Frequently Asked Questions
What will be included in my wealth management plan?
* A clear layout of your investments, net worth and cash flow.
* An action plan with a step-by-step guide to reaching your financial goals.
* Investment recommendations based on your unique goals, time horizon and risk tolerance.
* Suggestions for maximizing your financial situation.
* Strategies to mitigate your tax obligations.
* An understanding of any gaps in your financial picture.
* Recommendations for how best to protect your assets and family.
* A full review of your company benefits package.
Can you work with clients virtually?
Yes! We are based in San Francisco, however we have clients located across the United States.
What are your required asset minimums?
We have no required minimums, however we do have a minimum annual fee (see pricing).
Why do you base your fees on net worth instead of assets under management?
We believe the assets under management pricing model, used by a majority of fee-only financial planners, is an outdated model that creates far too many direct conflicts of interest between the advisor and the client. Furthermore, we believe the A.U.M. pricing model leads to excessive fees for high net worth clients.
We base our fees on net worth because there is a direct link between net worth and financial complexity. As net worth grows our clients are faced with greater risks and responsibilities and are able to access much more complex and sophisticated investment opportunities. This increase in financial complexity results in an expanded need for comprehensive financial planning and wealth management.
Do you have experience with employee stock plan awards?
A majority of our clients come to us with concentrated stock positions, options, units and/or appreciation rights. We help clients plan for and analyze Incentive Stock Options (ISOs), Non-Qualified Options (NSOs), Restricted Stock (RS), Restricted Stock Units (RSUs), Stock-Settled Stock Appreciation Rights (SSARs), Cash-Settled Stock Appreciation Rights (CSARs), Restricted Stock Shares (RSSs), Performance Stock Shares (PSSs), Performance Stock Units (PSUs) and Employee Stock Purchase Plans (ESPPs). All of these employee stock plan awards require meticulous analysis to mitigate costs and taxes, both regular and alternative minimum tax (AMT), while managing risk.
Do you work with do-it-yourself investors on an hourly basis?
We are able to work with clients on an hourly basis, however we do not recommend this approach. Study after study shows that a vast majority of do-it-yourself investors drastically underperform the markets over the long-term. Furthermore, they often spend an inordinate amount of time on research and investment management. Because of this we do not recommend hourly financial planning fee models or any other pricing model that encourages clients to implement a financial plan and/or manage their wealth on their own.
We prefer to work with clients who understand the value of professional wealth management, comprehensive financial planning, financial plan implementation and ongoing financial education. We very firmly believe that a retainer based strategy leads to superior wealth accumulation and protection when compared to an hourly advice model and/or do-it-yourself approach to wealth management.
What kind of assets do you manage?
We manage brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, college savings accounts and much more. We are unable to directly manage in force retirement plans or money directly invested in property, however we do advise on these accounts and investments.
Will my accounts be protected?
TD Ameritrade (our custodian of choice) provides each client $149.5 million worth of protection for securities and $2 million of protection for cash through supplemental coverage provided by London insurers. In the event of a brokerage insolvency, a client may receive amounts due from the trustee in bankruptcy and then SIPC. Supplemental coverage is paid out after the trustee and SIPC payouts and under such coverage each client is limited to a combined return of $152 million from a trustee, SIPC, and London insurers. The TD Ameritrade supplemental coverage has an aggregate limit of $500 million over all customers. This policy provides coverage following brokerage insolvency and does not protect against loss in market value of the securities.
Will I have online access to my accounts?
Yes. Accounts are held at TD Ameritrade, and they can be accessed through TD Ameritrade or our client portal.
How long do you work with your clients?
We are selective in whom we work with because we like to develop long-term, meaningful relationships with our clients. The plan is to work with all of our clients until we are all old and gray.
Can you work with clients across the country?
Yes. We are able to meet with clients virtually and remotely.
How do I know if you're the right advisor for me?
During the introduction meeting we'll determine if you're someone whose life we can impact in a meaningful and positive way. Likewise you can determine if we are the type of advisor with whom you wish to work.
What is a "Fee-Only" Advisory Model?
Under the fee-only model of financial planning the advisor can only accept compensation directly from the client. Commissions from investment companies, insurance companies etc. are not allowed. The purpose of the fee-only model is to minimize conflicts of interest between the advisor and the client and allow the advisor to objectively focus on the needs of the client. You can learn more about fee-only financial planning here.
Why don’t you charge on assets under management (AUM) like most other fee-only financial advisors?
The Assets Under Management (AUM) fee charged by a majority of financial advisors creates inherent conflicts of interest between the advisor and their clients. For example, if the advisor is managing assets and the client wants to purchase a home, donate to a charity or move the assets to another account the advisor has an incentive to advise against it. This is because the AUM fee paid by the client would be lower if money leaves the investment account that is managed by the advisor.
Furthermore, Net Worth is great indicator of financial complexity. For example, as net worth grows our clients are faced with greater risks and responsibilities and are able to access much more complex and sophisticated investment opportunities. This increase in financial complexity results in a greater need for comprehensive financial planning and wealth management.
Are you a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™?
Yes, Ryan Cole and Jirayr Kembikian are both CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professionals.
Are you fiduciaries?
As Investment Advisor Representatives and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals, we are fiduciaries for our clients. We owe our clients a duty of undivided loyalty and utmost good faith, and we do not engage in any activity that is in conflict with the interest of any client.
What is the cost of an introduction meeting?
There is no fee for the introduction meeting. The introduction meeting is simply a chance for us to meet and determine if we are a match.
Are you currently accepting clients?
We currently have a waitlist and only accept those who are a strong mutual fit. Please click here to request a meeting with us.