What type of clients do you work with?
We serve successful individuals and families, business owners and retirement plan sponsors. Each client has their own needs, desires, roadblocks, and big picture goals. What they have in common is a desire to do the best for themselves and those around them – this could mean their family, their employees or their community. We help address the financial needs so our clients can spend their limited time nurturing relationships and exploring passions. We have a compassionate understanding of the needs of our clients and spend time walking them through any specific concerns they may have.
Over the years, we have developed vast experience helping the following unique groups: doctors and medical professionals, multi-generational families, special needs families, widows and divorcees, and small to mid-size businesses helping their employees to retire.
Do I work with a single advisor at your firm? Will I be passed off when my advisor retires?
When you work with Searcy Financial, you are working with a team, not just a single advisor. Your Lead Advisor will be your main contact, but you will have direct access to anyone on your team for any need that arises. To meet the members of our team, visit http://searcyfinancial.com/our-team. We have a business succession plan in place for continued success of our clients and our firm so you will never have to be worried about being “passed off” to another advisor if a team member retires.
How do you decide which advisors in your firm will work with me?
Each new client has access to an online assessment that helps us understand your preferences, relationship traits and communication style. Based on this assessment and our introductory meetings, we match you with a Lead Advisor and core team that best fits your style. We have advisors who specialize in different areas of financial planning, including retirement plans for businesses, insurance, succession planning and other specific areas. If you have a more specific need, that will be taken into account when determining your core team.
How long do your clients stay clients? What is your retention rate?
We structure our relationship to be life-long and help our clients reach their goals throughout every stage of life. Our longest client relationships began in the early 80s, and in addition to managing individual wealth for these clients, we also help manage many of their company retirement plans and accounts for their children and parents. Our average client tenure is 12 years and our retention rate is greater than 95%. Keep in mind, we have several clients who have been with us for decades (20, 30+ years) but the averages include clients who have passed away while working with us and new clients who currently have only worked with us for a few years.
How do I establish a relationship with Searcy Financial?
To learn more about you and how we can meet your needs, we would schedule a complimentary, no-obligations introduction meeting to understand your financial needs and goals. This can be done in person, via phone or via video conference at your convenience. This meeting is designed to answer the question, “Is this a good fit?” It is an opportunity to ask questions, gather information, voice concerns and get to know one another. Once you have your questions answered and decide to move forward to engage our firm, you would sign an engagement agreement and our relationship would officially begin. For a better understanding of what the first year looks like, visit http://searcyfinancial.com/images/pdfs/Process_WhatToExpect_Personal.pdf.
Do you include members of our family in the planning? What percentage of your clients are 2-3 generations?
Yes. More than 20% of our clients are members of a multi-generational family, meaning 2-3 generations of their family have engaged our firm, while several others are siblings or cousins from the same generation. Our goal is to create trust and continuity within the family line, which means incorporating your parents or children is beneficial. We offer collaborative family meetings if that fits your needs or your family members might benefit from their own engagement with our firm. We take your family into account when developing your plan, including insurance needs, education funding goals, etc. and help with transitioning assets between generations.
We also help your family members beyond financial planning. Your family members are able to take our online assessment which provides a report of their strengths and style of interaction. Many parents have had their children take this assessment to help them decide a path for their future.
How frequently do you meet with me?
Although we are always available to you anytime you have a question or need, we do encourage regularly scheduled review meetings to make sure your plan includes the most relevant updates in your life. We have different engagement levels available to address your personal needs and goals. Depending on your engagement level, we would meet quarterly (Platinum), semi-annually (Gold), annually (Silver) or as the need arises.
Can I still be a client if I don’t live close to your office?
Absolutely. Approximately half of our clients are considered local and the other half are spread across the United States. We continually update our technology to make remote meetings as seamless as possible and are available to meet with you by phone, video and screen-share, based on your preference. We have team members located in the Kansas City metro, Phoenix and Naples area and are able to travel, as needed, to meet clients changing demands.
How long have you been in business?
Searcy Financial Services was founded in 1976. Visit http://searcyfinancial.com/firm-highlights for more information on our firm including our reputation, credentials and publications.
How do I pay for your services?
Investment management fees are collected at the beginning of every calendar quarter. Our management fee is billed directly to the accounts so there is no need to write us a check every time. Financial planning fees are prorated and paid quarterly, in advance.
What fee options do you have and what do they include?
Because each of our clients are unique, we offer 3 different levels of service to meet each person’s individual needs. Financial planning is the cornerstone of our practice and we believe that when the fees associated with planning are wrapped up with the investment management, it can become difficult to ascertain and appreciate the value of the planning. We don’t want the asset management fees subsidizing the planning. And we don’t believe clients with greater assets should subsidize clients with fewer assets. That’s why, regardless of the level of service you choose, we do the planning under one fee and investment management under a separate fee. You get both and pay for them separately.
These fees include your financial planning and investment management services, as well your review meetings. We would be happy to provide more details on each level during an introduction meeting.
Will I remain at the same fee level through our entire engagement? If not, what triggers a change?
We monitor your plan and needs throughout our engagement and address whether there should be a change in service level during your reviews. This would occur if your current needs no longer match your current service level.
What is fee-only and how does it impact me?
The way your advisor gets paid can have a big impact on your financial situation. Being fee-only means payment comes from the client directly to the advisor, and no commissions or incentives are present to sway an advisor to make one recommendation over another. At Searcy Financial, we are fee-only and act as a fiduciary 100% of the time for our clients in all that we do. Our recommendations are made in your best interest. We are members of The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), the leading fee-only planning organization in the country. You can learn more about compensation methods on their website: https://www.napfa.org/financial-planning/what-is-fee-only-advising
How do I compare your services with what I’m paying to my current advisor?
We would be happy to offer a Second Opinion analysis to show the differences in service between our firm and your current advisor. Please let us know if you have an interest in this offer.
Are there financial incentives for you to recommend certain financial products?
Absolutely not. We are a fee-only firm paid based upon the value of the assets in your account and your chosen service level. Our fee structure is clear and transparent. All fees paid to Searcy Financial are reported as a line item on our performance reports.
Do you have custody of my assets or access to them?
We use an independent custodian to safeguard your assets. Only you retain the ability to withdraw any assets from your account. You will simply sign a Limited Power of Attorney (LPOA) on your account(s) to name us as the advisor. This provides us with the ability to interact with the custodian about your account(s), have trading authority and deduct our management fees. Any other disbursements of funds must be authorized by you.
In situations where a LPOA cannot grant access, we may take custody of assets only due to the fact that we take control of your username and password to log into accounts in order to manage and trade them. This is quite typical in employer-sponsored retirement plans where you cannot choose the custodial platform. Because we have custody of these assets, we do an annual surprise custody audit that is performed by an independent third-party accounting firm.
Are my assets pooled with other investor funds?
No, all investors maintain their assets in individual accounts.
What types of investments do you use?
We utilize a combination of stocks, exchange traded funds (ETF) and mutual funds, and other investments based on need or market condition. Because we aren’t tied to any particular company or fund family, we have access to a broad range of investments to meet our clients’ needs.
Can I invest in other types of riskier investments through your firm?
As discretionary money managers, we seek to pick the “best of breed” in each investment category by utilizing the published Global Fiduciary Standards of Excellence, our Searcy Financial analysts’ recommendations and our proprietary analysis. If you have an interest in investments outside of our screening, we would be happy to speak to you about your interest. We can also review your investment and provide our analysis to help you weigh the benefits and risks, allowing you to make an informed decision. We may facilitate introductions to avenues for you to pursue riskier investments that would not be handled by our firm.
How often do you review my investments?
Accounts are reviewed on an ongoing basis so that we can make sure account transfers, contributions and distributions are handled correctly. Your account is managed alongside others with the same risk tolerance to make sure that the account(s) allocations, target percentages, and rebalancing is performed when necessary. Additionally, the investment committee oversees all account positions, looking for opportunities to make enhancements to the account(s) as needed. Our investment committee meets weekly to analyze current conditions and make necessary updates, even though changes are strategically made far less frequently.
Do you contact me before you make trades in my account?
As long as we are acting within the terms of the Investment Policy Statement, we do not need to contact you. This includes all re-balancing, buying additional shares of existing positions, buying new positions and selling positions. We have found that our clients prefer this arrangement. All trades that occur in a given quarter are summarized in our quarterly reports so that you are aware of what you’re invested in and why.
How do I get money out of my accounts?
When you need to get money out of your account, you simply call our office to make the request and we will place the necessary trades to create the cash you need. During this call, we will discuss the duration and process for receiving the money and determine if it will come via check or be deposited into a linked bank account for your convenience. Many clients link their bank accounts for ease of transferring money and systematic deposits or withdrawals.
Can I get money out of my account quickly in case of emergency?
Yes, your account is liquid. If there is enough money in your money market to handle your request, we can usually transfer the money into your bank account within 24 hours. If we need to liquidate investments to meet your cash requirements, then the cash can be available in as little as 4-5 business days. We recommend that you maintain a separate emergency fund so you don’t have to prematurely liquidate long-term investments.
If I want to close my account, will I have to pay a penalty?
Our investment management contract is open-ended, meaning you may discontinue using our services at any time with a 30 day written notice. You would not have to pay us a penalty.
Do you guarantee returns?
We do not guarantee returns and past performance is not indicative of future performance. We manage your risk, and focus on minimizing the impact of market downturns and preserving your principal. We have historically used a 5-7% annualized return in our financial freedom projections which we believe to be a reasonable long-term assumption. For compliance reasons, our performance is not published but we would be happy to speak with you more about this subject.
How often will I receive statements on my account?
You will receive monthly statements from the custodian showing your balances, positions and any activity in the account. Performance reports are available online and can be generated with any time frame you choose. We will email you letting you know when new reports are available. Quarterly, we provide an overview of positions purchased and sold in addition to economic and/or market commentary. Periodically, you may also receive memos from us if we make a strategic change to your portfolio allocation.
Can I have duplicate statements sent to another family member, advisor, CPA, attorney or trusted party?
Yes. We can arrange for duplicate statements to be sent out automatically.
Can I see my account online?
Yes. The Searcy Financial technology is designed to make your life easier and your financial access more convenient. You can sign-in to your Reporting Portal via any computer or mobile device to review performance reports, investment statements and financial documents at your convenience. We sync your Reporting Portal with your Interactive Software and Document Vault to give you access to meeting agendas, goals summaries and analysis reports. Your Reporting Portal and your accounts at TD Ameritrade can be accessed through apps available in the Apple or Android marketplace.
Since I can view my account online, will I also be able to trade it myself?
No. When you hire us to manage your assets, we make all the trades in the account as we have agreed to do.
What is Allos Investment Advisors?
Allos Investment Advisors is a company created by Searcy Financial Services and designed for people who want fee-only investment management service but don’t currently need financial planning. Allos acts as your proactive, discretionary investment manager so you don’t have to keep up with every change in the economy and investment market. Regardless of the amount of assets you have to invest, Allos will create an investment portfolio suited to your needs, taking into account your comfort level with risk, investment timeline and financial goals. Allos creates and monitors your investment portfolios with the objective to preserve capital and deliver long-term growth. You can learn more at www.allosadvisors.com
How do Allos and Searcy differ in investment offerings?
Allos uses the same investment principles and access to the same exclusive institutional money managers used with Searcy Financial clients, but is better suited to clients with a net worth less than $3,000,000. Allos clients still enjoy low fee, conflict-free fiduciary investment management services, but without the integrated wealth management solutions offered by its parent wealth management firm.