Frequently Asked Questions

  • Whom do you serve?

    We provide our services to individuals, families, businesses, trusts, partnerships, not-for-profit organizations and retirement plans wishing to pursue financial goals based on our strategic approach to creating and managing wealth.

  • What happens to my current holdings if I become a client?

    Before any changes are made, we first analyze your existing portfolio and discuss our recommendations with you. Our overall goal is for your portfolio to make sense for you and your lifetime objectives, in the most cost-effective way possible. Ways we achieve this goal are to capture your unique willingness, ability and need to take on market risk via appropriate (often global) diversification; to minimize the expenses involved in investing; to manage for appropriate asset location between taxable and tax-sheltered accounts; and to eliminate any unnecessary complexity within the collection of accounts within your portfolio. If existing holdings lend themselves to these objectives, we leave them in place. If changes are warranted, we work with you to ensure any transitions occur as smoothly and cost-effectively as possible.

  • Do you trade and hold my assets for me?

    While you grant us Limited Power of Attorney (LPOA) to execute transactions on your behalf, you remain in control of your assets. Accounts are held in your name at a quality custodian such as Charles Schwab or TD Ameritrade.

  • Describe your broad services.

    We provide integrated Wealth Management services coordinating your investment and tax strategies, estate and retirement plans, and risk management needs.

    We conduct initial and ongoing deep discovery to determine our clients’ financial needs as they relate to their unique values, goals, assets, interests, as well as their personal, professional, and institutional relationships. We then form a far-reaching plan to achieve those goals. We gather expertise — or we are prepared to work with existing alliances — to ensure that each component within the strategy is carefully executed and seamlessly integrated to serve the overall purpose. 

  • Describe your investment approach.

    We apply an evidence-based investment approach, tailoring your portfolio's level of risk (and its expected returns) according to your personal preferences, goals and circumstances. We adhere to the tenets of Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) and to the guidelines provided by the American Law Institute in drafting The Uniform Prudent Investor Rule. MPT indicates that the overwhelmingly largest determinant of portfolio performance is its asset allocation —how your assets are exposed to various risk factors. We build portfolios accordingly, typically using low-cost institutional managers who provide passively managed mutual funds and diversifying globally to reduce non-market risks.

    Many other financial service firms offer an approach based on "active management." Active management assumes that the markets are generally inefficient, allowing clever individuals to regularly exploit and profit from market anomalies (beyond the costs of consistently seeking and executing such trades). And yet, it seems evident to us that the collective wisdom of all market players —especially in today’s electronic era —results in highly efficient markets. Markets reflect fair pricing almost instantaneously upon release of any good or bad price-related news. In offering an "evidence-based" approach, we heed the academic wisdom. We assume that the opportunities to exploit inefficiencies are too few and far between to effectively and affordably pursue.

  • How do you charge for your services?

    We provide fee-only investment management, with our fees based on a percentage of your assets that we manage. Our approach best aligns our interests with yours, helping us meet our fiduciary obligation as a Registered Investment Advisor firm. Our fees are tier-based with breakpoints at which your fees decrease. Here is our fee schedule:

    Account Value Annual Fee
    Up to $199,999 1.85%
    $200,000 to $499,999

    $500,000 to $999,999 1.00%
    $1,000,000 to $1,999,999 0.90%
    $2,000,000 to $2,999,999 0.80%
    $3,000,000 to $3,999,999
    The first $5,000,000 at  0.50%
    Amounts over $5,000,000 0.35%

    In addition, we take a family approach to investing. Aggregating your family’s assets to determine your fees (while still managing each portfolio according to its distinct policies) enables favorable rates for you and your family.

  • Do you have a minimum portfolio size?

    The ideal candidate will have investable assets of $1,000,000 or above. If your current asset level does not meet our minimum requirements but you have unique circumstances you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We always make exceptions to our account minimum size for children of our clients.

  • What if I need a bond (fixed-income) portfolio or other special holdings?

    Our philosophy is that equity investments are for growth and fixed income investments have a vital mission all their own—to control overall volatility in a portfolio and provide a stable financial base. Fixed income investments should act as the vehicle for steady, reliable income and contingency reserves. We address your fixed income needs as an integral part of your overall portfolio as we consider the special needs, characteristics and (often hidden) costs inherent in the bond market. If a custom bond portfolio makes sense for you, we build one for you based on analysis of each bond's full range of characteristics (sector, maturity, credit rating and more). Through our relationship with Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade fixed income resources we have access to multiple national bond dealers that help ensure a wide range of security availability as well as fair and competitive institutional level pricing for you.