We’re sure you have a lot of questions. The financial industry can be a confusing place. Here are some of the questions we get most frequently. If you have another question or would like to talk more about any of the topics below, please reach out to us here.
Our business model seeks to eliminate as many conflicts of interests as possible, including how we get compensated. We don’t receive compensation or commissions for selling any products or investments, and we don’t receive referral fees from any accountants, attorneys, or other professionals.
We strive to offer our clients great value and transparency with our fee schedule. Our investment management services fees are charged as a percentage of the assets under management according to the following annual rate schedule – designed to lower your marginal rate as your assets grow:
|Value of Assets Under Management||Marginal Annual Rate|
Managing our clients’ wealth and financial well-being is a team approach. Every client communicates directly with a dedicated Lead Advisor who acts as the main point of contact for their team, which includes a Portfolio Management Analyst, Financial Planner, and Client Service Specialist. This structure provides an in-depth understanding of our client’s needs and facilitates a collaborative approach to provide the best experience possible.
In short, we take care of everything. The process starts with your D&Y team speaking with you to understand your current account(s). With that in mind, our dedicated Client Service team prepares all necessary paperwork, including new account applications and transfer authorizations. When the forms are ready to be signed, you will meet with your Lead Advisor who will review and explain every document.
D&Y can manage many account types including:
Please talk with one of our Lead Advisors about your specific situation
Since our founding in 1991, we have strongly recommended that our clients custody their assets at Schwab, a well-respected firm with some of the lowest fees in the industry. In certain cases, we can manage client assets held elsewhere. However, whenever possible, we strongly encourage our clients to consolidate their assets to Schwab due to their high levels of service, low fees, and broad investment platform.
More information here: Form ADV Part 2A Item 12
Your advisor is happy to meet with you as often as you wish. Most of our clients choose to meet in person at least once per year with calls, video meetings, and emails throughout the rest of the year as questions arise.
Our goal is to make the process as easy as possible for you. Once you decide to work with D&Y, we prepare the paperwork needed to transfer your accounts. We meet with you to walk you through the documents before you sign them. Then, when you’re ready, we contact your existing firm to notify them of the transfer.
Many clients choose to personally notify their existing advisor as well. You can simply say, “I’ve decided to make a change. My new firm, Dowling & Yahnke Wealth Advisors, will reach out to you about the process.” Other clients prefer not to contact their existing advisor. Either way, D&Y handles all the details of transferring your accounts.
As part of our team-based approach, your investment portfolio and financial plan is monitored by more than one person. Additionally, all of the key attributes and considerations related to your portfolio and your financial situation are archived within our various technology platforms. If your Lead Advisor retires or leaves the firm, we will connect you with another Lead Advisor at our firm who properly suits you and your needs.
Dowling & Yahnke was founded in 1991 and currently has approximately 50 team members to support you. We intend to be here for the long-term to serve you, your family, and future generations, and we have plans in place to make those transitions seamless.
We do not hold your assets. Rather, we work with an independent custodian. Since our inception in 1991, we have worked with Schwab as the primary brokerage custodian. Schwab provides online access, monthly account statements, and other custodial account services for our clients. On rare occasions, we may recommend other custodians if you require services beyond the scope of what Schwab can provide.
Nearly all the securities that we recommend offer daily liquidity with a maximum two-business day cash settlement. If you have already established an on-demand link from your brokerage account to your checking account, you can expect cash to transfer within three business days, if trades are needed within your accounts. If cash is readily available in your brokerage account, transfers can typically be made the same day or next business day, if your bank account information is on file.
We invest heavily in cybersecurity and constantly update our infrastructure and controls to address current and potential threats. We also regularly vet the security of our vendors to ensure they meet our expectations and industry recommendations in securing client data.
We have a dedicated, in-house Information Security Analyst focused on combatting the latest cybersecurity risks, educating our staff monthly, and managing the security of all company devices.
To assist our clients, we offer a Digital Concierge Service to walk clients through best practices for accessing their accounts securely and sharing personally identifiable information with our team.
We recognize that we are privy to significant personal and financial information, and we do everything in our power to keep your data secure.
We are almost exclusively a digital office. Therefore, nearly all documents are stored in digital format in our document management system. There may be documents that we temporarily maintain in paper form, but these are stored securely and eventually destroyed.
If your accounts are custodied at Schwab, Schwab provides cash “sweep” accounts covered under FDIC insurance up to the standard limits. (You can read more about Schwab’s FDIC insurance here.) For assets held in securities, insurance is typically available through the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). Additionally, assets held at Schwab maintain additional insurance through Lloyd’s of London and other London insurers. Please note that this insurance does not protect you from losses due to market fluctuations.
We monitor your accounts daily through a combination of technology and personal review by your designated Portfolio Management Analyst and your Lead Advisor. Our technology platform allows us to immediately identify client portfolios in which trades are needed or warranted. In general, we trade client portfolios for the following four reasons: you need cash from your portfolio, you have deposited cash or securities into your portfolio to be invested, your account needs to be rebalanced to its target asset allocation, or for tax reasons.
We manage client portfolios according to a customized asset allocation detailed in each client’s Investment Policy Statement. If a client wants to conduct some personal trading, we typically establish a separate account which will not impact the performance of the D&Y-managed accounts. Talk to your Lead Advisor to determine what is best for you.
Research shows that timing the market is extremely difficult.
Market timers must accurately make two decisions:
Since markets fluctuate up and down, the stress of being in the market is very quickly replaced by the stress of being out of the market.
You can think of market timing as waiting for a better seat on a subway train at rush hour. While you actively wait for a less crowded car, it’s possible you’ll find one, but you run the risk of missing the train altogether if you wait too long. If you miss that train and catch the next one, the long minutes spent on the platform is time you will never get back.
Research source: https://www.cxoadvisory.com/gurus/
An independent advisor is required to be a fiduciary. A broker is not.
Fiduciaries are legally bound to put your best interests ahead of their own. In contrast, brokers are held to the “suitability” standard, which means simply being able to represent that an investment is “suitable” for a client’s portfolio – which could lead to a conflict in interest.
Also, advisors who are “fee-only” do not make commissions based on investments they place in a client’s portfolio. Brokers have historically been compensated with commissions. This means they have different incentives than fee-only advisors do.
At D&Y, we are fiduciary, fee-only independent advisors.
See our Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor for more questions to ask any financial professional you are considering.
In addition to managing portfolios, we provide a full range of financial planning services for our clients. These services include planning for retirement, college savings, executive compensation, and charitable giving. Please see our how we can meet Your Needs here.
We also work together with your tax professional, estate planning attorney, insurance broker, and other professionals to ensure that you have comprehensive care across your financial life. If you need a tax professional, estate planning attorney, or other professional, we are happy to recommend people we know and trust. Please note that we do not receive any referral fees or other compensation from these recommendations.
Yes, if your 401(k) plan administrator allows for it.
Some, but not all, employer-sponsored retirement plans allow employees to open separate accounts that Dowling & Yahnke may be able to manage.
These separate accounts (which are typically called BrokerageLinks, PCRAs, Self-Directed Accounts, or Individually-Directed Accounts) greatly expand the universe of allowable investments. You would no longer be limited to the fixed menu of fund options within the traditional 401(k) plan account.
Yes, we can help to review and evaluate your policies. Since we are not insurance agents or brokers, we can take an unbiased approach to evaluating your insurance needs and coverage.
As part of our financial planning services, our team assesses what, if any, insurance needs you may have and how your current policies address those needs. We do not sell insurance products, but we will connect you with independent insurance professionals should you need additional insurance. We do not receive any compensation for referrals to insurance professionals.