HOW ARE YOU PROTECTED?

We never take possession (custody) of your money or your securities. Those are held by a third- party broker. We are recognized by the broker as your advisor and are allowed to monitor the account, place trades on the account, and direct disbursements to your other accounts. Brokerage reports produced by the third party can be used to verify our in-house statements. This added layer protects you from fraudulent activity.

 

In addition, the broker has SIPC insurance protection. This covers any fraud on your account up to $500,000 per accountholder. Most cash within accounts is invested in instruments that offer FDIC insurance for losses up to $250,000 per accountholder. 

PROTECTING YOU FROM MARKET SWINGS

Investing in securities markets exposes you to risk. Our goal is to limit that risk within your set of goals. How do we do that? 

  1. Asset Allocation and Diversification – Research shows that asset allocation is a large contributor to portfolio return. Typically, we choose a combination of asset classes with low correlation to each other to offset market swings. The classes we use include US stocks of varying sizes, Foreign Stocks, Emerging Market Stocks, Real Estate, Cash and Bonds. Occasionally, we add alternative type investments to the mix. Maintaining positions in different asset classes is one way to mitigate market risk. We monitor accounts to maintain the prescribed allocation for each client.

  2. Security Choice and Diversification – Mainly, we use pooled funds that are representative of each asset class. We use exchange-traded funds and open-end mutual funds for exposure to each sector. These pooled funds are chosen for their low internal cost and long-term performance. Pooled funds offer instant diversification within each fund. While an ETF may be chosen for the US Large-Cap asset class, it may be a reflection of the S&P 500 Index representing more than 500 different stocks. The diversification within the fund offers protection to our clients.

  3. Dollar Cost Averaging – We are not market timers. Instead, we often use dollar cost averaging when investing new funds. This discipline allows us to build a portfolio that meets your needs by gradually adding funds during times of market volatility. 

  4. Time Horizon- We maintain an outlook commensurate with your investment horizon. Portfolio reviews are important to assess any change in that horizon.

  5. Stop Loss orders – When requested, we will use stop loss orders to protect against market volatility. Generally, we advise against such a practice, though. We encourage clients to maintain a long-term view.

IMG_7195.jpg

PROTECTING YOU FROM TAXES

We can’t keep you from paying taxes, but we can keep you from paying undue taxes. How do we do that?  

  1. Tax diversification – We encourage clients to keep their assets in multiple account types - Taxable Accounts, Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. Each of these has different tax rates and limitations on withdrawals. Contributions to traditional IRAs reduce your current tax burden, but withdrawals are taxed as income. Deposits to Roth IRAs are taxed, but you can withdraw the funds tax-free. Individual accounts have no restrictions on deposits and withdrawals, and only capital gains, dividends and interest are taxed as they occur.

  2. Tax Policy – We are not CPAs, but we keep abreast of all changes in tax policy that may benefit our clients. We coordinate with your tax preparer to keep your tax bill as low as possible.

  3. Estate Issues – We are not tax attorneys, but we keep abreast of estate laws. We coordinate with your attorney to set up and maintain documents that are appropriate for your family.

PROTECTING YOUR PRIVACY

In order to assist you with your portfolio, we must have access to your private information. How do we keep this information safe?

  1. We have a strict privacy policy within our office. All information is kept confidential. All employees are required to adhere to this policy and face termination for any violation.

  2. We digitize and securely store records as quickly as practicable. Paper copies containing personal information are shredded.

  3. We maintain a secure client portal to allow you to upload and view documents and reports. 

  4. At our initial meeting, you will be asked to complete a list of trusted contacts. No communication about you or your accounts is allowed to anyone not on that list. 

  5. Our third-party broker is also under regulations requiring the maintenance of your privacy. All information conveyed to them is kept strictly confidential.

IMG_7231.jpg

PROTECTING YOU FROM FRAUD

Managing your investments require that you trust us, and we take that trust seriously. How do we protect you from fraud? 

 

  1. We never actually have possession of your money. While we can make deposits for you, checks are not made out to us, but to your account at the broker. 

  2. We can set up secure bank-to-bank transfers between your local checking account and your investment account for deposits and withdrawals, but these can only be done with like-registered accounts. Any variation from this requires your express permission.

  3. Your accounts are held by a third-party custodian. Any statements or reports that we generate can be verified by statements that they send you. 

  4. Your accounts are protected by SIPC against fraud up to $500,000 per accountholder through the broker. This insurance does not cover loss due to security decline. Typically, we use the FDIC-protected option for cash held within your account. This covers loss up to $250,000 per accountholder.