The company was incorporated by Donald Martin in 1993 for the purpose of providing personal financial services. The company's offices have always been in commercial offices in Los Altos, CA. We do not believe in having an office based in a home. The company is licensed in California by the Department of Corporations as a Registered Investment Advisor.
Donald Martin has a B.A. in Accounting and M.B.A. Finance, and has passed the rigorous CFP® exam and met the experience requirements needed to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. He has been employed in the financial services industries for 31 years and has been investing for his own account for 36 years.
We do not get a commission or referral fee for financial planning. Our only compensation is the fee the client pays us, thus our loyalty is to the client. We have no sales quota or products to push, thus clients can be assured of objective, independent advice. We do not take custody of the client's securities. Instead the clients open an account at a Broker-Dealer who takes custody of the securities.
We chose the name Mayflower Capital because people living in Silicon Valley have experienced a similar challenge as that faced by the original passengers of the Mayflower in 1620: they traveled a long distance across the ocean to a strange new land in search of better economic opportunity, and in their earliest years faced great hardships. Whether you have moved from the Midwestern U.S. to Silicon Valley or you have moved from India to Silicon Valley, you have experienced shocking change: very high home prices, gigantic mortgage balances, high state income taxes, bizarre AMT tax traps, the dream of making huge employee stock option gains, bad commutes, fast paced work / life style, with no time to plan your finances.
From 1993-2005 Mayflower Capital was licensed by California Department of Real Estate as a mortgage broker. Mayflower Capital has let that license expire so as to be devoted exclusively to Fee-Only financial planning. Unfortunately many mortgage broker's websites try to spam Internet Search Engines by quoting Mayflower Capital's former experience in the mortgage industry in the hopes of boosting their Internet Search Engine ratings, thus if you Google "Mayflower Capital" you will find a lot of attempts to claim that we are affiliated with a mortgage brokerage or that we are now offering mortgages, neither of which is true. Donald Martin had a 19 year career in the mortgage industry and had a pioneering mortgage website, thus many rookie mortgage brokers seek to hijack the fame and goodwill of Mayflower Capital by falsely claiming online that they are affiliated with Mayflower Capital. In one case, a paid advertisement by a mortgage broker on one Internet Search Engine claimed to be "Mayflower Capital" which is blatantly false, and it is a form of web page hijacking.
Why Donald Martin is qualified to be your financial planner:
* Independent Financial Advice: we are not a subsidiary of a giant company with corporate products to push
* No Sales Quota and No Products For Sale (simply advice)
* Commitment to Professional Career in Finance since obtaining B.A. in Finance in 1980
* BA Accounting 1982
* MBA Finance 1984
* Passed rigorous two day Certified Financial Planner™ exam and granted certification to become a CFP®
* Donald Martin has been investing for his own account since 1975.
* There are 500,000 to 1,0000,000 U.S. residents licensed to either broker securities or insurance, or to be an investment advisor.
By contrast only 70,000 people are Certified Financial Planner™ professionals.
* Of 70,000 Certified Financial Planner™ professionals, few are "Fee-Only".
* We are one of the two percent of those licensed to work in the investment business who are "Fee-Only".
* We read dozens of expensive financial publications which takes about 80-100 hours a month.
* Don’s experience in a real estate lending career has enabled him to acquire valuable insights and wisdom about investing in real estate. In addition, Don’s experience in lending has taught him that the “credit analysis” of a proposed loan is the key to understanding the validity of a proposed investment in stocks, or real estate, etc. For example: a bank won’t approve a loan if they think a proposed use of the funds will fail, so a banker’s lending opinion is a valuable insight. (Income analysis is key to successful investing in stock and in real estate).
* Don believes that “the road to riches is survival” and this means that avoiding risk (especially hidden risk) in investments is more important than seeking windfall gains. Don believes that using a banker’s credit analysis attitude towards investing is a refreshing change from the way other investment advisors operate and that this will produce greater safety in investing, resulting in a better long term result.
* Don believes that a secure future doesn't just happen. He is dedicated to helping his clients gain control. He offers broad expertise and individual attention to help you cut through the financial information clutter and clarify your options.
* Don’s core objective is fostering your peace of mind through proper planning today.
* Independent, objective advice is vital to creating the correct plan
* Each person should establish and follow a customized Investment Policy Statement
* Maintaining low investment costs is important in order to reach plan goals, but sometimes moderately expensive mutual funds are OK
* Be aware of hard to notice annual fees and the cost of mutual fund operating expenses and fund's intangible cost of "trading impacts" in no-load funds that can amount to three percent per year.
* Avoid making investments that are hard to get out of (such as an annuity with a surrender charge, or a limited partnership)
* Do not make investments in mutual funds with a "Load Fee"
* Avoid seduction and manipulation by marketplace hype and hysteria
* Do not talk to friends or coworkers about investments or economy
* Do not read the general media about economy or investments-instead read scholarly journals and books
* Avoid listing to sound bites offered by broadcast media, instead read scholarly media
* Clients need to work with an experienced, mature, dedicated fee-only financial advisor with credentials such as a CFP® certificate
* Think creatively, objectively and independently from the popular mythology of the general public
* Recognize major structural changes in the economy before others do
* Be aware of how crowd psychology brainwashes investors to make bad decisions
* There are fundamental reasons why P.E. ratios should be at or below 15 and if it is over 15 take defensive measures.
* The true history of the market is masked by inflation and by one-time non-recurring gains
* The true total return of the equities market is not nearly as good as it appears
* Investing in illiquid investments that have large minimum investment amounts produces a better return than publicly traded securities
* Avoid exotic hedge fund strategies with derivatives, instead buy something that is straightforward and clearly understood
* Investing properly requires plenty of liquidity or other staying power for emergencies-avoid selling your investments when you need to spend money.
* Investing properly requires tax planning
* Investing properly requires cutting the costs of broker's commissions, mutual fund fees, etc.
* Avoid debt-do not increase the loan balance on your home to fund other investments
* If buying a home limit your new mortgage balance to the amount offered by the most conservative lender-do not go to the most aggressive lender and get a larger loan.
* If buying investment real estate (non-owner occupied) avoid a negative (before-tax) cash flow and assume that you will be stuck with the property for seven years
* Save at least ten percent of your income
* Success in financial planning comes from saving rather than finding a miracle way to "beat the market"
* Survival is the only path to riches (so avoid excessive or hidden risk)
* Do not assume patented technology products produce profits for stockholders
* Stock options issued to employees need to be expensed to have an accurate financial statement for publicly traded securities
* Diversify your investments
* Boring investments are good/exotic ones are dubious
* Do not trade frequently, instead buy and hold
* Do not watch the market during trading hours, instead learn fundamental analysis and ponder key structural problems