History

Cumberland Advisors was formed with the intention of providing independent investment management for an annual fee. The advice offered would not be influenced by a commission structure, and the partners would research economic trends and cycles and carefully monitor the Federal Reserve to evaluate the Fed’s impact on interest rates and inflation. They would look for opportunities to make portfolio changes at times of market extremes, believing that benefits accrue as stocks and bonds eventually move from excesses toward their historically established levels of return. Nearly fifty years later, Cumberland’s team remains committed to a culture of client service and providing independent thought and active management.

Cumberland Advisors’ founders, David R. Kotok and Sheldon “Shep” Goldberg, were acquaintances for years before they joined forces to start the firm in 1973. Goldberg began his career in 1961 after serving in the military. He initially worked for a large financial institution. Kotok finished active duty US Army in 1969; he originally joined the service after finishing his undergraduate degree at Wharton.

Both gentlemen wanted to start their own Registered Investment Advisory firm, one that would be held to a higher standard than a Broker Dealer was. The objective was to provide meaningful market insight and exceptional service to their clients. In 1973, a fee-for-service investment firm was a fresh concept, and that put immediate pressure on the start-up company to perform.

Within months after opening their doors in Vineland, New Jersey, the Yom Kippur War began; an embargo was placed on oil; and oil prices spiked. The economy was troubled, and clients were skittish. Kotok and Goldberg viewed select depressed stock values as an opportunity and positioned their clients advantageously for the recovery. Their thinking set the tone for how Cumberland Advisors would operate in future cyclical market changes.

Cumberland Advisors has been building and actively managing fixed-income strategies since the early eighties with the peaking of interest rates. We are known for our total return approach, actively managing duration, and focusing on high credit quality. We provide customizable capabilities, including the option of state-specific concentrations.

The firm has been a pioneer in the creation of ETF portfolio models since 1999. Cumberland Advisors actively manages domestic and international equity portfolios using ETFs.

Cumberland Advisors designs fixed-income, balanced, and equity strategies to meet the needs of advisors, private wealth clients, and institutional clients such as independent nonprofits, foundations, government entities, and qualified plans, including profit-sharing, defined-benefit pensions, 401ks, and SEPs. In 2010 the company’s headquarters moved to Sarasota, Florida, where the firm has deepening community roots. We started with two partners and one assistant. At the start of 2022, we had 40+ team members and with billions in assets under management (“AUM”), in addition to institutional relationships that we do not count in our AUM. We serve clients from coast to coast, and our basic principles haven’t changed. It has been quite a run, and we are still running strong.

Throughout the history of Cumberland, several principles have endured. 

  • We separate brokers’ commissions from custody and from fees for services. Unbundled systems allow the investor to evaluate each piece, and transparency is enhanced by using three different parties.
  • We put clients first in all trading decisions. At Cumberland, employees and owners are the last ones in and the last ones out.
  • We value the human capital of the company.

Timeline

1973

Cumberland Advisors Founded by Partners
David Kotok and Shep Goldberg
David Kotok was Chief Investment Officer

1980

Introduced Separately Managed Account Bond Strategy

1998

David Kotok becomes President and CIO

1999

Equity ETF Strategies introduced

2000

John Mousseau joins firm

2002

$500 Million in Assets Under Management

2008

$1 Billion in Assets Under Management

2010

Established Corporate Headquarters in Sarasota, Florida

2012

$2 Billion in Assets Under Management

2014

Matt McAleer joins firm

2016

Quantitative ETF Strategies Began Trading

2018

$3 Billion in Assets Under Management

2018

John Mousseau named President and CEO
David Kotok named Chairman of the Board

2021

Cumberland Advisors launches new brand as it expands

Experience the Cumberland difference


"The only source of wisdom is experience."

Albert Einstein