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"Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences."

- Norman Cousins

At Objectivity Squared Wealth Management, we help you make thoughtful and well-informed decisions on the myriad of issues surrounding your wealth. Advisors Alexander Opoulos and Nicholas Holmes maintain a keen focus and awareness of the interrelated opportunities and challenges that come with financial success. By understanding your past, analyzing your present and envisioning your future, we provide thoughtful, objective guidance and planning that respect the complexities of your life.

Learn more about Our Individualized Approach

Who We Are

Experienced advisors Alexander Opoulos and Nicholas Holmes, along with client services associate Britton Ziegler, specialize in helping families and entrepreneurs make conscious and informed decisions about their wealth. We combine deep experience and emotional intelligence to thoughtfully, sensitively guide you in your decisions.

The advisors at Objectivity Squared bring more than 26 years of combined experience providing financial advisory services for families, entrepreneurs and creatives.

Successful wealth management requires a well-crafted balance of art and science. At Objectivity Squared, we:

  • Assist our clients in organizing their thoughts and prioritizing their financial objectives so they can coordinate and communicate efforts among multiple advisors, investment firms, and business and philanthropic organizations.

  • Integrate our own life experiences with deep research and finely honed instincts into our investment philosophy and planning processes.

  • Deliver thoughtful, informed and objective recommendations rather than simply following conventional wisdom.

Our relationships are built upon trust, which we earn by consistently demonstrating our character, integrity and deep sensitivity in every situation.

Alexander Opoulos

Financial Advisor

  • Alex Opoulos and his daughter

    Alex decided on an investment consulting career after helping his own family navigate complex, difficult financial decisions after the death of his father. For the past 21 years, he has worked closely with clients to help them make conscious and informed decisions regarding their financial lives and the interconnected details of their wealth.

    Coming from a very large family himself, Alex specializes in providing personalized guidance while accounting for the sensitive and unique dynamics that constitute each and every family.

    Alex holds a B.S. in political science from the University of California Santa Barbara and stays integrally informed about the political and economic landscapes that impact the fortunes of clients. He is a past board member and finance officer for Crisis Ministries, the largest homeless shelter in South Carolina as well as Think Tec, a Charleston Chamber of Commerce initiative to support technology businesses. He currently serves on the Board of Wings for Kids, a nonprofit organization that focuses on developing social and emotional intelligence through after-school programs. In addition, he works with Social Venture Partners-Charleston, a partnership that collectively invests their expertise and financial resources in mission-driven nonprofits to achieve sustainable, measurable impact. Outside of the office he enjoys tennis, golf, surfing, cycling and coaching his kid's athletic teams. He is passionate about finding the right balance between his family, personal, professional and community responsibilities and how they interrelate. He lives in Charleston with his wife, Monica, and their children, Max and Maya.

  • What is your favorite virtue?
    What is your chief characteristic?
    What is your idea of happiness?
    Being present
    What is your idea of misery?
    Feeling alone without friendship and love
    Who are your heroes in real life?
    My mother, grandmothers, teachers and those who live with authenticity
    What is your favorite food and drink?
    Paella and wine
    What is your favorite motto?
    Don't let a strike become a strikeout
    What is your most prized possession?
    My memories and my health

Nicholas Holmes

Vice President, Investments

  • After knowing much of his life that he wanted to pursue a career in finance, Nick joined the firm in 2000 and has since earned the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® designation from the College for Financial Planning. His focus is on investment management, trading and product research.

    He holds a B.S. in economics with a concentration in finance from the University of Virginia. Nick is the past president of the University of Virginia Lowcountry Alumni Group and serves on the finance committee at the Country Club of Charleston. In his time outside of the office, Nick enjoys playing golf, watching sports, enjoying Charleston’s exceptional culinary experiences and traveling with his wife, Candice, and their children.

  • What is your greatest extravagance?
    Great dining experiences with my wife
    What trait do you most deplore in others?
    Habitual tardiness, which in my mind equates to lack of respect for other's valuable time
    Where would you like to live?
    If you've ever visited Charleston, you wouldn't want to leave either
    What is your most treasured possession?
    No material possession can compare to the memories we create with our friends and family on a daily basis
    Who are your heroes in real life?
    People like Captain Sully Sullenberger, whose courageous feats save lives
    What is your greatest regret?
    Not studying abroad during or after college and not being able to speak a foreign language fluently (after six semesters of Spanish!)
    What words or phrases do you overuse?
    "It is what it is"
    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    The inability to unplug from daily life and find time to be truly reflective. This is one of the downsides of modern technology, which allows us to be in constant contact with the world.

Britton Ziegler

Client Service Associate

  • Britton Ziegler came on board in 2008. Her primary responsibility is providing personalized concierge services to the clients of Objectivity Squared. She began her career in financial services as a securities trader as well as an insurance company product manager.

    Britton graduated from Georgia State University receiving a B.S. in business with a concentration in hospitality management. She is a past board member for Racers for Pacers. In her spare time she enjoys running, surfing, golf, traveling and cooking for her family and friends.

  • What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    Blatant cruelty
    What is your greatest extravagance?
    My dreams
    What is your most treasured possession?
    Relationships with my family and friends
    Where would you like to live?
    France or Spain
    What is your favorite occupation?
    What is your most marked characteristic?
    Either my freckles or my nurturing disposition
    Who are your heroes in real life?
    Volunteers at any animal shelter
    What is your motto?
    Forget 'em if they can't take a joke
    What is your idea of perfect happiness?
    Knowing that my family and friends do not want for anything

"Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification."

- Martin Fischer

What We Do

Our mission is to understand yours – this requires a thorough understanding of the past, a comprehensive awareness of the present and a collaborative vision toward the future.

You are working hard toward your professional dream while oftentimes attempting to balance family, personal, professional, spiritual, financial and charitable goals. That is often a daunting task and one that requires a trusted partner, advisor and confidante. That is the reality of modern life – and why well-thought-out financial plans and investment strategies must be comprehensive enough to address all of your objectives.

Objectivity Squared helps you achieve this by developing a deep understanding of who you are and where you want to go. We develop a framework that you can use to make informed decisions. Then we help you coordinate all the necessary efforts to make your financial objectives become realities.

Our Approach

  • Wealth Management

    Personal, independent and pragmatic: Strategies that are comprehensive and broad implemented through a coordinated and detailed approach.

    We take a holistic and personalized approach to managing your wealth. Our approach is a partnership, requiring our focus and commitment and your discipline and trust.

    To build a foundation for this comprehensive approach, we first listen to your thoughts, goals, desires and concerns. We help you to identify your areas of strength and weakness, focusing on identifying the right questions that help you to gain greater clarity of your objectives.

    Next, we help you develop a framework to prioritize what is most important, the specific steps to accomplish your objectives, and a timeline to address each task. This process requires the ability to think strategically, the focus to execute precisely, and the flexibility to adjust when life or markets require. We then help you consistently communicate these organizational efforts across your network of advisors, investment firms, and business and philanthropic organizations.

  • Investment Philosophy

    Our name best describes our investment philosophy: We think and act independently and objectively. Our discretionary approach relies on our experience, expertise and independent analysis of the market.

    Our investment philosophy is rooted in an intense desire to understand the current economic and market climates in the context of historical patterns and trends; and to consider those conclusions with an awareness of you, your situation, your risks and your objectives. Intellectual curiosity drives our questions and research, while situational understanding shapes our thinking and our guidance.

    At its core, our philosophy is about balancing these complexities. Our thoughts and recommendations may not always fall in line with popular market sentiments – but as the past few years have clearly demonstrated, popular courses of action are not always the prudent ones.

    • Matriarch’s Challenge

      Our Role

      The shepherd

      The Situation

      After the death of her husband, a longtime Fortune 100 senior executive, she had an overwhelming number of decisions to make. Our first objective would be to be there with our friendship and to comfort her with the knowledge that she could and should singularly focus on dealing with her emotional loss.

      Our Approach

      At the appropriate time, we would begin the process of bringing her up to speed on her entire financial situation and some of the complexities of her family's financial affairs. We would:

      Identify each of the outstanding issues and questions that needed to be addressed

      Provide a framework with which to prioritize what is important to her and her estate: namely, minimizing estate tax liability, restructuring her liquid investment assets, reducing the risk of her single stock concentration, and thinking through her philanthropic objectives

      Establish a six-month timeline for addressing each item so as not to overwhelm her

      Determine through lengthy conversations whether to engage her children in the process, then spend time with each child to understand their unique concerns and develop strategies sensitive to their goals

      Initiate monthly calls with her family and her accountant and attorneys, to update everybody on what was happening, give everybody involved a voice and discuss next steps in the process

      The Outcome

      A restructured taxable investment portfolio geared toward income

      An operating account for the client that would be funded monthly

      Multiple trust accounts geared toward growth

      A sizable charitable gift of a portion of the client's concentrated stock

      Restructuring of her retirement assets to minimize the long-term tax consequences

      Naming of her two eldest children as co-trustees

      Deepened relationship with the family

      We believe most important of all, a strong woman comfortable with and confident about her new responsibilities

      As federal and state tax rules are subject to frequent changes, you should consult with a qualified tax advisor prior to making any investment decision.

      Our Difference

      This unique situation would require us to operate in the role of shepherd. It would require sensitivity and an awareness of her loss, her emotional struggles, what she was capable of and how quickly. It would require leadership, educational guidance, a collaborative nature and a high level of emotional intelligence. This situation wouldn't be about the end result; it would be about the journey to get there.

      The case studies above are for informational purposes only and are hypothetical in nature.

    • Serial Entrepreneur

      Our Role

      The trusted sounding board

      The Situation

      A company executive left the security of the corporate world behind when he was 30 years old and built a series of companies based on his laser focus and vision. At age 45, he sold his highly successful business for $30 million. He remained part of the company through a year of transition. After that, his primary job became the management of his wealth.

      Our Approach

      Coming from entrepreneurial families ourselves, we would understand his concerns around liquidating the company that had become his identity. During his career, his greatest strength had been his ability to take risks; but that in his new role, he had to act more philosophically and move more slowly than he was accustomed to working.

      Our first objective would be to help him think of his new liquid wealth not as one lump sum, but as different components with their own objectives and risks:

      Core investment capital that provided income to support the annual lifestyle needs of the family, while maximizing long-term growth within agreed-upon risk parameters

      Risk capital, a portion of the assets that he could trade more aggressively in the public markets. We would provide him with the tools, resources, alerts, ideas and execution that would facilitate his desire to take on much larger risk with significantly higher return objectives

      Private equity, a portion of his wealth that he could invest in local privately held companies

      We would create customized reports for him on a weekly and monthly basis to update him on asset allocations, trading portfolios, cash flow and risk. Much like a chief financial officer and chief risk officer would act at a company, our reports would continue to help him think more broadly about what he wanted to accomplish once his first objective – the successful sale of his company – was realized.

      The Outcome

      A very engaged and collaborative relationship with great respect and understanding

      Multiple investment portfolios with multiple investment objectives and risk parameters

      Weekly, monthly and quarterly customized reports

      Established annual family retreats where we:

      Moderate discussion around the Family Philanthropic Mission

      Moderate discussion with the children on the benefits and responsibilities of wealth

      Provide updates on all investment risk and return characteristics

      Strategize annual objectives for the family

      Coordinate communications/presentations from other advisors, accountants and attorneys on topics such as estate planning, charitable trusts and family LLC

      Our Difference

      This particular situation would require an awareness of the individual's strengths and weaknesses, his appetite for risk, his need for expressing and applying his skills, and our need to mitigate unintended consequences. We would need to help him step back from the day-to-day and to think, guide and advise on a broader and more strategic basis.

      The case studies above are for informational purposes only and are hypothetical in nature.

    • Generational Wealth

      Our Role

      The educator

      The Situation

      A medical school student in her late 20s suddenly found herself dealing with a large inheritance when her father passed away. The event put her into the position of becoming a parental figure to two younger siblings, who were not mature enough to address and deal with this sudden wealth. She herself had no real financial experience, and on top of her grief and her overwhelming responsibilities as a medical student, the situation quickly became stressful.

      Our Approach

      She was an intelligent adult and needed a partner who would treat her as such, even though she was a relative novice in financial matters. We would recognize that this would be a sensitive time, given the passing of her father – and that for many people, the grieving process often includes excessive spending. We would:

      Help her quickly separate her funds into cash flow and core investment pools and provide her access to a predetermined amount of "mad money" to allow for a few periodic indulgences

      Work with her to set spending parameters and monitor those quarterly to help ensure she was not adversely affecting her long-term plan

      Help her balance her short-term needs and desires while in med school with the long-term view of the financial stability this money could provide

      Refer an attorney who would help establish a trust for her younger siblings, which would provide for education and living expenses and greater access to core capital after they finished their education

      Introduce a CPA for tax preparation and advice that would assist her with gathering tax reporting documents each year

      Help establish a community charitable fund in her father's name to help create a legacy of charitable giving for her younger siblings.

      The Outcome

      A potential solid foundation in budgeting and cash flow for the client and her siblings

      Sound preparations for future financial decisions

      Our Difference

      We would draw upon our experience with inherited, generational wealth and our ability to relate on a social and emotional level. The role of a good educator is to equip pupils with knowledge so that in the future they are able to access it to make better and more informed decisions. We would need to understand where she was with her financial knowledge, where she needed to go and what areas needed to be developed to get her there.

      The case studies above are for informational purposes only and are hypothetical in nature.

    • Creative

      Our Role

      The family office

      The Situation

      A 38-year-old musician had reached the prime of his career; he regularly traveled the world performing, had a solid following, and was consequently at the height of his earnings. He was so busy with his career, however, that he had little time to focus on the financial aspects. He had limited time and little interest in thinking or talking about his finances – but still wanted to ensure he was making the most of his success.

      Our Approach

      Due to the urgency of the situation, we would have limited time to communicate – as he was often flying from city to city and in a completely different time zone. So we would work to gather and organize all of his financial records and contacts so that we could become familiar with every aspect of his financial life. Then we would:

      Streamline his investment and banking relationships so he would have a global bank to serve him no matter where he was in the world, with the rest of his financial assets at Raymond James

      Purchase Quicken software and begin monthly downloads of all transaction activity

      Provide quarterly reports, including:

      Asset allocation

      Income vs. expenses

      Expenses vs. budget

      Asset valuation update

      Liability update

      Investment returns vs. required objectives vs. relevant benchmarks

      Established a retirement plan to maximize pre-tax contributions

      Purchased disability insurance to protect against loss of income

      Outlined yearly goals and objectives

      Our Difference

      It is always a pleasure to work with incredibly passionate and talented people – but in this scenario the individual's passion and talent did not happen to extend to financial matters. Our role would require us to be exhaustive in our comprehensive strategy to his financial needs and recognize that he simply wanted to outsource these responsibilities to advisors he could trust. We would develop an infrastructure for tracking and reporting on financial transactions and provide strategic guidance. We would monitor his progress along the way and only alert him if there are any changes of plans or direction. This situation would place a great deal of responsibility on our shoulders, but the personal satisfaction that comes from seeing significant financial progress is priceless.

      The case studies above are for informational purposes only and are hypothetical in nature.


Use our library of useful online tools, services and resources to help make your financial management easier.

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."

- Albert Einstein

  • Archives
    Summer Update 2016
    Objectivity Squared Summer Update Commentary
    As we think about recent global events, we often find ourselves zooming out to see where these events land when placed within a larger, more historical context. The culture we live in revolves around a 24/7 news cycle and I think it is fair to say that stepping back to gain perspective is a healthy exercise. It is with that mindset that we step back to consider the current state of global markets; trends that are in place with interest rates around the globe at unprecedented low levels, US Equity market valuations above long term averages and volatility, as measured by the VIX, at significantly depressed levels last seen in July 2015 (the last market peak). While we would advise caution in many areas of the investment landscape there are other areas that offer more compelling risk/return profiles over the next 3-5 years. Areas such as International and Emerging Markets along with sectors such as Biotechnology definitely peek our interest.

    2016 The Year Ahead
    Objectivity Squared Year Ahead Commentary
    It’s All about Oil…But Should it Be?

    • Price declines are being driven by oversupply and not lack of demand.

    • There has been a high correlation of equity & oil prices. One factor likely contributing to this is the indiscriminate selling of equities by the Sovereign Wealth Funds of oil producing countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, & Norway. According to Bloomberg these funds account for 5-10% of total global investment dollars.

    • You can see how lower oil prices lead to more selling in the equity markets. Ultimately we view this as a short term link and should provide very compelling (re)entry points for investors

    Summer Update 2015
    Objectivity Squared Summer Update Commentary
    Our Summer Commentary provides you a brief update of where we are with our thoughts on the markets. While there is a lot of noise around Greece, China, Iranian Nuclear deal, oil prices and interest rates in this commentary we will circle back to our thinking to begin the year which focused on 3 main points.

    • Interest Rates are going to Rise

    • Equity Markets will be more volatile with returns more compressed

    While there have been lots of ups/downs and sideways movement in equity markets we fundamentally believe that stock prices will move higher over the next 12-24 months
    This thesis is supported by the fact that bear markets historically begin under the following circumstances. None of which are present in today’s market
    A US Recession- Leading Economic Indicators are moving positively
    Extreme Optimism- While Sentiment is improving it still leans more cautious
    Stretched Valuations - US Stock markets are trading 16-17x earnings which is the 100 yr avg

    • The prudent way to play defense in a rising interest rate environment is via Strategic/Alternative Investments

    Summer Update 2014
    Objectivity Squared Summer Update Commentary
    Central Bankers and the Investment Community at large are positioned for a continued Deflationary environment. We think that was yesterday’s war and thus we are getting positioned for the next battle, that being inflation. The signs are out there but the markets have yet to respond. Patience would be our mantra…

    The road to above average performance runs through unconventional, uncomfortable investing. Here’s how I put it in 2006:

    Non-consensus ideas have to be lonely. By definition, non-consensus ideas that are popular, widely held or intuitively obvious are an oxymoron. Thus such ideas are uncomfortable; non-conformists don’t enjoy the warmth that comes with being at the center of the herd. Further, unconventional ideas often appear imprudent. The popular definition of "prudent"—especially in the investment world– is often twisted into "what everyone does". Howard Marks, OakTree Capital

    Most great investments begin in discomfort.
    Year Ahead 2014
    Objectivity Squared 2014 Outlook & Commentary (Year Ahead)
    We take a look back at our Thoughts from 2013; What ideas played out across the Capital Markets as well as those thoughts that missed the mark. We then turn our attention towards 2014 and ask ourselves the following questions: How will Wall St. digest good fundamental news coming from Main St. and how does the Federal Reserve begin to unwind their unprecedented stimulus. For we believe that in order to identify the answers one must first identify the right questions.
    Year End Update 2013
    Objectivity Squared Year End Update Commentary
    Year End Update-Two Steps Froward, (waiting on..) One Step Back – Prices of equities typically rise for one of two reasons: 1) earnings of a company are growing and the overall economy is stable or 2) investors are willing to pay more for each dollar of current earnings, typically due to the lack of suitable alternatives. We clearly think the latter is the case in this most recent equity market rally, which has been nearly unabated since June of 2012, and has the US equity market soaring to new highs.
    Are We There Yet
    Every so often I get an email from a reader with the question, "Are we there yet?" Are we still in the grip of a treacherous sideways market, or we are now entering into a secular bull market? I will try to answer that question as best I can in this writeup.
    Signs of the Top
    The investment media seems obsessed with the question of whether the Fed will taper. The real question should be not about "tapering" but about credibility. What happens when fundamentals become the narrative as opposed to what the central bank is doing? What happens if the Federal Reserve throws a liquidity party and nobody comes? Today we look at some of the fundamentals. The market is in fact overvalued, but that doesn’t mean it can’t become more overvalued. Is this August 1987 or August 1999?
    Summer Update 2013
    Objectivity Squared Summer Update Commentary
    With our view that the 30 year bull market in fixed income is in the 8th or 9th inning, the articles and commentary that follow provide insight into the Strategic and Tactical changes that we have made to prepare for the next 3-5 year time frame.
    Marketfield Commentary May 13
    "This is yet more evidence of our thesis that in a world of excess liquidity, the early stages of a bear market are more likely to make themselves felt via relative underperformance than actual price loss. To be clear this is a much more pleasant state of affairs; we would rather suffer an opportunity cost of 15% (as has been the case of emerging market equities versus the SPX so far this year) and be flat for the year than suffer a drawdown of a similar amount, but it does help sharpen the senses. This matters a great deal, since 2013 has been the first time since the start of this bull market that a well-diversified basket of credit, gold and non-US equities has stalled in the face of torrid gains being delivered by US equities."
    Riverfront – Why not Selling in May
    "As we wrote two weeks ago, we expect stocks to have a period of consolidation or a modest pullback even as we think they will end the year higher… Our initial level of support is now 1565, the 23.6% retracement of the rally from November’s lows, the four week consolidation zone that began in mid-March, and the previous 2007 record high. Below that, we see strong support at 1525 (38.2% retracement and the 200 bull market peak)."
    PIMCO Secular Outlook – May 2013
    "Recognize the risk of falling hostage to outdated and backward-looking labels, benchmarks, guidelines and mindsets. As hard as this is, conventional wisdom, concepts and practices need to evolve to better navigate different realities."
    Year Ahead 2013
    Objectivity Squared Year Ahead Commentary
    A grade of our thoughts for 2012 with a look ahead to our thinking for 2013
    Rosenberg 2013 Outlook
    First, we are in a classic post-bubble ‘fat-tail’ world where the range of outcomes is unusually wide. A wider dispersion of outcomes means more opportunities for active management rather than passive index investing and this augurs for more active portfolio management, not less. Said another way, a wider range of outcomes means those who can identify under-priced securities, or have high conviction ideas/strategies, have a better chance to outperform the market.
    Capital Preservation in the Age of Repression
    "It must be evident that we have no enthusiasm for common stocks at these levels…[However] we feel that the defensive investor cannot afford to be without an appreciable proportion of common stocks in his portfolio, even if we regard them as the lesser of two evils – the greater being the risks in an all-bond holding" Benjamin Graham
  • Auto Lease vs. Purchase
    College Cost Calculator
    *These calculators are hypothetical examples used for illustrative purposes and do not represent the performance of any specific investment or product. Rates of return will vary over time, particularly for long-term investments. Investments offering the potential for higher rates of return also involve a higher degree of risk of loss. Actual results will vary.

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

- John F. Kennedy


Contact Us

Let us help you chart your course — and navigate the complexities of your personal wealth. Call or email us today to see how we can help.

"As long as man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiousity has its own reason for existing."

- Albert Einstein