Investment Supervisory Services

Coordinate your investments with the rest of your financial picture…and keep them that way.

I can help you coordinate and invest all your investment accounts:

College savings plans

Employer retirement accounts

IRAs

Taxable accounts

Custodial accounts

How Does It Work?

Once we understand your total financial picture, we design an investment plan that coordinates with it. That plan (called an Investment Policy Statement) is based on an assessment of your attitudes towards risk, your objective financial situation, and your goals. This IPS will guide all aspects of how I invest your money, and it will keep us both sane when the markets are anything but.

I recommend that my clients use TD Ameritrade as custodian for their accounts but can accommodate accounts held elsewhere. I directly manage these accounts. I also advise on “outside” accounts, like 401(k)s or 529s which I don’t have access to.

I work virtually, so we conduct all our meetings online or on the phone (unless you happen to live near Bellingham, WA. It’s beautiful up here!) and at your convenience.

How much does it cost?

Account Size Annual Advisory Fee
$100,000-$500,000 0.50%
$500,001-$1,000,000 0.35%
Above $1,000,000 0.25%

 

The blended fee is applied to the market value of the account. For example, an account valued at $600,000 would pay an effective fee of 0.475%:

($500,000 x 0.50%) + ($100,000 x 0.35%) = $2850.

The fees are pro-rated and paid quarterly, in arrears.

Flow provides Investment Supervisory services only to clients with an ongoing planning relationship; the fees are in addition to financial planning fees. I have set the investment fees significantly lower than the industry average to better align my business practice with your interests.

Investment Philosophy

I believe two things about investing:
Investing isn’t complicated. At least, it shouldn’t be.

Unfortunately, it is usually presented as rocket science, or soothsaying...too mysterious for you to understand. Both theory and empirical studies have shown us the simple solution:

1. Pick a balance of stocks and bonds appropriate for you.
2. Buy low-cost, broadly diversified funds.
3. Don’t touch your portfolio unless it diverges from your needs.

That’s the simple part. But our emotions make it far from easy. Every day we are bombarded by financial news and opinions. Too often, our emotions convince us to buy and sell at just the wrong times. A relationship with a fee-only investment advisor can provide structure and discipline for your investment portfolio, and can significantly improve your investment returns. Vanguard's 2014 paper Quantifying Vanguard Advisor's Alpha shows that a financial advisor can add 3% to your annual returns, and the single biggest factor in that is “Behavioral Coaching”!

Investing needs to be part of a comprehensive financial planning process.

I believe that investment decisions are best made in the context of a thoroughly understood financial picture. Directing your investments without that understanding is “ok” at best, and damaging at worst. How can you know what your investments should look like without knowing how much life insurance you have or need? How big your emergency fund needs to be? Where your child wants to go to college and when? Whether your finances are entangled with your extended family's?

A successful investment strategy should not be measured by the rate of return; it should be measured by how well it helps you achieve your goals. She who dies with the biggest number doesn't win. She who dies with the fewest regrets does.

Want to make sure your portfolio is on track?

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