What are your fees?
As fee-only advisors, the only compensation we receive is paid directly by our clients. That way we avoid the conflicts of interests created by commissions or third party payments. Our fees vary according to the size of the portfolio we manage. Depending on that amount, our fees ranges from 1.25% to 0.25% of assets under management per year. Our fee is stated as an annual percentage of assets-under-management and it is withdrawn from client’s accounts in quarterly installments. The fee we have received is clearly reported to clients as part of their quarterly reports. Please see our SEC filing, ADV, Part II for complete information regarding our fees. A copy of the ADV, Part II is available on request.
What does your fee include?
Our fee involves two aspects. The first involves the science of investing: the value of systematic rebalancing, risk tolerance evaluation, diversification into appropriate asset classes, trading techniques, discipline and tax management. We believe we justify our fees on that aspect alone. Our fact-driven and objective approach gives us a significant advantage.
The second aspect involves the people aspect of financial planning: understanding our clients and providing ongoing guidance that is personal and relevant. That is where our combined background with thousands of clients is particularly helpful and valuable. Some of that ongoing advice helps clients avoid mistakes, seize opportunities, gain clarity and attain peace of mind. That guidance is formalized through annual financial reviews, but can also be informal meetings and conversations. However, that value is somewhat immeasurable—although we can occasionally put a number on it. For example, we advised a client on transferring his current property tax assessment to his new home. Consequently, he will save thousands of dollars a year for the rest of his life!
How does Alter Wealth Management, LLC differ from a large investment firm?
The main difference is the personal focus and attention we are able to give each client. True to our roots, our independence allows us to focus on what’s best for clients.
With fewer clients than large firms have, we take the time to really know them: their lifestyle, personality, tax situation, goals and specific situation, such as estate plans and investments other than securities.
We handle complex needs. Each client is unique and we have the resources to handle their needs as such. Our expertise allows us to address a variety of situations, such as the sale of a business, complicated tax matters, trusts and estate planning issues.
Our independence gives us the freedom to seek the best ideas and research and act on them. We are not confined to any particular research or methodology. We also do not face the pressure or incentive to sell particular products like there might be at other financial firms.
To offer our clients the resources and infrastructure of a large financial institution, we employ the services of Schwab Institutional (a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.) Yet, we are independent from Schwab and we work on behalf of our clients only.
Are you Wealth Managers?
Yes, we are. We also find that calling ourselves Personal Financial Advisors describes us better. As the name indicates, Wealth Management begins with wealth and ends with managing it. We prefer Personal Financial Advisor because it indicates that our starting-point is each person and our end-goal is advising him/her on financial matters.
What kind of clients do you serve?
Our clients are individuals and families who, like us, value and enjoy long-term relationships.
Clients who benefit most from our services believe that our ability to independently integrate a variety of expertise (such as investment management, financial and tax planning) efficiently serves their best interests.