Our secret? No secrets.
Information is indeed power, and it is most powerful when shared. We believe in complete transparency, in open-source knowledge. We encourage our clients to question the status quo, and the motives of those who defend it.
In the early 1990s, the founders of Equius Partners left the Wall Street herd to embrace a new approach to investing, based on the recognition that markets and investing science have changed dramatically in the modern era. As one of the first financial planning and investment advisory firms to fully reject traditional active management and adopt a more optimally diversified and structured asset class investing strategy, Equius took the lead and never looked back.
We believe that knowledge is the foundation upon which successful portfolios are built and maintained. Not simply a knowledge of investment principles, but a deeper knowledge of who we all are as individuals and investors. Knowledge leads to confidence and confidence fosters discipline when it is needed most. Adherence to these principles inevitably leads to investment success.
Our investment approach is grounded in the work of Eugene Fama, recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on the efficient market theory. Fama, along with his colleague Ken French, also introduced groundbreaking research demonstrating that markets are multidimensional (in terms of risk and return) and that long-term portfolio results can be enhanced with thoughtful diversification among these dimensions.
Wisdom never gets old.
Everyone on the Equius 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.
Client Service Coordinator
I joined Equius Partners in April 2012 after 18 years as an administrative professional in the telecommunications field, where I managed day-to-day operations. As a client service coordinator, I combine my knowledge of office operations with my high level of customer service to ensure all client service requests are handled with the utmost of professionalism. My interpersonal communication skills, excellent organizational and customer service skills, and keen attention to detail enable me to provide a top-notch service experience to our prospects and clients.
My leadership extends outside Equius as a member of Toast of Petaluma, and I have also been active in leadership in my church. I live in Petaluma with my husband, Ted, and our dog, Teddy, where we enjoy cooking, camping, and spending time with our family and friends. We have participated in and have won barbecue cook-offs! I also love to read, run and walk, and I have participated in a number of half marathons.
I joined Equius Partners in June 2015 after earning my B.S. in business administration from the University of California, Chico, where I was awarded an additional certification in e-marketing and web localization.
Intrigued by the world of finance, I learned the foundations of fund accounting and account-level servicing at State Street Bank & Trust. My attention to detail, understanding of complex analytical situations, and over 10 years in operations have led to a resolute and in-depth understanding of guiding the client experience.
I live in San Francisco. When not at work, I love to spend time with family and friends, attend sporting events across the country, travel and try new foods.
Rick Borden, CFP®, AIF®
I grew up in Orinda, California, and received a B.A. in history from Cal and an M.B.A. from Stanford Business School. I ended up on Wall Street working on trading desks, including stints at two of the most dominant firms in the history of Wall Street-Salomon Brothers and Drexel Burnham.
When I was at Drexel trading junk bonds, my daughter was in the fourth grade and asked me if I would come into her classroom like all the other parents to explain what I did for a living. I declined-I couldn’t think of a way to make trading bonds sound meaningful to a class full of 9-year-olds. That was the beginning of a lingering feeling that my chosen career lacked meaningful purpose — a feeling I struggled with for the next 15 years as I co-founded a mortgage REIT, raised money for a hedge fund investing in Russia, and worked for a global private equity fund. Eventually, serendipity intervened. Necessitated by the desire for a non-traveling job so I could raise my two younger daughters, I founded an investment advisory firm, On Keel Capital, in 2007.
At Salomon Brothers, we had applied rigorous cash flow mathematics to the development of the mortgage-backed securities market and asset/liability management for financial institutions. At On Keel, working with Dimensional Fund Advisors, I discovered that the same scientific rigor had been applied to understanding investment returns in the equity market and had led to the development of the first index funds at Wells Fargo Bank and asset class equity funds at Dimensional.
Bringing science to bear to help people plan for a dignified and independent retirement provided the meaningful purpose I had been looking for. When I met Jeff and Phil, I realized we had the same values, ambitions, and investment philosophy, but that they had created a more enduring platform from which to pursue them. I merged my company into Equius in 2017, where I now have the opportunity to bring everything I have learned over the years to the challenge of developing liability-driven investment strategies for our clients.
I have four children, two grandchildren, and a dog. I live in Mill Valley with my partner, Elizabeth, and I play golf and row, with little evidence that my undiminished enthusiasm for those activities is warranted.
Client Service Coordinator
I joined Equius Partners in June 2017. As a client service coordinator, I personify professionalism and provide our clients and our team of advisors with exceptional service. Before joining Equius, I worked with two other investment management firms in Marin County over the span of 11 years. Along the way, I have gained invaluable experience working with clients, advisor teams, and custodians, navigating complex and time-sensitive client service requests.
I graduated from Sonoma State University with a B.A. and live in Bel Marin Keys with my husband, Jason, and son, Ian. During my free time, I enjoy volunteering in Ian’s class and assisting with the numerous sports he loves to take part in.
COO, Chief Compliance Officer
I grew up on the Central Coast of California in San Luis Obispo. My experience and accomplishments as a high school and college basketball player helped me develop leadership skills that serve me well at Equius and in other aspects of my life.
At Sutter Health, prior to joining Equius, I was part of a small team that spearheaded the development of a new Labor Management Center responsible for the staffing of three East Bay hospitals. Eventually earning the title of director, I was responsible for overseeing all operations and over 30 staff members associated with the department. I joined Equius in 2016 to guide our business operations and serve as our chief compliance officer.
I have always had a passion for personal finance, and my experience in mentoring, guiding, and leading teams to successful outcomes serves us well at Equius. I’m passionate about what we do for our clients and helping those closest to me achieve financial peace of mind.
I graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in communications. When not at the office, I can be found on the court either playing or coaching basketball or (increasingly) at home with my wife, Kari, and our daughter, Autumn, in Petaluma.
Phil Jonckheer, CFA®
My passion for investing came from my dad, a Dutch international banker. I was the first Jonckheer educated in the United States, earning a B.A. from Harvard. My interest in finance led to a Stanford M.B.A. While there, I was inspired by my love of education to attain a master’s in education. Revolutionary researcher Daniel Kahneman, the first psychologist Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, nurtured my fascination with how behavior affects wealth.
With that knowledge, I began my quest to serve others in their best interests. As a growth stock portfolio manager, I learned the follies of stock picking and market timing. As a corporate finance partner with Ernst & Young, I encountered the many faces of risk. In 1991, David Booth, founder of Dimensional Fund Advisors, introduced me to asset class investing, on which I began building Dynamic Funds Management (DFM). In 2007, Jeff Troutner’s TAM Asset Management merged with DFM to form Equius Partners.
My love of community called me to chair Alchemia, serving individuals with disabilities through arts, and Project Redwood, a partnership I founded with my business school class to alleviate poverty. My belief that the most effective way to reduce global poverty is through educating girls and women led me to serve as chair of the board for Daraja, an organization dedicated to schooling Kenyan girls. I also counsel Grace’s Kids, which educates and nourishes Ugandan children, and No Bully, which promotes social and emotional intelligence for children worldwide.
I am blessed with three children, Liz, Will, and Gussie; a son-in-law, Mike; and two granddaughters, Poppy Jane and Willow Roselyn. I am a master swimmer and a budding sailor. My preference for liquid assets includes wines.
I am a fifth-generation Marin native. My first exposure to asset class investing came in 2005 when I interned for Jeff Troutner’s original firm, TAM Asset Management, the summer before my senior year at Gonzaga University. I went on to graduate from Gonzaga in 2006 with a B.A. in finance and, soon after, returned to the Bay Area to begin my career. Over the next 11 years, I sharpened my business acumen, gaining experience in the areas of corporate governance, proxy research, and vote management, as well as in cloud and digital workflow technology.
I joined Equius in August 2017, fulfilling my longtime goal of returning to the firm that had intrigued me as an intern. I bring experience and perspective to my role as a relationship manager and feel an undeniable sense of purpose helping our clients achieve their goals.
I grew up sailing the San Francisco Bay, mountain biking on Mt. Tamalpais, and playing lacrosse for Marin Catholic High School. When not working, I love being outside enjoying everything the beautiful Bay Area has to offer, including sailing, hiking, wakeboarding, and restoring classic cars.
Delivering outstanding customer service has always been an essential part of a day’s work for me. I am responsible for all office procedures, and I get to use my organizational skills to ensure smooth operations in a busy environment. I regularly find myself drawing upon my entrepreneurial skills, education in business and accounting, and experiences working with giants in the entertainment industry.
Equius is such a unique company because the team shares a common vision for excellence, and will never grow too big to not know each client personally. The number of referral clients speaks volumes about the loyalty and trust Equius has earned over the years.
After studying accounting at New Mexico State University, I diligently worked my way from Los Angeles to New York, before finally landing in beautiful Marin County, earning my graduate gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) along the way. My beautiful family includes two vivacious daughters, Evangeline and Beatrix, and two dynamic dachshunds, Stella and Josie. Together, we enjoy exploring all that Northern California has to offer, from the expansive beaches to the glorious redwood trees, making friends everywhere we go.
Founding Partner, Chief Investment Officer
I graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in business administration and a major in finance. I started my career in 1980 as a stockbroker.
At a major Wall Street firm, I became one of the first and most successful brokers nationwide to specialize in evaluating and recommending independent, fee-based investment advisors to my clients. This was my first step toward taking a more consultative and fiduciary (rather than transactional) approach to working with investors. A significant part of this effort involved preparing quarterly portfolio performance reports of time-weighted rates of return (the standard today) using the recently introduced Apple Macintosh computer and spreadsheet software. This was virtually unheard of in the brokerage industry then and is still rare today. In 1988, I joined one of my recommended advisory firms in its new San Francisco office.
In 1992, I founded TAM Asset Management to introduce serious investors to the long-term benefits of indexing and asset class investing. TAM was one of the first independent investment advisory firms to fully reject stock picking and market timing in managing client portfolios. In mid-1993, my monthly publication, TAM Review (now named AssetClass), was launched to inspire investors (and other advisors) to apply more modern methods of achieving long-term investment success. In 2007, I merged TAM with Dynamic Funds Management to form Equius Partners.
I am married to my high school sweetheart, Kathy, and live in San Rafael. I have four children and nine grandchildren (with one more on the way!). I thoroughly enjoy mountain biking on Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County and the mountains around Lake Tahoe, sea kayaking on San Francisco Bay, snowboarding and backpacking in the Sierras, and scuba diving wherever the water is warm.
I joined Equius Partners in 2006 after earning my B.S. in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona, where I was awarded a commercial pilot instrument rating for single- and multi-engine airplanes.
My passion for our business and the science of finance motivated me to earn a master’s in finance from Golden Gate University. At Equius, I’m responsible for a significant portion of our relationships as well as leading and mentoring our team of advisors.
I live in San Rafael with my wife, Kori, and our three children, Johnie Lee, Quint, and Charli. When not at work, I’m likely to be found running Stinson Beach with my family and dogs, Maverick and Champ, mountain biking Marin County’s trails, snowboarding the Sierras, or showing friends and family the beauty of Northern California from 10,000 feet.
I joined the Equius Partners team in September 2009, shortly after earning a B.A. in economics with a minor in cognitive science from the University of California, Los Angeles.
While a student at UCLA, I focused on the behavioral aspects of economics and investing. I was intrigued by the failure of active management and too many stories of investor woe, and my desire to help right this wrong immediately drew me to Equius’ investment philosophy. Our evidence-based approach and thoughtful counseling reduces stress for our clients by helping them remain confident and disciplined through all market cycles. As a relationship manager, my priority is to provide an exceptional investment experience to our clients.
I currently live in San Francisco. In my time outside the office, I enjoy hiking and backpacking along the California coast, playing pickup soccer in Golden Gate Park, and training for the Dipsea, the oldest trail race in America.
I am an Equius client of 23 years who founded, ran, and eventually sold Lux Design, San Francisco. My business rewarded me and my family well, but it was because of my adoption of an Equius-based, asset class portfolio and life plan that I was able to find financial serenity and retire at 48.
The very traits that made me successful as an entrepreneurial business person-being active, making gut-based decisions, and possessing a high degree of bravado-could have very well been my financial undoing had I not been introduced to Equius by my CPA. Thankfully, I soon embraced the notion of working with the power of markets, not trying to outwit them, and instead redirecting my energies to enjoying the richer things in life, like my 13-year-old daughter, Kathryn.
After a few years with an overabundance of time, I approached Jeff, Phil, and TJ, suggesting I help them spread the good word of Equius. Currently, I am working to better understand other clients' perspectives on Equius and helping lead the growth of our business.
Jason Zahorenko, AIF®
I graduated from Arizona State University with a B.S. in finance and have over nineteen years' experience in the wealth management industry. Prior to joining Equius Partners in 2007, I began my career at Charles Schwab.
My passion at Equius is to help clients by sharing my knowledge of modern investing principles with them and then aligning those principles with their goals and aspirations. I take great satisfaction in helping people achieve successful financial outcomes and feel my greatest offering to our clients is to help alleviate the anxiety and stress of investing.
I live in Novato with my wife, Lisa, and enjoy cycling and mountain biking in my spare time. I have participated in a number of cycling events, including one that traverses the great state of Iowa.
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.
Portfolio & Behavior Management
We build and maintain sound portfolios and handle the challenges associated with long-term investing through effective listening and professional counsel. We work hard at changing behavior that may have undermined investment progress in the past.
Customized Financial Planning
While our core principles are unwavering, we recognize that every investor is different. So, we design plans that are tailored to your needs, your goals, and your life aspirations.
Generational Wealth Counseling
Creating a plan to transfer wealth generationally can be complex and emotionally challenging. We take all the time necessary to understand your true intentions, and work with you to create a plan that provides lasting financial comfort for your family and other potential beneficiaries of your wealth and values.
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
Working with Equius
Not surprisingly, it’s different for everyone. Let’s dive deep to determine what wealth means to you, in relation to your current investments, ambitions and aspirations. Once we define it, we will help you achieve it.
Based on our initial conversations with you, we create a strategic roadmap for your financial journey. We share our knowledge and confidence in a way—and at a pace—that suits your particular situation. We consider a lifelong commitment to learning and practicing core investment principles as essential to your success.
Once your investment plan is in place, we schedule annual performance reviews and regular check-ins. As market conditions change, we manage your portfolio according to the plan (always considering taxes and other costs). As your life changes, we recommend changes that address your changing needs. Ours is a collaborative approach with one goal in mind: providing you with the stable, comfortable, predictable, and successful advisory relationship you deserve.