CALL US NOW: (844) 507-0961
WE MANAGE STOCK AND BOND PORTFOLIOS
WE PUT YOUR INTERESTS FIRST
As a Registered Investment Advisor, we are bound to a fiduciary standard established in the Investment Act of 1940.
WE ARE A FEE-ONLY FIRM
As a fee-only firm, our compensation comes directly from you as our client. We do not earn commissions. Our fee is based on a percentage of the assets we manage for you.
WE DO MORE THAN MANAGE YOUR MONEY
WE CREATE COMPREHENSIVE FINANCIAL PLANS
Our Financial Wellness for Life program includes ongoing, on-demand financial advice. This advice includes insurance, taxes, estate planning, retirement planning, income planning, and more.
TO YOUR PRESSING QUESTIONS
Of course, that means different things to different people. Some clients want help paying off their school loans, saving for their kids’ education or deciding whether to buy a home.
Some want to know if their portfolios are invested in the right way to optimize returns, mitigate risk and cut down on expenses.
In a word, yes.
Here are the details: Your investment portfolio is just one part of your overall financial picture.
Portfolio management is one service we offer. We also help clients with insurance decisions and all manner of decisions about money . Our services are definitely not limited to investing!
We start our process by getting to know you. Before getting into the specifics of your portfolio, we discuss your goals, risk tolerance, time horizon and other factors that affect how you invest.
We never, ever, ever take a commission to buy and sell investments in your account. After all, that system – which the big, national stock brokers use – means the broker makes money, even when gambling (with your money) on some kind of economic “theory,” which may or may not pan out.
Instead, we align our interests with yours, by only charging a percentage of your assets under management.
In addition, we don’t make bets on single stocks, industries, regions or the economy. Instead, we work with our partners at Loring Ward and Dimensional Fund Advisors to engineer portfolios consisting of international stocks and bonds. Our portfolios are based upon Nobel Prize-winning academic research and a growing body of knowledge that shows the advantages of a well-diversified portfolio, as opposed to stock-picking and market timing.
Many of our clients come to us after managing their own portfolios, and being disappointed in their returns.
Other clients have accounts that are “managed” by employees at big brokerage firms. When we examine these accounts, we find that these large, impersonal national brokers often put a client’s money into expensive products that are not aligned with the client’s goals and ability to tolerate market risk.
Let’s face it: There are plenty of things we feel like we should do ourselves, yet when we’re honest about it, we know we don’t have the time or expertise or interest – and often, all three!
When it comes to your investments, you face a large number of decision points. What investments should you buy? How much should you put in each one? Are some investments better in a retirement account or a taxable account? What is rebalancing, and how do I do that? How much should I expect my investments to return? What should I do if we have another market meltdown, like in 2008?
The biggest value an advisor adds is not timing the market or picking stocks (we don’t do those things, in any case). The biggest value we add is supporting and coaching you through big financial decisions. That includes the decision about what to do when markets head south, and everybody around you is panicking.
It’s tempting to think you will save money by managing your portfolio yourself, but studies by Dalbar and Vanguard disprove that idea. It turns out: Without a support team, investors typically underperform even the most basic benchmarks.
Even for very smart people (and that describes our clients!), it’s tricky to navigate the investment waters. We kid ourselves that it’s about “math,” or “economics,” but really, investing is mostly about emotions.
Why are you investing? Is it to beat a benchmark, or is it to finance your life goals?
Do you really know how much risk tolerance you have? (Hint: A lot of people say their risk tolerance is “high,” yet they routinely keep large stashes of investable assets in cash. In most cases, investors flee to cash because they are seeking some kind of safety.)
Do you have a good sense of how much you will need in the coming years, or if you can afford to leave anything to your family? Do you know how your money should be invested, and what kinds of insurance you may need?
These are difficult questions, and we understand that it’s tough to confront some of these.
We’ll help you stay on course, and keep your end goals in mind. The place you want to be in 5, 10, 20 or 30 years generally has little (or nothing) to do with what markets are doing this month, and everything to do with your unique situation.
We know you’re busy. That old-school model of sitting down in a formal, stuffy office doesn’t suit your style.*
Our clients are based all over the country, and most of our meetings are done by phone, Skype, Go To Meeting or some other “virtual” method.
We respect your time. Our initial meeting is done by phone or video and takes 30-45 minutes. In that meeting, we’ll get to know each other, and determine whether we can help with your financial decisions. There’s absolutely no charge for that meeting.
If we decide to work together, many of our meetings will be via videoconference
*However, we do like to meet up with our existing clients, on occasion. We enjoy getting a cup of coffee to catch up and hear how you are doing! We find those casual meetings are much more enjoyable for everyone, as opposed to the traditional uptight meetings that most advisors use.
We have clients in other states. Thanks to videoconferencing, it’s easy to have personalized, productive meetings.
A few things.
First, as mentioned above, we don’t get paid for picking stocks or selling you some expensive mutual fund that happened to do well last year. A lot of stockbrokers call themselves “advisors” these days, but they still use a tired, old model that doesn’t necessarily put your interests first.
Second, we believe the typical “financial planning” process is broken. Maybe you’ve met with a planner, expecting answers to help you make better decisions. Instead, you get pages and pages, filled with tables and charts that are more confusing than enlightening.
Most likely, you ended up putting the plan in a drawer, and never looking at it again. It didn’t really give you any insight into your ongoing financial decisions. Almost certainly, financial issues popped up six months or a year after you forgot all about that so-called “plan. You had new questions that all those tables and charts didn’t even begin to address.
Our Financial Wellness for Life program helps you throughout the phases of your financial life. There are no endless tables, spit out by a software program, that you forget about in five minutes. Instead, we personalize our answers for you, and work with you on an ongoing basis. We are your objective partner, bringing clarity to your financial life.
We’re also different in that we work with people from all walks of life, and of all ages. We know it’s not just the “high net worth” retiree who is making financial decisions, but that’s who the industry typically serves! We believe everyone deserves help making these decisions.
Nearly everybody faces questions about buying a house, saving for college, starting a business, retiring, taking Social Security or any number of other things. Why make those decisions on your own, when our team of experts is here to help?
Better Money Decisions, LLC, may transact business only in states in which it is registered, or in which it is excluded or exempted from registration.
Better Money Decisions, LLC, is currently registered in the State of New Mexico.