Personalized advice from a dedicated financial advisor.
We get to know you and your family, your financial situation and what matters most to you.
Since our group’s founding in the 1950’s by David Stulberg, we have guided families and institutions of considerable wealth through the most volatile of market cycles. Our extreme focus on risk has helped clients protect assets and make smart decisions during inevitable periods of market declines. This intense focus on risk and proactive investment management has enabled our relationships to endure throughout both generations of family and multiple market cycles.
Operating similar to an outsourced CFO, The Stulberg Group has been entrusted with approximately $3 billion in assets (as of September 2022) with a goal of simplifying the financial affairs of our clients. We achieve this through managing cash flows, constructing diversified investment portfolios, helping with financing/banking needs, and providing generalized estate planning strategies.
While investing in the markets is an exercise filled with unknown variables, we constantly strive to navigate them with integrity, conservatism, conviction and collaboration. We seek to establish long term relationships across generations driven by management of wealth on a truly personalized basis.
A hallmark of our investment strategy is rooted in both patience and conviction. We believe owning assets requires both these traits, which when held in concert with our value-based discipline, allow our clients to navigate through periods of volatility without sacrificing permanent loss of capital. Simply stated, our goal is to help clients filter out near term volatility and noise related to uncontrollable market events, while keeping an eye on long term secular trends and investment goals.
Unlike other manager strategies which create whipsaws from selling when the market is under pressure and buying when ebullient, we seek to avoid trading positions frequently. Rather than reducing equity positions when equity markets weaken, we believe broad based volatility and downward market corrections provide opportunities to acquire assets at more reasonable valuations. Summed up, we would rather sell on strength than on weakness. When identifying investment opportunities, we constantly stress-test our investment thesis and adjust when appropriate. It is this iterative process which drives us to continuously compare the risk of owning each asset versus alternatives and/or cash.
The Stulberg Group tailors portfolios on a custom basis for each client. Simply put, what may be appropriate for some clients at one particular time may not be for others. While we may utilize custom equity and total portfolio models across some portfolios, we always do so beginning with the risk profile and goals of each individual client.
When purchasing securities we place significant emphasis on the valuation paid for the asset, a metric which is constantly changing. As such, we operate with flexibility on a one-off basis for many transactions, which over time creates a diversified portfolio of opportunistically acquired assets.
The Stulberg Group provides comprehensive financial management, including individual goals-based strategies, customized investment portfolios, retirement planning, cash management tools and access to business banking.
Since the team's founding by David Stulberg in the 1950's, advisors in the group have been recognized as among the best in the industry. Prior to retiring in 2016, Robert Stulberg was ranked as a Barron's Top 100 Advisor in every year since the publication began it's rankings in 2004. This award recognized him as not only one of the top wealth managers in Michigan but also the country. Since Robert's retirement, Phil Appel has continued this tradition with similar recognitions.
The team has a continuity not easily found in the investment world with no single senior member having left to pursue other opportunities other than retirement.
*Source: The Barron’s “Top 100 Financial Advisors” list, published annually Mar – April. Rankings based on data as of December 31 of prior year.
The Barron’s “Top 100 Financial Advisors” ranking considered advisors with a minimum of seven years financial services experience and who have been employed at their current firm for at least one year. Quantitative and qualitative measures used to determine the advisor rankings include: client assets, return on assets, client satisfaction/retention, compliance records, and community involvement, among others. Rankings are based on the opinions of Barron’s and not representative nor indicative of any one client’s experience, future performance, or investment outcome and should not be construed as an endorsement of the advisor. Barron’s does not receive compensation from advisors, participating firms and their affiliates, or the media in exchange for rankings. Rankings and recognition from Barron’s are no guarantee of future investment success and do not ensure that a current or prospective client will experience a higher level of performance results, and such rankings should not be construed as an endorsement of the advisor. Barron’s is a trademark of Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
One key differentiating factor between The Stulberg Group and other managers includes our significant alternative investments practice. Through partnering with Merrill, we are able to deliver our clients broad based access to some of the world’s most successful alternative managers including both private equity and hedge funds. We feel each of these market segments requires a dedicated team with requisite experience to successfully invest efficiently. We have and continue to invest alongside successful alternative sponsors including Oaktree, Blackstone, Carlysle, KKR, Apax and others.
A key tenant in our success rests from knowing what we can and cannot do effectively. We believe that while we are knowledgeable across most asset classes, some segments of the market require a larger specialty and focus. Alternative investments such as private equity, bank loans, aggressive hedging strategies and others require scale to both source deals and execute properly. Additionally, our team believes that while we are the gatekeepers of our clients’ assets, there are managers available which offer value and investment strategy that is additive to our direct investment process. We spend significant time conducting ongoing diligence with these selected managers in an effort to diversify across portfolios in a prudent manner with some of the most astute and successful investors in the world.
*Some or all alternative investment programs may not be in the best interest of certain investors. No assurance can be given that any alternative investment’s investment objectives will be achieved.
Our process is designed to help deliver a customized, consistent experience to assist clients not only in wealth accumulation and preservation, but in areas that go beyond investments. Our ability to provide access to the investment insights of Merrill, trust and fiduciary services from Bank of America Private Bank, and the banking convenience and lending solutions of Bank of America offers a way to help clients manage all of the pieces of their financial lives. We view ourselves as a financial resource, helping clients with potential solutions for transferring wealth to the younger generation.
Trust and fiduciary services are provided by Bank of America Private Bank, a division of Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA Corp.”).
Merrill is proud of our advisors who’ve received recognition from financial industry publications or directly from Bank of America Corporation. We believe they are setting the standard for exemplary client service.
Forbes "Best-in-State Wealth Advisors" 2018-2022
Published annually Jan- April. Rankings based on data as of June 30 of prior year.
Barron's "Top 100 Financial Advisors" 2017-2018
Published annually March - April. Rankings based on data as of December 31 of prior year.
Barron's "Top 1,200 Financial Advisors: State-by-State" 2017-2022
Published annually in February - March. Rankings based on data as of September 30 of the prior year.
Forbes "America's Top Wealth Advisors" 2018-2019
Published annually Aug - Oct. Rankings based on data as of Mar 31 - June 30 of current year.
Forbes “America’s Top Wealth Management Teams High Net Worth" 2022
Published on November 8, 2022. Rankings based on data as of March 31, 2022.*
Supported by the global resources of Merrill, our team is comprised of talented and experienced individuals committed to building strong client relationships based on trust and personalized service.
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As Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Advisors, we will sort through the financial complexities of your life, helping you build a customized investment approach to address your needs and pursue your goals.
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We get to know you and your family, your financial situation and what matters most to you.
Drawing from our experience and the best thinking of Merrill, together we will design an approach that reflects your unique needs, priorities and financial situation.
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