Frequently Asked Questions
What’s your track record?
“At the time of this writing, we manage over 100 accounts for clients with different investing timeframes and risk tolerances (who also opened accounts at different times).
So spending money on the legal fees required to publish and share an aggregate return of our portfolios wouldn’t be a good use of money and definitely would not be beneficial to anyone in helping them make the decision to hire our firm or not.
If we were mutual fund managers (or hedge fund managers) that had one objective for each fund we managed and our clients were the investors in those funds, then that would make more sense.
I believe the question behind the question is, What’s my firm’s value to you?
We are basically financial planners first, and portfolio managers only in the sense that the portfolios we manage for clients are built to help them reach their financial goals. We’re not interested in trying to beat a market benchmark every year.
Our value is helping our clients create a plan and build a portfolio that will give them a high probability of earning the return needed to reach their goals.
The benefit of this approach is the stock market (and when I say stock market I’m talking about the long term return data we have on the global stock market and the US stock market) has historically provided good enough returns on average to build solid plans and portfolios for those plans.
So for example, if we are speaking with a 28 year old investor who has a 30 year+ investment timeframe, wants to shoot for aggressive returns, and doesn’t mind his portfolio going down 30% to 50% in a bad year then the portfolio we will build for that investor won’t have much to any bonds or cash and will have a good amount of money in value stocks (stocks that over the last few years have been overlooked and unloved by the general market) and less money in overpriced “stable” stocks.
If we are speaking with a 60 year retired widow who has plenty of money and can’t stand the ups and downs of the stock market, then her portfolio will have the least percentage of her money in stocks we feel is necessary (based on our analysis) to help her reach her long term income and legacy planning goals.
We use historical research and return data for different asset classes to carefully, build, diversify, and manage a portfolio for investors based on their financial goals, timeframe, and risk tolerance.”
What type of accounts do you help set up and manage?
“Just about any type of investment account you need for your plan. The most common accounts are Roth IRAs, Traditional IRAs, 401(k)s and SEP IRAs for business owners, brokerage accounts, and custodial accounts for minors.”
What investments do you manage in those accounts?
“Mostly individual stocks, stock and bond mutual funds, and stock and bond exchange traded funds (ETFs).”
Do you get paid a commission to sell investment products?
“No. We manage and advise clients on their financial plan and investment portfolios for a fee which is based on different factors like the complexity of building their plan and size of their account. Our fees are upfront and transparent so our clients understand exactly what they are paying us and what they are getting in return.”
How much money do I need to get started with you?
“At the moment, we currently don’t have minimums. So if you want to get started with $100 per month or $1,000,000 we can build and manage a portfolio for you.”
How do I know you (or any other advisor) won’t run off with my money?
We are not the company that holds the money or has custody the investment accounts for our clients.
Our clients set up accounts with third party well established brokerage firms (at the time of this writing Betterment Securities and Folio Investments).
This establishes a “wall” between your money and us your investment advisor.
As our clients’ independent investment advisors, they give us the limited permissions necessary to manage their accounts.
Our clients can also log in to see their accounts (or call to find out), what they own, what transactions have happened, and can at any time end the relationship with our firm by letting brokerage firm know.
I would also make sure you check on every financial/investment advisor you are thinking about doing business with (or currently do business with) by looking them up on Broker Check (Investor.gov is another good site that does the same thing). While nobody is perfect and some honest advisors might have a few complaints in their background, you can use your common sense to get an idea of the character of an advisor based on what’s on their regulatory record.
One last thing...Stay away from investment strategies that sound too good to be true. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and the chances of you dealing with a crook is high.
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