Comprehensive financial planning services always includes investment advice and trading instructions. Many of my clients follow my instructions to implement the investment advice in their own accounts.
This is because I believe that the most value I can provide comes through unbiased, holistic financial advice offered for a flat fee (my Wealth Mode Planning service).
However, your investments are a key part of your wealth-building journey. And there is value in implementing things correctly as your portfolio gets larger.
For this reason, I’ve formed team partnerships with Betterment, XY Investment Solutions, and Dimensional Fund Advisors so my clients can have access to world-class investment management for less than half the cost of the industry average.
You have two different choices for investment management services. Each provider has a slightly different overall cost for investment management services.
Betterment has a 0.20% AUM fee, and I have a 0.10% cost of service for extra administrative work associated with helping manage your accounts.
XY Investment Solutions has a 0.35% AUM fee, and I have a 0.10% cost of service for extra administrative work associated with helping manage your accounts.
XY Investment Solutions at TD Ameritrade:
Depending on circumstance, my clients receive investment management through one of two providers.
Betterment is the nation’s leading “robo-advisor” service, offering a low-cost and efficient automated trading platform. We will build custom Flexible Portfolios not available for customers going to Betterment on their own.
XY Investment Solutions is an investment team provides academically-sound, evidence-based portfolio design and construction. Learn more about the XYIS team here.
On the XYIS investment platform, your accounts will be held at TD Ameritrade, one of the most respected custodians in the industry.
Through this service, my clients also get access to mutual funds from Dimensional Fund Advisors, widely recognized as a world-class investment research institution. Their mutual funds are only offered to clients of approved financial advisors who have been screened, interviewed, and educated to understand the academic, evidence-based approach to passive investing.
In the information age, many consumers are convinced through websites, blogs, podcasts, and books that they are more than capable of managing their own investment accounts. The focus is always on how much wealth will be “lost” for paying an AUM fee over time, instead of being fair and also including what investment management services adds in terms of future wealth.
What are the benefits? Here’s the short list of increase in value, measured in additional expected returns, that some of the research suggests:
Picking lower-cost investments: 0.45% - 0.82%
Tax loss harvesting: 0.20% - 0.60%
Asset location: Up to 0.75%
Investment selection for additional returns: > 0%
Rebalancing: 0.35% - 0.44%
Behavioral coaching to avoid mistakes: 1.50%
Does that look like it adds up to more than a typical AUM fee of 1%? You decide.
So the next question is, how much time does it take to incorporate all of the above on your own?
Of course, it depends on how knowledgeable you are, but I can I tell you something? I’m a Certified Financial Planner™ professional, but I still choose to pay for investment management services instead of making my own trades to run the strategies above.
Why? Because I believe there is real value to having your investment strategy implemented soundly and consistently. As is often the case in life, it’s the small nuanced differences or improvements that can drastically improve long-term results.
Vanguard’s famous Advisor’s Alpha Study postulated that properly implementing things like rebalancing, tax location, efficient distribution, and selecting low cost funds can potentially contribute up to 2% or more higher average annual returns over time.
Additionally, properly incorporating small-cap and value tilts in mutual fund and portfolio design has academic evidence of boosting returns over time as well.
So are these improvements worth the Assets Under Management (AUM) fees? I believe so, and that’s why I pay for investment management services myself.
Learn more about my Investment Philosophy and meet my partner investment team here.