If you are being referred to us, we will set up a meeting right away. If you are just learning about us from another source, Patti will first talk with you over the phone to make sure we are what you are looking for.
No, there is no minimum investment. The criteria we use are different than most firms: Can we make a difference to justify our presence in your life?
Think of the relationship as one similar to health care. If Key Financial is your family doctor, it is important to use state-of-the-art technology to help diagnose, treat and make sure you stay in sound financial health.
- KeyMoney is the system we use to monitor your financial plan. This is like having an MRI every day. You will have your own website that gathers all of your accounts, no matter where they are held, onto one dashboard for easy viewing. Your financial plan, bank accounts, 401ks and other assets come into one secure site updated every night as of the 4:00PM close in the financial markets. Transactions can be pulled in too, and you can get as much or as little detail on each holding, including research, as you want. You will have a living, breathing financial plan that monitors your progress on an ongoing basis.
- Oasic Wealth, Inc. is our primary broker dealer, similar to a Charles Schwab or TD Ameritrade. Think of this company as you would the hospital you would go to. We use Osaic Wealth, Inc. because they work with independent advisors and help us maintain compliance with SEC and FINRA regulations. There is no such thing as a Osaic Wealth, Inc. Mutual Fund. We pay Osaic Wealth, Inc. a percentage of our revenue and they monitor trades, emails, and our books and records to monitor compliance with rules and regulations with the SEC and FINRA. While Osaic Wealth, Inc can provide additional services to advisors as a broker-dealer, this is the primary reason we chose them. Osaic Wealth, Inc also keeps us up to date with regulatory requirements and continuing education, and they perform audits of the firm annually. While numerous and subject to changes, regulations are important to protect the public. This relationship allows us to focus on clients.
- Pershing, LLC. is the clearing firm for Osaic Wealth, Inc.. A clearing firm is the company that reconciles all of the data, processes the trades, and actually puts your statements together. Each account has the $500,000 SIPC insurance against fraud, as well as an additional policy through Lloyds of London. For details, visit www.sipc.org. Please note that SIPC does not protect against loss due to market fluctuation.
By now you might be wondering if there are a lot of hands in the cookie jar. In reality, most firms' private label the services described above, but we believe each entity is important no matter who you deal with. We also believe in full transparency and are proud of the choices we have made to protect our clients.
The first step is to determine whether or not, we can actually make a difference for you. From an administrative perspective, it’s primarily a paperwork process.
- Regular (Non retirement) brokerage accounts, mutual funds, and IRAs: You would sign paperwork to open an account and have the investments transferred. For the most part, the shares are transferred “in kind” which means the investments remain as they are currently invested until they are deposited at Pershing, LLC.. Once everything has arrived, we would reevaluate the recommendations you approved to make sure they are still appropriate, and review final recommendations with you before we made any trades on your behalf. The transfer process can take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks, depending on where you currently hold your accounts. The transfer system (referred to as the "ACAT" system) is very efficient, and we will make sure all shares transfer into your new Osaic Wealth, Inc. account. We do suggest you keep on the lookout for residual deposits that may be made after the shares have transferred, which may occur if a dividend or capital gain has been declared, but not deposited yet. That will be apparent when you receive a statement from your prior custodian and we can re-sweep the account for you.
- 401k Rollovers, Pension Plan Rollovers First and foremost, we will want to make sure a 401k or pension plan rollover from a prior employer is even appropriate for you. In some cases it is not, so we will walk you through the pros and cons and you will see a list of those in your financial plan. Assuming a rollover is in your best interest, a rollover is relatively easy:
- You would call the #800 number listed on the top of your 401k statement
- Once you have answered the security questions, you will want to tell the customer serve representative that you would like to initiate a “Rollover of your 401k or pension to your IRA”.
- They will either do this for you right then over the phone, or send you paperwork which we can help you fill out.
- The most important detail is that you tell the representative that the check should be made payable to "Pershing, LLC". Most companies will put "FBO John Smith" in the memo section of the check, so that everyone knows it is for your account. Most 401k and pension plan providers will send the check to your home address (or the address they have on their records for you). Also keep in mind that even though the word "rollover" is often used, this is actually considered a "trustee to trustee transfer", which under a recent change in the law, is better for you. If your current 401K or pension custodian can wire the money directly into your new Osaic Wealth, Inc. IRA, we will be happy to provide you those instructions.
We are going to answer this directly, and as we do it is important to know that investments in bonds, stocks, mutual and exchange traded funds and even many insurance based products are not to be considered safe - especially if needed soon after the money is invested. That’s where a real financial plan comes in…because risk tolerance and risk capacity are not the same thing.
It is also important that you know that your privacy is very important to us, and we are subject to HIPPA.
Finally, you should know that we are probably the most paranoid people you will ever meet, we believe and there is no such a thing as too much cybersecurity.
It’s not a matter of convenience anymore. The increase in scams and attempts at fraudulent withdrawals is alarming, and we believe it is important to have human beings who know our clients involved in every step of the process…especially when a withdrawal request is made. We know (and have seen) that as people age, those cognitive synapses aren’t quite fire firing off the way they used to. When we know and understand what our clients’ needs are, we can detect if there seems to be a change in behavior. In other words, algorithms are one thing; people are quite another. We believe you need both to protect your money.
RAQs – Rarely Asked (but still important!) Questions
These are questions we might ask if we were you, or questions you might be hesitant to ask.
No, you do not. But please know that everyone has a financial plan whether they realize it or not. We also believe that you are not a pie chart. In other words, a real financial plan isn’t just about making portfolio recommendations. It includes scenarios and what ifs to see where opportunities might exist and where you might be vulnerable.
A real financial plan includes income tax strategies, cash flow management and retirement and estate tax projections that include periodic demands for capital (tuitions, cars, weddings for example) and bucket list items like special vacations or second homes (or even both!). It can also show the distribution of your net worth if you become sick or when you pass away, along with the estate and inheritance tax implications. A financial plan includes a robust analysis with integrated scenarios can provide insights we otherwise wouldn’t have. This customized approach then allows us to make portfolio recommendations for you, along with (perhaps) other ideas that might optimize your resources. Most importantly, there is no “have to” here. We believe in collaboration, and it is always your decision
Most of the time, a nomination that meets certain criteria will prompt a financial newspaper or magazine to send out questionnaires to thousands of advisers across the country. Please see the links below for methodology for each. Depending on the group, these questionnaires will ask many questions, including our outlook on markets, the growth of our business over 1, 3 or 5 years and client retention. Each media outlet has algorithms and criteria they believe is important, each questionnaire is different, and we are not made aware of a ranking until we see it along with the public. Their goal is to provide an objective list of best practices in the nation. It also provides us with objective benchmarking, because we cannot exert any influence in the rankings.
Instead of just working in the business, we also work on the business, and have found there is a valuable benefit that comes along with this process. We believe we have a responsibility to make sure we will be a viable resource for clients through every market environment, and continue to take steps to be able to provide this service to many generations of families.
They lost money.
We believe it is really important to understand that bear markets happen. We never know what the catalyst will be, when it will happen or how long it could last. (No one does!). Setting aside the next logical question (which is why would you ever put hard earned money at risk…) that’s another reason why we believe measuring a person’s risk capacity is so important. Our goal is to make sure there is no disruption in a client’s life because of something unknowable. Eventually, long term investors generally recovered from bear markets. (As we write this, 2022 is still in recovery mode), but there can be no guarantee that will happen in the future or within any time frame, especially yours.
As Chris Davis of Davis Advisors once said "You make most of your money in a bear market, you just don’t know it at the time." It is what you do while it is happening that ultimately matters. Every bear market feels different, because it is. First, you are usually at a difference place in your life for each bear market. You may have been working for one, and retired for another, so how it affects you and what you should do may be different. The catalyst that caused stock prices to go down 20%, 30% or even 50% is also different. It is important to have a professional, who already knows you, and who has lived through many of these markets help you through it.
Another way of asking this same question may be: "How do I protect myself from a Madoff situation?" This is why we have chosen Osaic Wealth, Inc. who is diligent with our compliance and clears through Pershing. Madoff had his own broker dealer, and they did their own clearing, so there were no checks and balances.
It is an important question. Key Financial is unique as Patti is involved in every client relationship, and she has taken careful steps to make sure that every Key Financial employee knows every client as well. This has been so effective clients often call and do not ask for Patti, but will ask for one of her team members because they know them as well. Patti has taken steps to hire great people who share her values and who will always look out for our clients first. Her role as CEO is to make sure that our systems, standards, and protocol are so tight that any transition would be seamless.