Questions? We’ve got the answers.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT FEES
A: We’re so glad you asked! In an industry saturated with unnecessary expenses and hidden gotchas, out of sight is not always out of mind – it’s just needlessly expensive. We are proud of our fair, fully disclosed pricing.
Pathway’s Transparent Fee Schedule
Portfolio Analysis and Risk Report $100 one time flat fee Financial Planning $600 one time flat fee Wealth Management (ongoing – billed quarterly)
- 1.0%/year of assets we manage up to $1 million
- 0.5%/year of assets we manage above $1 million
>>See our simple one-page description of fees for more detail.
A: For ongoing financial planning and investment management clients — in addition to our fee schedule — you’ll also incur modest, clearly reported trading fees paid to your independent account custodian whenever you or we trade in your account. (Fortunately, our evidence-based investment strategy minimizes unnecessary trades and their associated costs.)
A: For our ongoing clients, we invoice quarterly, sending you a simplified invoice (like this sample). We auto-draw our fee from one of your taxable accounts, with the transaction reported to you by your independent custodian, so you can verify the amount.Between our quarterly invoice and your independent account statements, you’ll be able to determine exactly how much you are spending on your financial activities, and whether you are receiving good value in return.
A: For our $100 Portfolio Analysis / Risk Report and $600 Financial Plans, you can conveniently pay online with a credit or debit card.
A: We extend a 100% satisfaction guarantee on our one-time Financial Planning and Portfolio Analysis services. If you decide that you have not gotten your money’s worth, you pay $0. For our ongoing management services, should you ever feel the relationship is not all that you expected, you can disengage from us promptly, with no termination fees or other invisible strings attached.
A: Yes, our fees are cut in half for accounts that have more than $1 million in invested assets. Our fees drop from 1% to 0.50% for any amount over $1 million.
A: Our minimum fee for ongoing Wealth Management services is $1,250/quarter. This minimum fee is not in addition to our 1% fee (clients are either billed $1,250/quarter or they pay our standard 1% fee). Although we don’t have a minimum account size, our ongoing services are most appropriate for clients who keep at least $250,000 under management. See our simple one-page description of fees for more detail.
A: Fee-only means that the only compensation we receive is from our clients, as described clearly above. In contrast to brokers and traditional commission-based advisors who claim to offer something for nothing (“free advice”), we accept no (zero, zip, nada) hidden commissions or similar incentives from other influencers who may distract us from serving our clients’ best interests – and only their best interests – with dedicated, fiduciary levels of care.
A: No, we do not offer hourly services. Most clients are happy to pay our affordable, one-time fees of $100 for a Portfolio Analysis and Risk Report, and $600 for a comprehensive Financial Plan.
POINTS OF DISTINCTION
A: In what we feel is a “best of both worlds,” founder and principal Greg Brown built Pathway to offer highly personalized levels of financial care, strengthened by the efficiencies available through leading-edge technology. We are a good fit for those who are excited about taking advantage of efficient solutions for simplifying their financial lives, but still want the critical value that only a real-life advisor can offer.
A: At the heart of our approach is a commitment to heeding the evidence on how to build wealth in ever-volatile markets. Insights from decades of hard-working scholars and practitioners alike shape our simple, evidence-based investment strategy.What have we learned so far? Instead of trying to manage the entire market – seeking to control random global events, forecast future market movements or pick particular stocks – investors are best served by managing the factors that are within their control:• We can help you consider – or reconsider – how much market risk to build into your investments in pursuit of your desired goals.
• We can employ sensible, evidence-based strategies such as asset allocation and global diversification to help manage the market risks that you do take on.
• We can help you minimize return-dragging costs and mistakes.
A: First off, yes, we are a fiduciary to our clients – proudly, absolutely and in writing.Why does this matter? As your fiduciary advisor, we have a clearly defined legal obligation to always and exclusively act in your highest interests, even ahead of our own. We are a Registered Investment Advisor firm, which, as the name implies, establishes objective investment advice as our reason for being. This is in stark contrast to the traditional and, alas, most familiar model of commission-based brokers, bankers or agents. These individuals may “advise” you to trade in suitable products that they have for sale, but their business priorities, loyalties and sources of compensation often lie elsewhere.Bottom-line, if you are not working with a fiduciary advisor, your highest interests can legally take a back seat to unknown sales quotas and conflicting incentives. That’s why that little legal term matters so much.
NUTS AND BOLTS
A: Planning, expertise, education, and personalized care. Before we advise you or manage your money, we take the time to get to know you well … both of you, if you are a couple. Next, we work with you to create your detailed financial plan and custom investment portfolio, all while educating you along the way. (Expect 6–8 weeks as a typical timeframe for your initial plan.) Then we swing into action to implement your plan, manage your investment portfolio, and make sure they maintain relevance as we meet with you over time.Throughout, expect us to reach out to you routinely, as well as at key milestones, plus we remain available to respond to your ongoing questions or ideas.
A: We typically meet at least annually with our ongoing clients – more frequently if your circumstances warrant. We also are happy to get together with you on an as-needed basis to go over troublesome challenges, exciting opportunities or any other significant life-changing events.
A: We are particularly enthusiastic about harnessing the many powerful ways we can remain in touch with one another these days. Expect regular educational outreach from us via email, e-newsletters, blog posts and social media. We also schedule personal conversations as needed using phone, video conferencing (such as Skype or Google Hangouts) or in-person, according to your convenience. As technology continues to offer meaningful new ways for us to effectively engage with you, you can expect us to embrace these as well.
A: Your accounts are held in your name, at an independent custodian who reports any transactions that occur directly to you. As long as you are a Pathway client, we maintain limited trading authority in your accounts, so we can implement, rebalance and oversee your customized investment portfolio designed to achieve your personal life goals.
A: Should you decide not to work with us anymore, we simply disconnect our trading authority. Your money remains in your name at the same custodian until you decide what, if any, changes you would like to make. YOU always remain in the driver’s seat with your money.