Helping You Understand Your Costs
We understand that costs and fees are often hurdles to financial growth. We also understand that the price only matters when it's compared to the value it provided. When working with any financial professional, it's important to discuss with them exactly how their service model works, what it costs, and what you get.
If you're like most people, you've heard the cost for help isn't worth it.
We believe the cost for assistance in planning, strategizing, implementing, and maintaining a financial strategy is only relevant in the absence of value.
That's why our pricing models and structures are built to help provide everything you need to accomplish your financial goals because building a financial strategy on solid ground takes more than a few clicks of a button.
We believe that our client's success, is the key performance indicator for our success. While we can't guarantee market returns, we can guarantee that any strategy you pursue will have the guidance and support of a highly competent, and well-trained financial professional every step of the way.
Know Your Costs
While many investors and individuals "know their cost", we have found that most of them just know what their annual fee is. The annual investment management fee is usually the largest fee, but there are several other cost factors to consider in your return.
See How "Invisible Costs"
Impacted This Portfolio
This hypothetical example assumes an investor believes they have received an 8.00% annual rate of return in their taxable, non-retirement portfolio. They have based their assumption off of their most recent annual statement of investment performance they received from their financial professional.
Hover or Tap On The Charts To Learn More.
Hypothetical Investor Return
In this example, an investor receives their annual performance statement and skips through the pages to find where it states the portfolio's "Annualized Return" is 8.00%. For many this is where the understanding ends, but there is more to it.
(0.51% Tax Expense)
Once the accrued tax cost is assessed against the return, the return drops.
(1.00% Advisor Fee)
The financial advisor fee is accounted for and assessed to the return.
(0.25% Platform Fee)
Most portfolios built on platforms with other companies have additional fees for use.
(0.56% Fund Expense)
This portfolio is all mutual fund & ETF so internal expenses must be paid for by the investor from assets.
Despite recent uber-inflation, a historical average is 3.00%. Current inflation conditions can make this even worse.
2.68% Net-Real Return
After all taxes, costs, expenses, fees, and inflation adjustments. The 8.00% return becomes 2.68%.
Discover The Powerful Guidance Provided By Rethink Wealth & Our Financial Professionals.
Pricing & Fee
Frequently Asked Questions
Each financial product has variable, and numerous ways it can apply cost to your assets. For transparency, and quick understanding here is a quick formula:
Advisor Fee + Platform Fee + Internal Expense = Total Annual Investment Management Expense (TAIME)
For example, if you had a 1.00% advisor fee, a 0.25% platform fee, and an average internal expense of 0.25% your TAIME would be 1.50%.
It's important to note that financial advisors can only influence the advisor fee. Platform fees and internal expenses are determined, managed, and collected by the respective owners and operators of that business.
There are many ways to pay for the costs associated with investment management, but the majority of investors will elect to have their account balance charged quarterly for these expenses.
For example, a 1.00% advisor fee would charge quarterly at 0.25% regardless if the market is up or down.
It is typical, but not guaranteed for the platform fees and internal expenses to work in the same or similar manner.
The fee is always covered through an intentional allotment of 1.00% - 2.00% of the total assets into a cash position. If there is ever a short-fall, your advisor will be notified and you can determine whether to pay it directly or sell investments to cover it and re-establish the cash position.
Most product types can be bundled into the TAIME. For example, a portfolio holding Certificates of Deposit, a bond ladder, mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, and cash can all be built into one annual cost for ease and simplicity in management.
It can also be modularly built. For example, since stocks and ETFs can be traded on commission the portfolio could be broken into two accounts. An annual fee account (also known as a "Wrap Account") could stay with the CDs, Bond Ladder, and Mutual Funds and a transactional Brokerage account could hold the stocks and ETFs. It's important to weigh the pros and cons of this decision with a financial professional.
Adding products into your strategy such as Cash Value Life Insurance, and Annuities can either increase or decrease your total costs depending on how you designed and use them.
While the amount of money paid in fees may increase, the actual fee percentage will typically decrease as asset sizes increase.
This is because of an industry-wide approach to using "break points" or asset size milestones that decrease the advisor fee automatically.
For example, let's assume an investor has an account with a value of $1,000,000.
If for the first $500,000 the annual fee is 1.00% and the next $500,000 is 0.90%. The blended breakpoint cost is 0.95%.
Each financial advisor is free to determine this schedule as it best fits their practice model so they should be discussed directly with the financial professional you select.
Most firms would suggest you explore the Global Investment Performance Standard (GIPS https://www.gipsstandards.org/standards/) to learn more, but the reality is that even GIPS isn't perfect because when and if a company can find a loophole, it will use it - and GIPS has plenty.
The best way to do this is to calculate your TAIME (Advisor Fee + Platform Fee + Internal Expense) and then add your total additional expenses like taxes, adjust for inflation and then subtract that number from the stated return.
There is a flip-box example on the page above demonstrating this concept.
An appropriate fee is one that is transparent, clearly communicated to you, definitively understood, and benchmarked to the value you have received.
That's a long way of saying, it's up to you. It's highly encouraged not to benchmark the cost you pay to your friends, colleagues, and peers. Instead, we recommend benchmarking the value that is provided for you personally.
You should ask yourself:
- Am I frustrated with my advisor consistently?
- Do I feel like I am on track towards my goals?
- Do I feel like my advisor is "in my corner" and always looking out for me?
- Would I recommend my advisor to my friends and family without ever worrying about what will happen?
- Are my expectations being managed for the market and economic conditions?
- Do I feel like all of my goals have a plan to accomplish them?
- When I call my advisor, do I get the questions I needed answered?
- Does my advisor call me with ideas to help me out financially?
- Are my returns on par with my expectations?
This, and many other introspections can help you determine if you are paying an appropriate fee.
Building wealth is equal parts art and science and having an advisor that can meet you at the intersection of both is an optimal relationship.
You have likely heard this in the media, and it was also likely a while ago because the annuity product market has been revolutionizing the last 5-10 years with an emphasis on reducing fees, many of which boast low to no fees at all.
This doesn't mean they're "free" however.
The annuity company will have use of your funds for the set period of time (usually not less than 7 years) that they can utilize to generate financial growth.
Because annuities are long-term products, they typically carry Contingent Deferred Sales Charges (CDSCs), otherwise known as "Clawbacks". They range from 7.00% - 10.00% and decrease every year the annuity contract is held from the date it is placed.
For example, if an investor purchases $100,000 in annuity with a 7.00% CDSC and cancels it 5 months later the account would be debited 7.00% or $7,000 in this instance. However, if the investor would have held the product for the duration of the CDSC schedule and then cancelled it, there would be no sales charge.
Low to no fee annuities also assume they are used as market hedging vehicles, rather than guaranteed income vehicles. Adding guaranteed income riders typically can increase the annual expense by 0.75% - 1.25%.
Discuss with your advisor if an annuity, and what type might be a fit for your goals to learn more.
Fortunately no, we only place investment management fees on investments that we manage on your behalf.
For example, an investor has a $2 million dollar business valuation, $1.5 million in real estate, $800,000 in a 401(k), and $300,000 in an IRA.
The annual advisor fee is 1.00%.
The annual planning fee is $1,500.
The investor would pay 1.00% of $300,000 ($3,000) and $1,500 for the annual plan for a total of $4,500, far less than 1.00% of the total assets.
There are many ways to structure your costs so be sure to discuss this at length with your financial professional.
For things like portfolios, there is an annual fee that is divided by 4 and charged quarterly from the cash balance required in your account (1.00%-2.00%).
If you want to buy/sell investments and only pay as you make changes, you can pursue a brokerage account which can help lower annual costs but may increase them later if trading volumes increase. There is typically a commission percentage applied to these buys and sells.
Annuities typically pay the advisor or professional lump sum up front for the placement of the annuity, but if the annuity is cancelled the advisor or professional will then owe that money back which incentivizes advisors and professionals to ensure the duration of the product can be met before it is sold to investors.
Discuss your account type options, and share-classes with your financial advisor to learn more.