Our loyal advisors assure that your best interests are at the core of every investment recommendation. We look out for you, not for sales commissions or other agendas. Read on for answers to frequently asked questions about how we operate.
How do you get paid?
Our only compensation comes from the fees our clients pay us to manage their investments and provide financial advice. In the financial planning world, this is commonly referred to as a “fee-only” approach. Fees are calculated as a percentage of clients’ AUM (assets under management).
Because we receive no compensation from the products we recommend, you can feel comfortable knowing we are always looking out for you, not focusing on selling commission-based products or other agendas. This ensures that our advice is independent, objective and intended to be in your best interest.
Do you work with only local clients?
Plancorp values the relationships we have with clients all over the country. Our physical offices are located in St. Louis and Webster Groves, Missouri, and Sarasota, Florida, but we often travel to meet out-of-town clients in person. As strong believers in using new technology to facilitate client interactions, we’re also reachable via phone, email and videoconferencing.
How would you invest my assets?
Nearly 40 years of academic research—which includes Nobel Prize-winning work—has shown that traditional active money managers fail to consistently outperform the market. So, rather than adhering to the Wall Street approach of making investment decisions based on conjecture (and advisors who push commissioned products), we combine practical investment strategies with solid academic research. Our investment philosophy concentrates on creating globally diversified portfolios, which we constantly monitor to maintain their agreed upon asset allocation and never trade in response to speculation or overreaction.
What can I expect in a relationship if I became a client?
Each of our clients has a dedicated team of advisors made up of a Wealth Manager, a Planning Associate and a Client Service Representative. You’ll meet at least annually with the members of your specific team, and we may also pull in other specialists, depending on your personal needs.
No matter with whom you meet, you will always hear a consistent message from our team. We all agree on the best ways to deal with our clients’ planning needs. We all agree on the investment style we recommend. And we all provide impartial advice that is free from hidden financial incentives.
What makes you different from other advisors?
We believe in maintaining absolute transparency with our clients and always put their interests ahead of our own. This philosophy has served us well, as we have built long-lasting relationships with clients across the country over more than 30 years of business. As a client of Plancorp, you can be certain there are no hidden fees or agendas, just a life advocate who is looking out for what’s best for you and your family.
What is the minimum for working with Plancorp?
Plancorp does not have an account minimum for who may become a client, but we do have a minimum quarterly fee for individuals: $1,250. This gives us the flexibility to serve clients who are accumulating assets or have upcoming life events. Even if we are not the right fit, we may be able to help you find someone who can assist with your needs.
What is a fiduciary?
We believe that our clients’ interests come before the interests of any other party, including ourselves. As a fiduciary advisor, we are legally obligated to act solely in the best interests of you and your family when providing financial advice.
Do you prepare legal documents and/or file tax returns?
We do not prepare tax returns or legal documents, but we are happy to help you find a reputable accountant or attorney in your area through our extensive networks.
Who holds my money?
As a client of Plancorp, your assets will be held by a third-party custodian, TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab or Fidelity. Plancorp never takes ownership of any of your assets, which remain in a separate account that you own. Your custodian will provide you with independent account statements showing all holdings and activity in your accounts.
Am I able to access the funds in my portfolio in the case of an emergency?
Our investment strategy does not use illiquid, long-term investments. We use mutual funds that can be bought and sold any day the trading markets are open. If there is an instance that you need a portion of your portfolio for any emergency, we can liquidate our investments and exchange them for their fair-market value in cash within 24 hours*.
*Please note: Assets held in retirement plan accounts are distributed according to the retirement plan provisions.
Can you work with my children to help them manage their financial lives as well?
Absolutely. We take a multigenerational approach geared toward educating you, as well as your children, about planning for the future. We take pride in providing our clients with the information they need to understand the “why” behind the investment and planning recommendations we make. That education often extends to future generations as we often coach their children and give them a foundation for making wise decisions on their own.
Is there a fee for terminating my relationship?
There is no fee for hiring or firing our team. It is an entirely at-will relationship and may be terminated by either party at any time. If our relationship is terminated and you have paid us in advance, we will refund you the pro-rata fees that we didn’t earn.
What is your client retention rate?
We take a great deal of pride in the level of trust our clients place with us, underscored by our 95+ percent client retention rate. To us, becoming a Plancorp client means more than starting a business relationship. We hope that it marks the beginning of a lifelong relationship that continues for generations to come.