Every client—whether an individual, institution, pension plan or charitable enterprise—has a different blend of growth goals, income needs, risk thresholds, time horizons and individual requirements. Taxable clients also have differing tax considerations. At Duncker Streett & Co., our managers develop a tailored program for each client that is designed to help meet needs and objectives while alleviating concerns. Portfolios are generally structured with individual securities, in lieu of mutual funds, to help better control costs, manage risk and take advantage of specific opportunities. In sharp contrast, investment programs that exclusively utilize packaged products like mutual funds can be confusing entanglements of "black-box" investments that provide little visibility into what is actually bought and sold by each mutual fund company. We believe the imbedded fees of these packaged products impose an unnecessary extra layer of costs that can impair long-term performance.