Senior Planning Advisors’ and/or Strategic Investment Advisors’ team employs members of the Financial Planning Association (FPA®), which is the largest membership organization for personal financial planning experts in the United States. FPA® members are those who commit to the highest standards of professional competence, ethical conduct and clear, complete disclosure to those they serve. They deliver advice using an objective, client-centered, ethical process.
Standard of care
All financial planning services will be delivered in accordance with the following standard of care:
The recent actions of “too-big-to-fail” financial corporations have diminished investor confidence in the retail brokerage system and the suitability standard of care. Senior Planning Advisors and/or Strategic Investment Advisors seeks to restore investor trust by creating fiduciary relationships with their clients — relationships based on the full disclosure of all relevant information, transparency and the mutual alignment of interests; relationships with independent financial advisors who are accountable to their local community and whose reputation depends on satisfied clients and neighbors.
There are two types of financial organizations: those you have heard of and those you haven’t yet heard of. When those “too-big-to-fail” organizations that spend millions on national advertising and executive bonus packages have received government bailouts, is it time to see if a financial organization you haven’t heard of can help you?
Checks and balances
When you work with an independent wealth manager such as Senior Planning Advisors and/or Strategic Investment Advisors, you are benefitting from the transparency and external checks and balances that other, larger corporations may not have to comply with. We work with, and through, numerous unaffiliated companies, all of which run a variety of checks and balances to ensure full compliance with financial regulations is taking place.
Unlike many of the recent consumer abuses, we can’t be accused of exerting influence over these outside companies that are monitoring our activities. They are independent organizations and their interests are to protect themselves and you, their client. In our opinion, one of the reasons the financial industry has been involved in so many large-scale legal problems is the intertwined nature of the “too-big-to-fail” corporations and their affiliated organizations.
When ratings agencies are paid by the companies they are rating, how can you ensure their grades are impartial?
Our team differentiates itself within the financial industry by seeking partnerships with reputable financial institutions. Our goal is to construct and manage a team of highly stable and trustworthy organizations that all contribute their own specific advantages for your benefit. Each partner, selected as the best of breed in our opinion, has a precise, focused role to play in safeguarding and securing your financial future.
One of the most important partnerships in any financial relationship is that with the custodian. A custodian is a specialized financial institution responsible for holding and safeguarding a firm’s or an individual’s financial assets. Simply put, we see a custodian as your protector. Many years ago, we chose Fidelity Institutional to be the custodian of our clients’ assets.
Fidelity Institutional is one of the world’s leading financial organizations — they remain untarnished by recent financial scandals. Fidelity’s role is to hold your retirement assets in their system and under their supervision. They safeguard your assets, ensuring the security of your nest egg, by implementing procedures and protections that Senior Planning Advisors and/or Strategic Investment Advisors must comply with before being able to direct your investments.
Fidelity Institutional is the organization that holds your assets. You merely provide Senior Planning Advisors and/or Strategic Investment Advisors with the ability to work with Fidelity Institutional. Whenever we wish to make a change to your investments we must seek the approval of Fidelity’s compliance oversight and obey their rules and regulations. Like most “mission-critical” industries, the financial industry is predicated on checks and balances. The custodian’s role is to be the first line of those checks and balances. Custodians ensure each and every client receives complete transparency relating to their assets, while restricting the access others have to their money.
Best price and execution
Another very important client benefit offered by the Senior Planning Advisors and/or Strategic Investment Advisors and Fidelity Institutional partnership is access to a cost-efficient institutional trading platform that focuses on the concept of best price and execution. This might be described as “minimizing the hands in the cookie jar.” Senior Planning Advisors and/or Strategic Investment Advisors and Fidelity Institutional are fiercely committed to providing clients the most direct path when buying and selling individual securities on behalf of the client.
In mid-2006, Fidelity Institutional was the industry forerunner in building a price and execution process that improved upon “the accepted industry standard” of the day. Fidelity Institutional has a unique approach to execution quality with an internal order flow management team whose purpose is to direct order flow to the best-performing market centers. Senior Planning Advisors and/or Strategic Investment Advisors takes this even farther by having access to Global’s own institutional trading desk to further the focus on getting the best price for its clients. The bottom line: our clients pay a dollar a trade or a penny a share.
Trading securities in this way can create significant savings for the clients. Senior Planning Advisors and/or Strategic Investment Advisors does not receive commissions on trading. Instead, we represent the client and try to achieve the best price available at all times.
At Senior Planning Advisors and/or Strategic Investment Advisors, we believe clients should be able to fully understand and define the costs associated with owning their investments. These costs include what the Wall Street Journal has previous called “hidden” and “murky.” This transparency allows our clients to maintain their own checks and balances with the goal of preventing hidden commissions and conflicts of interest from eating into investment returns.
Unlike the mutual fund and 401(k) industries, where many fees and transactions can be concealed within the fund’s structure, Senior Planning Advisors’ and/or Strategic Investment Advisors’ use of separate accounts provides the client with total transparency as to where the money within their accounts really ends up.
Your own, personal due diligence may include questioning the wisdom of receiving financial advice from a company that:
In our view, we have experienced a period where everyone found out “who was really who” and “what was really what.” Many questionable financial practices were exposed, and now, most investors question the trust and integrity of the large financial organizations. This is why it is important to work with a fiduciary like Senior Planning Advisors and/or Strategic Investment Advisors.
Our team on your side
At Senior Planning Advisors and/or Strategic Investment Advisors, you have access to dedicated professionals and teams that include: financial planning, compliance, an institutional-level investment committee, a chief investment officer, CPA and attorneys.
In our opinion, one of the breaking points of the traditional retail financial industry is the reliance on a single, local broker to handle all aspects of the client relationship. Sure, large companies do have great depth and breadth of expertise within their massive organizational charts. Unfortunately, most clients only get to discuss their personal situation, investments and financial planning needs with a single broker. Direct access to the actual investment managers and financial planner is often restricted.
This broker is probably the same person who spends a great deal of time on marketing and client service. It’s a lot for one person to handle in today’s volatile, fast-paced financial world. At the end of the day, a broker in a big corporate financial business is controlled by corporate directives and products and seeks to sell them to clients. This is an obvious point of potential failure and doesn’t allow the real financial experts to address your specific needs.
Can a single stock broker or individual maintain the highest educational and research standards across all areas of your financial requirements including: income tax planning, financial planning, estate planning, asset protection, risk management and investment management?
We believe successful client relationships come from clients partnering with investment advisors who have positioned their firms to provide accessible, one-on-one client advice while directing the support of a range of high-level institutional specialists.