River Prairie Wealth Partners’ Chief Investment Officer Offers Insight into Investing
Choosing the correct strategy for growing wealth can be a daunting task. Thankfully, no one has to do it alone.
Steve Latham is the chief investment officer at River Prairie Wealth Partners, a private wealth advising practice of Ameriprise Financial, in Altoona. He has spent more than a dozen years in the financial industry entirely focused on helping financial advisors manage client portfolios – or doing so himself.
Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in finance, a master’s degree in investment management and financial analysis, and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, which requires an additional three-year education program and is considered the gold standard in the field. A local expert in investing and advising, Steve offers some insight on wealth management.
Q: How do you measure success within your portfolios?
A: Success cannot be defined by any single measure. By understanding what the client is looking to achieve with their wealth, we can better understand what risks we can take with their investments to make their goals a reality. If our clients are able to retire on their timeframe, live comfortably throughout retirement, and/or or pass on their wealth in a tax-efficient way, then I would consider the portfolios we’ve developed to be successful.
Q: What are some challenges investors are currently facing?
A: Broadly speaking, investors are still struggling to find reliable, low-risk income streams in this market, especially now that yields may start to fall again as the Federal Reserve resumes a more accommodative monetary policy. After an incredible 11-year bull market run, some investors may have become complacent in their approach to investing and have perhaps found themselves taking on too much risk for their current stage in life.
Q: What is a CIO?
A: The Chief Investment Officer role traditionally involves setting long and short-term investment strategy, developing an investment policy as a set of “guidelines” for the team to follow, maintaining relations with fund managers and external analysts, and implementing the construction and ongoing management of investable client portfolios.
Q: What are the benefits of aligning with a team who has a Chartered Financial Analyst?
A: Financial advisory teams who made the investment of having a Chartered Financial Analyst on staff will have a resource dedicated to observing and interpreting the markets specifically for their team’s and client’s objectives. Clients will know their investment portfolios are constructed and customized in a robust, ethical, and educated manner. Having this resource allows advisors to focus more holistically on their client’s goals.
Q: What is your investment philosophy?
A: Our client base is comprised of working professionals with higher net worth potential and those who are at or near retirement. Those we work with are seeking to protect and grow what they’ve accumulated, and when we’re developing investment strategies, we’re using tools designed to protect on the downside without sacrificing upside potential. For retirees, we put an emphasis on strategies that allow for adequate income with the intent of avoiding the need to sell principal.