We sit on the same side of the table as our clients; there simply is no other way to do business that produces positive, long-term success for our clients.
Understanding Investment Management
In short, our investment manager’s job is to make you money on your investments. When you hire our investment manager, the first thing they will do is help you define your investing goals and profile. They may ask you questions like:
- Are you looking to achieve short- or long-term returns?
- How much can you afford to invest?
- How much risk are you comfortable with?
- When do you want to retire by?
Based on your goals and needs, our investment manager will typically develop a custom portfolio strategy. In some cases, they may set you up with a model portfolio that employs a preset strategy. In addition, they will identify the best asset allocation for your portfolio. As part of an ongoing relationship, your manager will periodically adjust this allocation based on your changing goals.
Once your portfolio plan is put in place, our investment manager will arrange and initiate the actual investment of your money. Most investment management firms don’t physically hold on to your assets. Instead, they use what’s called “custodial accounts” at larger brokerage firms. This can include brokerages like Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade and others.
As your portfolio ages, our investment manager will buy and sell securities on either a discretionary or non-discretionary basis according to your plan. A discretionary relationship with your manager means they have the right to make investment decisions on their own, in your name. On the other hand, a non-discretionary relationship with your manager means they must run every decision by you before initiating it.
We are fiduciaries:
At Universal Banks, we were a fiduciary long before it became fashionable to say so. We sit on the same side of the table as our clients; there simply is no other way to do business that produces positive, long-term success for our clients.
Your objectives must come first. As fiduciaries we are legally required to do so, but it also happens to be the right way. We are as transparent as possible. You will know exactly how much you are paying and what you receive in return. And we only get paid on assets under management; no referral fees or commissions of any kind.
Our investment philosophy:
There is no such thing as passive investing. Every investment decision is active and investment management is at our core. We do our own investment management and apply a process refined since we started in 1987. We begin with the asset allocation which flows from your financial plan and we conduct the research on the companies in which we invest. Most advisors are happy to delegate security research, favoring other managers or defined market exposures instead, which add an additional layer of fees for you and separate you further from the understanding of what you own. We approach investing differently. Rather than blindly buy the whole market through good and bad, we prefer to know the companies we own in order to make informed, intentional decisions about the risks we accept in pursuit of your goals. This depth of knowledge also allows us to communicate effectively with you about the reasons behind each position. The responsibility for a good or bad investment decision starts and stops with us.