with an active investment approach. Passive investing involves buying and holding market components, whereas an active investor or fund manager tries to pick the next winning stock or time where the market is headed next. A passive approach offers these major benefits:

    • By holding entire market components, one maximizes the benefits of diversification.
    • By "tilting" the portfolio to riskier or less risky components, the investor can expect to capture the highest market return given his or her risk tolerance.
    • The investor maintains control over his or her own portfolio's components (by avoiding active funds' tendency to style drift without the investor's knowledge).
    • Expenses can be minimized.
    • Tax efficiency can be maximized.
  • Building Your Wealth Strategy

    As we build our advisor relationship with you, our focus remains on you, and on resolving complex issues within the following four life planning components:

    • Enhancing wealth
    • Protecting wealth
    • Transferring wealth
    • Donating wealth

    Each component is addressed when - and if - it plays an integral role in your life. We help you balance and identify changing needs within your career and creative aspirations, charitable goals, family sharing time, and social and leisure activities. When changes are warranted, we help ensure smooth transitions: for you, or for multiple generations and branches within your family.

  • Enhancing Your Wealth

    For managing your financial portfolio, we offer a prudent approach based on our fiduciary relationship with you as your trusted investment advisor.

    Fiduciary duty is generally considered the highest legal duty one party can have to another. As a Registered Investment Advisor firm, we have a legal responsibility to always act in your best interests - and we take that responsibility very seriously.

    We apply a passive investment approach, tailoring your portfolio's level of risk (and its expected returns) according to your personal preferences, goals and circumstances. In addition to seeking broad global diversification according to the tenets of Modern Portfolio Theory, we assist with appropriate asset location between taxable versus tax-advantaged accounts.

    We apply these techniques for individual investor, retirement plan sponsor and institutional client relationships alike.

  • Protecting Your Wealth

    Many of your financial goals can span a lifetime, or even generations, so it's important to prepare for uncertain events that could otherwise derail your overall strategy. Once we've defined your long-term objectives, our role also includes identifying potential threats to your success, and implementing protection against them.

    Our approach to wealth protection is thoughtful, deliberate and highly individualized. Planning comes first: exploring concerns related to managing the effects of taxes, inflation and market fluctuations; privacy, security, and legal actions; property and casualty losses; business continuation; and legacy creation and protection. Next we consider procedures, documents and similar techniques that can offer the protection required. As a final option, we might incorporate insurance or related tools - but only as required for clearly defined roles.

  • Transferring Wealth

    While many identify leaving a legacy as among their most important life goals, research indicates that only about one-third of wealth transfers succeed after transition! Equally interesting, a common trait among those who succeed is the ability to sustain a smooth and open flow of internal communications among family members. (Source: The Williams Group, thewilliamsgroup.org)

    That's why we have the resources in place to assist with financial management and estate planning details, but we also offer guidance on the critical personal dynamics that represent the key to success in multigenerational wealth transition.

  • Donating Wealth

    The true value of philanthropy lies in the meaning it brings to those both giving and receiving. For example:

    A pleasant by-product for a family engaged in charitable pursuits appears to be the value it adds to effective communication of family values among generations. (Source: The Williams Group, thewilliamsgroup.org)

    Ongoing legislative reform may afford existing and new opportunities for charitable giving to play an increasing role within your tax planning efforts. Keeping up with the latest regulations in this area can add value to your charitable pursuits. If your goals include a philanthropic component, we carefully integrate it within your overall strategy.

  • Entrepreneurs and Business Owners

    Amphora has traditionally served the unique planning issues specific to business owners. Representing entrepreneurs was a focus of Eric's law practice for many years. Oftentimes, this group seeks advice and guidance immediately upon conceiving their business idea. Advice during the period between concept and operation is ignored by many planners. Eric enjoys sharing the “journey” with these highly-motivated folks. “Entrepreneurs have an unmatched positive energy which is contagious,” says Eric. “I love it.” Of course, Amphora offers the traditional wealth management for business owners. However, we also address the advanced planning challenges such as succession planning for the business, estate planning for the principals, and charitable planning for multiple generations.

  • Physicians

    Amphora has traditionally served the unique planning issues specific to physicians. The physician concentration dates back to Eric's law practice where he represented individual practitioners in forming their practices and large practice groups on corporate matters. Guidance on these matters is still offered through Amphora, along with assisting physicians with holistic wealth management. Clients will be guided through retirement plan fund selection, benefits selection, and estate planning. For those in private practice, Amphora serves as an advisor in designing and maintaining all retirement and benefit and succession plans. Typically, this will entail plan design and the selection of product providers, if needed.

  • Professors

    For years, Eric has advised university faculty members and administrators. "We are conveniently located midway between Duke and UNC," says Eric in describing his office location, "but our firm advises clients throughout the country." University personnel seek tailored advice related to the participation and selection of specific benefits offered by their employer, but often also need guidance on more general financial planning matters, estate planning, and outside business interests. "Among all of my clients, professors are most tuned into the academic approach to investing offered by Modern Portfolio Theory," Eric offers.

  • Athletes

    Advising athletes since 1995, Eric intimately knows the specific needs of this unique group. What he has found is that athletes need to make long-term decisions earlier than most other affluent folks. Athletes have a condensed time period in which they potentially earn a lifetime worth of income. Advice must consider both the immediate opportunities and challenges as well as satisfy the future goals of the athlete and spouse. Amphora’s athlete clients are guided in wealth management issues with particular emphasis on the impact of spending and taxes on wealth preservation. With so many athletes going broke, Amphora believes that education is the key to success for many. Eric comments, "Of course, successful athletes obviously have a wonderful opportunity to ensure financial security for themselves and their families, but this can only be accomplished if they are willing to participate in ongoing education and commit to a discipline much like their physical training." Eric’s experience and patience in guiding athletes through their careers and beyond has been most satisfying professionally. "I think of all the folks that have been impacted by the charitable endeavors of my athlete clients," says Eric. All athletes should give back to the communities that supported them in their careers. This can only be done through strategic planning.

  • Coaches

    Eric has often been introduced as "the coach to the coaches." This is flattering. It also describes precisely what Amphora provides to coaches saddled with the many demands of their profession. The strategic tendencies of all coaches are aligned with Amphora’s approach of shaping the issues at hand and providing analytical solutions. Eric suggests the "plays to be run" with the potential impact of each. The coach chooses the play and they both commit to a plan towards a successful result. "Coaches are employees who are entrepreneurs," says Eric. Eric seeks to advise coaches on all opportunities available relating to their skill and brand as a coach. There are great opportunities for coaches to earn income both during and well beyond the years after patrolling the sideline. Amphora takes great care in designing tax-efficient ways to capitalize on sports camps and speaking opportunities.

What is your Mission?
Our mission is to provide our clients with education, advice, and analysis that empower them to make more informed investment decisions, to accomplish their financial objectives and achieve all of their goals and dreams.
 
Who do you serve?
We provide our services to individuals, families, businesses, trusts, partnerships, not-for-profit organizations and retirement plans who wish to pursue long-term goals based on our strategic approach to managing wealth.
 
Describe your broad services.
We conduct initial and ongoing deep discovery, to determine clients' financial needs in relation to their unique values; goals; personal, professional and institutional relationships; assets; and interests. We then form a far-reaching plan to achieve those goals. We gather expertise - or we are prepared to work with existing alliances - to ensure that each component within the strategy is carefully executed and seamlessly integrated to serve the overall purpose.
 
How much does it cost to hold initial planning meetings with your firm?
There is no cost for our initial Discovery and Investment Plan meetings. We feel it's time well spent to first get to know one another - before we seek mutual commitment and before we begin charging a fee.
 
Do you have a minimum portfolio size?
If your current asset level does not meet our minimum requirements but you have unique circumstances you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
 
What happens to my current holdings if I become a client?
Before any changes are made, we first analyze your existing portfolio and discuss our recommendations with you. Our overall goal is for your portfolio to make sense for you and your lifetime objectives, in the most cost-effective way possible. Ways we achieve this goal are to capture your unique willingness, ability and need to take on market risk via appropriate (often global) diversification; to minimize the expenses involved in investing; to manage for appropriate asset location between taxable and tax-sheltered accounts; and to eliminate any unnecessary complexity within the collection of accounts within your portfolio. If existing holdings lend themselves to these objectives, we leave them in place. If changes are warranted, we work with you to ensure any transitions occur as smoothly and cost-effectively as possible.
 
Do you trade and hold my assets for me?
While you grant us Limited Power of Attorney (LPOA) to execute transactions on your behalf, you remain in control of your assets. Accounts are held in your name at a quality custodian such as TD Ameritrade Institutional, Schwab Institutional or Fidelity Investments.
 
Describe your investment approach.
For managing your financial portfolio, we offer a prudent approach based on our fiduciary relationship with you as your trusted investment advisor. Fiduciary duty is generally considered the highest legal duty one party can have to another. As a Registered Investment Advisor firm, we have a legal responsibility to always act in your best interests - and we take that responsibility very seriously.

Many other financial service firms offer an approach based on "active management." Active management assumes that the markets are generally inefficient, allowing clever individuals to regularly exploit and profit from the anomalies (beyond the costs of consistently seeking and executing such trades). And yet, there is overwhelming academic evidence that the collective wisdom of all market players - especially in today's electronic era - results in highly efficient markets. Markets reflect fair pricing almost instantaneously upon release of any good or bad price-related news. In offering a "passive management" approach, we heed the academic wisdom. We assume that the opportunities to exploit inefficiencies are too few and far between to effectively and affordably pursue.
 
What if I need a bond (fixed income) portfolio or other special holdings?
Our philosophy is that equity investments are for growth; fixed income investing has a vital mission all its own: to control overall volatility in a portfolio and provide a stable financial base. It should act as the vehicle for steady, reliable income and contingency reserves. We address your fixed income needs as an integral part of your overall portfolio as well as by considering the special needs, characteristics and (often hidden) costs inherent in the bond market. If a custom bond portfolio makes sense for you, we build one for you based on analysis of each bond's full range of characteristics (sector, maturity, credit rating and more). Through our relationship with The BAM ALLIANCE, an affiliated entity of the Buckingham Family of Financial Services, we have access to strategic fixed income resources and a network of local and national bond dealers that help ensure a wide range of security availability as well as fair and competitive institutional level pricing for you.
 
What is a Fiduciary Relationship?
Fiduciary duty is generally considered the highest legal duty one party can have to another. As a Registered Investment Advisor firm, we have a legal responsibility to always act in your best interests - and we take that responsibility very seriously.
 
I am contacting you because I have heard you offer access to Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) funds. How do I learn more about DFA? What is your relationship with them?
If you have already heard of DFA, you may be aware that it seeks to protect the reliability and manage the costs of its funds by requiring investors to access them via a select group of financial advisory firms. You can learn more about Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) by clicking here to visit their Web site.

Our firm is proud to be among the select firms who have access to DFA funds. We often find that they provide the best vehicles for building portfolios that can be cost-effectively designed and managed to target your unique objectives through all types of markets. However, we receive no commissions for using DFA funds. Whenever we feel there is a better investment option for your particular needs, we use it.
 

  • Eric J. Sobocinski, JD, Manager

    Eric-SobocinskiFounder and Principal
    eric@amphorawealth.com

    Eric founded Amphora in 2011, and serves as its Manager. The firm was formed based on requests from many of his law clients over several years. Eric's clients who were business owners, professionals, athletes, and coaches all had the same problem: they were seeking, but could not find, clear financial and tax guidance on all matters relating to their wealth.

    During this time, Eric met Gordon S. Murray, a twenty-five year Wall Street veteran. When posed with the complaints Eric heard from his law clients about their dissatisfaction with financial markets and advisors, Gordon explained how the financial services industry has traditionally operated to the detriment of the individual investor. He also outlined how he believed the industry should operate. This model, later articulated masterfully in the book Gordon co-authored along with Daniel C. Goldie entitled, The Investment Answer, parallels the Amphora investment approach for its clients. Eric's meeting with Gordon changed his outlook on the industry and spawned the idea to create a new firm.

    Read More...

Main-DFADimensional Fund Advisors
DFA implements our recommended passive investment approach via funds designed to capture market "dimensions" in a low-cost, tax-efficient manner.

The BAM ALLIANCE
Amphora Wealth Management is a member of the BAM ALLIANCE.  The BAM ALLIANCE is a community of more than 130 independent wealth management firms located throughout the United States — united in belief and in practice that there is a better, more effective, and more resilient way for investors and their families to safeguard their financial futures and realize their dreams:

  • We believe in delivering unbiased, transparent, evidence-based advice.
  • We believe every investor is unique — requiring custom, comprehensive wealth management solutions.
  • We believe that doing what’s best and doing what’s right should be one and the same.

Our principles and approach stand in sharp contrast to many in the financial services industry who prefer to play a rigged Wall Street game, often putting their own interests ahead of their clients’.  That is not how it works within the BAM ALLIANCE.  We believe that by putting our clients’ interests first, we achieve more together.

Attracted to our unbiased advice, our evidence-based approach to low-cost investing and our ability to deliver on the promise of true wealth management, more than 15,000 investors have become clients of independent BAM ALLIANCE wealth management firms across the country, representing more than $17 billion of collective assets as of September 30, 2012.

clientLogo schwabSchwab Institutional
Schwab Institutional is custodian to accounts we manage on your behalf. While you grant us Limited Power of Attorney (LPOA) to execute transactions on your behalf, accounts are held in your name.

TD-Logo-1TD Ameritrade Institutional
TD Ameritrade Institutional is custodian to accounts we manage on our clients’ behalves. While clients grant us Limited Power of Attorney (LPOA) to execute transactions on their behalves, accounts are held in their name, and they receive independent monthly reports directly from TD Ameritrade Institutional.

fidelityinvestmentsFidelity Investments
Fidelity Investments is custodian to accounts we manage on your behalf. While you grant us Limited Power of Attorney (LPOA) to execute transactions on your behalf, accounts are held in your name.  

By clicking on any of the links above, you acknowledge that the links provided are solely for your convenience, and do not necessarily imply an affiliations, sponsorships or endorsements. We make no representations whatsoever regarding such third party Web sites. You should review the privacy policies of other Web sites carefully before providing any information to such sites. We are not responsible for the content or availability of third party Web sites, and shall not be responsible or liable for any information, opinions, advice, products or services available on or through such third party Web sites.

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Amphora Wealth Management, LLC
100 Europa Drive
Suite 431
Chapel Hill, NC  27517

Eric J. Sobocinski
eric@amphorawealth.com

919.240.4034

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