Clifford Swan - A Shared Heritage
A.M. Clifford founded his firm in Los Angeles and Pasadena in 1915, and was one of the first to coin the term 'Investment Counselor.' Some seventy years later, Philip V. Swan, who began his career with the Clifford family, founded his own Investment Counseling firm, Philip V. Swan Associates in Pasadena. Phil Swan observed the need for families to have an advisor they could rely on and trust to help them achieve their financial goals. In 2007, the two firms joined together to form Clifford Swan Investment Counsel, based on a shared heritage and shared values of independent advice, rigorous objective research and commitment to clients. Today, Clifford Swan serves multi-generations of families and not-for-profit organizations throughout the nation.
A. M. Clifford – A Pioneer of Independent Investor Counsel
Many of the principles of conduct first prescribed by A.M. Clifford in his treatise, The Investment Counselor (1925), and later adopted by the Investment Advisor Association (IAA), have been used by Congress, the Securities Exchange Commission, and the U.S. Supreme Court in defining the standards of fiduciary conduct that are applicable to all investment advisors.
Clifford's principles also helped define the first non-profit association to represent this new profession, the Investment Counsel Association of America (ICAA), formed in 1937. The ICAA later played a role in the creation of the Investment Advisors Act of 1940. The ICAA later became the IAA, of which we are charter members.
A.M. Clifford was one of the early investment advisors, pioneering a new profession of the Independent investor counselor.
He was motivated by chance and imagination. He had opened his brokerage firm in Los Angeles in 1911, when that city’s population numbered less than four hundred thousand. In 1915, one of his wealthy clients asked him to review her $30 million in assets, and from then on Clifford called himself “an investment counselor and financial analyst.” By 1921, Clifford was focusing exclusively on investment counsel and charging fixed fees for his services.
(Source: The Age of Independent Advice -- A Remarkable History, p. 21)
The Investment Counselor: His Work, Methods and Responsibilities (©1925)
Clifford worked hard to spread his personal views on the ethics of being a financial advisor and the workings of the financial markets. He printed his treatises on investing for several years in the Los Angeles Times, and published a compilation of them in 1925. Much of his advice is still true today.