a. What has changed?
· We have launched our own independent investment advisory firm called Altus Wealth Group, LLC.
· With the freedom this structure provides, you will receive the sophisticated, holistic wealth management services you have come to expect from us, but with some substantial enhancements.
· First and foremost, you will enjoy highly personalized, client-focused attention in every interaction with our team. We will offer financial planning, investment management, education savings planning, estate planning, business and non-profit investment consulting. Each of these services is designed to enable a deeper and more positive experience for you, the client.
· Altus Wealth Group offers clients a boutique investment service that is:
o Fully transparent on fees
o 100% owned and operated by partners and employees
o Offers a customized investment experience for clients
· Fully aligns our interests with those of you, our clients
b. What motivated you to make this change?
· Continuing to follow the fiduciary standard for our clients became increasingly difficult while working for our prior firm due to conflicts of interest inherent in the traditional brokerage firm model. As a result, we decided to create a client-centric firm so that we could continue to act as your true fiduciary.
· An independent, SEC registered investment advisory firm is the next logical step in the process toward providing unbiased investment management to our clients. Altus Wealth Group, LLC is a strictly objective financial advisory firm that incorporates “best practices” of investment management and client service.
c. Why are you making this move now?
· We want you to know that this decision did not come easily or quickly. Rather, it evolved over time. The industry has changed immensely over the years. As it stands today, we found ourselves out of sync with our former firm’s goals and practices. We felt that we needed to make a change to ensure that we could continue to deliver a fiduciary experience and personalized services focused on your interests and priorities.
· We strongly believe that our practice is built on relationships, and that you, our clients, feel connected to us because we offer a comprehensive wealth management experience. We felt that this had become increasingly difficult to execute, and our sole reason for leaving our former firm is to establish a better practice for you, our clients.
d. How will I reach you?
· Our new phone number is 719-695-1295 or please visit our website at altuswealthgroup.com to find out more about the firm.
e. Where did you move?
· Our offices are in the Conover Building at 24 South Weber Street, Suite 205 – just one block from our former office. We will officially open our doors on May 5, 2017.
f. What is the new website/how will I access my accounts?
· As soon as your account has been moved to our new firm, Dustin, Nancy, Jill or Linda will call you to provide you with login credentials to our new client portal.
g. Why didn’t you tell us about this change earlier?
· While we would have loved to share this news with you, we were not permitted to do so as we are governed by a strict code that forbids advanced notification to or solicitation of our clients.
a. What are the key benefits of investing with an independent financial advisor?
· Trust Matters: Who you put your trust in matters. Investors have put their trust in independent Registered Investment Advisors to the tune of $4trillion. Why? Independent advisors see their role is to serve, not to sell.
· Customized guidance based on your entire financial picture: Independent advisors are not tied to any particular family of funds or investment products. They are agnostic and unbiased. So whether you need help with retirement planning, a tax situation, estate planning, or managing assets at multiple places, independent advisors have the freedom to choose from a wide range of investment options in order to tailor their advice based on what is best for you.
· A fee structure that is simple and transparent: Independent advisors typically charge a fee based on a percentage of assets managed. This fee structure is simple, transparent, and easy to understand. It also gives your advisor an incentive to help grow your assets. When you succeed, your advisor succeeds.
· A high level of expertise to support your complex financial needs: Independent advisors can help investors address the variety of complex investment needs that arise when you accumulate significant wealth. While specific services vary from firm to firm, they are often described as financial ‘quarterbacks’ focused on your holistic financial pictures. Some advisors are specialists in certain investment strategies. Others can assist you with comprehensive services, such as estate planning or borrowing, the sale of a business, complicated tax situations, trusts, and intergenerational wealth transfer.
· Your money is held by an independent custodian, not the advisor firm: Independent advisors use independent custodians, such as Charles Schwab and others, to hold and safeguard clients’ assets. For many investors, this provides a reassuring system of checks and balances – your money is not held by the same person who advises you about how to invest it.
· Access: Greater access to elite managers, specific products and services, and improved research and analysis. We are no longer limited to proprietary solutions.
· Freedom to select the products and technology to best serve our clients—free from production requirements and the pressure to cross-sell products or deliver returns to shareholders.
· Purpose-built technology platform designed with advisors and clients in mind. This powerful, flexible trading platform makes it easy for us to work with our clients, integrate our technology, and offer a seamless mobile experience.
· Culture: As an independent RIA, we can establish our own leadership style based on our ideals and ideas, creating a culture we believe in.
b. What do you mean by “Fiduciary”?
When advisors follow the best practices model they implement the “fiduciary standard of care.” This basically means that advisors should act solely in the client’s best interest when offering personalized financial advice. We’ve created Altus Wealth Group, LLC, so that we can continue to put our clients’ needs first.
c. What is all of the news around the new “Fiduciary Rule” and what does it mean?
Many of the large banks fought implementation of the fiduciary rule because of the higher standard of care that it would require. In stark contrast, RIAs like Altus Wealth Group, LLC have always been required by law to assume the role of fiduciary and to put your best interests ahead of our own. We are happy to fully embrace that rule. As such, you get advice with limited potential conflicts of interest. Traditional brokers are not required to be a fiduciary to the client.
d. Are Independent RIAs subject to the same regulatory reviews and scrutiny that wirehouse and IBD firms are?
In the RIA model, advisors register with either the SEC or the state depending on the size of the firm. These regulators have books and records requirements similar to that of a broker dealer. In addition, most advisors hire third party compliance consultants to ensure they comply with the more stringent fiduciary standard that all advisors must adhere to. In addition, RIA’s leverage a third-party custodian to hold and safeguard client assets. As the broker dealer, Schwab Advisor Services is still under the regulatory oversight of FINRA, the SEC and OTC for banking supervision. In the RIA model there is oversight at both the Advisor and custodian level to ensure the safety and security of client assets.