How do you charge for your services?
Typically we are paid a retainer fee on a quarterly basis. The amount of the fee is dependent on two variables. The first is the total dollar amount of assets that we manage and which are kept by our custodian. This does not include 401k plans, other employer plans, or assets the client chooses not to keep with our custodian. The second variable is the level of service required by the client. Depending on the level of assistance that a prospective client requires, we may elect to reduce our fees from our normal fee schedule. This decision is made on an individual advisor basis.
Do you earn commissions?
Only if you want us to. We know that there is a significant debate in the financial advisor community of the merits of commissions versus fees. While we firmly believe that operating on a fee basis is the best method for both advisor and client, there are certain circumstances where this may not be practical. The best example is in the case of life insurance and fixed rate annuities.
Unfortunately, the insurance industry is well behind the investment industry in offering products that pay no commissions. That means that, if we handle insurance coverage for our clients, we are going to receive a commission. It is almost impossible to avoid. Some “fee only” advisers have chosen to deal with this by not handling a clients insurance or referring the responsibility to a third party who will be paid the commission. We don’t feel this solution is optimal as we want to offer our clients comprehensive one stop service. It is important to note that we absolutely do not, nor would we ever accept a commission and charge a fee on the same asset. Although this practice of “double dipping” can be found among some advisers and is not illegal, we consider it to be highly unethical and not to be tolerated.
But in the end, the decision is yours. If you are looking for an advisor to work with you on a “fee-only” basis we are happy to oblige.
What is your minimum investment amount?
Randall Financial Group has a firm wide minimum fee of $1250 per year. However our individual advisers may set higher minimums depending on their individual practices.
Do I have to come to your office?
If you reside within a thirty mile radius of our office in Providence, RI, we ask that you come to our office for appointments. We find that this is the most productive means of meeting and offers the fewest distractions for our clients. If you prefer, many meetings such as annual reviews can be handled via phone and internet if necessary. Special arrangements can also be made if some physical or health condition prevents you from coming to our office.
For clients outside of our immediate area, we can arrange to come to you. Also, with our sophisticated use of technology including file sharing, teleconferencing and web conferencing we are able to service clients in many different parts of the country.
What can I expect as part of an initial consultation?
Many people are hesitant to come in for a consultation with a financial planner for fear that it will turn into a high pressure sales meeting. When you visit us for an initial consultation you can expect to have all of your questions answered in a professional manner. We will review your present circumstances, make suggestions, discuss our approach to financial planning, and answer any questions you may have. We never transact business or sign on new clients at an initial consultation. Our only goal is to answer your questions and determine if our services are a good match for your needs.
Can you handle my 401k and other employer related plans?
Yes, we can handle your 401k or employer related plan. Our investment approach is comprehensive so we need to take all of your investments into consideration. However, because we can not custody your employer sponsored plan, we can not provide complete services such as executing trades, monitoring investments, and reporting performance. Because we can not provide complete service on these assets, we do not include them when calculating your annual fee.
I’ve never heard of Randall Financial Group, is my money safe?
Yes, your money is safe. Randall Financial Group is a Registered Investment Advisor. However, Randall Financial Group never takes custody of your investments. You will never write us a check or hand any securities directly to us. All of our client assets are held at our custodian, Fidelity Investments.
What is your relationship with Fidelity Investments?
Fidelity Investments is a national broker dealer that provides clearing and custody services to Randall Financial Group clients. All assets that are managed by Randall Financial Group are kept at Fidelity. In addition, Fidelity sends monthly statements to our clients detailing current holdings and transactions. Fidelity accounts are insured by SIPC as well as private insurance carried by Fidelity.
Am I limited to just Fidelity Mutual Funds?
Absolutely not. We utilize Fidelity because of the broad array of investments we can utilize with our clients. This includes thousands of mutual funds from other managers as well as virtually every publicly traded stock and bond on the secondary market.
What types of investments do you use?
In our experience, the most important part of a portfolio is the decision about what types of assets to own and in what percentage to own them. From there we make a decision with the client about what specific investments should be utilized to execute the portfolio. The investments we recommend typically include mutual funds, exchange traded funds, and individual bonds.