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Do you have a minimum account size and what are your fees?We have no minimum relationship size. For clients with liquid portfolios of less than $10M, we charge a flat 0.95% per year, since these clients tend to have less complexity and estate planning is typically not a primary focus. For clients with assets greater than $10M, we determine a flat annual fee that covers all of our services. This fee is determined based on complexity and our ability to add value – value that you should see from the onset of the relationship. In addition to AdvicePeriod’s consulting fee, clients will pay additional fees including custodian fees, manager fees, and trading fees. All fees are broken out individually and are fully transparent, and fully disclosed. We work to negotiate the best possible terms for our clients, and all negotiated savings are passed directly through to the client. When all is said and done, we should cost the same or less than the other options, but leave you feeling satisfied that you understand all of your fees.
What is your historical performance?Because we service clients of varied size, risk tolerance, and complexity, there is no singular performance history to report. Moreover, as a planning focused firm with a bias toward passive investments and tax planning, much of our value will be explained by taxes and fees saved, not the absolute performance of a portfolio.
RAQ [Rarely Asked Questions]
What’s different?Access to information continues to advance the investment advisory business. As a result, many of the resources that were previously difficult to access – including asset allocation modeling and fund selection – are now readily available to consumers and advisors alike. If anything, there may be too much information available. AdvicePeriod is committed to providing value through advice; without the distraction of variable compensation (commissions), product sales, or legacy solutions. AdvicePeriod is turning the advisory business on its head. With a focus on actionable planning, we coordinate the commodity services of asset allocation and tilt toward tax-enhanced passive – also known as index – investing. The first two decades of our focus were similar to the advisory industry as we know it today – investment-oriented first, complemented by a secondary focus on general planning. Recognizing that investment advice is ubiquitous today, AdvicePeriod is wealth planning and tax focused with the benefit of decades of award-winning advisory experience. The other firms launched by the Founders over the years (Convergent Wealth Advisors and Fortigent) are exceptional at what they do – however, they’re focused on different services as their primary offering. AdvicePeriod is the advisor of tomorrow, committed to the areas that can contribute most to your financial success.
What are the most important things to look for in an advisor?We believe that knowledge and objectivity are the core ingredients for a successful advisory relationship. Too often conflicts of interest, typically found in the form of economic compensation, color the advice that consumers receive. At AdvicePeriod, we don't have proprietary funds, we don't sell insurance, and we aren't compensated by anyone other than you. As a result, you can rest assured that we always put your interests first. We are fiduciaries, plain and simple. Often, unqualified advisors are in a position to influence clients when it comes to their financial health; a topic often secondary only to their physical health. At AdvicePeriod we have decades of experience working with some of the wealthiest families in the world. And, if you want to know what we think about finding a quality advisor, you can find it in black & white.
How is AdvicePeriod different than a traditional RIA?AdvicePeriod is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), supervised by the SEC. While the vast majority of our peers are focused on selling investment advice, we know you can find that service just about anywhere and, once you've narrowed the field to a group of competent advisors, pre-tax investment results shouldn't vary much over time. But that's where our similarities end. At AdvicePeriod we are focused first on establishing your wealth plan; including asset allocation, income and estate tax minimization, insurance planning, and general financial oversight. We will coordinate the execution of virtually all facets of your financial life, including the execution of your investment plan. And, unlike many of our peers, we don't utilize the giant loophole in the industry of "avoid or disclose". We're setting out to do things differently than our peers, raising the bar for the entire industry- just like we’ve done in the past.
What does “planning” mean?A great investment manager (mutual fund, hedge fund, or stock/bond picker) can add considerable value to a portfolio. We read about these folks every day in the news (ever heard of Warren Buffett?). Over the long-term, however, a diversified portfolio of outstanding managers may add 1% (100 basis points) per annum when compared to their index counterparts. Unfortunately, this excess return (alpha) is pre-tax and often before fees. Yet, this is the "hope" that most investors hold on to (often to their own detriment). In contrast, by mapping out and continually adapting an appropriate wealth plan based on changes in your life rather than changes in the market; focusing on taxes and fee efficiency, and enforcing investor discipline we believe we can deliver quantum value when compared to an offering of only investment management.
How do you represent clients’ interests first?By minimizing economic conflicts of interests, we strive to eliminate biases when it comes to the approach you employ with your portfolio. Our compensation structure is designed on a fee-only basis, not on commissions, soft dollars, or 12b-1 fees, so our clients know that our recommendations are based only on what we believe is best for them.
How do you align fees and value?For clients with liquid portfolios of less than $10M, we charge 0.95% per year as clients at this wealth threshold tend to have less complexity and don't require significant estate planning. For clients with assets greater than $10M, we frequently charge a flat annual fee that covers all of our services. This fee is determined based on complexity and our ability to add value – value that you should see from the onset of the relationship.
Who is an ideal client for AdvicePeriod?Our ideal client is a taxable investor with a desire to pursue tangible wealth objectives through planning. Often our clients look to us to help them remain disciplined when markets rapidly rise and fall, but they are typically not focused solely on investments. Many of our clients lead a "digital life" and enjoy the efficiency that online reporting, impromptu virtual meetings, and evolving technology offer. Nevertheless, we still retain the flexibility to provide more traditional “paper” reporting and regularly scheduled reviews.
What does AdvicePeriod need to know about me?When we get started, we look to build a roadmap for your wealth. Simply put, we would like to know as much as we can about you and your financial goals. We want to see how and where you are invested, review your tax and estate planning, understand your insurance coverage, and become familiar with your cash flow planning. Once we have this information, we can develop a plan to meet your needs. Then we can determine if the math – the minimum required return and associated risk – meets your emotional tolerance for portfolio volatility.
What is Fortigent?In 1995, we began selling our asset allocation and manager research to our competitors. In 1997, this business was established as what is now known as Fortigent. In 2007 Fortigent and Convergent Wealth Advisors split management oversight and were each subsequently sold to different public companies. We have maintained our business relationship with Fortigent since its inception and continue to leverage their dedicated resources to investment research, technology, and portfolio performance reporting. This leverage – allowing experts to deliver what they do best – allows our team to focus on timely advice and client service while still delivering a “best practices” investment solution.
How will we work together with you as my advisor?We work for you. More importantly, we work with you. At AdvicePeriod, you will have the resources of the entire company at your disposal.
Can I do this myself? Do I need to hire an Advisor?You sure can do this yourself. If you're an "investment only" consumer, disciplined at saving and staying calm in volatile markets, then there are numerous online investment solutions that offer the commodity services of asset allocation and low-cost ETF selection. Our favorite is Betterment – so much so that we've invested in the company. However, if you value the advice of a human advisor and require the complexity of broader financial planning, then we may be a better fit for you.