A diverse group of clients – individuals, families, foundations, institutions and other financial advisers – has retained us for our wealth management and investment counsel services. We seek to consistently provide a high level of service to each client – the success of our efforts is reflected in the long term relationships we share with clients. We have two types of client relationships:
Wealth Management Clients
Wealth management is an intensive process that is highly customized to each client situation. Many of our clients have sought our assistance in connection with a financial “event” – the sale of a company, the sale of a family asset or retirement after a successful career. Because we have direct personal or client experience with a great variety of these events, we can help you navigate wisely and assist with the transition to a new phase of your financial life. Our goal is to help you live the best life possible with the resources you have available.
First, we help bring organization to your financial life. Often, financial decisions are made piecemeal over an extended period of time. And it is common for things to grow too complicated unnecessarily. So we assist you in bringing clarity and organization to your current situation. In doing so, we bring an objective view to the table.
As independent advisers with long experience in the financial industry, we can provide you an unvarnished education on financial products and services that you now have and how they can best fit into your future financial picture. Because we don't receive any commissions or other income from product providers, we give you advice that is free of conflicts.
Our first investment is time. We invest the time to discuss with you in great detail your current situation. Sometimes, you may need us to prepare projections about future savings and spending – these are helpful inputs to our discussions. Most important, we can use these inputs to understand the road we are traveling toward your goals.
As we understand the various components of your financial life and how they intersect with your personal goals, we can begin to formulate a proactive plan for how to invest. Usually, you will end up with multiple investment pools – each with a different objective or purpose. We will jointly establish the goals for these pools and then develop the appropriate investment policy statements.
We invest according to your goals, not ours. The investment policy statement guides us in how to assemble your portfolio. We consider your time horizon, tolerance for short term market value changes, cash withdrawal needs, income tax bracket and any other matters unique to you in managing your portfolio.
Because the wealth management process is so labor-intensive, we limit the number of wealth management relationships we have at any one time to 25. We accept new clients only by referrals from existing clients and our network of professional contacts and advisers.
Our standard fee is 1% per annum on assets up to $2 million, 0.75% per annum on the next $3 million of assets and 0.50% per annum on assets in excess of $5 million. The minimum annual fee is $10,000.
Separate Account Clients
The Essential Growth Portfolio and the Essential Absolute Return Portfolio (described under separate tabs) are among the building blocks for wealth management clients’ portfolios. These strategies were designed for high net worth and other risk-conscious investors – each strategy seeks to achieve its objective with a strong focus on risk control.
Increasingly, individuals, financial advisers, and other institutions have retained us to manage one or both of these strategies as separate accounts. In a separate account, the securities are held at an independent custodian and owned by the client. However, unless the client has requested customization, we strive for each account in the strategy to hold the same securities in same weightings. Of course, there will always be some differences across accounts as a result of timing, tax considerations and other client-specific issues.
As these relationships focus solely on investments (in contrast to the broad and deep wealth management client relationships described above), we are pleased to provide these separate account services on any of three custodial platforms: Charles Schwab & Co., TD Ameritrade and Trust Company of America.
Our standard fee structure for separate accounts is 0.75% of assets per annum and the minimum initial investment is $250,000.