Q: What does it mean to be independent?
Isn’t that the big question being asked by most people these days? At Fulcrum we could talk about the subject for hours. But to distill the question down to it’s most basic essence (and hopefully answer it in some succinct manner), it’s all about alignment of interests. Public companies and large regional/national partnerships are beholden to their shareholders, and maximizing shareholder value is the primary focus of their business. Basically, the “client <-> advisor <-> management <-> shareholder” dynamic is flawed and one of compromise, and in this day and age of being a fiduciary and the required standard of care, there can be no compromise towards the goals and objectives of clients. In our opinion, having the ability to be independent from shareholders or partners with differing missions than our own is the only way to ensure that we do what is most appropriate for our clients.
Q: So, are you a fiduciary?
Yes, we actively hold ourselves to a fiduciary standard for all clients and accounts. This means we always place client interest above our own, while acting with a duty of loyalty and care. Additionally, we strive to provide advice using the most accurate and complete information available, while avoiding (or actively disclosing) any actual or potential conflicts of interest. This is the highest standard of care in the financial services industry, and we are committed to maintaining that level of service to our clients.
Q: How do you charge fees or make money?
Great question. Our goal at Fulcrum is to ensure that any fees or commissions paid by clients are commensurate with the work we perform and in-line with the expectations of both parties. During the client onboarding process, the work to be performed typically dictates what approach makes the most sense. With that said, they typically include any or all of the following:
1) an annual “wrap fee” (covering discretionary and/or non-discretionary accounts)
2) commissions charged on a transactional basis (such as an equity/bond purchase or sale, or mutual fund purchase, etc.), or
3) an agreed to “fee” for financial planning purposes. Though there can be other costs incurred over time, these represent the majority of them.
Q: So where exactly are my assets being held?
Another great question. Fulcrum does not warehouse or take custody of client assets, nor do we perform monthly or annual reporting. Those duties are handled by our partners (refer to partners page), which allows us to focus solely on helping clients identify and achieve their goals. We subject ourselves to rigorous compliance and oversight, striving to achieve transparency in all aspects of our business.
Q: So what do you really mean by “a counselor for all things financial”?
The principles of Fulcrum Wealth Planning have extensive experience in wealth management, personal financial planning, corporate needs, and business planning. We strive to provide our clients with a trusted voice for all of their financial concerns, anchored in a fiduciary standard that puts their interests ahead of our own.