Why Coherent

January 9, 2016

Sargon Y. Zia, CFA

Chief Investment Officer, Portfolio Manager

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The quality of service we receive can enrich our lives. Seldom is quality more keenly felt as in the financial industry. What is it that specifically promotes quality in the financial services industry? The basic formula I think is simple. Quality service is provided by qualified people working in an ethical and efficient environment.

Real Story, Fictitious Name

Dr. Phillips had been my client for two years, a busy professional with little time for idle chit chat. Over time as the relationship flourished, our meetings became honed into a model of quality and efficiency. Back then I worked for a national brokerage firm on an elite team of senior representatives assembled to provide the highest caliber of personalized service to the affluent and institutional clients.

As often happens, corporate took yet another detour onto the “new and improved” concept de jour. Quietly, this high quality service became all but diluted out of existence. Turnover of the firm’s most qualified and experienced professionals, which took years of training to cultivate, was mourned only by the clients they once served.

I’ve seen this pattern repeat over and over as I am sure you have also.

A Qualified Adviser

People need an adviser to whom they can entrust their family’s financial wellbeing. A qualified adviser consolidates the many complex moving parts of our financial lives into a coherent plan, giving us the calm, clarity and harmony we desire.

Qualification: Education

A rigorous and comprehensive education is the foundation of the qualified practitioner. Respectable credentials like the CFA or CFP® are earned, often taking multiple years of consistent effort, and not handed out after a weekend seminar. While many financial services individuals purport to be “financial planners” or “portfolio consultants” or “wealth managers”, they are simply sales people or relationship administrators.

Do your meetings frequently degrade into a monologue driven by your consultant’s agenda and limited to the products they offer? Or are you enjoying a collaborative conversation with a seasoned, accredited financial adviser who is committed to your unique financial goals and personal values?

Qualification: Experience

Education is vital, but it is relevant and substantial field experience which hones a skill set into something best described as wisdom. Deliberate and extensive training in securities markets, portfolio management, and financial planning matures theory into real-life experience.

Managing wealth in real time through financial crises is the best instructor in the subtleties between risk and opportunity. Do you have confidence in your adviser’s ability or willingness to recognize the difference?

Qualification: Ethics

If knowledge and experience are two legs of a stool, then commitment to ethical practice is the third. The “fiduciary” standard transcends the lesser “suitability” standard by seeking that which is in the client’s best interest. Meaningful ethical standards should be codified, taught, and vigorously enforced, by all means. But at the end of the day ethical behavior is driven by an adviser’s personal moral compass.

A firm’s compensation practices can be an indication of its ethical propensity. Are there solicitor agreements, soft-dollar or commission arrangements that might bias critical decision making? Are key personnel adequately compensated by salary and equity ownership, or is there frequent turnover? If you have found a qualified, experienced, and ethically grounded adviser, you want them to stick around!

Why Coherent?

Coherent Financial Advisers was created from inception with this solemn purpose – to take care of people’s comprehensive financial needs without external impediments.

Coherent is an independent Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) founded by a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder. As equity partners in Coherent we answer only to you.

At Coherent we are compensated for financial planning and investment management directly and explicitly by the clients we feel privileged to serve. Our interests are aligned completely with those of our clients. We adhere to the higher “fiduciary” standard, and are committed to acting solely in our clients’ best interests.

Coherent endeavors to maintain an ethical and efficient environment where qualified advisers are empowered to do what’s best for the client, and to benefit the community in general.


\koh-her-uh nt\ (adjective): aesthetically ordered, logically connected, harmonious, integrated, consistent, reasoned, rational, as in “a coherent plan for action.”

  • having a natural agreement of the parts
  • related in an organized and reasonable way
  • having clarity, intelligibility, understandability

Why Coherent?…Because it defines us!

For some, financial planning and investment management may be just an occupation. We practice a craft to which we are deeply committed in a lifelong pursuit of excellence. We invite you to review our biography and the services we are able to provide you.

Then, contact us…we look forward to meeting you!


We look forward to discussing your unique financial goals and personal values!


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