How are you compensated, and when do you get paid?
We charge a management fee based on a percentage of the value of the assets we manage. We accept no commissions or other forms of compensation from investment product providers or financial institutions. The fee is quoted as an annual percentage fee, and is billed quarterly in arrears by taking the value of managed assets at the end of each calendar quarter and applying one-fourth of that annual percentage fee. For example, if the annual fee is 1%, then 1/4 of 1% is applied to each ending quarter account balance. The fee is normally deducted directly from the client account or accounts.
How will you communicate with me about my account?
You will receive a quarterly written investment performance report and separate newsletter from us called “Perspectives.” We will also have occasional special mailings and email alerts on topics of interest. Most clients will often talk with us by telephone several times during the year, and we like to meet face-to-face with each client at least once per year. Clients are also encouraged to contact us by e-mail, fax, or telephone at any time to discuss their investments, ask any questions, or discuss any financial planning matter. In addition, we periodically host webinars and produce white papers on various investment and financial planning topics to keep you informed.
Who will be working on my account?
Each client typically meets with two of our investment professionals (principals or portfolio managers), who are responsible for developing and implementing the investment strategy, and reporting to you about its performance. They also will consult with you on other financial planning issues. A portfolio administrator also supports each client.
Will I be able to take part in the investment decisions?
Yes. We allow each client to engage us on either a “non-discretionary” or “discretionary” basis although our preference is to have discretionary authority. Discretionary means we can and may take an investment action on your behalf without getting explicit approval in advance, provided the action is consistent with the overall investment goals we discuss and document with you at least annually. Non-discretionary means that we must receive your approval on each and every investment change or trade before we make it. There is no difference in management fee between the two choices. In all cases, you will receive notification by mail within 3-5 business days of each investment change, and you are always welcome to call and discuss the change.
Please note that at the outset, your investment goals, previous investing experiences, tolerance for risk, and your specific preferences will be the most important determinants of any investment strategy we recommend.
Will I have to sell all or part of my current investments to work with you?
In most cases, there are some significant changes we would recommend, but often they can be implemented over time, or can be adapted to some of your current holdings. For example, some clients may have significant unrealized investment gains in their current holdings that could trigger large income taxes if they were sold. In other cases, clients have specific holdings that they have a particular desire to keep. In all cases, we will use our best judgment to recommend the most appropriate portfolio for you, then adjust and adapt it to accommodate specific concerns.
I have some investments I want to manage on my own. Can I still work with you?
Yes. We can set up a separate account(s) that will hold the assets you would like us to manage, and only collect our normal fee on those assets. If you prefer, your self-managed account can be set up on our system as an unmanaged “custodial” account for a nominal fee, which then allows us to execute trades for you that you direct us to make, and to prepare tax and performance reports on your self-managed assets. We only ask that the assets subject to our normal management fee meet our normal account minimums.
Will you charge me an extra fee to consult with my tax advisor or estate planning attorney?
No, in most cases such consultations are offered as part of our normal management fee. In fact, we welcome the opportunity to discuss tax or estate planning opportunities with other professionals that you have engaged. We realize that they may charge you for their time speaking with us, so we will not undertake such discussions without your express permission, or unless as a result of a direct inquiry from them.
If you have a need to find a tax professional, attorney, insurance, or retirement plan specialist, we are happy to provide referrals to professionals we know that we think can assist you. We accept no referral fees from anyone in return for referring a client.
Can you arrange for regular payments or transfers of cash to be made from my account?
Yes. We can set up regular, periodic transfers of a fixed dollar amount on a bi-monthly, monthly, or quarterly basis. Alternatively, we can arrange to have the interest and dividends earned paid out of your account, which can vary from month to month.