Independent Financial Advisors: We are aligned with Securities America, Inc. which is an independent Broker-Dealer and Registered Investment Advisory firm based in Omaha, NE. Securities America is part of Advisor Group, one of the largest networks of independent wealth management firms in the U.S. This allows us to make decisions which are in your best interest without having to worry about conflicts of interest that exist in many big Wall Street firms. We have no propriety investment products, sales quotas, or corporate directives to cloud our recommendations. Securities America provides our firm with access to financial markets, product due diligence, back office support and compliance oversight so we can focus our full-time efforts in serving our clients.
We Operate as Fiduciaries: Simply stated we are required to place our client’s interest above our own. This is how we have operated our entire careers and believe it is both the proper way to treat clients and a good business strategy. Trust is an integral component to any advisory relationship and knowing we put you first and are held to a fiduciary standard furthers that.
We are a Referral Only Practice: Since we do not spend most of our time looking for new clients, like many Financial Advisors do, it allows us to focus our time on those who have entrusted their financial wellbeing to us. Also, the nature of what we do is very personal, and we believe our existing clients are best suited to tell their friends, colleagues, and family their experiences in working with us. No amount of fancy advertising or marketing can compete with word of mouth testimony from long term clients. This also allows us to keep our fees lower as we are not passing our marketing budget on to our clients. Finally, this allows us to selectively accept a small number of new clients each year to minimize the disruption to our practice and maintain a highly personalized level of service for existing and new clients.
Our Long-Term Approach: Due to our unique approach we foster deep client relationships and often work with multiple generations of the same families. While this may not be unique to our firm only, it shows that our clients not only trust our advice, but allows us to facilitate conversations among generations so everyone is in sync as to the long term wishes of our clients wealth.
Stability: In addition to being business partners for over 20 year we have shared a long personal friendship and our families have known each other for over 30 years. Since Stephan and Amanda are equity partners in our firm, we have also put in place buy-sell agreements funded with insurance to allow for an orderly transition in the event of an untimely death to provide stability for our clients.
Securities America is an independent Broker-Dealer and Registered Investment Advisory firm based in Omaha, NE. Securities America is part of Advisor Group, one of the largest networks of independent wealth management firms in the United States. Securities America (SAI) does not offer proprietary investment products or engage in investment banking activities like large Wall Street firms. Our relationship with SAI is that of an independent contractor which means we are free to change our affiliation at any time. Since they perform “behind the scenes” activities any change in Broker-Dealer would result in minimal disruption to client needs. SAI allows its representatives to utilize either National Financial Services or Pershing as clearing agents and custodians for client assets. We have chosen to use National Financial Services (aka Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions) due to their size, scale and over 30 years’ experience in the industry.
We do not hold any client assets nor act in the capacity of Custodians. National Financial Services acts as the custodian for most client assets, but in some cases the assets are held directly with Fund companies (e.g. Fidelity, American Funds or AIG). In addition, if a client chooses to purchase an insurance product such as a Variable Annuity or life insurance policy the assets are custodied with that company (e.g. Prudential Annuities, Jackson National, AIG, etc.). Clients typically receive monthly, quarterly, or annual statements from the specific custodian and may receive periodic correspondence from SAI on suitability information on file (e.g. Address, Net worth, risk tolerance, etc.).
Yes, our initial consultation is a two-step process. We begin with an initial telephone conversation to determine if we are a proper fit and to discuss your needs. As a follow up we may schedule an in-office visit to meet in person. This meeting provides the opportunity for us to get to know each other and determine how our services may benefit you. We also discuss the requirement of future meetings, our process, information we need, and costs associated with hiring us. Since this is a two-way relationship we evaluate not only if we are a good fit for you but also if you will be a good fit for our practice. There is no charge or obligation for this meeting.
We offer both Fee based Financial Planning services and Investment Management, but unlike many firms we do not require that you invest with us to develop a personalized Financial Plan or Retirement Income Plan. While most of our clients utilize us for both services there are instances in which we do a plan, but the majority of someone’s assets are currently held in company retirement plans or with an Advisor who is family, a friend, long standing relationship or they want to manage their assets themselves.
For Financial Planning, we work on a flat fee basis dependent upon an individual’s needs (see fee schedule) which includes all meetings, discussing various planning scenarios and a written financial plan. This works best because it allows for open, honest dialogue without having to worry about being billed hourly while “the meter is running”. The fee is quoted up-front and is only adjusted if the scope of work changes during our engagement.
As for Asset Management services, we offer both fee and commissionable arrangements. Which way or combination makes sense is solely determined based upon an individual’s situation with consideration given to the lowest cost to deliver a diversified investment strategy. All fees and expenses are disclosed prior to any investment implementation or account establishment.
We work primarily with individuals, families, and small business owners. Many of our clients hold upper level management positions at Fortune 500 companies and we have specific knowledge and years of expertise with employees of The Coca Cola Company and Southern Company in the areas of employee benefits, retirement plans and executive compensation (Stock Options, Performance Shares and Deferred Compensation plans). Having successfully transitioned dozens of folks from corporate life to retirement, we have the experience to make this transition as easy and seamless as possible.
Typically, we begin our relationship prior to retirement so we can form a good working relationship to guide them thru one of the biggest transitions in life and allow them to enjoy the lifestyle they have worked so hard to attain. We establish a personalized retirement income strategy incorporating tax reduction techniques in an effort to maximize a lifetime of hard work and give them the ability to focus on what they enjoy most in life instead of worrying about their finances.
We develop a personalized Financial Plan for all clients on a flat fee basis so we can give them a full and accurate view of their goals and objectives without any perception of pressure to invest with us as part and parcel to working with us. Most of our clients are pre-retirees or retirees with investable assets in excess of $3,000,000 but our minimum for investment management is $1,500,000.
During the entirety of your relationship with us you will interact with all members of our team depending on where you are in the process. Initially you will meet with both Stephan and Amanda for the initial consultation. If we decide to move forward you will work with Amanda to develop your strategic Financial Plan. Once you are ready to discuss investment implementation you will meet with Stephan to discuss various investment alternatives. Finally, Heather oversees establishing new accounts and on-going client service issues. Typically review and strategy meetings are attended by both Stephan and Amanda unless the issues are specific to financial planning or purely investments.
We have established communication and service models based on the complexity of your situation and dependent on the level of service required. We offer quarterly, semi-annual or annual review and strategy sessions, but strongly recommend at least semi-annual meetings (in person or via webinar) for clients in retirement. We are proactive in our communications offering a Weekly Market Commentary, periodic topical e-mails on a variety of market and financial issues as well as reaching out to you for scheduled review/strategy meetings. Beyond that we are always available to talk to discuss changes in your life or financial situations as they arise.
No. Accepting a referral fee from other professionals presents a conflict of interest. If you need a referral to a qualified professional, our goal is to match you with one that will best suit your unique needs.
Contact us by e-mail or telephone 770-753-9880. Prior to our initial telephone conversation, we kindly ask that you complete our Confidential Profile (click here) and return it to us at least 24 hours prior to our call. All information is kept confidential whether you become a client or not.
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