Counting on bonds for retirement income? It worked for your parents, but it probably won’t work for you. Bond rates are at generational lows and less likely to  keep up with inflation than ever before.  Dividend strategies can create income, but can leave your principal at significant risk. 

Today’s retiree’s need a mix of assets and safe income strategies to secure their retirement.   

Bonds are no longer a solution for stable and growing retirement income. 

In 1983, you could put a million dollars into a safe US Treasury bond and get $130,000 a year for up to 10 years out of it.  Today, that same 10 year risk free US Treasury bond will get you about $10,000 a year, for a million dollar investment!  

Financial Planners have begun to use Fixed Annuities and Fixed Index Annuities as bond alternatives to secure retirement income for their clients.  Why?

Fixed Index Annuities (“FIA”) can give investors guaranteed income for life without stock market risks.  Income paid by an FIA may increase over time, sometimes significantly. They can be used as part of a larger financial plan to protect the income you need now and in the future.  They can anchor retirement portfolios the way bonds used to.  Stability, income, no risk to your nest egg.  

When combined with dividend stocks, growth stocks and select bonds, fixed index annuities can guarantee the income you need in retirement, while allowing the rest of your portfolio to grow without being burdened by withdrawal demands to fund your lifestyle.  

Annuities pay income as long as you live. They can be used to protect against stock market declines and provide safe retirement income.

What’s the bottom line?  You need to create safe income for life to take you through retirement.  Bonds can’t get you there and while stocks can earn good returns over time, they are unpredictable.  So, you need a way to supplement social security that doesn’t risk your future.  Combined with an effective investment strategy, The right fixed index annuity could take a lot of stress out of your future, making it easier to enjoy dividends from your stock portfolio without the worry of a market crash.

There are many annuities out there, and most aren’t great solutions.  Talk to a planner and learn what to avoid.  

Testimonials:  See how real people are using annuities to protect their retirement and get the lifestyle they’ve earned.

  • What Fixed Annuities are good for:
    1. Guarantee the income needed to successfully retire.
    2. Removing or reducing retirement risk due to stock market fluctuations.
    3. When you need to protect your principal, and conservative growth in your portfolio is enough.
    4. Minimizing or eliminating the need to make withdrawals from your stock & bond investments.
    5. Can defer taxes on investments.
  • What Fixed Annuities are NOT good for:
    1. Aggressively increasing the size of your investment portfolio.
    2. Leaving a legacy to the next generation (unless you aren’t healthy enough to get term life insurance).
    3. Keeping up with the stock market.
    4. All of your retirement money.


Need some help understanding what solution fits your retirement best?   CLICK HERE to talk to a planner and compare bonds, dividend payers, stocks and fixed index annuities to get guaranteed, SAFE income and growth.  Get a strategy that fits YOU and the retirement you have earned.

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Investment Management

For ACI, investment management begins with understanding and actively managing risk for our clients and partners.  We do this through smarter investments built on low cost, highly liquid and diversified investments rather than expensive financial products.


Understanding the needs of investors seeking stable results for portfolios greater than $500,000 is a core strength of ACI.  One of the most important things we do is help your investments to create stable income while generating sufficient growth to meet your future demands and the needs of those you care for. 

ACI uses customized planning and software to create retirement income plans to meet the specific needs of each of clients while providing confidence, flexibility, and cost efficiency.


Success in any endeavor comes from hard work, vision, and planning. We can help you create a more confident future by working with you, your CPA, your tax and estate counsel to make sure that when the tomorrow becomes today, you are where you want to be.

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Market Income

This portfolio invests in a basket of highly liquid Index or Sector securities and sells off atypical returns in exchange for a premium on a rolling basis. That’s a fancy way of saying we take the bird in hand and let someone else have the two in the bush.  We buy sectors that are undervalued relative to the rest of the market or vs. their historical value ranges which reduces downside risk vs. the broad market.  Typically out-performs in bear markets, neutral markets and mild bull markets, and under-performs strong bull markets.

Core Equity

Invests in diversified components of the financial markets and broad economy by targeting sectors which demonstrate the greatest potential for a consistent range of multi-year returns, while offering a risk adjusted investment profile equal to or lower than the broad markets.  Our research tells us which sectors demonstrate the greatest potential for consistent multi-year returns while offering greater risk efficiency than the broad markets.  We invest on an “Outcome Oriented” basis – meaning we have a good idea what the returns over time will be at a given purchase price.

Durable Opportunities

This portfolio invests in companies possessing a Durable Competitive Advantage.  Such companies are likely to be around for decades, easing the concern of principal return.  DCA companies often suffer less in bear markets and usually lead recoveries.  These companies allow ACI to build portfolios with minimum expected returns that can be in the mid-single digit range over any 3-5 year period which can provide long term stability partnered with long term growth in equity.

Full Cycle

This portfolio is derived from the ground breaking work in ‘risk parity’ by Ray Dalio, arguably one of the top 10 money managers in history and founder of Bridgewater Associates.  The Full Cycle portfolio is built on the allocation models Ray designed to provide the highest potential risk adjusted returns possible through all phases of the economic cycle.  Bridgewater’s “All Weather” fund was designed for pension funds and other large institutional investors that needed to earn stable returns with stable risk, and has been closed to new investors for years.  At the time the fund closed, the All Weather Portfolio had a minimum required investment of $100 million.

Equity Builder

This is a risk management overlay which helps build and protect accounts by collecting small premiums against held positions on an opportunistic basis during correcting markets through synthetic “short” positions.  EQB seeks to collect an extra 2% – 5% per year against the cost of underlying investments.  While primarily targeted at increasing account equity, EQB gives an extra layer of protection to capital during periods of higher volatility.

Fixed Income

Diversified, broad exposure to fixed income ETFs and best of breed no load funds including core fixed income components such as Government, Corporate or MBS, municipals, and unconstrained “Go Anywhere” funds.

Investment Team


Dak Hartsock; Investment manager with over 15 years of experience with securities & securities options. Dak has worked full time in the financial markets since 2007. He has more than a decade of operating experience as a business owner & developer. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia.

Robert Hartsock; MBA. Bob has over 30 years of senior management experience in diverse markets, products and businesses. He brings an exceptional record that includes management roles in two Fortune 500 companies and leadership of 7,500+ employees. Bob’s career features a specialization in identifying and fixing management and operational problems for multiple companies including leading over a dozen acquisitions, private placements and a public offering. He is uniquely positioned to provide ACI with highly relevant C-Level management perspective. Bob provides operational & macro perspective on investments ACI undertakes for client portfolios. Bob holds degrees from University of Illinois and University of Washington.

Process Portfolios is a dba of ACI Wealth Advisors, LLC.

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