We help our clients make sound financial decisions.

Welcome to Epsilon Financial Group

Epsilon Financial Group, Inc. provides financial planning and wealth management advisory services to individuals, personal and institutional trusts, and ERISA pension plans. We provide the framework and context through the planning process that leads our clients to financial decisions that support their personal goals. Our working relationship is based on collaboration and trust. The unique needs of each client require their own customized solutions. The result of the comprehensive planning process leads to greater financial organization, empowerment, confidence, and ultimately, peace of mind.

As independent, fee-only advisors, Epsilon Financial Group objectively guides clients on financial matters. We recommend financial strategies and structure investment portfolios that are consistent with the unique goals and priorities of each client. Our financial advice is based on long-standing academic research and the latest techniques in modern finance. We value and maintain academic education and professional credentials supported by extensive continuing education.

We work to a fiduciary standard with all of our clients; as fiduciary advisors, we must put our clients’ interests first. As financial advisors in practice for more than 30 years, we maintain a strong commitment to our clients, our profession, and our community.

The Challenges of Wealth

Wealth can improve life in many ways. But wealth also introduces challenges. These often come disguised as responsibilities, anxieties and problems relating to financial matters.

Looking at the opportunities and pitfalls of wealth, one quickly realize the absolute necessity of directing wealth rather than allowing it to direct you. Yet many people confront these challenges without adequate preparation or guidance.

As essential first step is to understand that wealth entails much more than money. It can beget positive and negative forces in life. People may recognize their needs but fail to understand how the solutions must be integrated. Their piecemeal decisions result in conflicting, redundant or inefficient financial strategies. At worst, those who lack vision are led astray by myths of popular wisdom printed in magazines, streaming on the internet, and shared between friends and family.

This is not the way to secure one’s future. Fragmented decisions lead to fragmented results. Many intelligent, highly accomplished people have walked this road. In most cases, they end up where they started – but with less time and money, intensified frustrations, and shaken confidence in both the financial systems and their capability to steward their fortune. Is it any wonder most people never experience harmony in their financial life?

Perhaps you have experienced this struggle, or perhaps you sense that something is amiss in your financial world.

If you are ready for a change, we have good news for you. Financial order does exist. When you find it, you will feel great.

Our Core Beliefs

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Professional relationships center on trust

The client’s interests always come first. All recommendations that we make are based on the client’s needs and best interests, and not on our business priorities. This fundamental approach provides the basis for long-term success and the retention of professional integrity.

Wealth management is a comprehensive activity

All decisions should reflect the overall welfare of the client. We help the client define their goals clearly so we all know how well we are progressing to achieve those goals. We bring sophisticated analytical tools to the each client’s plan to give them insight. But analysis is only useful if it leads to developing practical, understandable solutions. The comprehensive approach with a written long-term financial plan leads to better monitoring, improved flexibility, and more personal control.

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A prudent process should drive all decisions

A careful, thoughtful process is essential to making sound decisions, and to avoiding an emotional reaction. Focus, discipline and time are fundamental to achieving financial success.

The investment philosophy must support the plan

A fundamental and essential part of investing is to understand what does work, and what does not work. Too often investment promises are unrealistic. We avoid this pitfall by using academically proven research (Modern Portfolio Theory) to support the investment philosophy. We believe capital markets are efficient and we help clients use them to their benefit. Having an objective, disciplined strategy provides consistency and better outcomes.

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Written plans and policies improve results

The prospect for long-term success improves with a documented plan of action. A written investment policy statement describes the rationale, intent and constraints of your strategy. Documentation creates accountability and mutual understanding for the client and advisor. It provides guidance in turbulent times and encourages clients to stay the course. A well-written investment policy is a dynamic tool that accommodates a client’s evolving financial needs.

Our Clients

We work with working individuals, professionals, business owners, retirees, and families, as well as trusts, foundations and pension/retirement plans for small businesses.

Many of our clients have tried other approaches before coming to us. These experiences have underscored the vital role of financial expertise and thoughtful analysis in building long-term wealth.

Our clients want to understand better how money can help them fulfill their responsibilities to themselves and to their families. They need assistance in clarifying their goals and assembling a workable plan to realize those goals.

Our clients seek us out when they need to integrate all facets of their wealth and believe that a comprehensive approach provides the best answers.

Our clients see us out because they have encountered many investment choices and alternatives that require a higher degree of knowledge and expertise to understand.

Our clients want to understand clearly the rationale for making financial decisions, but they want to delegate many of the details of executing the plan to us.

Our clients want a financial decision-making process that is objective, consistent and disciplined. They want integrity from the plan and from the advisor. They want to trust the advisor.

They want confidence in the process.

They want peace of mind.

Our Team

Everyone on the Epsilon team believes that adhering to our proven investment principles is the key to your success. We are focused and disciplined, but also realize we must continue to nourish our own intellectual curiosity around new technologies, new research and new generations of investors.

That’s the difference between knowledge and wisdom.

Working With Us

As your family’s primary trusted advisor, we will help you understand and evaluate the many important financial decisions that affect you and your family over time.

We will help you define your financial goals and provide you with input and analysis regarding your overall asset allocation, debt structure, retirement savings, and other areas of your personal financial situation. We will develop a plan to help you reach your goals, and adapt your plan as your circumstances change over time and as new challenges and opportunities emerge.
We interface with your other advisors – CPA, attorney, insurance agent/broker and banker – as necessary to meet your goals. Working with your existing advisors or other professionals, we can ensures all aspects of your financial plan are coordinated and implemented efficiently to meet your goals.

Our Approach

Our client relationships typically follow these steps, but are adjusted to every situation:

Epsilon Expertise

By sharing our knowledge of modern investing principles with you, and by aligning those principles with your personal goals and aspirations, we help develop the confidence and discipline necessary for you to achieve superior results through all market cycles.

Our no-nonsense approach to investing is a refreshing change for investors who have been dissatisfied with traditional investment firms. Our clients include educators, physicians, attorneys, business owners, and retirees. Some have modest income and wealth. Others have more. They are fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters; trustees, charities, 401(k) plans, foundations, and endowments.

Contact Epsilon

Our Offices

Fairfield

Discovery Bay

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© 2020 Epsilon Financial Group. All Rights Reserved.

The Epsilon Name, Explained

Why do we have a spiral as a symbol in our logo and website? 

It comes from a strong historical and mathematical background.

The spiral is often called the Fibonacci Spiral that was developed by Leonardo Bonacci of Pisa, a twelfth-century Italian mathematician, considered by many historians to be the most talented Western mathematician of the Middle Ages.

Fibonacci is remembered for two important contributions to Western mathematics: helping to spread the use of Hindu systems of writing numbers in Europe (e.g. 0,1,2,3,4,5, etc.) in place of Roman numerals (e.g. I, IV, V, VI, IX, etc.), and developing the series of numbers which define the spiral that occurs so very often in nature (the Fibonacci Sequence).
The number series that describes the spiral and its significance was later adopted and further developed by Blaise Pascal, a seventeenth-century French mathematician, who created Pascal’s Triangle and its importance in probability theory.

Within the architecture of the spiral lies the foundation for the Golden Mean, a ratio which has proven to be significant in many natural, biological, and architectural designs.

We have chosen our firm name “Epsilon” because of its use in statistical analysis to indicate how well a mathematical formula explains an analysis. Our objective is to explain as much as possible to our clients, enlisting them as partners in their success, and enabling them to make sound financial decisions.

Institute for the Fiduciary Standard
Real Fiduciary™ Advisors Code of Ethics

Name of Firm: Epsilon Financial Group
Source: Institute for the Fiduciary Standard
Topic: Real Fiduciary™ Advisors
Type of Registration: Registered Investment Advisor (SEC or State)

Fiduciary: A fiduciary is an individual or firm occupying a special position of trust and confidence, the highest standard in law. A fiduciary must act in the best interest of the client, without regard to the fiduciary’s financial interest.

Fee-Only: The advisor’s only method of compensation is a fee: Asset-based, fixed, or hourly. Real Fiduciary™ Advisors do not accept any type of commission for the sale of financial products, transactions, or revenue sharing.

Validation: Real Fiduciary&Trade; Advisors validate their fiduciary practices by publishing:

  • The Institute’s Real Fiduciary™ Practices.
  • Online content that educates investors about fiduciary issues.

 

Real FiduciaryTM Advisors agree to:*

  1. Serve our clients as fiduciaries at all times.
  2. Only accept compensation paid to us by our clients.
  3. Avoid conflicts to the best of our ability.
  4. Disclose and explain important information and agreements verbally and in writing.
  5. Maintain our designations with ongoing education of knowledge and skills.
  6. Provide advice based on clients’ goals, circumstances, concerns, and tolerances for risk.
  7. Disclose clients’ fees and expenses in writing.

 

Acknowledged By: Epsilon Financial Group

*The Real FiduciaryTM Code of Ethics summarize the Real FiduciaryTM Practices of the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard. Our advisors commit to meet these practices. Email info@thefiduciaryinstitute.org. View the Real Fiduciary™ Practices, at: https://thefiduciaryinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Real-Fiduciary-Practices-2019-02-22.pdf.

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Fiduciary eBook – 080120, Fiduciary Common Sense: View PDF

Personal Financial Planning and Wealth Management

Epsilon Financial Group provides comprehensive wealth management advisory services to employees, independent contractors, professionals, business owners, retirees, and their families. We help clients organize, plan and manage their wealth to achieve their unique goals. Our solutions are customized to each client’s individual spectrum of financial planning needs.

We provide ongoing financial advice to help clients achieve their goals. Financial decisions impact other aspects of a financial picture.  We encourage our clients to communicate with us regarding all of their financial issues to fully integrate solutions with needs.

We provide advice in the following areas of:

We work with clients to develop an overall understanding of how the global capital markets operate generally, how financial returns are determined largely by the amount of related risk, and how investors can reap the rewards of investing as long as they are willing and able to accept the risks that go along with investing in the financial markets.

We develop investment portfolios that are tailored to a client’s unique investment time horizon, goals and constraints

We monitor and maintain these portfolios over time to ensure they continue to meet our clients’ unique needs, as they progress through the various life stages.

We work with clients to understand their retirement investments, any pension or retirement plans to which they have vested interests through their employment, and Social Security, as it applies to their personal situations.

With a broad understanding of these retirement cash flows “in”, and in consultation with clients to understand their goals for (and planned expenses in) retirement (cash flows “out”), we help our clients make sound financial decisions in planning for this significant milestone.

We do not prepare tax returns for clients.

Through our professional and continuing education, we remain aware of the significant tax effects on investments and family wealth, and work with clients to implement strategies to optimize after-tax wealth.

We are not attorneys, and we do not prepare estate plans.

Through our professional and continuing education, we remain aware of recent innovations in estate planning techniques, and we work with local attorneys specializing in Estate Law in order to provide coordinated service to our clients.

We are not licensed to sell insurance, and we do not sell insurance or related products.

Through our professional and continuing education, we are able to work with our clients within a comprehensive planning process to identify key areas of risk, and identify representative insurance techniques and products that could serve to manage these risks to levels our clients find acceptable.

We understand that higher education represents an important goal for many individuals and families, and can also have a significant impact on financial resources.

We work with individuals and families who are currently struggling to manage education debt, as a part of their overall financial and wealth picture.

We also work with individuals and families who are planning for future educational activities (usually for their children and grandchildren), and who want to consider the impact on their financial situation of paying for them, and strategies for planning ahead to do so most efficiently.

A significant factor in a family’s long-term wealth and financial health is their ability to save regularly.

We work with clients to understand their monthly cash flows, and to help them develop spending targets and savings strategies that help them achieve their financial goals.

As independent, fee based financial planners we are not limited by particular company products in addressing our client financial needs. Our solutions are based on what makes the most sense for our clients and offers the greatest probability of success.

Portfolio Management for Trustees and Fiduciaries

Epsilon Financial Group offers expertise and guidance to help a fiduciary fulfill the sacred trust to clients while managing the professional risk arising in their practice.

Fiduciary Responsibility

Your role as a professional fiduciary covers many areas and requires expertise in many fields, including the advanced principles and tools of prudent investing.

You have obligations to beneficiaries, to the court and to yourself. In today’s litigious atmosphere you have significant legal exposure as well. Following established fiduciary standards and methods will help you manage investment risk for clients while reducing your own professional liability.

You are now required to implement an ongoing investment process that is more complex, sophisticated and demanding than under prior law. It is not enough to deliver good investment results. Indeed, the quality of the result may be in the eye of the beholder. You must justify your decisions according to the rules of fiduciary prudence.

This duty extends beyond a knowledge of Modern Portfolio Theory, or portfolio diversification, or investment manager selection. Fiduciary prudence is satisfied by incorporating the legal standards of care into an investment management process. It’s not enough to know the law. You must apply the law through fundamentally sound investment decisions. Balancing these efforts takes knowledge and resources.

The principals of Epsilon Financial Group are investment fiduciary experts and experienced investment advisors. We are uniquely qualified to help you apply the standards of fiduciary care in portfolio design and investment management.

An investment fiduciary manages property for the benefit of another, exercises discretionary authority over assets or controls investments outright, or renders comprehensive and continuous investment advice for a trust or other entity. The sources that define fiduciary responsibility are extensive and include, among other, the probate code, the Uniform Prudent Investor Act, the American Law Institute Restatement Third of the Law on Trusts and Prudent Investor Rule.

 

Benefits to Your Fiduciary Practice

A comprehensive and objective investment decision making process leads to greater financial organization, empowerment, confidence, fulfillment of duties, better results and ultimately, peace of mind for the fiduciary who uses a prudent process.

 

We can help you:

  • Establish written evidence of stewardship.
  • Improve communications between all parties through meetings with minutes and written reports.
  • Document investment practices.
  • Discover investment or procedural risks not previously identified or understood.
  • Uncover procedural omissions or shortcomings – and prioritize investment management projects.
  • Determine whether applicable “Safe Harbor” provisions have been satisfied.
  • Incorporate prudent fiduciary practices that may increase long-term investment performance. These may include
  • Reducing fees across the entire investment management program.
  • Aiding in the selection of more appropriate managers.
  • Terminating inappropriate managers.
  • Provide an excellent educational forum to assure that all involved parties are familiar with their duties and responsibilities.
  • Identify more appropriate fiduciary procedures, pricing venues and investment vehicles to better manage an increasing asset base.
  • Compare your practices and procedures to those of your peers.
  • Establish benchmarks to help measure the progress of an investment committee or consultant.
  • Use a prudent process to negotiate a lower premium for Errors & Omissions ( E&O ) insurance coverage.
 

We are Independent, Fee-Only Advisors

Just as you want your other professional advisors (accountants, attorneys, physicians, etc.) to advise based on what they know to be best for you rather than what pays the highest commission or fee, Epsilon Financial Group only receives compensation through advice fees our clients pay us directly. We do not use investment tools that pay commissions or other forms of compensation. We do not have any conflicts of interest impacting the advice we give regarding your financial goals and investment management needs. We fully disclose our fees in the initial documentation we prepare and with each subsequent reporting cycle. Only through this form of compensation can you be sure your advisor keeps your best interest at the forefront of all recommendations and decision making.

 

Generational Wealth Counseling​

While each family experiences generational wealth challenges differently, three areas, in particular, require thoughtful consideration and proactive guidance: managing the founder’s transition from wealth accumulation to legacy planning; preparing successor generations to be responsible stewards; and creating a unified vision for the family’s legacy.

We have decades of experience advising multi-generational families at every stage of the wealth lifecycle, from accumulation through protection and into distribution and estate. We are able to share our observations and strategies for overcoming common challenges and creating enduring legacies.


From Accumulation to Protection
to Distribution and Estate

It is human nature to delay thinking about the future. Transitioning from wealth builder to wealth distributor can be difficult, especially for baby boomers whose life expectancy and work ethic are redefining the concept of retirement.

This can manifest, for example, in a tendency to emphasize asset growth over legacy and philanthropic planning. A founder’s inclination to maintain the status quo may also narrow the window of opportunity to expose the next-generation to the principles of responsible wealth management. Additionally, founders who themselves grew up without wealth have difficulty knowing how or when to discuss family values around money and family legacy goals.

In order to achieve their goals as successfully and efficiently as possible, founders must eventually consider the distribution of their wealth. Initial and annual activities can be designed and implemented that will accomplish their goals.


Preparing the Next Generation
for Responsible Stewardship

Many parents are uncomfortable discussing wealth and inheritance planning, but failure to do so can create other challenges. Successor generations must be prepared for the challenges and responsibilities that come with inherited wealth, both to assure their personal financial sufficiency and to assume stewardship of the family legacy. Younger family members need to develop sound financial management habits, understand family values and become familiar with the family’s investment, estate and philanthropic strategies. Age-appropriate education and ongoing family conversations are essential.


Creating a Unified Vision
for the Family Legacy

The most successful intergenerational wealth transfers occur when the family has a unified vision for the legacy they want to preserve. Yet, identifying a common purpose can be a challenging process. Should assets be distributed to heirs, protected for future generations, used to fund philanthropy or some combination?

The answers to these questions are shaped by the objectives of the founders and individual family members. In the ideal case, family values, attitudes and objectives align. In reality, they usually do not.

Healthy family communication is critical. Our advisors have experience facilitating family meetings where differences can be aired and reconciled, and common ground can be discovered, and implementation strategies can be established.


Epsilon Financial Group exists to help our clients make sound financial decisions. Our advisors have experience providing families with the forward-thinking advice and solutions necessary to pave the way for a smooth transfer of family wealth, laying the groundwork for future generations.

Retirement Plan Solution​

Whatever your vision of the ideal retirement, you will need a long-term plan that ensures stable and sustainable income regardless of unexpected life events or market circumstances. If you are a corporate plan sponsor, we offer modern, lower-cost solutions to meet your employees’ goals and your fiduciary responsibility. We work with independent third-parties to provide record-keeping and third-party administration services to your plan. Our plans contain many of the latest plan design features, including auto-enrollment and auto-escalation, traditional and Roth 401(K) features, loans, etc. We work together with any necessary third-parties to make changes to an existing plan, or to design a plan from the ground up. We provide fiduciary investment advisor services to your plan, in accordance with ERISA section 3(38), and we accept our fiduciary responsibilities in writing. For participant-directed 401(K) plans, we have developed a prototype investment menu that we customize according to your preferences. Our prototype menu includes, and allows participants to choose from the following:
  • Well-diversified, low-cost, professionally managed mutual funds across may asset classes, allowing participants to build an efficient and robust investment portfolio in the plan;
  • Model portfolios that manage to a targeted level of investment risk
    • These model portfolios are built entirely with mutual funds available to the participants generally, and do not incur additional fees for managing the models
    • These model portfolios are rebalanced regularly to ensure they maintain their advertised levels of risk; and
  • Target date funds (TDFs), that allow participants to make a single decision (the Target Date), and then allow the professional investment manager to maintain and manage levels of risk across time (as the Target Date approaches, and passes).

As fiduciary advisors to the plan, we are compensated only with fees from the plan. We do not accept any other form of compensation, including from any third-party financial firms for any reason, including for putting particular investments in our clients’ plans. We conduct initial and ongoing due diligence on the investment choices, and provide regular reports to plan sponsors on the activities and performance of their plans, including participant activity and utilization, performance, and the ongoing due diligence we perform on the plan’s investments.

Pete Mattei, MBA, CFP®, AIF®

Pete is a full-spectrum financial planner, investment advisor, analyst, investment fiduciary, and retirement plan consultant. Pete earned his BS in Fermentation Science from UCD in 1974 and his MBA from Stanford University in 1980. 

Prior to becoming a financial planner he had a thirty-year career as the senior winery and vineyards executive for Robert Mondavi and was an Epsilon client for many years. 

His role at Mondavi included extensive planning, budgeting, analytic, business process improvement, and financial responsibilities. 

Pete completed the CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) certification process in 2013, earned his Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) credential from the Center for Fiduciary Studies in 2010, and earned the Retirement Plan Fundamentals Certificate from the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries in 2011.

Dennis Park, MBA, CFP®

Dennis is a founding Principal with Epsilon Financial Group, Inc. (EFG). Dennis utilizes his wealth of financial and business experiences to help clients attain their financial goals. 

Dennis received his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the United States Air Force Academy in 1978. 

During his flying years with the USAF, he obtained his MBA with an emphasis on finance. Subsequent to leaving the Air Force, Dennis worked in technical and financial management positions in Silicon Valley while continuing his education at Stanford University. 

He left Silicon Valley in 1990 to fulfill his career goal of becoming a financial planner serving individuals and small businesses. In 1992, Dennis attained his Certified Financial Planning (CFP) designation. 

In 1995, Dennis and Mark Sievers joined their businesses in a partnership that eventually incorporated as Epsilon Financial Group, Inc. in 2004. Dennis has three sons and two stepchildren. 

He and his wife, Glenda, enjoy many outdoor activities as well as the cultural activities offered at nearby cities. They are active in their local church and community organizations. Besides his family, one of his greatest joy’s is helping clients reach their retirement and financial goals.

Mark Sievers,
MBA, CFP®, AIFA®, CIMA®, CIMC®

Mark is a founding Principal of Epsilon Financial Group, Inc. He is a fee-only, independent financial advisor. 

For three decades, Mark has been helping individuals and their families realize their investment and financial goals. 

Mark is the trusted advisor to a diverse group of individuals and families, including business executives, attorneys, physicians, engineers, professors, retirees, former professional athletes, and many others. His clients are located in the San Francisco Bay Area and across the United States.

He had built his advisory business by combining a sound asset class investing methodology with financial planning and first-class client service.

Leo Martinez, CFP®, CDFA®

Leo Martinez began his career in the investment industry working on the trading floor of the Pacific Options Exchange. While working part-time as a clerk during the day he completed a Bachelors degree in Economics at UC Davis. Upon his graduation from the university, he returned to the trading floor full time to become a market maker and trader. 

He occupied a seat and was a member of the exchange for several years before the trading floor dynamics began to evolve into the currently popular day-trading format. After leaving the trading floor in 2002, he traded from home while obtaining licensing to work in the broker dealer industry. After a couple of years working in that industry, Mr. Martinez felt very disenchanted by the experience and was ready to leave the industry altogether. 

Leo obtained his Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) designation in 2007 and left the broker-dealer model. Intent on prioritizing clients’ interests above his own, he entered the registered investment advisor industry as an analyst and planner and joined Epsilon Financial Group. There, Mr. Martinez specializes in fiduciary consulting regarding retirement planning, trust administration and nonprofit advising. 

Mr. Martinez is also active in the community as a father to his three little girls and serves on various boards and committees.