The financial planning process helps us understand your objectives and identifies your financial needs. This in turn allows us to develop an investment plan to meet your goals and financial needs. Our investment management process includes the following:
- Review of your current investment portfolio
- An asset allocation appropriate for your time horizon and risk tolerance
- Use of proven tax strategies
- Diversification using efficient, low cost, no-load investments
- Ongoing review for monitoring and rebalancing of your portfolio
- Timely communications to review performance and adjust as needed
As a FEE-ONLY registered investment advisory firm, we do not sell investment products and we do not accept any compensation from other third parties (commissions, referral fees, etc.).
We are able to select from a wide variety of fixed income, equity and other investment categories to provide diversification in our client accounts. Using only no-load (no commission) investments, we maintain a list of approved investments based upon several criteria:
- Lower expense ratios
- Stable investment managers
- High returns within peer groups
- Lower than average risks (volatility), etc.
Our database for selecting investments is updated monthly and we review our recommended investment list throughout the year. Our custodian has available one of the largest supply of no-load investments in the industry. Some individual investments may have small transaction fees such as the purchase/sale of government securities or some mutual funds. However, these fees are charged by the custodian and we do not share in any of this activity. In all cases, the firm strives to minimize transaction and holding costs for our clients.
Monitoring and Client Communication
Once the initial investments are made, we continue to monitor the accounts on a quarterly basis. Portfolios are repositioned to reflect changes in our recommended investment list. The accounts are also compared to the client's targeted asset allocation to ensure compliance with the investment plan. Cash positions are also reviewed to make sure enough liquidity is available to meet client distribution needs.
All clients receive monthly statements and transaction confirmations directly from the custodian. The firm also communicates the status of client investment accounts through our quarterly reporting process. This not only includes a list of investments but also a performance report and our commentary on your accounts. In addition, we also contact clients frequently by telephone, email or through face-to-face meetings to discuss your accounts.
All client investment accounts are placed with our third party custodian, Charles Schwab & Co. Each client maintains full control of his/her funds while receiving monthly statements of all activity. In addition, we coordinate all activity with the custodian such as account paperwork, the transfer of assets, and periodic distributions. This saves our clients considerable time and expense associated with all back office activities.
Quarterly retainer fees for our ongoing investment management services are reflected below. Many clients have several accounts with us, and their fees are based upon a consolidation of all balances in calculating the fee. The fee is normally deducted directly from the investment accounts.
- 0.2375% (0.95% annually) on the first $1,000,000
- 0.1750% (0.70% annually) on the next $2,000,000
- 0.1125% (0.45% annually) for assets over $3,000,000
- Minimum annual fee is $5,000 per household
For clients desiring only a one-time review of their portfolio, the fee is 0.50% of the assets reviewed with a minimum of $1,250. This includes a personal investment plan and recommendations for specific investment alternatives.
The Client Relationship
We refer to the combination of financial planning and investment management as "wealth management" at Howell Financial Advisors, Inc. After the initial financial plan is completed, most clients want our firm to assist them with continuing wealth management. The quarterly retainer fee schedule shown above applies to our comprehensive wealth management services. All of our services are governed by written agreements that spell out our services and fees.