Time to read: 5 minutes |
Many of these questions are addressed in our first Introductory Meeting, but we cover a lot of ground, so we’ve collected the most common follow up questions we get after prospective clients engage in their first meeting with BWM Financial.
Based on your situation and the size of your portfolio, we’ll quickly estimate the annual percentage fee, which is generally 1% or less, during our introductory meeting. By the end of our introductory process (third meeting-Recommendations), you’ll know exactly what you’re paying now and how BWM Financial costs compare. You can also refer back to the fee schedule provided in our Introductions booklet for more details on the breakpoints. At BWM Financial, our team focus is a foundational element of our culture and extends across the depth of our roster. Our integrated suite of departments includes a dedicated team of financial planners who have specialized designations tailored to the unique needs of the high-net-worth families we work with (read about CPWA® here). Our operations department is a driving force for execution and led by our CFP® practitioner. Investment management is captained directly by our President and supported by team members in each arena.
What is your ongoing service model?
We aim to impress prospective clients throughout our exploratory process, but we know that these are just the foundational steps for a long-standing relationship of excellence. Our ongoing service model includes proactively scheduled Wealth Management Review Meetings (office, web or phone), periodic Check-In calls between those meetings, timely replies to your questions, calls and emails, integrated technology for distinct efficiency, regularly published market commentary webinars and articles, and much more.
What are your account minimums?
We’ve chosen to serve a select group of clients with portfolios of over $1.5 million dollars so we can continue to provide exceptional service.
What types of clients do you typically work with?
We work with approximately 200 families*, typically adding 5-10 new clients each year. Most of our clients are considered high net worth, with $2 million-$50 million in investable assets. Many of our clients are/were San Diego locals, but approximately 20% are now spread throughout the rest of the country. Typically our clients are pre-retirees and envisioning what they want the rest of their life to look like. Many of our clients are financially savvy and comfortable with technology. They are focused on a broader perspective, while also valuing expertise, remaining open to ideas, and trusting us to implement good advice.
*Brokerage and advisory clients as of 5/2018
How do you interact with my CPA and Attorney?
Proactively protecting and managing your finances means that we’re coordinating all aspects of your financial life so that everything is working together to support your vision for your life. It’s why we offer to bring your other trusted advisors like your CPA, attorney, real estate agent or banker into the wealth planning process and then maintain open and ongoing communication with them.
Given the number of your existing clients, are you able to serve new clients effectively?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, as we’ve grown, we’ve continually added to our offering of services and consistently improved our client experience to ensure that clients are never left wanting more communication or reviews.
Who is LPL? Why haven’t I heard of them?
LPL Financial is the largest independent broker/dealer in the country*. Many clients don’t know the name because they’re not a consumer brand. Where many other firms direct funds into advertising or sponsoring sports events, LPL opts to direct their focus towards better technology, advisor tools, etc.
*As reported by Financial Planning magazine, June 1996-2017, based on total revenue.
What kind of asset protection will I have?
Accounts held at LPL are covered by the Securities Investor Protector Corporation (SIPC). In addition, LPL Financial has Excess of SIPC protection.* Read more about the coverage here.
*The LPL Financial SIPC Membership provides account protection up to a maximum of $500,000 per customer, of which $250,000 may be claims for cash. An explanatory brochure is available at www.sipc.org. Additionally, through London Insurers, LPL Financial accounts have additional securities protection to cover the net equity of customer accounts up to an overall aggregate firm limit of $575,000,000 subject to conditions and limitations.
The account protection applies when an SIPC member firm fails financially and is unable to meet obligations to securities clients, but it does not protect against losses from the rise and fall in the market value of investments.
What will I need to bring to the next meeting, Plan Design?
We finalize each meeting with a summary email including any actions items for both clients and BWM Financial. Specifically for the Plan Design meeting, we’ll typically ask you to answer a few clarifying questions that might arise when drafting your plan. We’ll also need your detailed account holdings which can be securely emailed or easily uploaded directly into our financial planning software.
How much does the rest of the process cost? What do I get from our meetings?
Our exploratory process is completely complementary. Regardless of your final decision, the plan and recommendations are yours to keep.
How long does the rest of the process take?
The full exploratory process is comprised of three meetings: Introductions, Plan Design, and Recommendations and you set the pace on how quickly you want to move through them. Meetings can be in the office, on the web, and/or via conference calls and are typically under an hour each.
What are the next steps after our first meeting, Introductions?
We’ll request any additional information needed (that wasn’t gathered in our first meeting) to draft your financial plan. Once the draft is complete, we’ll meet again to share the draft and refine it collaboratively.
Why do you have three meetings for the new client process?
Efficiency is one of our prime cultural objectives at BWM, but never at the expense of thoroughness. We’ve found that the distinct meetings—Introductions, Plan Design, and Recommendations—provide the ideal opportunity to explore the intricacies of a client’s life and accurately build a plan that can bring our recommendations to life. The process also gives prospective clients the best opportunity to evaluate the team and our service, lay the foundation for a lasting relationship, and preview our client experience.
Plan Design and Recommendations meetings can be combined in some cases or upon request.