How long have we been advising clients and what experience do the managing partners have?
The founding partners of Trilogy have worked with our clients for over 25 years. We officially became Trilogy Wealth Advisors in 2007. Tom Hofbauer has more than 35 years in the industry, Jill Powers has more than 25 years of experience in both insurance and finance, Steve Hess has more than 20 years in trust and finance, and Adam Smith is the rookie with nearly 20 years of experience in financial services. Our Service Team is equally experienced with 12 to 25 years in financial services.
You say that Trilogy works as a team. What does that mean?
Having a team of CFP® professionals review and approve your plan is a key difference between Trilogy and other financial firms. Because your financial needs are complex, we bring our Partner Planning Team together to review each client’s Wealth Plan. Together we look for ways to improve your unique plan, uncover hidden problems or opportunities, and bring the strength of the team to bear on your behalf. Because each member of our team also has specialized areas of focus, we will engage certain members of the team at different times for you.
What is the importance of working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional vs. another financial advisor?
The term “financial planner” is used by many financial professionals, however, all financial planners are not created equal. A Certified Financial Planner™ professional must have passed a rigorous CFP® certification process that includes significant education and experience requirements, as well as a comprehensive exam that tests their personal financial planning knowledge and skills.
Additionally, CFP® practitioners must meet regular continuing education and ethics requirements. You may visit www.CFP-Board.org to check whether your financial planner is a Certified Financial Planner™ professional.
At Trilogy Wealth Advisors, Jill Powers, Steve Hess, and Adam Smith are Certified Financial Planner™ professionals.
My money is in a 401(k), so I don’t incur any costs for my account – right? Why should I pay you to manage this money when I retire?
Every investment product has some sort of investment management cost associated with it – even so-called “no load” mutual funds inside retirement plans. These management fees vary widely and can range from a few fractions of a percent to nearly 2 percent per year. This management fee is deducted from your account’s return every year. You don’t see it, but you do pay it by reduced performance. When we manage money for a fee based on the asset value, we can use low-cost index or no-load funds. When we add our fee for managing, planning, and advising you, the total cost is often very similar to the cost you pay inside your 401(k) plan. It can sometimes even be less. In addition to our professional guidance in managing your asset allocation, our fee includes the planning and related services you don’t get from your 401(k) provider. Services such as:
We feel that the value of our wealth planning and investment advice is a worthwhile option. Avoiding a costly mistake, optimizing an unknown strategy, or getting valuable counsel during an especially volatile economic event can make having a team of experts on your side worth the investment. We welcome the opportunity to compare services and we are happy to disclose both the costs you’re paying now and the costs of doing business with us.
What can I expect when I work with you?
We feel the best results come from getting a complete financial picture for each client. View our step by step process by clicking here.
What should I bring to the first consultation meeting?
Please bring an open mind and ideas of where you feel you need help. We ask you to bring a completed Pre-Consultation Worksheet. For specific questions or areas of concern, please bring documents and account statements related to those concerns. Having a basic idea about your income, expenses, assets and debts will help as well.
Generally, each initial consultation meeting lasts an hour, but we do not “watch the clock.” There is no cost obligation for the initial consultation. We will review the specific issues or concerns that led you to contact us. After reviewing your situation, we will suggest potential areas of opportunity and the services we offer, their respective cost and information on how best to proceed. If your needs would be better served by another professional (e.g. attorney, CPA), we will offer to provide referrals. Even if you do not require our services, our goal is for you to receive some insight and direction during the consultation.
How often do you meet with your clients?
Meeting frequency largely depends on the level of involvement desired by each client. Typically, we meet with clients quarterly, semi-annually or annually to review their plan, their investments and any issues that may have come up. There is no limit to the number of meetings, phone calls or emails. The level of communication is completely up to you.
Is there a minimum asset level to work with us?
There is no required or suggested asset level for comprehensive financial planning.
Wealth management clients generally have $100,000 of investable assets but we can also work on an hourly or project-based rate. Investors who are just getting started have several cost-effective options.
Who is Cambridge and what does it mean to be an “independent” financial professional?
Ranked among the top 10 independent broker-dealers by revenue1, Cambridge is the entity responsible for processing the business and transactions of Trilogy Wealth Advisors and other independent financial advisors who are licensed and regulated by Cambridge. As a broker-dealer and Registered Investment Adviser, Cambridge facilitates the buying and selling of securities and holds certain responsibilities for regulatory compliance and adherence to securities laws.
Founded in 19812, Cambridge supports over 3,200 advisors, with over $93 billion in assets3. Honored to be among the most respected firms in the industry, Cambridge is an 11-time honoree in the Broker-Dealer of the Year annual poll by Investment Advisor magazine4.
1Financial Planning magazine, June “FP50,” 2012-2018
2Cambridge and its predecessor broker-dealer
3As of December 31, 2018
4Investment Advisor magazine, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2007, Division IV; 2003, Division III. Cambridge received the highest marks from its advisors in the Investment Advisor Broker-Dealer of the Year 2018 Division IV category. A broker-dealer becomes eligible form this honor only after a minimum of 10 percent of its producing advisors cast valid ballots. These ballots also rate the broker-dealer in 15 different categories defined by Investment Advisor as relevant challenges and concerns by advisors. The broker-dealers receiving the highest marks in each of four divisions are declared Broker-Dealer of the Year by Investment Advisor magazine. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of participating advisors surveyed in June of the 11 years listed. Your experience may vary. Visit thinkadvisor.com.
Why is private control and having an independent financial advisor important to me?
You may be familiar with firms that are subsidiaries of commercial banks, investment banks, or insurance companies. Those companies produce a product – research, investments, or annuities – and often directly or indirectly expect their advisors to sell those products to their clients.
An independent, privately controlled firm like Cambridge is different because they do not produce a product and expect their advisors to sell it. Cambridge allows its independent financial advisors to offer non-proprietary investment solutions, such as mutual funds or life insurance, from a wide variety of companies. At Cambridge, they do not dictate or incentivize their advisors to use proprietary investment options.
At Trilogy Wealth Advisors, we are independent financial professionals who choose to work with Cambridge because of their ability to provide the tools we need to support you – with no strings attached.
What is a “fiduciary” and are you fiduciaries?
Anyone can be a fiduciary, but the basic premise is that a fiduciary has a duty to place the other person’s interest above their own, and act in good faith, with trust and honesty.
At Trilogy Wealth Advisors, we are most often in a fiduciary role when working with our clients. We do so as part of our CFP® certification standards and when we operate as investment advisor representatives.
How is my money safeguarded when I work with you?
When you open a brokerage or managed money account with Trilogy Wealth Advisors, your assets are held (we call it “custodied”) at a clearing firm, who is responsible for safekeeping, trading and record keeping of your money. We use two clearing firms: Pershing and Schwab.
Who is Pershing?
BNY Mellon’s Pershing has been a leading global provider of financial business solutions for almost 80 years and serves many of the world’s most respected financial organizations. Pershing has over $1.8 trillion in global client assets and net capital of over $2 billion.
Source: BNY Mellon Pershing
Who is Schwab?
Schwab is one of the leading investment services firm with more than $3.25 trillion in total client assets. Schwab is a top choice custodian for independent advisors with over 11 million brokerage accounts and serving over 7500 Registered Investment Advisors.
Source: Charles Schwab & Co, Inc.