Frequently Asked Questions
When is it useful to meet with an investment advisor?
If you have put money aside in a savings account, have an Individual IRA, Roth IRA, or Sep IRA, Keogh, 401k, 403b, 529, Profit Sharing plan at work, or have other investments that require planning and attention, and if your objective is to ensure that you will achieve your intended financial goals, then you will benefit from working with an investment advisor.
Why work with an investment advisor rather that doing it on my own?
An investment advisor has had professional training and education to understand and provide background to some of the complex questions that might arise.
An investment advisor should have the experience to deal with any of the problems that might come up in your securities accounts.
An investment advisor pays attention to the financial markets and the business world in general.
An investment advisor has the necessary technology and decision support systems.
An investment advisor will have access to comprehensive information not readily available to most individual investors. They will have the knowledge and experience to be able to interpret the information so that you will be able to gain understanding of your investments.
Why work with an independent advisor rather that a full service brokerage?
As a Registered Investment Advisor certified by the State of California, I am able to provide many investment advisory services. I am a sole proprietor and my overhead is lower than many advisors allowing me to provide services at reasonable rates. I have a smaller more focused practice enabling me to offer personalized, tailored services, flexible meeting times, attention to details, regular communication and personalized investment education and guidance.
What is a fee-based service?
How does it compare to paying commissions?
There are several methods of paying for investment advice. Each method has its advantages. I provide Fee Based services. My objective is to increase and optimize returns for my clients.
When receiving commissions, the advisor is paid by the brokerage company to sell specific securities, mutual funds, and annuities. The investment advisor receives a part of the commission, front or back-end load or other fees inherent in the products. Under this method, advisors are motivated to sell products to increase their income.
I am compensated through fee-based services which are determined on an hourly basis or a percentage of assets under management. You pay for the time that I spend on your financial investments. I receive no payments from any mutual fund, annuity plan, or broker which I recommend. I am not tied to selling anything but information and advice which I invoice directly to my clients.
Why invest in mutual funds rather than individual securities?
I recommend the use of no load mutual funds for several reasons. I work to identify mutual funds that have proven fund managers who maintain a high level of integrity, control risk within the portfolio, generate returns that are comparable to most other funds in their asset class, and keep expenses low. I prefer making use of their research and extensive experience to manage the daily process of security analysis and transaction execution.
Mutual Funds are created in order to take advantage of the benefits of diversification and simplified monitoring and recordkeeping for multiple shareholders. There are thousands of mutual funds in which to invest and I research and select those most appropriate to your individual needs.
Do I have a minimum account size?
In my practice I work with a variety of clients’ needs. For clients with under $100k of assets, intermittent reviews are usually most appropriate. No matter what your present investment situation, I’m happy to provide a one-time investment recommendation allowing you to take the information and perform the necessary transactions yourself. With clients with more complex investment circumstances, an ongoing investment advisory agreement will better serve their needs. Mutual Funds are utilized in order to take advantage of the benefits of diversification and simplified monitoring and recordkeeping for multiple shareholders.
Do I give tax advice, estate planning advice or mortgage loan advice?
I am not an accountant, enrolled agent, estate planner or mortgage broker. During our Introductory Meeting I will make note of any income tax, insurance, or estate planning issues which I believe should be discussed with an appropriate professional. I will be able to provide recommendations for professionals to assist you in those areas.
Do I utilize Socially Responsible Investments?
Many of my clients prefer to make significant use of Socially Responsible investments. There are approximately 100 distinct mutual fund portfolios that are using various types of social screens. I am able to research these offerings and guide my clients to make appropriate investment decisions regarding these funds.
Where are client accounts held?
The accounts for my ongoing clients are held at TD Ameritrade Institutional Services. This is the Institutional division of TD Ameritrade, Inc. The Institutional Services division provides custody services for over 3000 other investment advisors in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Their fee structure is very competitive in the industry and their level of competence and integrity is outstanding.
How often do we meet?
For most on-going investment clients, I prefer to meet quarterly to discuss any changes in circumstances and new investment opportunities. These brief meetings also ensure that you pay necessary attention to your financial well-being, and have regular input to the investment process. For clients with intermittent review needs, meetings are scheduled at the client’s initiative and by mutual agreement as needed.