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How to Recognize Investment Service Models

IFG BlogThe average investor can often have a difficult time understanding just how different investment professionals operate and who they’re really dealing with.

There are three basic service model environments where investment professionals can be found; but, what can make these environments even more difficult to understand is that it’s possible for two to be combined… or one can be masqueraded to look like something else entirely!   When you add to all that the alphabet soup of credentials and designations – some excellent and most meaningless – it’s no wonder the average investor has trouble figuring it all out.

While it would be impossible to address everything without writing a book, here’s an admittedly cursory overview of the three environments.  All have their selling points and negatives – and none is intrinsically better than the other –  but, since I’ve worked in all three, maybe I can help shed a little light on this and make them a little easier to understand.

1.      The Captive Registered Representative

This is how many, including yours truly, began their careers; and, in fact, many never leave!  The captive RR is someone you may know as a stockbroker, although the broker-dealer is actually the employer firm and the person you’re thinking of is a Registered Representative of the broker-dealer firm.   These firms can be the well-known large ‘wire houses’ with widely-recognized names or they can be smaller regional or even local firms.  In all captives, the RR is an employee of the firm and it is the firm that must sign ‘selling agreements’ with outside product providers if the RRs are going to offer anything other than in-house product.

I began my career in such a firm that provided all the services and infrastructure.  The job of an RR was is to generate revenue for the firm.  The hierarchy looked something like this:

What you may not know:  In the old days, these large firms made most of their money from their own packaged in-house proprietary product, including mutual funds, unit investment trusts (UITs), and other offerings.  I don’t know how true that is today – my guess is it’s probably much less so than in those days.   The reason I think this is because the wirehouse industry’s margins have been declining steadily over the years, indicating fewer proprietary product sales and evidenced by (1) a greater number of mergers that never seem to end, and (2) the fact that broker payouts – the percentage they pay their RRs on generated revenues – have been declining.  Brokers throughout the industry are having a tougher time ‘keeping their desks’ as margins have put pressure on RRs to increase revenue production.  This may be a reason why some, if not all, within that community are resisting the adoption of a fiduciary standard.

As I said, some RRs never leave the large wirehouses, for a variety of reasons, including the large in-house back-office infrastructure support, etc.   And, let’s face it, some may not be cut-out for self-employment.  For those who are, they often take the next step.

2.     The Independent Registered Representative

Some RRs who don’t want to remain ‘captive’ often want to set-out on their own and open up a private practice.  When a RR makes the decision to ‘break free’, they have to pay their own bills.  In my early days, that meant getting office space, phones connected, office furniture, supplies, and paying for my own insurance and a thousand and one other things; but, I could now select my own broker-dealer (BD) to function as my back-office and process all the paperwork through the various providers, etc.   

There are hundreds of BDs available to the independent RRs and they come in all shapes and sizes with different attributes.   Since my need was primarily for back-office processing, I wanted one that had (1) prompt and quality personal service, and (2) good relationships with quality custodians and other service providers.  Today, almost all can probably fit that bill.   While the RR is not an employee of the BD, the BD must still have Selling Agreements with product providers before the RR can access them for his/her clients.

One of the things about independence that independent RRs like is that the hierarchy can be flipped, which, to my mind, creates more of a ‘client first’ environment.

What you may not know:  An independent RR may be operating out of a small office in your local community; but, don’t let that fool you.  That independent likely has access to a huge array of institutional money managers and widely respected and recognized asset custodians and other service providers.   In fact, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if your local RR office actually had a wider menu of availabilities than the major wirehouse down the street, since many BD operations have provided their RRs with greater access to the marketplace.   An independent is far more likely able to provide you with a choice of custodians, etc., than a captive whose employer itself may want to be the custodian.

Something else you may not know:   Ever walk into your local bank branch and see the investment desk sitting somewhere in the lobby or off to the side?   When you sit down at that desk, you may think you’re still in the bank; but, guess again.  There’s no FDIC insurance there!  The likely scenario:  Some BD has signed a deal with the bank to private-label a brokerage service.  Not bad; you should simply be aware.

3.  The Independent Fiduciary Model:  The “pure” fee-only Registered Investment Advisor (RIA)

Some independent RRs finally decide to complete the process:  They want to drop all sales and commissions and gain access to the entire world of products and service providers, including those who don’t work through sales channels.  In my case, since I had already been in business in my own office for fifteen years, it was a simple process to register as an advisor and simply drop all the selling licenses.  An RIA must avoid conflicts of interest and operate under a fiduciary standard:  The clients’ interests must be paramount.

The model, however, looks much like the independent RR:

What you may not know:   Captive RRs and independent RRs both very likely work for or with a BD that is dually-registered, making the RRs also RIA representatives.  This allows them to work on a fee basis, as well as on commission.  Some will tout their fiduciary status during the planning stage; but, you should ask if they will operate under that status during the investment implementation stage.  It’s one thing to “adopt a fiduciary standard’ and quite enough to accept fiduciary status in writing.  From what I’ve observed, few, if any, BDs will allow their RRs to accept this status, whether they’re captive or independent.   That doesn’t mean they aren’t honest or that they don’t do good work; it’s just something you should be aware of.

Also be aware that some RIA firms provide investment management, asset custody, and portfolio reporting services all in-house while others prefer to work in a purely advisory capacity using third-party providers for the various services. 

Example:  In my own practice, most clients’ assets receive custody services from Pershing (owned by Bank of New York-Mellon).  All institutional managers are independent of the custodian and all portfolio reporting is provided by third-party services independent of the managers.  All parties are compensated by client fees only, as are my advisory services.   While it may sound like more fees, it’s often actually less.  All these services are usually ‘bundled’ by investment providers; I just unbundle them and ‘shop’ them individually, which can result in savings.

While this overview just scratches the service, it might give you some idea of the playing field.  In the final analysis, choosing an advisor is a personal choice.  You should find someone you’re comfortable with… and someone who will talk with you like an adult.  Avoid the ‘glad handers’ who tell you what you want to hear; find one that will talk straight and tell you what you need to hear, even if you think you’re an investment genius.  

Good luck!

Jim Lorenzen, CFP®, AIF®

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Jim Lorenzen, CFP®, AIF®Jim Lorenzen is a Certified Financial Planner® and An Accredited Investment Fiduciary® in his 21st year of private practice as Founding Principal of The Independent Financial Group, a fee-only registered investment advisor with clients located in New York, Florida, and California.  IFG provides investment and fiduciary consulting to retirement plan sponsors and selected individual investors.  IFG does not sell products, earn commissions, or accept any third-party compensation or incentives of any description.  Nothing contained in this material is intended to constitute legal, tax, securities, or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment to the individual reader.  The general information provided should not be acted upon without obtaining specific legal, tax, and investment advice from an appropriate licensed professional. 

 

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IFG does not sell products, earn commissions, or accept any third-party compensation or incentives of any description.  IFG does not provide legal or tax advice and nothing contained herein should be construed as  securities  or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment to the individual reader.  The general information provided should not be acted upon without obtaining specific legal, tax, and investment advice from an appropriate licensed professional.  The Independent Financial Group does not sell financial products or securities and nothing contained herein is an offer or recommendation to purchase any security or the services of any person or organization.

How To Calculate Retirement Needs

Jim Lorenzen, CFP®, AIF®

Jim Lorenzen, CFP®, AIF®

A Sample Case Study

While there is an abundance of software available to help planners and advisors in projecting financial needs for clients, the fact is few do an adequate job in this area.   It pays to know what’s “under the hood” of your software – or maybe better – to be able to do some meaningful calculations yourself, if only to demonstrate you actually do have a prudent process.  Anyone with a financial calculator (HP12-C or HP10B-II, for example) can perform these calculations.  Remember, however, even with these, there’s still some ambiguity.

 A Simplified Hypothetical Case Study Problem

Carl is 50 years old and has $500,000 in his 401(k).  He wants to retire in 13 years with $50,000 a year, in addition to Social Security, and wants his money to last 30 years (he isn’t worried about leaving money to his children).   He believes inflation over that period will average 3.5%.   He feels a long-term target of 6% is a realistic annual target return.   With that target in mind, is his $500,000 enough or how much more will he have to put away?    Note:  Let’s assume Carl is in the 40% (combined state and federal) marginal tax bracket.

Answer:

There are three steps:

  1. Calculate the first-year need ($50,000) in inflated future dollars to protect purchasing power.
  2. Calculate the present value of the total needed for 30 years in retirement, beginning in the fist year, at the assumed investment rate adjusted for inflation and taxes, if additional is to be saved outside a tax-deferred vehicle.
  3. Calculate the annual amount to be saved by the end of each year and convert to a monthly amount.

Step #1.  The First Year Need.

                  $50,000    = PV

                  3.5%  = I

                  13   =  n

                  (solve) FV=  $78,197 This is the amount needed for the 1st year.

Step #2.  Calculate the Present Value of total need at beginning of retirement for 30-year period with earnings discounted for inflation: 

                  Compute after-tax yield:             6% * (1-.40) =    3.6%

                  Compute PV of total need for retirement discounted with inflation-adjusted returns. 

                  (BEGIN mode)

                  [((1.036/1.035)-1) x 100]    =        0.0966 =  i  (Inflation-adjusted tax-deferred rate would be 2.41%)

                  $78,197     =      PMT

                  30   =    n

                  (solve) PV =  $2,313,376  Present value of required amount at retirement.

Step #3.  Calculate the amount to be saved by the end of each year to reach the goal:

                  (END mode)

                  $2,313,376  =    FV

                  – $500,000  =   PV  (HP12-C and HP10-B-II conventions require (-) sign

                  3.6   =  i  (note:  if post-retirement tax-bracket is different, adjust this figure)

                  13  =   n

                  (solve) PMT =  $93,838  (divide by 12 for monthly amount to be saved)

Can Carl really save over $90,000 a year?  Even if the annual amount inside tax-deferred vehicles dropped the annual requirement to $66,036, it would appear some adjustments might have to be made.  This is when prioritization and goal-based planning can be important.

Individual Investors Gravitating To RIAs

Jim Lorenzen, CFP®, AIF®

Jim Lorenzen, CFP®, AIF®

Just as many brokers (registered representatives of broker-dealers) have been moving from their brokerage houses to become independent registered investment advisors over recent years, it appears many individual investors seeking advice are learning who these people are and are following them.

According to TD Ameritrade’s latest RIA survey, trust and customer service are the most important reasons why clients opt to work with registered investment advisors (RIAs) instead of commissioned brokers.

TD Ameritrade’s quarterly query of 502 RIAs, appearing in this month’s issue of Financial Planning,  found that 29% of clients using RIAs said that the RIA’s  fiduciary responsibility to work in the best interest of clients was the No. 1 reason they got their business.    Placing second at 21% was more personalized service and a competitive fee structure, just ahead of dissatisfaction with their current or former full commission broker (19%).

Tom Bradley, president of TD Ameritrade Institutional, said in the report, “The survey results support what we believe is a long term trend of investors gravitating to the fiduciary model… Investors may increasingly seek the confidence that can come from working with independent RIAs who sit on the same side of the table and are required by law to put their clients’ interests first.”

According to the survey, 55% of new business coming to RIAs are coming from traditional full-commission firms.  Not much of a surprise, since that’s where most RIAs came from themselves, including yours truly.

It appears the trend is due to the fact that responsible practitioners want the same thing their seem to desire:  A high level of professionalism characterized by a `client-first’ fiduciary standard coupled with a non-conflicted environment.  

Frankly, it was the reason I began my journey to independence back in 1992; and, it’s gratifying to see that individual investors are finally catching on.

Too Much Stock?

Jim Lorenzen, CFP®

Jim Lorenzen, CFP®

The Putnam Institute released a study recently that reached a conclusion that will surprise many clients – and advisors, too!  According to their research, the optimal equity allocation for a retiree’s portfolio is about 10%!   Huh?

They did say that, depending on various factors, the optimal equity allocation could be as high as 25%.  Is this surprising?

Well, maybe and maybe not.   While most academics and advisors consider longevity or inflation to be investors’ biggest risks – a position I have taken many times, as well – the biggest risk, according to the study, is `sequence of return’ risk!  This is an issue that particularly affects investors who are withdrawing money in retirement.  

Actually, this is an issue I addressed in my live program, and paper by the same name, “Why Most Retirement Plans Will Probably Fail.   For those who need retirement income from their investment portfolio, sequence of return is, indeed, a bigger risk than the raw average annual return number itself!

Let’s face it, three different investments might boast an attractive annual average return rate; but it pays to look at just how those returns were achieved.  Some might provide a smoother ride than others, but not usually.  Remember, it’s true:  Past performance is NOT a predictor of future success.  If it were, winners would be easy to spot and everyone would be rich!

So, how do you reduce volatility and increase your chances of reaching your retirement goals?  Here’s your two-step answer: 

(1)  Make sure you have an asset allocation that’s optimized for your needs, resources, and risk profile; and,

(2)  Keep an eye on your costs.  

Portfolio volatility is controlled through asset allocation, not investment selection.  Often, an investor will think his portfolio is diversified only to find out it’s really concentrated.   Diversification is about correlation, not sectors.  If you’re not sure what that means, talk to your advisor.  Don’t mistake duplication for diversification. 

As for costs, it doesn’t make sense to pay extra; but, it also doesn’t make sense to be penny-wise and pound foolish.  I’ll never forget the story about the investor who wanted to avoid 1% in advisor fees only to lose 40% of his portfolio value because his portfolio was too heavily concentrated in his favorite stock when the market turned on him.   He’ll go to his grave thinking an advisor couldn’t have done better when, in truth, few could have done worse – and the proper asset allocation would almost certainly done far better.

As you can see, proper allocation and portfolio efficiency are two important keys to your success.  If you haven’t had a `portfolio stress-test’, call your advisor for a checkup.

 

Jim

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Jim Lorenzen is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and in his 20th year of private practice as Founding Principal of The Independent Financial Group, a fee-only registered investment advisor with clients located in New York, Florida, and California.   IFG does not sell products, earn commissions, or accept any third-party compensation or incentives of any description.  Nothing contained in this material is intended to constitute legal, tax, securities, or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment to the individual reader.  The general information provided should not be acted upon without obtaining specific legal, tax, and investment advice from an appropriate licensed professional.  The Independent Financial Group does not sell financial products or securities and nothing contained herein is an offer or recommendation to purchase any secrity or the services of any person or organization

Why Buy An Annuity? Build Your Own!

Jim Lorenzen, CFP®

Jim Lorenzen, CFP®

You’ve heard the annuity pitch.  It says you can participate in market gains while being protected against loss!  You can do the same thing! 

Are insurance companies able to invest in some hidden market that you can’t access?   Of course not.   They access the same markets you do; so, why pay them to do what you can do yourself?

This is a nifty little strategy I learned when I first entered the investment business twenty years ago.   Last week  I saw an article in Financial Planning magazine that reminded me of it and I thought you’d like to see how it works.

In all fairness, there may be one reason to purchase an annuity, but I’ll get to that later.  For now, here’s how you can create your own.

I’ll use round numbers to make it easy.   Let’s say you’d like to invest $100,000.  You’re willing to pursue a strategy that allows you to invest some of it in the market, but you want a guarantee you won’t lose your $100,000 at the end of five years.

First let’s guarantee the $100,000

According to Bloomberg, as I write this, the 5-year U.S. Treasury is yielding 2.25%.  You can check current rates now.

What amount do you have to invest in 5-year Treasuries today at 2.25% so that the bonds will mature at $100,000 five years from now?  According to my trusty HP-12C, it’s $89,471 – I won’t bore you with the pennies.  You put the other $10,529 into stocks or something that replicates an index, like an S&P 500 Index fund or ETF (you can’t invest in an index itself). 

Now, let’s face it, anything can happen in the stock market.    Here are three hypothetical outcomes – the real world is bound to be different:

  1. You lose half your money.  You get $5,264 back from your stocks.   You end-up with $100,000 from your treasury + $5,264 from stocks:  Total: $105,264.   Not very good, but at least you have your money with a little profit.
  2. Your stocks go nowhere.  You end-up with $100,000 from your Treasury and $10,529 in stocks:  Total: $110,529.  Still not great, but you did average 2.2% per year on your money.
  3. Your stocks go up.   Let’s not talk about doubling your money.  Let’s assume 9% a year – an assumption everyone on the planet thought reasonable until the `meltdown’ of 2008 destroyed all the averages.   At that hypothetical rate – who can predict? – you’d end-up with $16,200 in stocks to add to your $100,000 in maturing Treasuries.  Total: $116,200 – you would average 3.05% per year.

 

Not bad, considering you’ve eliminated your risk of loss!

“But Jim”, you say, “Annuities are tax-deferred!”  

Yes,they are.  But, when you take your money out, it’s taxed at ordinary income rates!   Stock dividends get favorable tax treatment.   Not only that, but if you die first, the cost-basis is stepped-up for your heirs!   Hmmm.

Insurance companies can go out of business, too!  I like the Treasury `guarantee’ better –  I use quotes only because the word `guarantee’ doesn’t appear anywhere on a Treasury or any other government note, bill, or bond.  The wording is, `backed by the full faith and credit of….’.   Nevertheless, it’s a better guarantee.  We’re not Greece, yet.

Now, my little strategy discussed above does not take into account taxes or inflation – the latter being the huge, hidden tax ignored by too many people.   So, you shouldn’t pursue this, or any other, strategy without discussing this with your advisor first.

Okay, so why would someone want to buy an annuity when they could just do it on their own?  There might be one good reason.   The insurance company will do it and often the investor won’t.  What I mean by that is individual investors often lack discipline.  They’ll begin a strategy, but they don’t stick with it.  They hear a new story or investment idea and are prone to change horses prematurely.  The insurance company will see it through; and will likely charge the investor a surrender charge for leaving early – sometimes those nasty things do serve a purpose.

The drawback:  Investors shouldn’t purchase anything unless you know how it fits-in with an overall plan!   

Success always begins with a plan.   I’m here to help and I hope I can help you; but, if you want to find someone else, you might be able to find the right professional here.

Jim

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Jim Lorenzen is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and in his 20th year of private practice as Founding Principal of The Independent Financial Group, a fee-only registered investment advisor with clients located in New York, Florida, and California.  He’s been a headline speaker at conventions throughout the United States, Canada, and the U.K. and has appeared in `The Journal of Compensation and Benefits’, as well as in The Profit Sharing Council of America’s `Insights’.    Jim has also appeared on American Airlines’ `Sky Radio’, heard on more than 19,000 flights.  IFG does not sell products, earn commissions, or accept any third-party compensation or incentives of any description.  Nothing contained herein should be regarded as tax or legal advice and the reader is urged to seek competent counsel to address those issues.   The above represents the author’s opinion and should not be regarded as investment advice which is provided only to IFG clients upon completion of a formal financial and investment plan.   For questions or comments, you can reach Jim at 805.265.5416 or through the IFG website, http://www.indfin.com.

How Long Will Your Money Last

Jim Lorenzen, CFP®

Jim Lorenzen, CFP®

If you plan on withdrawing from your retirement savings for a long period of time, it is important to examine the effect various withdrawal rates may have on a portfolio.

Several factors need to be examined when determining an investor’s withdrawal rate. The answer may depend upon the portfolio mix, how long an investor expects to withdraw from the portfolio, and the investor’s risk aversion and consumption patterns.

This image looks at a hypothetical 50% stock/50% bond portfolio and the effect various inflation-adjusted withdrawal rates have on the end value of the portfolio over a long payout period. The hypothetical portfolio has an initial starting value of $500,000. It is assumed that a person retires on Dec. 31, 1972, and withdraws an inflation-adjusted percentage of the initial portfolio wealth ($500,000) each year beginning in 1973.

How Long Will Your Money Last?

How Long Will Your Money Last?

 

 

The reproduction of this Morningstar slide leaves a lot to be desired – where’s a nine-year-old when you need one? –  but the withdrawal rates from left to right are 9%, 8%, 7%, 6%, and 5%.  As you can see, the higher the withdrawal rate, the greater the chance of potential shortfall.   The lower the rate, the less likely you are to outlive your portfolio.  Therefore, early retirees who anticipate long payout periods may want to consider assuming lower withdrawal rates.  For me personally, the comfort zone begins at 4%.  Naturally, 3% or less is better.

Government bonds are guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest,  but have not proven to be a hedge against inflation.   Meanwhile stocks are not guaranteed and have been more volatile than the other asset classes, yet have proven over time to provide real returns in excess of inflation and taxes.  The key, of course, is determining the mix of assets that ‘s right for your needs and risk profile.

As you know, it all begins with a plan.

Jim

 

 

About the data  

Stocks in this example are represented by the Standard & Poor’s 500®, which is an unmanaged group of securities and considered to be representative of the stock market in general. Bonds are represented by the five-year U.S. government bond and inflation by the Consumer Price Index. An investment cannot be made directly in an index. Each monthly withdrawal is adjusted for inflation. Each portfolio is rebalanced monthly. Assumes reinvestment of income and no transaction costs or taxes.

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Jim Lorenzen is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and in his 20th year of private practice as Founding Principal of The Independent Financial Group, a fee-only registered investment advisor with clients located in New York, Florida, and California.   IFG does not sell products, earn commissions, or accept any third-party compensation or incentives of any description.  Nothing contained in this material is intended to constitute legal, tax, securities, or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment to the individual reader.  The general information provided should not be acted upon without obtaining specific legal, tax, and investment advice from an appropriate licensed professional.  The Independent Financial Group does not sell financial products or securities and nothing contained herein is an offer or recommendation to purchase any security or the services of any person or organization.

Are You Managing Assets or Simply Collecting Investments?

Jim Lorenzen, CFP®

Jim Lorenzen, CFP®

It happens far more than you might imagine. 

New clients go through the normal first steps of the planning process:

  1. We establish a risk profile – How the client feels about money, including their expectations and attitudes about risk.
  2. We collect data – We list and categorize all current holdings for both taxable and tax-deferred accounts.  We then conduct a technology-driven portfolio analysis to determine the risk level of their current portfolio of investments.
  3. Revelations begin to appear:  Are the current investments, the rate of return, and the current risk level assumed in line with their risk profile, needs, and expectations?

What people say they want is different from what they’ve done.   In short, they haven’t created the portfolio characteristics they themselves said they want!  It’s not really their fault.  It’s just how things happen in the absence of relevant information.

Most investments tend to be `purchased’ at retail a-la-carte without regard to other holdings.   Based on my experience, this virtually always results in a portfolio they never would have purchased if they’d planned it in advance; but now, it’s the one they have.  Then, when bad things happen – they always seem to when you least expect it – they end-up with unpleasant surprises.

Here’s how to avoid this happening to you:

  1. Remember:  The plan comes first –  Is your plan out of date?   It is for most people, if they even have one.  You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint; so, it stands to reason a professionally-prepared financial blueprint for the future is a good thing to have before you start buying tools and materials.   Ideally, your plan is technology-driven so that key inputs are always being integrated from the back-end keeping your plan data and assumptions constantly current.
  2. Make sure your plan is complete –  The plan input should include all your holdings in all accounts, including credit unions, banks, brokerages, your company 401(k), etc.  If you don’t have complete information, you’ll have meaningless results – or worse, even potentially damaging, because you’ll be making decisions based on faulty data.  Dynamic plans will provide answers to `what-if’ questions like whether you buy a car every 3, 5, or 10 years – the results of your decisions 10, 15, or even 30 years out can be dramatic.
  3. Do a complete plan review at least annually –  Do you have an annual checkup with your doctor?  You probably should.  Your financial health is important, too; it also affects other people in your life.  If you have a constantly updated plan, your spouse will be in far better shape if something happens to you.  In my experience, spouses who are disengaged – they don’t know what they own or why they own it – are the ones who make the worst decisions at the very time they shouldn’t be making any big decisions at all. And, make sure your risk profile is updated at each review. 
  4. Consolidate assets and reporting – Do you have assets scattered among four or five institutions with the right-hand not knowing what the left-hand is doing?  Is your reporting fragmented without your receiving a true consolidated picture of what you actually own?  Few investors know the risk profile of their entire portfolio simply because they don’t have consolidated reporting and analysis.  How close is your portfolio profile to your true risk profile?  How close is your existing portfolio allocation to an optimized allocation?  Consolidating your planning, custodians, and reporting will simplify your life and probably reduce, rather than increase, your assumed risk. 

There’s a difference between making `investment’ decisions and managing assets.  One usually results in a collection of `scattered assets’ and the other usually results in a more simplified life with greater control over what you’re really doing.

Jim

Jim Lorenzen is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and in his 20th year of private practice as Founding Principal of The Independent Financial Group, a fee-only registered investment advisor with clients located in New York, Florida, and California.  He’s been a headline speaker at conventions throughout the United States, Canada, and the U.K. and has appeared in `The Journal of Compensation and Benefits’, as well as in The Profit Sharing Council of America’s `Insights’.    Jim has also appeared on American Airlines’ `Sky Radio’, heard on more than 19,000 flights.  IFG does not sell products, earn commissions, or accept any third-party compensation or incentives of any description.  Nothing contained herein should be regarded as tax or legal advice and the reader is urged to seek competent counsel to address those issues.   The above represents the author’s opinion and should not be regarded as investment advice which is provided only to IFG clients upon completion of a formal financial and investment plan.   For questions or comments, you can reach Jim at 805.265.5416 or through the IFG website, http://www.indfin.com.