We also discuss our fees early on in our first meeting. We are paid based on all of the assets that we manage on our client’s behalf. So in that regard, our interests are obviously aligned. Our success is a direct result of our client’s success. We are not interested in “renting money” for a few years, and to truly manage our client’s money for a lifetime requires that we get things right. Therefore, our unwavering focus is always on long term results. This involves both protecting and growing our client’s hard earned money at all stages of life. The industry-standard fee for this service is 1% per annum. This is the ongoing fee that an advisor gets paid for his or her services. Our larger accounts get the benefit of reduced fees for these services. As independent financial planners we are continually looking for ways to reduce expenses so that we can reduce the fees that our clients are exposed to. We invest right alongside our clients in the very mandates we recommend. It stands to reason then, that we all want the same thing; good long-term returns. We all expect to get value for the fees that we pay. It is worth noting: price is what you pay – value is what you get.
In short, our value proposition is this: the benefits our clients receive from our advice & planning is worth many, many multiples of the price they pay for it.
There is an enormous amount of negative press about money managers, Wall Street, big banks and the significant fees they generate for their firms at the expense of the little guy. We think that there is truth to much of the criticism. We are not, nor have we ever been, cheerleaders for the industry we work in. As a matter of fact, we continually see some of the worst characters drawn to the financial sector, and we have witnessed the carnage that bad advice causes the individual investor as well as their family members.
We don’t take our responsibility lightly, as we know just how important it is to get things right. Our client’s outcomes are directly affected by our inputs. We are acutely aware that this isn’t just your money that we manage; it is your future paycheque in retirement and your children’s education. It is also your ability to sleep at night knowing you don’t need to rely on the government, or your children to maintain your dignity throughout all stages of life.
We make a conscious & relentless effort to align our clients with world-class money managers who have the ability to add value over time – in excess of the fees they charge. We are independent planners who work exclusively with independent, investment-led firms. This strategy works better than any other alternative – without exception. It is also worth noting that all of our managers invest right alongside us – we are all in the same boat. (See “Structured for Long Term Investment Success”)
The cheapest way to invest is without an advisor, without advice, and without active management. We realize that passive investing is the lowest cost way to invest in securities, but we believe Index investing is referred to as “dumb money” for a reason. Index investors don’t consider business fundamentals, don’t meet with management to know how a company is being run and have no unique insights into why an investment might have the potential to be bigger in the future. They simply follow the herd, buying more of the expensive stocks and less of the cheap ones because that’s how indexes work. That’s not how we manage our own money and it certainly isn’t how we will manage yours either.
We know that any measure of success we achieve is based completely on our clients’ success. We don’t take our responsibility for granted, not even for a moment.