WEALTH MANAGEMENT FAQS
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Find quick answers to questions ranging from our advisory fees and data security procedures to how to access our ADV Part 2A Brochure.
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Browse Our FAQs Below:
Is HoyleCohen a fiduciary?
Yes. We are bound to a fiduciary standard that was established as part of the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 and requires us to put our clients’ interests above our own. Unfortunately, there are many financial advisors and wealth managers who are not held to this standard, and who can – and do – accept compensation for the recommendations they make from someone other than their clients.
What is the role of the Qualified Custodian?
As a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) HoyleCohen is subject to the oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that sets forth certain rules that all RIAs must comply with. These rules are, at their core, designed to protect clients and ensure their funds are handled with the utmost care. One such rule is the requirement that the assets that HoyleCohen manages for you be held at what is known as a qualified custodian. According to the SEC, qualified custodians include banks and savings associations, registered broker dealers, futures commissions agents and certain foreign financial institutions.
With such a broad definition of what a qualified custodian can be, how do RIAs like HoyleCohen ensure that client assets and securities are in capable hands? There are several things we do on an ongoing basis to vet the custodians we have chosen on your behalf to ensure our continued confidence in their ability to safeguard your assets. First, we perform annual due diligence on the custodians we work with. This includes a review of their management structure, policies and procedures, data security, systems controls and risk mitigation strategies. We also conduct annual reviews of best execution at each custodian which involves comparing trade execution pricing as well as other services offered. Additionally, we incorporate feedback from our internal team regarding the speed and efficiency with which the service providers at each custodian handle and resolve client issues and concerns.
We have enjoyed positive experiences with all the custodians we have worked with over the years. However, as you may have heard, we recently made the decision to consolidate all our client accounts at a single custodian: Charles Schwab & Co. We have a longstanding relationship with Schwab, and they have consistently scored at the top of the list in both our due diligence and best execution reviews. Additionally, Schwab offers a myriad of cost and time savings advantages that contributed to this consolidation decision.
We are very confident in their controls and their leadership and impressed by the service offerings that they have available to clients and to our team. We look forward to an expanded relationship with Charles Schwab as we seek to deliver the best possible client experience.
Do you accept commissions on investment recommendations?
No. Hoyle Cohen is a wealth management advisory firm that always puts our clients’ interests first. We do not accept any compensation for investment recommendations we make to clients.
Do you have a minimum asset level or fee to become a client?
A good HoyleCohen/client fit is most important to us. That said, our stated minimum requirement is $500,000 of investment assets or a $7,500 per year minimum annual advisory fee. We prefer clients who meet the *Accredited Investor standard since they can take better advantage of our investment platform. We do make exceptions on a client-by-client basis. This includes not engaging a client who meets these minimum requirements but who we believe is not a good fit.
*As of 2018, an accredited investor in the U.S. must have a net worth of at least $1,000,000, (excluding the value of his or her primary residence), or have income of at least $200,000 each year for the last two years ($300,000 combined income if married), and have the expectation to make the same amount in the current year. The term “accredited investor” is defined in Rule 501 of Regulation D of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
What if I don’t live near one of your offices?
We have clients all over the U.S. While many come into our offices, our technology makes it easy to serve clients wherever they are. Our client portal allows them to access information securely from anywhere in the world and we can conduct video meetings and reviews if they desire. In some cases, our wealth management advisors will travel to meet with clients, even if it means getting on a plane.
How are your advisory fees determined?
Ongoing advisory fees are either based on investment assets under management, generally determined according to our fee schedule, or based on a flat annual fee that is revisited periodically. We agree on the fee with each client prior to providing advisory services, and we reserve the right to charge a minimum fee, reduced fee or no fee.
New clients often engage in a comprehensive financial planning process. When they do, we typically charge a separate fixed fee ranging from $2,500 to $15,000 depending on the nature and complexity of the services provided. Ongoing planning services are then included in the overall advisory fee and are not charged separately.
We do not charge any performance-based fees (that is, fees based on a share of the gains or appreciation of a client’s assets) nor do we ever accept commissions on any investment strategies we offer or recommend.
You can download our Form ADV here.
How are HoyleCohen advisors compensated?
Our compensation programs are designed to support our obligation to act in our clients’ best interests and our mission to enrich lives by providing expert, diligent care of each client’s financial well being. Our advisors are typically paid a salary plus bonus for serving clients well and for contributing to the wellbeing of the firm. In no instance does HoyleCohen or any employee – including our advisors – receive commissions or compensation based on specific investment recommendations.
Will you have access to my assets? How are they protected?
We can and do make investment decisions on behalf of our clients by virtue of our advisory agreements. However, we do not have actual custody of our clients’ investment assets, nor can we accept money directly from clients or client accounts. As a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), we have relationships with independent third parties who serve as our clients’ custodians. Currently, our clients’ primary custodians are Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade and Millennium Trust Company. We also have a direct relationship with American Funds, who acts as custodian for some client 529 Plan accounts. Independent custodians provide an additional layer of protection for clients’ assets.
How is my information protected?
We have privacy policies and internal procedures for handling private information. In addition, we spend a lot of time and money trying to ensure our technology environment is secure. For instance, we perform activities called “vulnerability scans” and “penetration tests” whereby we pay outside companies to simulate cyberattacks on our systems in order to identify and address any vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity is a moving target, so we update our systems and perform these tests regularly.
What if my advisor retires or leaves?
We build long-term continuity into our business. Each client is served by a team with more than one advisor as a point of contact and all key client interactions are documented in our systems. This ensures things get done if an advisor or any team member is out for an extended period. When an advisor nears retirement, we formally introduce a second advisor into each relationship and discuss the transition with each client well ahead of time. This provides ample time for the new relationship to develop and for the transition to be smooth and uneventful.
Where do I go for more information?
If you think you may be a good fit with HoyleCohen, we would love to have a conversation with you. In addition, we are required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to create and provide to all potential clients document called the ADV Part 2A Brochure. This brochure is written in plain English and contains a lot of information about us, including the types of advisory services we offer, our fee schedule, educational backgrounds and disciplinary actions or potential conflicts of interest.
You can download the ADV Part 2A Brochure here.
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