Our mission & values

Community Financial Services Group (CFSG) is a Vermont-based trust company that provides local, personal service to clients in Vermont, New Hampshire and beyond. Community Financial has been providing trust and investment management services for clients since 1926. Our seasoned staff specializes in providing unbiased, comprehensive financial advice, managing over $1 billion in assets.

We listen and take the time to get to know you so we can completely understand your financial situation and goals. We believe in offering unbiased, comprehensive advice to our clients. Our mission is to improve the well-being of our clients’ financial and emotional lives by providing complete financial and investment guidance as their trusted advisors.

Our investment approach

CFSG’s equity investment approach is more of a “bottom up,” value-oriented process. We obtain a lot of our ideas for stock selection  from research and periodicals, however, quantitative analysis is paramount to our stock selection process. We review relative valuations of P/E ratios, cash flow, PEG ratios, debt ratios, book value, dividend yield, etc. and compare valuations to the past and to peers. Additionally, we review finances, balance sheets, income statements and general fundamentals for the company and the industry, taking competition into consideration.

Some of the criteria used to screen equity candidates include:

  • Price relative to earnings growth
  • Price relative to book value
  • Stocks that are down in price (i.e. oversold, negative announcement)
  • Clean financials
  • Low debt for industry or manageable debt
  • Strong management
  • Inside ownership of stock and inside buying
  • “Hidden” assets or under-reported assets
  • Some catalyst for change (new technology/new distribution, etc.)
  • Strong technical trading pattern

We also must consider what the catalyst for change is. When one of the original reasons we purchased a stock is no longer valid, then we review the security to determine whether it should be replaced.

Fixed income portfolios

Typically these consist of individual certificates of deposit, government and agency bonds, and corporate bond exposures established using ETFs and mutual funds to diversify risk. We believe a disciplined dynamic asset allocation and a bond duration management strategy can enhance investment returns and reduce portfolio risk over time. Accordingly, the average bond portfolio duration may be expanded by several years if it is evident that yields are trending lower as part of a major monetary cycle. Bond portfolio duration may be shortened if the probability of a higher interest rate environment in the near future is above average.

We evaluate the interest rate environment and devise a strategy to maximize total return while limiting downside market and credit risk. We then review your specific tax situation to determine if tax advantaged investments should be considered. Using this system and considering each unique tax situation, we choose the appropriate fixed income investments for you.

Our Team

Joseph P. Preddy, CFP®

President & CEO

Thomas Bright, CTFA

Senior Wealth Advisor & SVP

Patrick L. Talcott, CTFA

Senior Wealth Advisor & SVP

Randall Saulnier, AIF®, CTFA

Chief Business Development Officer & SVP

Shellie Wright, CTFA

Senior Wealth Advisor & SVP

Paul J. Valente, CFP®, CTFA

Senior Wealth Advisor & SVP

Joseph K. Jenkins

Wealth Advisor & VP

Suzanne L. Small

Wealth Advisor & AVP

Brian Wooten, CFP®

Wealth Advisor & AVP

Brian Cussimanio

Wealth Advisor

Linda M. Parenteau

Operations Manager & SVP

Michelle Quinn Charest

Investment & Trading Manager & SVP

Kimberly L. Arms, CTFA

Fiduciary Tax & IT Officer & SVP

Julie Daigle Carpenter

Wealth Administrative Officer & VP

Tara L. Cote

Investment & Trading Officer

Holly R. Thweatt

Wealth Administrative Officer & AVP

Joslyn Letourneau

Senior Executive Assistant & AVP

Amanda Dagesse

Wealth Associate Specialist

Caitlin Sanville

Senior Investment & Trading Specialist

Kristen Kilby

Wealth Associate Specialist

Cara Baggott

Wealth Associate

Elizabeth Scott

Wealth Associate

Kristen Walters

Investment & Trading Specialist

Abigail Burt

Administrative Associate

Our Board of Directors

Caroline Carpenter

President & CEO of National Bank of Middlebury,
Chair of the CFSG Board of Managers

Kathryn M. Austin

President & CEO of Community Bancorp & Community National Bank, Vice Chair of the CFSG Board of Managers

James Graham

President & CEO,
Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank

Michael McLaughlin

Bread Loaf Corporation

James Wheeler, Jr., Esq.

Lawyer & Director,
Downs Rachlin Martin P.C.

Michelle McVetty, CPA

Partner | Cohos Advisors PLLC
Lancaster, New Hampshire

Cindy Myhre

Cindy S. Myhre, CPA, PC

Jon Valsangiacomo

Attorney & Member,
Valsangiacomo, Detora & McQuesten