Investing in stocks is the very best way to passively build wealth over a lifetime. But too many think it is more like gambling than sensible wealth-creation. The stock market's gyrations of late can certainly reinforce the argument that it's too risky a bet for the family nest egg.

With all the flashing lights, colorful charts, complicated lingo, computers, algorithms, and statistics associated with the stock and bond markets, it's pretty easy to think of them as logical, efficient, monolithic machines. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Some of the best advice during times of stock market uncertainty can be to turn off CNBC and ignore the financial section of your newspaper for a while.  That is, of course, if you've planned ahead and set up your portfolio to withstand the markets's ups and downs.

Efficiency and control are two words not generally associated with the process of active investing, but they should be. The disciplines of saving taxes, keeping expenses low, and ensuring you don’t under-perform the markets in which you invest, offer real and measurable improvements in your returns – in fact, some like Betterment and Wealthfront claim up to 4% or more. Our clients have enjoyed the benefits of control and efficiency for eight years. Here are eight ways we do it.