Often-asked questions about our fee-only services how they differ from other financial services.
Q: What is a fee-only financial advisor and why is this so important?
Fee-Only means Fuller is compensated solely by fees paid by our clients, as we do not accept commissions or compensation from any non-client source nor do we sell any products. We believe there is a significant “conflict of interest” if an advisor stands to gain financially from the purchase of any product he or she recommends to you. In essence, we sit on the same side of the table as you, looking out exclusively for your investment interests.
We distinguish ourselves from other advisors that are referred to as “Fee-based” or “Fee-offset” as they charge both a fee and receive commissions from selling products. Fuller uses neither method. As a registered investment advisors Fuller has a fiduciary duty to our clients. The client’s best interests must be placed before our own.
Q: What is independent advisory?
Fuller is independent, meaning we have no outside entity to unduly influence our client advice. Our independence enables us to select World-class partners in the joint duty of managing our clients’ money. Fuller focuses on clients’ financial planning requirements and asset allocation decisions and in most instances utilizes partners for the duties of security selection.
In addition, mutual fund “supermarkets” like TD Ameritrade enable Fuller and our clients to enjoy substantial economies of scale in asset trading and custodial services. Because of our relationships with these partners, Fuller Wealth Advisors’ clients are considered “institutional clients” which opens up a breadth of opportunities for advanced investing.
We strongly believe the combined breadth of services and cost effectiveness available from this approach as a fee-only independent advisor, building balanced, global portfolios is unmatched by any single service provider.
Q: What is a fiduciary?
Fuller is independent, meaning we have no outside entity to unduly influence our client advice. Our independence enables us to select World-class partners in the joint duty of managing our clients’ money. Fuller focuses on your particular financial planning requirements and asset allocation decisions and in most instances utilizes partners for the duties of security selection.
Q: Who does Fuller Wealth Advisors serve?
We provide services to individuals, families, businesses, trusts, not-for-profit organizations and retirement plans who wish to pursue long-term goals based on our strategic approach to wealth management.
Q: What are our broad services.
We conduct an initial discovery and planning meeting to determine clients’ financial needs in relation to their unique values, goals, personal, professional and institutional relationships, assets, and interests. We then form a far-reaching plan to achieve those goals. We gather expertise – or we are prepared to work with existing alliances – to ensure that each component within the strategy is carefully executed and seamlessly integrated to serve the overall purpose.
Q: How much does it cost to hold initial planning meetings with Fuller Wealth Advisors?
There is no cost for our initial Discovery and Investment Plan meetings. We feel it’s time well spent to first get to know one another before we seek a mutual long-term commitment and begin charging a fee.
Q: Do we have a minimum portfolio size?
A typical portfolio for us ranges between $500,000 and $750,000. If your current asset level does not meet our typical minimum requirements but you have unique circumstances you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
Q: What happens to my current holdings if I become a client?
Before any changes are made, we first analyze your existing portfolio, develop an investment policy statement and discuss our recommendations with you. Our overall goal is for your portfolio to make sense for you and your financial goals and objectives, in the most cost-effective way possible. We work to achieve these goals by identifying and capturing your specific willingness, ability and need to take on market risk via appropriate asset allocation diversification; to minimize the expenses involved in investing; to effectively manage for appropriate asset location between taxable and non-taxable accounts; and to eliminate unnecessary complexity within the collection of accounts within your portfolio. If existing holdings lend themselves to these objectives, we will maintain the positions. If changes are required, we work with you to ensure any transitions occur as smoothly and cost-effectively as possible.
Q: Do Fuller Advisors trade and hold my assets for me?
As part of our investment management engagement, you grant us Limited Power of Attorney (LPOA) to execute transactions on your behalf, yet you remain in control of your assets. All accounts are are held in your name and maintained at an institutional class custodial level with TD Ameritrade.
Q: What is Fuller’s investment approach?
For managing your financial portfolio, we offer a prudent approach based on our fiduciary relationship with you as your trusted investment advisor. Fiduciary duty is generally considered the highest legal duty one party can have to another. As a Registered Investment Advisor firm, we have a legal responsibility to always act in your best interests – and we take that responsibility very seriously.
Many other financial service firms offer an approach based on “active management.” Active management assumes that the markets are generally inefficient, allowing clever individuals to regularly exploit and profit from the anomalies (beyond the costs of consistently seeking and executing such trades). And yet, there is overwhelming academic evidence that the collective wisdom of all market players – especially in today’s electronic era – results in highly efficient markets. Markets reflect fair pricing almost instantaneously upon release of any good or bad price-related news. In offering a “passive asset class” approach, we heed the academic wisdom. We assume that the opportunities to exploit inefficiencies are too few and far between to effectively and affordably pursue.
Q: Is it possible to receive planning or investment advice on an hourly basis?
We typically nurture long-term relationships with our clients performing work on a retainer basis only. Yet if a situation warrants a specific appeal which can evolve into a long-term engagement, still give us a call and we can discuss a course of action.
Q: What does the term “investable assets” mean?
Investable assets include all liquid and near-liquid assets (brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, 401(k), trusts, etc.) that we can invest on your behalf. It does not include the value of use assets like your home or equity in a business, etc.
Q: How long does it usually take to go from an initial meeting to a financial planning meeting?
We try to have the initial meeting, goal setting, and financial plan meeting all within 6 weeks but it really depends on how quickly you provide us with all of the relevant information.
Q: What does your fee incorporate? Do you have a separate fee for the financial plan?
Our fee includes both financial planning advice as well as ongoing investment management. We do not charge anything additional for the financial plan.
Q: Will Fuller do just a financial plan for me?
Our objective is to help you achieve your long term financial goals and objectives which require a holistic approach to all things financial in your life. Therefore, we do not typically provide a la carte or one-off services.
Q: Will Fuller do just investment management for me?
We believe that financial planning and investment management are two sides of the same coin; therefore, we do not provide just investment management services. We need to understand your complete financial picture to provide ongoing advice.
Q: What do I need to bring for an initial meeting?
We will send you a questionnaire to complete in advance of the initial meeting. In addition, we would like you to bring all of your financial statements so we can get a sense of your assets and liabilities.
Q: How often will Fuller review my portfolio and send me statements?
We review portfolios quarterly. If there are major changes in your life, we can do so more often. All of our clients receive comprehensive statements on a quarterly basis.