Celebrating a Decade of Small Batch Portfolios

Ten years ago, Sellwood’s four founders opened the firm’s doors in a little office in Portland. At the time, we had no clients, no track record, and no assets to advise. But what we lacked in resources, we made up for in a strong vision for a different type of institutional advisory firm.

Sellwood was based on just a few, simple, straightforward founding values. We wanted to work:

  • In a stable firm,
  • With people we like and respect,
  • Serving clients we can impact
  • Expertly and thoughtfully,
  • Without any conflicts of interest,
  • Profitably.

We believed that institutional investment advice did not need to come out of an “institution.” We believed that clients would benefit from stable, long-term relationships with highly experienced professionals who knew them best, rather than the industry’s prevailing model of a rotating cast of advisory characters and a huge support staff behind the scenes. We rejected the concept of model portfolios, believing instead that the best way we can celebrate what makes every client unique is by creating their own unique portfolio for them, tailored to their own needs, risks, and objectives. We believed that scale was the enemy, not the goal. High-quality customized advice does not scale.

It is rewarding that our firm has grown in every single year of the last ten. It is satisfying to know that the $8 billion of client assets we advise places us among the largest investment advisors in the country, measured that way. Developing our professional team, with minimal turnover, has been incredibly gratifying. It means a lot to us that we did it all while remaining 100% independent and employee owned.

But looking back over the last decade, what we are proudest of is that those founding values remain true today. This founding philosophy worked for ten years, and it is our sincere belief it will work for the next ten.

Some things get better with age. Sellwood’s four founders remain actively employed here, and Sellwood enjoys stability – both in employees and in our roster of clients – that is the envy of our industry. For long-term investments to succeed, long-term relationships need to be there first.

Today, our four founders are fortunate to be part of a 15-person professional team that includes seven employee shareholders. All of these people have adopted Sellwood’s founding values as their own. We are also incredibly grateful to our clients, who have placed their longstanding trust in Sellwood’s different advisory approach.

As we mark this milestone for Sellwood, we raise our glasses to those clients, our employees, and everyone in the community who has helped us in one way or another. Thank you, sincerely.

With pride but even more gratitude:

To the next decade. Cheers.

Charlie, Kevin, Ashlee, Ryan, Nick, Ruthie, & Ryan

Sellwood’s Employee Shareholders