Our wealth management service combines a distinct investment approach with a high level of client engagement, responsiveness, and thoughtfulness that extends well beyond just the investments and numbers.
We see our wealth management investment approach as a key differentiator but recognize that wealth management involves much more than the investments. Perhaps more important than a distinctive investment approach, is the attentiveness to, engagement with, and thoughtfulness that we direct towards the breadth of issues that challenge our wealth management clients. We seek to provide a superior wealth management experience by cohesively managing and simplifying the myriad financial complexities our clients face. We offer guidance with the elements of financial planning including: risk management (insurance), retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, and charitable planning. Beyond these text book concepts and needs, we have provided significant assistance to our clients in matters relating to the complexities of retirement, death, trust management, and private foundation management.
The investment approach we employ for wealth management clients is distinctive. We leverage our investment management expertise in the design of financial plans that are as unique as the objectives and preferences of our clients. Our wealth management clients are not uniform, nor should the investment plans we design and manage for them. Our tailored, active, and direct investment approach to wealth management contrasts significantly to packaged solutions that rely primarily on passive ETF’s, mutual funds, and one-size-fits-all models. Wealth management clients access the direct equity investment management strategies for domestic and foreign equities plus additional asset classes (traditional and alternative). Additional assets classes allow us to meet the diversification and other objectives required by wealth management clients that cannot be met by our direct equity investment management strategies alone. Where possible, we invest directly into securities rather than through vehicles that have additional layers of management fees and risk exposures that can be difficult to control. We believe this direct approach makes client investments easier to understand, follow, and discuss, as well as more cost effective.
To materially support a distinctive wealth management experience and investment offering, the firm was formed under a specific structural framework that provides an important benefit to clients. The firm is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), which obligates the firm to operate under a fiduciary standard. The fiduciary standard means that the advisor must act in the best interest of client. Furthermore, the firm is a “Fee-Only” advisor, since the firm’s fees are based on a percentage of assets under management and we do not receive any commissions or payments from financial product providers for using their products. Lastly, we are a privately-owned firm and have no affiliations with any other financial firm.
Our fee, based on a percentage of assets under management and an absence of commissions, aligns the interests of the client and the firm in three ways. First, the firm’s compensation only grows if the client’s assets grow, the firm is thereby incented to grow client assets. Second, the firm is incented to stay closely engaged with the client and the client’s investments since future compensation and compensation growth depends on growth of client investments. Third, since the firm receives no commissions or fees from financial product providers, the firm is incented to find and invest in the best products for its clients and not the products that benefit the firm the most. Besides aligning client and firm interests, Fee-Only firms provide full fee transparency to clients. Clients can see all compensation received by the firm from the client on client monthly statements. The firm receives no compensation other than what is paid to the firm by clients.
The fiduciary standard that applies to registered investment advisors means that the firm is held to the highest standard of care, namely, acting in the best interest of clients and not in the best interest of the firm or advisor. The firm is free to select whichever investments that it believes are the best investments for the client. The firm is not limited to recommending or incented to recommend: its own product offerings, nor the products of outside firms that pay a commission to the advisor, nor products from outside firms that pay a fee to the firm. The firm has no proprietary investment products, and collects no commissions or fees from outside financial product providers.
Lastly, the firm is privately owned and has no affiliate financial firm relationships or ownership. This further supports the independence of the firm and its freedom to select the best investments it can find for its clients.
This framework results in fewer conflicts of interest, encourages a greater alignment of interests between clients and the firm, incentivizes a closer engagement with clients and their investments, and ensures compensation transparency with clients.