Frequently Asked Questions

Does Financial Solutions have the expertise to deal with the issues facing me and my family?

Our team has decades of experience working specifically with affluent individuals. We’ve devoted our careers to providing the holistic wealth management that helps clients reach their financial goals. We’re proud to provide cutting-edge expertise in areas including planning, investments, taxes, estate, insurance, income and education. At Financial Solutions, our expertise and experience serve a single purpose: To help you succeed.

Will you be able to continue to serve me for the indefinite future?

Financial Solutions’ wealth managers have decades of experience providing wealth strategies and management. Our plan is to continue to be the leading independent wealth management practice, and we have a thoughtful succession plan in place to ensure our ability to continue to serve our clients.

What is your client turnover rate?

Our firm has experienced a client turnover rate of less than 1%. We seek constructive feedback on a regular basis both formally through surveys and informally in client meetings. We are proactively mindful of opportunities for client service.

Can Financial Solutions provide best-in-class services, products and ideas?

Financial Solutions manages $600 million of client assets. As a result, we have access to the institutional marketplace of worldwide investment opportunities at institutional prices. We also have access to the best technology and research available.

What is your pricing, and do you have conflicts of interest?

Financial Solutions is a fee-only Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). We do not generate commissions from any product or service that we recommend to our clients. That fact is extremely important in eliminating conflicts of interest.

Our clients pay us an initial hourly-based fee for the creation of a comprehensive financial plan and a percentage of the assets under management for investment services. Our graduated portfolio management fees begin at 1% per year for a stock/bond portfolio and .50% for an all-bond portfolio.

What separates Financial Solutions from other advisors?

We have many differentiating factors, including:

  • Independence and private ownership.
  • A team with a unique background gained while working at some of the top financial institutions in the nation.
  • Decades of experience working specifically with affluent individuals.
  • Experts in the construction of customized portfolios using traditional and alternative investments, trust, estate and financial planning.
  • Low client-to-advisor ratio, which allows for personalized service and better investment oversight.
  • Direct clients access to the firm’s owners.
  • No conflicts of interest. We provide services on a fee-only basis. We do not accept any other compensation, either directly or indirectly from other sources.
  • SEC-registered investment advisor with a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of our clients.
  • Holistic wealth management.

How often do you re-evaluate my investments and financial plan?

Because of the highly customized nature of each client relationship, the frequency of formal reviews or meetings varies from client to client. After the initial discovery meetings and comprehensive planning, we maintain an ongoing dialogue with our clients in all aspects of financial decisions. We recommend that progress on all plans be reviewed at least annually.

Our advisors communicate with all clients throughout the year whenever there is a need, but at least quarterly. Each client receives a quarterly report about one week after each quarter begins.

Can I request a copy of your SEC Form ADV, Part II?

The SEC requires Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) to provide the Form ADV, Part II to all clients. This form contains detailed information regarding our practice. Our current Form ADV, Part II is always available on our website (www.fsadvisorygroup.com). Or you may give us a call at 773.714.1540 and request that a copy be mailed to you.

Can I review your investment performance over the last several years?

Each of our clients has a customized allocation and mix of managers to reflect his or her investment objectives, constraints and financial plan target returns making the traditional measures of standard (composite) performance not applicable. However, each manager we recommend does have a performance record that is among the criteria we consider when selecting the manager. We can also share with you the range of actual performance of specific client portfolios and the component elements used in these portfolios.

What are your minimum requirements for accepting new clients?

To ensure the level of service that our clients deserve, Financial Solutions requires new clients to have a minimum portfolio of $500,000 to be managed by our firm as the primary investment advisor. We also require that clients have:

  • A commitment to a long-term relationship
  • A willingness to participate in the financial planning process
  • A desire to delegate due to the lack of time, expertise or interest
  • An appreciation of the value in holistic wealth management

Can I hire Financial Solutions specifically for Financial Planning Services?

Yes, but generally, all clients utilize our comprehensive wealth management service. Over the years we have observed that clients who do so achieve better results and a much more efficient portfolio.

Can you help me with my taxes?

Although tax analysis and considerations are a part of the wealth management process, we do not directly prepare tax returns. We will refer accountants and work very closely with them to ensure the best possible two-way exchange of information, facilitating the accountant’s return preparation and an accurate view of our clients’ tax situation.

Do you implement portfolios by picking individual securities and fund investments?

To help reduce overall portfolio volatility we use sophisticated methods of diversification to help limit overall volatility within durable, long-term investment portfolios. We provide the most appropriate solution for each client using “best of breed” opportunities, regardless of their source. We will look at several avenues for implementing client portfolios based on each client’s needs, including:

  • Individual securities
  • Institutional managers
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  • Mutual funds

Do you normally recommend exposure to international markets?

Yes, we believe U.S. investors should seek opportunities internationally. The U.S. stock markets today represent less than half of the world’s total stock value. We believe that by ignoring international markets, investors deprive themselves of the opportunity for higher long-term returns.

Furthermore, by diversifying into international markets, investors will generally experience lower portfolio volatility over time. For these reasons, we include appropriate levels of international exposure for each client consistent with their return objectives and tolerance for risk.

Why should I hire a wealth manager when I can buy the same funds on my own?

Often it is not possible to buy the same funds on your own. Some of the funds we use to implement portfolios are institutional, or are restricted by large minimum investment requirements, or are open to qualified advisors only.

But this is just one very small part of the wealth management process. The value we provide includes the integration of our comprehensive wealth planning services combined with our discretionary management of investment portfolios.

Why use an independent registered investment advisor?

  • They're independent. Independent RIAs generally have affiliations with a variety of firms that assist with tax planning, estate planning, money management and more. These affiliations allow RIAs to help their clients with complex financial needs.
  • They're usually fee-based. Independent RIAs usually charge fees based on a percentage of your assets, so growing your portfolio benefits you both.
  • Your assets are generally held by a third party. Independent RIAs typically manage your assets in an account they open for you with a third-party custodian.

What must you know in order to understand my goals and preferences?

  • Your investment goals. What are you working toward: A comfortable retirement? Leaving a legacy? Philanthropic goals?
  • Risk tolerance. How much fluctuation in value can you tolerate in exchange for the opportunity to earn above-average returns?
  • Time horizon. When will you need to withdraw money from your investments?
  • Income needs. Do you need current income from your portfolio? If so, how much?
  • Tax situation. Does your tax bracket require a tax-sensitive strategy?
  • Holdings. What does your current portfolio look like? Do you have significant wealth tied up in one stock, real estate or an illiquid asset?
  • Other needs. Do you have complex planning needs related to wealth transfer, executive compensation, risk management, business succession planning or philanthropic planning?