Investing Side by Side With Our Clients
We only use investments that we also invest in or would be willing to own. We invest in the same share classes and on the same platform.
We search for top investment managers and organizations that stand out from the crowd. We believe good investment management is more than a few years of good performance. The mutual fund or investment must also be run by a company that recognizes its role as a steward of your money.
We seek fund companies with business practices that benefit shareholders, such as compensation methods that promote long-term investing, an independent board of directors, and managers who have their own money invested in their mutual funds.
Besides disclosing all fees, we want you to understand your investment strategy and its results. Our quarterly commentary and our discussion-oriented meetings keep you informed about your investments and the progress you are making.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you accepting new clients?
As of April 2017, we are not accepting new clients due to capacity concerns. If you would like to be on a notification list in the event that this changes, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are your areas of specialization?
We specialize in providing investment management and managing the many issues related to retirement. Our mission is to help clients achieve and maintain life-long financial security.
Do you provide advice for an hourly fee?
No, we do not provide any advice-only services. Investment management is our only service as we currently oversee more than $112 million in client assets.
What is your typical client profile?
While we do not target any particular type of person, our clients value a certain quality of life and share a desire to reach and maintain financial security.
Our clients frequently include working professionals, families, non-traditional couples, small-business owners, and retirees. Our clients do not enjoy managing their own investments and prefer that a trusted professional has that responsibility.
What are the advantages of investment management?
For busy people who might neglect to monitor, change, or rebalance their accounts, investment management is an ongoing relationship with professional responsibility and accountability. This service provides customized tax- and cost-sensitive portfolio management. Over time, we tackle clients' financial-planning needs and provide retirement security projections as part of the relationship.
Where will my accounts be held?
We are an independent advisor and have no ties with any insurance or investment firms. We have chosen to have our clients accounts held at Fidelity Investments. As the custodian of your assets, Fidelity provides monthly statements and year-end tax documents. Clients also have 24-hour access to their accounts online.
What information will I receive about my investments?
We strive to provide clear communication on a regular basis. In the beginning of a relationship, we prepare a comprehensive investment proposal that identifies how every dollar in your accounts will be invested. We include portfolio analytics, explain each no-load mutual fund or exchange-traded fund investment, and review the proposal together to make sure you are comfortable with our investment approach and your investment line-up.
From there, all clients receive a quarterly report with their performance results and accompanying commentary. This performance report supplements Fidelity's monthly statements. In addition, we send clients a monthly email with market updates, financial-planning considerations, or need-to-know items. We are happy to discuss any aspect of your investments at any time.
How does your cost compare to other advisors?
Our mission is to provide you with enduring value, which means keeping a close eye on costs. Our investment management fee is 0.90% for the first $500,000 that we oversee, and 0.50% on amounts above $500,000. For clients with account assets of $1 million or more with Greenleaf Financial Group, we charge just 0.50% on all assets after two years. We provide additional fee reductions for clients with $2 million or more in assets under management. Fees are also lowered when assets reach $3 million. We believe this fee is highly competitive.
Our fee is a pay-as-you-go format with no upfront charges, penalties, or surrender fees.
In a new client's investment proposal, we show all investment costs, including our compensation, expenses related to mutual fund and ETF management, and any trading costs. We compare these fees with an analysis of your current costs to make sure you understand the sometimes confusing world of investment fees.
Do you get paid for products we purchase?
No. Unlike most advisors, our advice is our ONLY income source. We do not receive sales commissions, mutual fund payments, finder's fees, referral fees, or accept vendor sponsorships. We have no insurance, bank, or brokerage ties and therefore no sales quotas, product alliances, or hidden fees. We believe this approach -- known as fee-only -- eliminates conflicts and enables us to act in our clients' best interests.
What is the difference between fee-only and fee-based?
Fee-based compensation is a confusing and potentially misleading term. Fee-based advisors are quite different from fee-only advisors. Whereas fee-only advisors earn their fees solely from direct client payments, fee-based advisors may receive client-paid fees and/or fees from the sale or purchase of a product, including commissions, 12b-1 fees, referral fees, or other indirect forms of compensation. Such product payments are rarely disclosed to clients and might represent conflicts of interest.
Are you a fiduciary? What exactly does that mean?
The word fiduciary comes from the Latin "fides", meaning faith, and its modern equivalent, "fiducia", meaning trust and confidence. A fiduciary must not put personal interests before the duty owed to a client. A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) places a fiduciary requirement on Registered Investment Advisors. We are a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) with the states of California, Indiana, and New York.
Who is not a good match for your services?
People looking to invest aggressively. People looking for private equity or non-publicly traded securities.
Are there services you do not offer?
Yes, we are not experts in rental real estate or commercial real estate investments and are not able to offer advice on those topics. Also, we do not prepare tax returns or provide legal advice. In such cases, a CPA or attorney is a better person to consult.
What makes you a better choice?
We hold ourselves to high standards. Each client with Greenleaf Financial Group receives individual management, not an assembly line approach.