About

Hi, I’m Ben Reppond.

​I’m the Founder and CEO of Reppond Investments, Inc. I’m passionate about helping people invest their assets using active strategies that have a goal of reducing risk while growing returns. Growing wealth for my clients has been a personal journey for me.
I’ve conducted thousands of hours of research and studied the best minds in the world around one key question:

How do I protect what I’ve worked so hard to accumulate and still grow my assets?
During my journey as an investment advisor and manager, I’ve discovered unique strategies to help protect investments from market risk, while still increasing assets. My theory is when you protect your money from downside stock market risk, the upside takes care of itself.

Years of Research

Hours of Research

How can Reppond Investment, Inc. help you?

Contact Ben for a complimentary consultation.

Contact Ben
FAQs
Who is Reppond Investments, Inc.?
Reppond Investments, Inc. was founded by Ben Reppond to advise clients on selecting securities and fixed income investment opportunities that we believe are most appropriate based on the firm’s risk-averse portfolio management strategies. He formed the firm order to achieve a level of independence in the advice he provides and in the breadth of investment strategies and services he focuses on to help his clients.

At Reppond, we believe the investment advisory industry often neglects to disclose adequately the risks versus potential rewards about products and services offered to individual investors.  Ben strives to deliver superior investment advice while being completely transparent regarding known and potential risks to the individual investor. He does this through educational seminars, newsletters, and through the resources found on this website.  Ben is also willing to meet individually with potential clients to discuss their financial needs and goals in light of what he sees regarding current and future potential market risk.

Ben earned his reputation for professional integrity and fiscal soundness during his decades-long career in the financial services industry. He served as a Washington State Insurance Commissioner appointed member of the Board of Advisors. He also built one of the largest employee benefits advisory firms in the United States, serving such local organizations as Overlake Hospital, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Coinstar, T-Mobile, and the Bellevue School District, among others.

Reppond Investments, Inc. is headquartered in Bigfork, Montana.  Recently, he spoke about risk-averse investing to the Montana Governor’s Conference on Aging in Helena, MT.  He is also teaching a class at Flathead Valley Community College on “Understanding the Basics of Stock Market Investing.”

What kind of research took Ben 14,000 hours?
Seeking consistent investment returns with low downside risk may seem easy, but it is difficult to achieve.  It took many hours of disciplined study and research to develop a strategy with the goal to achieve consistent returns while minimizing risk.

In his research, Ben found many differences between the thinking and strategies of the traditional financial planners and those who manage money for the wealthy.  In light of his findings, he narrowed his focus to the methodologies used by the wealthiest investors. In his study, he looked for confirmation of thinking among those investment managers with the best reputations and who were using best practices.  He then had software built to test his ideas until, in his view, the soundest and most risk-averse strategies emerged.

There is likely no shortcut to developing a sound methodology that is designed to achieve consistent returns in the stock market.  For Ben, as it would be for anyone, it took more than 10,000 hours. His research continues today. He now says that the research is up to over 14,000 hours.

How did Ben arrive at investment strategies and what makes them significant?
There are two keys to the development of the investment strategies used by Reppond Investments, Inc.  One, Ben was not willing to accept conventional wisdom that traditional “buy and hold” investing was the best answer.  Simply put, conventional wisdom says that “buy-and-hold” investing is superior to other forms of investing. Ben believes this to be untrue.  He holds that valid and effective ideas for growing wealth while still limiting downside risk can still be discovered.

Secondly, Ben has been willing to spend the time necessary to find and test solid and logical ideas in developing his risk-averse investment strategies.  He says that it takes a lot of time, energy and commitment necessary to do this kind of hard research. He believes that hard research can lead to innovative discoveries that can potentially lower risk in investment strategies.

How does Reppond Investments, Inc. attempt to minimize investment risk during “bear market” conditions?
Actively managed strategies used by Reppond Investments, Inc. utilize money market funds as a defensive tool.  Through a computerized, formula-driven, mechanical model for active management, our actively managed strategies are designed to remain in money market funds during times of increased risk (as determined by our mechanical model).  Our mechanical model provides indicators that tell us when to enter the market during periods of lower risk – which we believe allows us to capitalize on the opportunity for gains. When market risk tends to increase (again as determined by our mechanical model), we return to money market funds to “wait” to enter the market until there is another indicator – a lower risk opportunity to enter the market. These strategies are constructed such that they operate similarly in both “bull” and “bear” market conditions.  This technology allows us to be guided without an emotional component, which is too often present in reactions to stock market conditions.
What advice does Reppond Investments, Inc. give to help one protect against high - or hyperinflation?
Ben believes that hyperinflation has always been the end result of excessive printing of currency without hard assets backing that currency.  Historically, many world economies have collapsed under these conditions.  It seems that politicians tend to ignore history, which may be our best instructor.  China and Russia are buying gold today in record amounts as the preferred strategy for countering the risks associated with the excessive printing of paper money.  Ownership of actual gold and silver is one of the best-known safeguards against the recklessness of central bankers and politicians who insist upon devaluing the currency by printing more money.

Therefore, using some allocation of gold and/or silver can be used as a strategy to hedge amidst these uncertainties.  Ben will recommend an allocation of monies best suited for the details of a client’s particular situation. He will also provide information about ways to purchase and store physical gold and silver. Please keep in mind, all information and ideas should be discussed in detail with Ben prior to implementation.

*Investing in precious metals, like gold and silver coins or bars, is subject multiple risks and is not suitable for all investors. The precious metals market is speculative, unregulated, and volatile and prices for these items may rise or fall over time and there is no guarantee you will not lose money.

Is Reppond Investments, Inc. a fiduciary?
Fiduciaries work in the best interest of the client, while non-fiduciaries need only recommend products that are “suitable” for their clients.  If the advisor makes more money for recommending some products over others, there’s a potential for conflicts of interest, and it is certainly possible that person or firm is not a fiduciary.  

The clearest distinction between those who are fiduciaries and those who are not can be found when comparing an investment advisory firm with a broker/dealer.  The investment advisory firm is a fiduciary and a broker dealer is NOT a fiduciary.

Mutual fund loads are totally avoidable. They’re essentially a sales charge, paid by the investor to compensate the broker or financial advisor who sold the fund.  According to time.com, a front-end loaded fund charges you a fee (generally between 3% and 8.5%) when you buy shares of that fund, while a back-end loaded fund charges a fee when you sell shares (typically between 3% and 6%).  How can a broker or financial advisor be a fiduciary if they are receiving an upfront sales commission to sell a particular product?

As a registered investment adviser, Reppond Investments, Inc. operates as a true fiduciary under a.  This registration requires that the advisor do what is in the best interest of the client – ahead of their own interests.  Reppond does not accept commissions and does not sell products that pay any form of compensation to Ben Reppond or Reppond Investments, Inc.

How does Reppond Investments, Inc. get paid?
It is entirely possible that a financial advisor is receiving some combination of commissions, hourly fees, and  a fee based on the value of assets they are managing. Clients do not have to work with advisors who sell commission products and can look for “fee only advisors”.  Fee only advisors might charge a fee as a percentage of your assets, a flat fee for services or an hourly fee. The client should know any and all direct and indirect fees they will be paying.  

Make sure that you are working with a “fee-only advisor” who is not compensated by any form of commissions. The industry is clever about disguising various ways of making money from client assets – both implicit and explicit. It’s important to review the disclosure documents (Form ADV 2) that are required to be provided to every potential client of a registered advisory firm.

Reppond Investments, Inc. only charges a fee based on assets under management and does not use commission based products or accept commissions of any kind.  The maximum fee is 1.5% per year and can be lower based on amount of assets being managed.

What services do I receive for the fee charged?
It is entirely appropriate for a client to ask, “What am I really getting for the money I am paying?”

Reppond Investments, Inc. uses an active investment management approach.  This means that the client’s account is monitored on a continual basis to determine how much of the client’s assets should be exposed to the market, based on a complex set of criteria.  The purpose of this is to attempt to optimize performance and minimize risk. The client pays for this level of attention to their account.

The client gets access to reporting software that allows them to monitor their accounts real-time in a manner that is easy to understand.

Finally, the client has access to Ben Reppond during normal business hours to be able to talk with him about their individual situation, the markets in general or general business or financial advice.

How will our relationship work?
The client will receive a monthly report detailing the performance of their investment account and Ben Reppond’s view of the past and present market conditions – plus his view of what will likely be the drivers of future market conditions.  This is not a “canned” report written by someone else to give the appearance that this is somehow coming from Ben Reppond. It is written by Ben and reflects his views of market conditions at that moment in time.

It is recommended that the client have periodic meetings with Ben Reppond to talk about changing circumstances, views and needs.  The frequency will depend on each client’s situation and desires.

What is the investment philosophy of Reppond Investments, Inc.?
It’s important to ensure you have the same investment philosophy as your financial advisor. Reppond Investments, Inc. uses a philosophy of actively managing a client’s account in order to potentially take advantage of market upside while seeking to minimize market downside risk.

Whether a client uses a conservative, moderate or more aggressive investing approach, we believe managing downside risk is the key to more optimal rates of return.

What asset allocation will you use?
Reppond Investments, Inc. does not use a conventional asset allocation approach, but instead, uses active management to determine when it is believed to be the most advantageous for the client to be “in the market” and when to not be “in the market”.  When a client’s funds are “in the market,” Reppond uses an index fund such as one which tracks the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the NASDAQ 100. The asset mixture of the index fund has been carefully analyzed to determine if it is the one which is most optimal for current market conditions.  This is part of the research for which the client is paying.

Traditional asset allocation models focus more on the mix of assets, but Reppond focuses more on when it is most advantageous for the client to have market exposure and when it is not.

What custodians does Reppond Investments, Inc. use?

Reppond Investments, Inc. uses two independent and nationally recognized custodians – TD Ameritrade Institutional and Nationwide Financial.

What investment benchmarks do you use?
Financial advisors should use benchmarks that directly relate to what they’re invested in, or be able to explain why they don’t.

Reppond Investments, Inc. uses the S&P 500 as its benchmark.  Our goal is to outperform the benchmark over time, especially on a risk-adjusted basis.  Risk-adjusted return refines an investment’s return by measuring how much risk is involved in producing that return, which is generally expressed as a number or rating.

What tax hit do I face if I choose Reppond Investments, Inc.?
Reppond Investments, Inc. uses active management for managing client assets.  When assets are part of an IRA or Roth IRA, investment gains are shielded from tax as long as they stay within the IRA.  Therefore, there are no taxes due when client accounts experience a gain and the assets stay within the IRA or Roth IRA.

When the Nationwide tax deferred flat-fee annuity is used, taxes are also deferred – even if the client account experiences investment gains along the way.  When money is withdrawn from the annuity, the gains are taxed first. The amount the client started with (the basis) is never taxed when it is withdrawn.

In other words, all of the gains that a person has in their account under either of these structures is either completely tax free (with a Roth IRA) or is tax deferred and is not taxable in the current tax year, as long as the assets stay inside these structures with these custodians.