Home / Frequently Asked Questions
For your added safety, SOAWM does not take direct custody of your assets and has implemented appropriate policies and procedures to assure this does not happen. Your funds and securities are held in custody at Charles Schwab or another custodian of your choice.
Funds and securities held at custodians, such as Schwab that are brokerage firms, are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. If customer assets are unaccounted for due to record-keeping errors or misappropriation, customers are reimbursed by the assigned trustee or SIPC up to $500,000 per customer for all accounts held in the same capacity, including a maximum of $250,000 in claims for cash. Whenever possible, the actual stocks and other securities owned by a customer are returned. If necessary, SIPC funds will be used to purchase replacement securities (such as stocks) in the open market — even if the market value of these investments has changed.
Schwab presently offers its customers an extra level of coverage — a program led by Lloyd’s of London, a well-respected name in the insurance industry, as underwriter for additional brokerage insurance for Schwab customers. This “excess SIPC” protection of securities and cash is provided up to an aggregate of $600 million, limited to a combined return to any customer from a trustee, SIPC, Lloyd’s, and other London insurers of $150 million, including up to $1.15 million in cash. This additional protection becomes available in the event that SIPC limits are exhausted and there are no additional funds available from the estate of the failed brokerage firm.
SOAWM realizes data security is an ongoing process and not a steady state. Our processes and systems are consistently upgraded and subject to monitoring in real time 24/7/365 by a third party.
SOAWM is generally compensated by clients for wealth management services according to a fee that is based on a percentage of assets under management. Financial planning clients are generally charged a separate fee for financial planning. Fees may, however, be negotiated. For further information, please review the fee schedules in our Disclosure Brochure.
It’s up to you. We always love to see our clients as often as possible and as safe as possible. But sometimes “life happens” and it isn’t always easy to come to our office. Our advice process is effective whether delivered in person, on the telephone or on a web based broadcast for more complex presentations.
We are located in midtown Manhattan, NYC at 120 West 45th Street, 14th Floor, between Sixth and Seventh avenues. We are convenient to most public transportation.
Sure. If we find that we are a good fit together we can advise you pretty much anywhere in the world. That said, specific situations and local laws for clients who are permanently living outside of the United States may impact our working relationship. Let us know where you live and we can discuss the unique rules.
First and foremost we help people build dreams into goals and then goals into actions. So give a little thought as to what you would like to achieve from a financial standpoint in the short, medium and long term.
It would be very helpful if you brought a copy of your most recent tax return, a paystub (if applicable) and an idea of how much money you spend, but it does not have to be very detailed at this point. Bring a hard copy of any investment accounts including 401k and insurance statements. If you have investment choices from your 401k or other retirement accounts you should bring those as well. We will also be asking you about your estate planning strategies and eventually will want to have a copy of your will but that could be at a later date. By the way, as a SOAWM client we provide a secure site where all your documents can be held and accessed at no additional cost.
Typically we charge separately for overall financial advice and for investment management advice, although sometimes these can be charged together. Financial planning fees can range from $100 per month to $5,000 per month depending on the complexity of the situation and are a flat fee. This amount can be negotiated as complexity changes. For most clients that pay for ongoing financial planning SOAWM will implement its proprietary Seasons of Advice® process.
SOAWM also charges to provide ongoing management advice on your investments. The fee ranges from 0-2% per year and is negotiable based on complexity and other factors. This is in addition to the financial planning fee and is charged monthly in arrears based on the average monthly balance equal to one-twelfth times the annual agreed upon fee.
Most clients will own investments directly from SOAWM’s recommended list of investments. Our recommendation list is monitored on an ongoing basis and formally reviewed by SOAWM’s investment committee at least quarterly. Investment decisions are filtered down to each client account and cross-referenced monthly with the specific investments owned by each client.
Depending on the level of ongoing service we agree to provide, we may have a formal service meeting no less than semi-annually. Seasons of Advice® clients usually receive four ongoing service meetings, one each season. In the beginning however there may be multiple meetings required to build the foundation plan and establish the initial implementation program.
In addition our investment team is always reviewing our recommendation list and letting us know if there are situations where waiting until the next scheduled meeting is way too long. In those cases we would reach out to you preemptively.
We do not currently have minimums. However, each potential client relationship is evaluated to determine if the relationship fits within our business model. We also will not take on fiduciary responsibility if we do not legitimately believe we can help our clients achieve their goals.
No. You are under no obligation to place all your assets under our asset management program, although you can possibly earn lower fees as assets grow past certain benchmarks. We do require you to disclose all your assets and, at your option, we can include all the assets within a global performance report as part of your annual fee.
SOAWM provides a wide range of services including ongoing comprehensive financial planning, retirement planning, tax strategies, estate planning, education and goal planning, wealth management services including asset allocation design, portfolio construction and investment management.
SOAWM also offers insurance solutions through Seasons of Advice Insurance Services, LLC. This includes but is not limited to life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care and fixed annuity strategies.
No. We do not prepare income tax returns. If you are engaged in our Seasons of Advice® model we will include a tax planning season and take a proactive approach to coordinating with your tax advisor. This process is designed to help you and your tax preparer become aware of many issues regarding your tax year before the year ends, thus helping to determine year-end tax strategies and help to streamline the preparation of the return.
A fiduciary is someone who must set aside personal motives and conflicts of interest in favor of pursuing the best interest of a client. As a registered investment adviser, SOAWM is deemed to be a fiduciary with respect to its clients.
SOAWM manages assets by targeting long-term allocation models, typically determined by your comprehensive financial planning analysis or risk profile. Allocation models are reviewed quarterly by the SOAWM Investment Committee to determine tactical over- or under-weighted asset categories. SOAWM may also automate quarterly rebalancing of an individual client’s portfolio.
SOAWM will utilize different types of investments to implement a client’s asset allocation model, including, but not limited to individual stocks and bonds, ETFs, mutual funds and other appropriate securities. Most investments are determined by the SOAWM Investment Committee and tracked on the SOAWM recommendation list that is monitored on an ongoing basis and formally reviewed monthly.
An asset custodian is a financial institution, such as a bank or a brokerage firm, that is responsible for safeguarding financial assets. As an investment adviser SOAWM is responsible for directing the purchase and sale of your investments, but SOAWM does not itself hold those investments. Instead, those investments are held by your selected custodian pursuant to a separate agreement between you and the custodian, and you authorize the custodian to follow SOAWM’s instructions.
Our investment models reflect the time frame and risk tolerances of our clients’ goals. Strategic asset allocation is generally believed to be the primary factor in projecting performance returns. Specific recommendations within the target model are considered based on objective standards such as quality of ratings and sector categories. In addition, subjective factors and market metrics such as price/earnings ratios and management ratings are evaluated to help us select and deselect investments. Recommendations to change holdings mostly align with the agreed upon service frequency. However, in extreme situations we may act preemptively to protect our client’s assets.
SOAWM prepares a Personalized Financial Report (PFR) incorporating the statements of your custodian as well as those accounts linked through our consolidation provider. This PFR is intended to focus on overall asset allocation status and performance. The PFR is available through your Client Login button on the top of this website. You will need to establish your security credentials to access as well as link your other accounts. Your SOAWM client concierge can help. This information is updated daily.
You will also receive statements at least quarterly from Schwab or from your selected custodian.
There are four preferred methods you should follow to deposit checks or transfer money to your account. In all cases the checks should be made out to Charles Schwab. Please write your 8-digit Schwab account number on the front of the check. If you are unsure of the number, please give us a call or send us a note.
Option 1: Send the check directly to Schwab
Via U.S. Mail (First Class Mail or Priority Mail)
Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 628290
Orlando, FL 32862-8290
Via Express Carriers (FedEx, UPS, etc.)
Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
1958 Summit Park Drive
Orlando, FL 32810-5931
Option 2: Drop check off at a nearby Schwab branch, CLICK HERE to find your nearest branch.
Option 3: Download the Schwab Mobile Investing App for iPhone or Android – CLICK HERE for information. This app allows you to use your phone to take a photo of your deposit and automatically deposit it to your Schwab account. Your Schwab account number must be included on the front of the check.
It’s always a good idea to notify your Seasons of Advice advisor or staff member by email or phone when you’re depositing a check. We can then be on the lookout that it is properly credited.
Option 4: Direct money transfer – if you have a checking account linked to your Schwab account, with your authorization we can initiate a money transfer on your behalf. Alternatively, if the checking account link is not already established and you would like to connect it to your Schwab account, let us know and we can provide the form required to link the two.
Check deposits sent to our office will be processed on an exception basis only. Of course, if you have any questions let us know.
SOAWM, as part of the Seasons of Advice® process, features a family, security and cash flow season in the 3rd quarter of the year. The objective of this season is to help our clients address and annually reassess the issues regarding estate planning and account titling. We regularly work with your attorney to help strategize changes that may be required. SOAWM does not provide legal advice.
You will receive required tax documents directly from your custodian usually in February of each year. SOAWM, as part of the Seasons of Advice® process, features a tax planning season in the 4th quarter of the year. The objective of the tax planning season is to help gather relevant tax related information and begin the dialogue with you and your professional tax advisor to see if there are any tax saving strategies and year end planning opportunities. In most cases we will communicate a summary of our tax gathering findings in a letter to your tax preparer, typically before the end of the year.
While SOAWM does incorporate long and short term tax planning strategies as part of the service, it does not provide tax advice.