Frequently asked questions.
How are you so much cheaper than other firms?
The fact is that traditional Wall Street firms - both commission-based broker dealers and fee-based investment advisors - are typically inefficient. Many of them pay inflated salaries to layers of middle-management, and many rely on outdated systems that are expensive to maintain. In our opinion, too many financial services firms are focused on fancy (and expensive) office space, company cars, art collections, and expense accounts. All of these expenses are eventually passed on to clients.
Wedmont is not cheap (in fact, for clients with assets close to our minimum of $1,000,000, our fixed fee of $10,000 is likely to be similar, and, perhaps, even more expensive than many other firms). Wedmont was built from the ground up with the sole purpose of trying to provide clients with better service and outcomes than our competitors, with a transparent and fair fee structure.
Do I have to move all of my assets to Wedmont?
No. Some clients choose to maintain relationships with multiple firms. We only require that your total investable assets with Wedmont be in excess of $1,000,000.
Will you waive the $1,000,000 minimum?
Our $1,000,000 minimum is meant to ensure that our $10,000 fee is appropriate for each client. In rare circumstances we will waive our minimum. Exceptions are typically granted for clients who we expect to surpass our minimum in the near future (i.e., individuals with pre-IPO stock, expected inheritances, pending business or real estate sales, etc.).
To request an exception to our $1,000,000 minimum please contact us at email@example.com
How does the $10,000 flat fee work?
Our fee is paid quarterly in arrears. One fee covers an entire household (both spouses), and there are no limits on the number of accounts or the size of the portfolio. In especially complex cases, we reserve the right to charge different entities (for example, a family foundation) a separate fee.
Where are my assets custodied?
We work with third party custodians to house and safeguard your assets. Our recommended custodian for new clients is Charles Schwab.
How does Wedmont protect my data and privacy?
We utilize encryption technology to protect your personal information, and we implement and enforce data protection policies with all of our employees. Some examples of our safeguards include:
- Our client portal, where clients can access performance and account information, is protected by the industry’s leading two-factor identity and information security provider, SecureAuth.
- Clients are able to transfer sensitive data to and from Wedmont via a secure tunnel (SSL/TSL) protected by 128-bit or higher Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption.
- All client documents are stored in a secure cloud-based file storage system that utilizes 256-bit AES encryption.
- We store no sensitive client information onsite and destroy all physical copies of client documents once they have been uploaded to our secure cloud.
- Assets are custodied at leading third-party custodians and can be accessed by clients at any time.
- We utilize Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) when appropriate.
- All of our systems are encrypted and our email, secure storage systems, and trading software is protected by two-factor authentication.
- We maintain error and omission insurance well in excess of industry norms.
We are always looking for ways to enhance our data security posture and remain vigilant when it comes to protecting our systems.
Why is it important that my advisor be a fiduciary?
Wedmont serves as a fiduciary to all clients, which means we are required to put client interests ahead of our own at all times. This is very different than traditional Wall Street firms. Practically speaking, here’s what you can expect from Wedmont:
- We only receive compensation from you. We will never receive a cent from asset managers, brokers, insurance companies, attorneys, accountants, or any other entities.
- We will never accept gifts or quid pro quos from any company, person, or entity. If a conflict of interest ever arises, we will notify you immediately and do everything possible to mitigate it.
- Our advisors are CFPs. As such, they operate under an even more stringent fiduciary standard than what is legally obligated of most fiduciary advisors. To find out more, please visit the CFP Board’s website.
Even if you don’t work with Wedmont, please ask any prospective wealth manager whether they serve as fiduciaries for all accounts, and will sign a binding contract to that effect (this language is included in every Wedmont client agreement). A number of other nice-sounding standards exist but do not provide the same level of legal protection as the fiduciary standard.
My current portfolio has significant gains, how do I transition to Wedmont without incurring unnecessary taxes?
We work with you to develop a tax sensitive transition plan. To discuss the details of your portfolio please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you charge placement fees on hedge funds or private equity funds?
No. The only fee we charge is our annual $10,000 fee. We do not charge placement fees on hedge funds or private equity, nor do we receive trailing commissions. Because of this, we are often able to offer clients access to hedge fund and private equity investments for a fraction of the cost of other advisors.
Do you make impact or ESG investments?
Yes. Each client’s portfolio is designed from scratch. We can customize your portfolio to adhere to any number of impact and ESG mandates.
Do you have to take discretion over my portfolio?
No, but for most clients this is the typical portfolio management arrangement.
Can you help manage my employee stock and options?
Yes. We specialize in managing employee stock and options, especially for Section 16 insiders. We work collaboratively with you to develop a plan to maximize the value of your equity awards in a way that is tax, risk, and compliance sensitive.
My employer has strict rules about what types of investments I can own, will you accommodate me?
Yes. We are accustomed to working with a variety of employee trading policies.
Is it a requirement that clients support your veteran initiatives?
No. Though, in times when we limit new client capacity, preference will be given to new clients who support our efforts.
Have additional questions?
Please contact us at 610-885-8200 or email@example.com.