INVESTMENT ADVISORY Q&A

As Ian Welham, RFC® points out, managing risk is often more important than chasing growth – especially as we get closer to retirement.

Q: How are you different from typical financial advisors?

IAN: Our focus is restricted to retirement planning and retirement investing. I don’t know of other advisors who limit their practice like this. We’ve seen just about every situation out there when it comes to retirement – and that experience benefits our clients.

Q: Can you give us an example of your process?

IAN: There are a number of steps involved, but one thing we do is we run 1,000 trials of your retirement plan using 1,000 different return possibilities to calculate the probability your plan will be successful – and then make adjustments accordingly.

Q: How does this help?

IAN: It’s quite effective at finding the stress points and where your portfolio might be vulnerable – before there’s a problem.

Q: What’s a common mistake you see average investors make?

IAN: Most people don’t understand how much risk they’re taking in their portfolio. The message from Wall Street (and too many advisors, frankly) is that investors should keep the majority of their assets “at work” in the stock market at all times. That might be OK for folks in their 30’s or 40’s, but not in their 60’s and above.

Q: Why are you so concerned about risk?

IAN: Being trained as an accountant I’m conservative by nature. In addition, because our clients are either approaching or already in retirement,  it’s important to minimize drawdowns. There are 4 sharks that can take a bite out of your nest egg:

  • market volatility
  • taxes
  • inflation
  • health issues

It’s our mission to protect you from all four.

Q: What kind of fees do you charge?

IAN: We charge a “wrap fee” that includes all trading costs and custodian costs. The investor has peace of mind that there are no additional costs to receive active management of their portfolio. And by paying an advisor a fee based on the total amount of investable assets, the investor and the advisor are on the same team. When the investor’s portfolio grows, the advisor’s paycheck grows as well.

Q: What is the percentage?

IAN: I’m happy to share that in an in-person meeting. We believe that for any collaboration to work, there must be full transparency, so we welcome that conversation. New clients tell us that our fees are extremely competitive compared to other advisors. I invite people to make an appointment so we can have an open discussion.

Q: Any other thoughts?

IAN: Just that we all only have one chance to get retirement right. So whether it’s us or someone else, it’s important to find someone who can help you build a plan you can rely on.