President and Founder
Norm Boone is the founder and president of Mosaic Financial Partners, Inc. Norm has an aptitude for financial matters, an interest in life coaching, and a fascination with complex family relationships, all of which have helped Mosaic become one of the most highly-regarded advisory firms in the country.
Norm has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s best financial planners since 1994 by Worth, Barron’s and Medical Economics magazines. Norm earned his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 1984, after receiving his undergraduate education at Stanford University and his MBA in Finance from the Harvard Business School. Norm also served as an officer in the United States Army.
Throughout his career, Norm has been active in the communities he serves and champions. Norm enjoys sharing his expertise and is a prolific writer. He has been a columnist for Wealth Manager and Technology Today magazines, as well as the Fi360 blog, and has authored numerous articles in various publications, primarily on topics related to practice management and prudent investment practices. He regularly contributes to the Mosaic blog, newsletter, and market commentaries. He is the co-author of the investment textbook “Creating an Investment Policy Statement—Guidelines and Templates” and founded the companion online software, IPS AdvisorPro®.
Norm is the father of two successful adult children. He and his wife Linda (president of her own advisory firm in Miami, Florida) love to play golf and frequently travel internationally to far-flung locations on all continents of the world, including Antarctica and the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
After three decades in the industry, Norm has a seasoned perspective on the worth professional organizations (such as the Financial Planning Association or the CFP Board) bring to planners.
Boone believes that consolidation of message should be prioritized among the associations. “We have multiple organizations that are competing more than they are coordinating,” he says. “In marketing and in political advocacy, the organizations and their participants do not speak with a consistent voice. The result is confusion about who we are and what we stand for. The organizational competition keeps the organizations on their toes,” he concedes, “but it hurts us all in moving us toward the end goal of one profession, widely-recognized and highly-regarded.”
Norm speaks about what sustains his 17 year marriage to Linda Lubitz Boone, also a founder of her own advisory firm, The Lubitz Financial Group, in Miami.
“For each other’s business, we’re more consultants-lite or just advising friends rather than being too involved. I think that helps to maintain a level of separation that spouses need on the work side, so that the marriage part doesn’t get interfered with. It allows us to be best friends, and eliminates the potential for problems if we were also business partners,” he said.
While the historical data may be young yet, some data show more diverse portfolios have performed better over less diverse ones, writes Deborah Nason for CNBC. Norm is quoted throughout, touching on Mosaic’s use of global real estate investment trusts and liquid alternatives in client portfolios.
Here’s a highlight from the article:
“Largely, as a passive shop, we are using managers that apply a rules-based approach to choosing what goes into their funds,” Boone said. The firm includes the following strategies in one or more of their models: global REITs, energy infrastructure, merger arbitrage, managed futures, timber REITs, business development corporations, equity market neutral and emerging market debt.
Boone advises caution. “We advisors, as a group, need to evaluate how closely liquid alts come to what hedge funds returned in the past,” he said. “You need to go under the covers — most of the liquid alt managers were hedge fund managers and just because a strategy worked as a hedge fund doesn't mean it will work in a new format.”
As Kathleen Pender reports for the SF Chronicle, amassing a 20% down payment for a house can feel insurmountable, especially as Bay Area home prices soar. She covers the options available to those of us without family money, including a lesser-known option: giving up future appreciation in exchange for down payment help from a government or private-sector program. She quotes Norm on whether this option might be a good idea:
For people short on cash, this could be a great deal, said financial planner Norman Boone, president of Mosaic Financial Partners. Even if they give up more appreciation than they saved, the flexibility of having lower monthly payments is worth it for some owners.
“The timing may be really good for this,” Boone added, because it’s unlikely that home prices will continue appreciating at their recent pace.
“If you ride a horse, you are sometimes going to fall off,” says Norman M. Boone, CFP, the founder and president of Mosaic Financial Partners Inc. in California, in an email. “The key to success is getting back on, resetting your goal and continuing to move forward.”
In addition to addressing retirement savings, some advisors would tweak the tax system if they were running the country. Norman Boone, a certified financial planner in San Francisco, would make the cost of health insurance deductible for all individuals.
“Corporations can deduct it as a business expense, so putting everybody on an equal footing would make sense,” he said. “If this happened, medical care would be more affordable to more people because it would be tax-deductible.”
Guess what: financial planners want you to grill them on their credentials. They want you to take an active interest in elements like their experience, specialties, and means of compensation, because it means you will be an engaged, responsive client. Susannah Snider has compiled a top ten list of questions to ask any prospective planner for US News & World Report, and Norm suggests that consumers should start by asking, “How do you get paid?”
“Money is still a taboo topic generally, so people assume it is ‘rude’ to ask how (and how much) someone is going to be paid,” says Norman Boone, founder and president of Mosaic Financial Partners in San Francisco.
Reporter Brian O’Connell surveyed financial planning experts on how savers can guage whether they are underfunded in their retirement accounts. This is a critical step in retirement planning, one that confounds many laymen. Norm explained his strategy:
Another way to estimate any retirement cash shortage is to know how much you are going to be spending in retirement. “What you spend now is the best guide available,” says Norman M. Boone, founder and president of Mosaic Financial Partners in San Francisco. “Figure that number out and adjust it by expenses that will go away after retirement (such supporting the kids, Social Security taxes, disability insurance and your retirement contributions). That’s your retirement spending estimate.”
Then get clear about what your other sources of income are likely to be, like Social Security, a pension, an annuity, rent from an apartment building or other sources of income, Boone says. “Identify the total amount and subtract those known income items from the expense total, and the result is the amount you will need to get from your portfolio.”
Morningstar has long been known as an objective fund-rating firm. But that's about to change, as Jane Yi Zhang reports for Financial Planning. Norm weighs in:
Norman Boone, president and founder of San Francisco-based Mosaic Financial Partners, also called the offering a “poor move.”
“One of the reasons why Morningstar has been so successful is because of their independence,” Boone says. “Once they join the fray and become a competitor to those they judge and report on, they've given up their objectivity. I see this as a direct conflict of interest for them.”
Is this the age of the ETF? According to a recent study undertaken by BlackRock, it might just become so. Norm weighs in on what makes them increasingly attractive to investors and advisors in this article by Brian O'Connell for InsuranceNewsNet:
“The vehicle is not the opportunity, the part of the market that that particular ETF is choosing to focus on may be the opportunity,” said Norman M. Boone, founder and president at Mosaic Financial Partners in San Francisco.
That said, Boone does view ETFs as being “tax efficient” and being “easy to buy and sell.”
“You can also buy them at any time during the day, whereas mutual funds are priced and officially purchased at the end of the day, after the close of the market,” he said. “For those into trading on the ‘good idea of the day’ this makes ETFs attractive trading vehicles.”
Since founding the firm in 1987, Norm has strategically grown the team of what has become Mosaic Financial Partners to a staff of 18, and has seen his business thrive. He explains his motivation for hiring talent to Ingrid Case for Financial Planning magazine, noting:
“I... have a lot more flexibility, because I have other people I can rely on when a client calls. When I can get away from things, I refresh, and the quality and creativity of my eyes increases.”
Norm shared his take on the elevator pitch with writer Thomas Coyle for this two-part article in Financial Advisor IQ.
The head of Mosaic Financial Partners in San Francisco says he and his colleagues “help people navigate their lives and make good decisions about their money. This simple statement most often leads to other questions and a listing of their concerns, which obviously leads to more detailed discussion.”
NerdWallet asked Norm Boone and Kyle Morgan for more information about the pros and cons of 15-year loans.
“It still makes sense to get the lowest interest rate possible,” Norm said. “Whether for 15 or 30 years, why pay it to someone else if you don’t have to?”
In mourning the creative loss of losing Prince unexpectedly, Norm sees a lesson to pass along about planning for all stages of your life.
“In the absence of a will, any friends, organizations or causes that Prince cared about will most likely be left only with memories. The same could happen after you’re gone if you don’t prioritize estate planning.”
Norm Boone is quoted regarding Schwab’s recent alert to RIAs regarding liquidating the money market holdings in their client accounts.
Norm Boone discusses the importance and value of an Investment Policy Statement, and outlines its necessity throughout an investor’s lifetime.
Norm Boone spins a yarn about the success of storytelling for both himself and his firm.
Norm M. Boone illustrates how the client relationship is formalized through the IPS process.
Norm shares some thoughts about drawbacks to robo advisor platforms.
“It’s not yet clear how this kind of offering is going to be able to fit into a service model we might consider,” says Norm Boone, president of Mosaic Financial Partners, Inc., which manages $575 million from San Francisco. “We know we won’t be able to compete on price because there will always be competition from other robo-advisors offering their services at basement prices.”
Norm Boone on how to set up your financial plan and how to maintain an investment portfolio for the Harvard Business School Association of Northern California.
Norm Boone shares his knowledge about the appropriate length of an IPS and what needs to be said and how detailed the discussion of the selected topics needs to be.
Norm Boone shares his knowledge about why clients benefit from updated Investment Policy Statements.
Advisory Board Member, 1993 – 1995
Advisory Board Member, 1994 – 1996
Financial Planning Association (FPA),
National Board Member, 2000 – 2003
International Association for Financial Planning (IAFP, Predecessor organization to the FPA),
Presidents’ Council, Chair, 1993
San Francisco Chapter Member, 2000 – Present
East Bay Estate Planning Council
Golden Gate University Financial Planning Advisory Board
Member, 2001 – 2010
Harvard Business School Association of Northern California
Member, Board of Directors, 2002 – Present
Co-Founder, 2002 – 2013
San Francisco Estate Planning Council
National Advisors Trust
Co-chair, Board of Trustees, 2004 – 2013
Harvard Club of San Francisco
Treasurer, 2008 – Present
San Francisco Foundation, Professional Advisors Council
Member, 2012 – 2017
Oakland City Advisory Council
Member, 2013 -
Consultant, 2013 – Present
Children’s Hospital Foundation Professional Advisors Board
Member, 2014 –