A Firm Foundation

clients are our cornerstone

Caring & Passion

coalescing around client values and goals

Inspiration & Vision 

the long view on relationships and investing

Independent & Unbiased

charting our own course

Teamwork & Collaboration

inclusiveness and support of ambition

Firm Foundation

Personalized Services

Investment Philosophy

Unique Projects

Our Team & Contacts

Firm Foundation

Welcome to LOWELL, BLAKE & ASSOCIATES.  Jim and Susan Lowell founded the firm in Boston in 1974 for the purpose of providing financial advisory services, planning, and support to those who need it (families, non-profits, and foundations – largely in Massachusetts).  We have remained a modest-sized firm by choice, as it allows for true collaboration and independent thinking within our ranks.  More importantly, our smaller size allows us to deliver what seems to be a unique level of service to our clients, and engenders closeness and trust with them over the long term.

We believe investing is decidedly more art than science.   As independent-thinking, contrarian-minded advisors, we do not listen to the vast majority of noise that the world emits, nor do we allow “herd think” to discolor our perspectives.  We do our own vigorous research and analysis, and we are proud to partner with an extraordinary team of outside niche professionals when appropriate, allowing us to deliver investment and planning recommendations with high conviction.  Investments aside, it has always been clear to us that the most important thing we do for clients is help them build a truer understanding of their financial lives.  They know we will always do everything in our power to help their family navigate life’s joys, pains, opportunities, bumps, and triumphs.  We love what we do, and we are honored to do it for such interesting, entertaining, special people.

“The road to enlightenment is paved with authenticity, not imitation.” — Alan Cohen

Personalized Services

Investment Services

We think we're unique in our manner of working with clients.  Internally, our collaborative construct helps us to be unified and consistent.  With clients, we are continually educating on investment rationale, market trends, and LBA philosophy.  Our investment and account review process is painstakingly individualized, yet we have a tightly constructed set of core investments which are arrived at collectively.   Most important, however, is our goal to empower clients with guidance on the entirety of their financial lives, including budgeting, tax considerations, succession planning, and sundry other life challenges.

Learn More

Fiduciary & Trustee Services

A Fiduciary is one who places their clients' interests above their own, with the intention of delivering the most ethical and unadulterated level of service in his/her power.  This transparency, coupled with our emphasis on communication, is the essence of how we work with our clients (and with each other).  As a result of our focus on relationships and Fiduciary trust, we are quite frequently asked by clients to serve as Trustee on their Trust accounts, thereby becoming an integral voice and support in their broader lives, and in their plans for their family's future. We hold that responsibility dear.

Learn More

Resources & Research

When we say "resources", we refer to the extraordinary talents of people here at LBA, as well as the deep pool of external minds at our disposal that help us provide a higher level of service than a client could reasonably expect. Specifically, we lean on the wisdom of incredible professionals in the fields of estate planning, tax planning, real estate and healthcare to help us directly support and care for our clients. We have a long and proud tradition of producing our own supporting research, which assures clients that our investment selection and advice is wholly objective, fiercely independent, and full of conviction.

Learn More

Investment Philosophy

Our Investments

We invest in companies with strong and ethical management, which deliver products or services that are improving the quality of life of substantial numbers of people (or are poised to do so), and which occupy an increasingly competitive position in their specific market or the general marketplace.

Our Investment Philosophy

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” – Wayne Gretzky

We at Lowell, Blake and Associates are among a dying breed that maintains the “old-school” conviction that macroeconomic trend spotting, buying low and selling high, and forming a deep understanding of individual companies is the surest, and safest, approach to achieving consistently above-average investment performance over time.

Trend Spotters – We constantly talk about trends, and are always trying to qualify and quantify consumer trends, human health trends, and natural resource/energy trends.  Our approach has been to spot trends before they enter the general public’s consciousness, analyze their potential, and act accordingly if the opportunity seems exceptional.

Opportunism – Psychologically, when a company’s stock price has outperformed the broader market in recent periods, the investing world generally develops a heightened interest in it, whether deserved or not.  This “price momentum” can catapult a company into an inflated range of valuation (which may be difficult to sustain if earnings don’t follow suit).  In similar fashion, when ‘Mr. Market’ drives a company’s stock price lower, whether for valid or flimsy reasons, many investors head for the exits, thinking it prudent to protect against continued erosion of capital in the investment.  When short-termism and attention deficit disorder prevails, and where any kind of news creates spurts and spasms, investment opportunities are sometimes born.  LBA’s value-based contrarianism, levelheadedness, and adherence to fundamental analysis has often allowed us to take advantage of extreme valuations and market dislocations when they occur, whether in the short-term or over the course of a market cycle.

The Long View – Over long periods of time, being down less matters a lot more than being up more.  Our investments are always intended to be long-term.  We are not unduly swayed by regular and expected vicissitudes in individual stock prices and broader market movements.  Since 1950, average holding periods of financial assets have fallen tenfold, which is a true testament to how modern markets, and market-makers, have become startlingly fickle and restless.  We almost never initiate positions in “en vogue” companies with inflated valuation multiples, nor are we willing to sell stocks of stalwart companies with great balance sheets when they fall out of favor – except in cases where there has been a significant change in the basic outlook for the business.   Our long-term view on equities is simple:  we want to own companies that treat their employees well, use their financial resources wisely, and which have a vested interest in improving products and services for the world’s broad and efficient use.

Core Equitites – At LBA, we know our companies intimately.  The primary benefit of having a focused equity strategy means that we are acutely aware of any news which may affect one of the companies in our core portfolio of holdings.   From time to time, we will initiate a new position in a company due to its great promise.  Conversely, we are not hesitant or averse to severing ties with a company that has very little chance of performing over time (due to deteriorating company fundamentals, unflattering macro trends, change in management, or otherwise).  Circumstances aside, our goal is always to grow assets alongside the most appropriate risk versus reward composite for each client, and our buy/sell discipline reflects that primary fiduciary function.

At LBA, we research voraciously, discuss at length what is happening (or likely to happen) in the world on a macroeconomic scale, and allow the dots to form the pattern we should follow.  Thus has our value-based, contrarian approach served our clients extremely well over decades and market cycles.

“The Contrarian makes investment decisions using both judgment and fundamental analysis, and must have patience.”
– James H. Lowell, II

Investment Committee

Four times a year we assemble the collective wisdom of a large handful of inspiring, diverse, intelligent people – the Lowell, Blake Investment Committee.   All of our participants have had extensive experience as business leaders or investment professionals, so their contributions bring unusual depth and quality to the investment process of our firm.

A primary objective of the committee is to stimulate and challenge the current thinking of LBA account managers, ensuring that we do not become isolated or complacent in how we view things.  We are alternately serious, lighthearted, and animated in our discussions, and our meeting agendas are as varied as the broad, diverse world in which we all live.   Among the more frequent topics:  global political and macroeconomic forces influencing current and future prospects; emerging social trends and their net impact and adoption potential in popular society; specific viewpoints on LBA holdings or companies we are currently interested in; anything else on the brain that will make us all smarter, more informed, and help us to help our clients invest successfully.

Unique Projects

Meet the Team

Founders

Susan Walsh Lowell

President & Founder

Susan Walsh Lowell

President & Founder

Susan has been the backbone of Lowell, Blake & Associates since we opened our doors in 1974, and has been our President since 2001.  She manages all operational, administrative, and personnel elements at the firm.  She is also heavily involved with SEC compliance and regulations.  Before LBA, Susan worked within various elements of the finance and investment industry in Boston for more than a decade.  Susan graduated from Bay Path College in Longmeadow, and lives in Wrentham, MA with her devoted husband Jim and their two dogs.

Email: slowell@lowell-blake.com

Jim & Susan small pic

James H. Lowell, II

Chairman & Founder

James H. Lowell, II

Chairman & Founder

Jim founded Lowell, Blake & Associates in 1974.   For the past 41 years he has served as a trusted adviser, Trustee, and general resource for countless individuals, families, institutions, and non-profit organizations.  Jim is Chairman of the firm, overseeing all investment implementation, research projects, and client relationships. With more than 50 years of investment industry experience, Jim is known as a pioneer of socially responsible investing, holding companies accountable for their treatment of employees, customers, and their place in the world around them.  Jim is a graduate of Harvard College, with a BA in History.

He lives in Wrentham, MA with his brilliant wife Susan and their two dogs.

Email: jlowell@lowell-blake.com

Jim & Susan small pic

Account Managers & Research Analysts

Patrick B. McCoy

Account Manager, Research Analyst & Principal

Patrick B. McCoy

Account Manager, Research Analyst & Principal

Patrick assists clients with a broad range of financial and non-financial challenges, often serving as Trustee. As the head of the research team, he oversees all investment research reports produced by the firm. Before joining Lowell Blake in 2000, Patrick worked at BankBoston and Investors Bank & Trust. He received a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Maine. He currently holds a Series 65 Certification.

Patrick lives in Newburyport with his wife and two children. He enjoys DIY projects, golf, music, reading, traveling, and spending time with his family.

Email: pmccoy@lowell-blake.com

Diana B. Malcom

Account Manager, Research Analyst & Principal

Diana B. Malcom

Account Manager, Research Analyst & Principal

Diana’s responsibilities with clients focus on investment management, financial planning and retirement plan solutions.  She serves as Trustee and Executor for clients, contributes to LBA’s Reflections & Observations newsletter, and is a member of LBA’s research department.

Throughout her many roles at LBA, Diana finds the greatest satisfaction helping clients gain a fuller understanding and increased confidence regarding their investments and estate plans.

Before joining LBA in 2000, she was an Investment Consultant with Brown Brothers Harriman.  She received her BA from Bowdoin College in History.

Diana lives in Waltham with her husband and two children.  When not managing a crisis involving dinosaurs, ninjas or robots, she enjoys sailing, Iyengar yoga and volleyball.

Email: dmalcom@lowell-blake.com

Mark R. MacCallum

Account Manager, Secretary & Principal

Mark R. MacCallum

Account Manager, Secretary & Principal

Mark is LBA’s longest tenured Account Manager after Jim Lowell.  He oversees LBA client portfolios, assists clients in the management of their finances, and advises holistically on a number of issues, particularly real estate, in which he has knowledge and experience as a MA Licensed Real Estate Salesperson.

Prior to his arrival at LBA in 1991, Mark worked at Bank of New England, where he was an Officer in Custody Services. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Boston with a BA in Economics.

Mark lives in the Roslindale district of Boston, where he enjoys its proximity to the Arnold Arboretum.

Email: mmccallum@lowell-blake.com

Timothy R. Smith

Account Manager & Research Analyst

Timothy R. Smith

Account Manager & Research Analyst

Tim joined Lowell, Blake in 2011, and manages client accounts for individuals, families, and non-profits.  He helps clients solve for a broad range of challenges, both financial and non-financial, and serves as Trustee on several accounts.  Before joining LBA, Tim worked at SunLife Financial, State Street Corporation, and Investors Bank & Trust.  He received a BS in Finance and Business Administration from Southern Connecticut State University. He currently holds a Series 65 Certification.

Tim lives in Newburyport with his wife and three children. Tim enjoys golfing, kayaking, cooking, and spending time with his family.

Email: tsmith@lowell-blake.com

David H. Polansky

Research Analyst

David H. Polansky

Research Analyst

David’s primary responsibilities include equity and fixed income research in cooperation with the research team and account managers.

David graduated from Clark University with a BA in Business Management.  While at Clark, he served as the president of the Investments & Trading Society, and as an analyst on the student-run portion of the endowment fund.  He also spent a portion of his undergraduate career at the London School of Economics studying business and finance, and served as an equities analyst in the Trading Society.  David is a candidate in the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) program.

In his spare time, David enjoys traveling, golfing, and binge-watching various shows on Netflix.

Email: dpolansky@lowell-blake.com

Francis P. Coolidge

Research Consultant

Francis P. Coolidge

Research Consultant

Frank is LBA’s lead research analyst.  He writes and updates in-depth reports for the research team.  He has extensive equity research experience, including Director of Research at MFS.  Frank brings a wealth of knowledge to clients and employees alike, and has been an invaluable member of the Investment Committee for many years.  He has a BA from Harvard College.

He lives in Boxborough with his wife Emilie.

Email: fcoolidge@lowell-blake.com

Operations & Support

Linda Storin

Director of Operations & Principal

Linda Storin

Director of Operations & Principal

In 1995 Linda joined Lowell, Blake.   Over her LBA career she has developed many procedures for utilization of the in-house portfolio management program for tax reporting, client reporting, probate management and online reporting for clients.  Linda is also responsible for all technology upgrades and systems.

Linda has more than 30 years of investment experience, having previously worked on the Institutional Government Bond Trading Desk at Kidder Peabody, and the Institutional Equity Trading Desk at L.F Rothschild.  Linda also worked at Colonial Management on the Money Market Trading Desk.   Linda holds a degree from Endicott College.

Linda enjoys skiing with her grandsons, gardening, cooking, and is a general information junky.   She lives in Rockport.

Email: lstorin@lowell-blake.com

Nicole (Nikki) Gagliardi

Treasurer & Principal

Nicole (Nikki) Gagliardi

Treasurer & Principal

Nikki manages the income and expenses of the company and supports Susan Lowell with all compliance matters.  Nikki has been at LBA since 2005.  She previously worked at Medford Co-Operative Bank and Winchester Savings Bank.  She holds a BS in Early Childhood from Salem State University.

Nikki currently lives in Wilmington with her husband and daughter.

Email:  ngagliardi@lowell-blake.com

 

Erika Rhuda

Administrative Assistant

Erika Rhuda

Administrative Assistant

Erika provides support to Account Managers, serves as a point of contact for clients and is responsible for account administration.   Before joining Lowell, Blake in 1997, she worked for Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services, and Morrison, Mahoney & Miller.   Erika is a graduate of Burdett School of Business.

She lives in Melrose with her husband, two children and dog.

Email: erhuda@lowell-blake.com

Shannon Mataragas

Administrative Assistant

Shannon Mataragas

Administrative Assistant

Shannon joined Lowell-Blake in 2001. She is primarily responsible for the coordination of administrative tasks for Account Managers. Shannon graduated from Salem State University with a BS in Psychology.

Shannon lives in Salem with her husband and two children.

Email: smataragas@lowell-blake.com

Barbara Kiperman

Administrative Assistant

Barbara Kiperman

Administrative Assistant

Barbara supports LBA’s founders and several account managers.  Prior to segueing to Executive Assistant work and  joining LBA in 2014, Barbara worked in marketing at PBS in New York and Boston, at Scholastic, and at The Bridgespan Group. She received a BA in English from Albertus Magnus College.

Outside of work, Barbara volunteers at JVS and New Bostonians teaching English as a 2nd Language to refugees.  She lives in Boston’s Fort Point Channel district with her husband.

Email: bkiperman@lowell-blake.com

Marie Bowra

File Clerk

Marie Bowra

File Clerk

Marie ensures the proper documentation and storage of all correspondence, client reporting, tax materials, and trust documents. She also keeps the office supplied.

Marie lives in Cambridge, MA.