October 12, 2018
Questions to ask when interviewing a potential financial advisor and our answers
  1. Are you a fiduciary?

    Yes. We consider being a fiduciary the most important characteristic of an advisor. It means we put our clients’ interest first. We believe in transparency and disclose any conflicts that may exist (with an explanation of the conflicts and how we mitigate them) so you may make an informed decision when deciding to work with us. 2X Wealth Group operates on a fee only basis, we do not earn commissions for any investments, and we are unbiased in our investment selection process.
  2. What licenses, credentials or other certifications do you have?

    Lisa James
    FINRA Series 65, an investment advisory license exam
    Certificate of Personal Financial Planning, with distinction, UC Berkeley Extension
    Passed CFP
    ® Exam, July 17, 2018
    Candidate for CFP
    ® Certification
    Extensive institutional fixed income capital markets experience, buying, selling, and hedging securities (Additional details are provided in the Form ADV Part 2)

    Lori Zager
    FINRA Series 66, 7 and 63 (the 66 and 7 combined are investment advisory license exams)
    FINRA Supervisory licenses 9 and 10
    California Accident, Health, Life and Variable Contracts Insurance License
    Long term institutional equity capital markets experience interacting with the largest West Coast portfolio managers (Additional details are provided in the Form ADV Part 2)
  3. Why did you choose this line of work?

    We saw an opportunity to help other women, both married and single, who are often underserved in the investment world and don’t have the financial backgrounds or interests we do. We are lifelong students of the market, and improving the financial literacy of women and their families is our passion.
  4. What services do you/does your firm provide? Do you interact with my other financial professionals such as my CPA and estate or divorce attorney?

    2X Wealth Group provides financial planning and investment advisory services. We spend the time getting to know our clients well, so we can incorporate their values, fears, and risk tolerance into the planning process. We use Financial DNA™ to get a deeper perspective on innate risk-taking ability and other financial behavior characteristics. We interact with our client’s estate attorneys, CPAs as well as divorce attorneys and bookkeepers as needed. Unlike many advisors, we also provide individual stock investing in addition to investments in ETFs and mutual funds.
  5. How do you charge for your services, and how much?

    We typically charge a fee for assets under management with declining percentages as asset size increases. The complexity and the number of different account types may also influence fees. Our fee practices are provided in more detail in our Form ADV Part 2.
  6. What costs do I incur in addition to your compensation?

    Ticket charges for trades. 2X Wealth Group’s clients typically execute trades with Charles Schwab. At Charles Schwab, ticket charges for executions range from $4.95 for equities and ETFs to $20 for mutual funds. A limited number of mutual funds as well as Treasury bills, notes and bonds have no ticket charges.

    Underlying expense ratios for ETFs and Mutual funds. These expenses typically range from .02% to 1.2% depending on the complexity of the fund’s investment style.

    We make a concerted effort to either minimize expense ratios or choose funds whose long term historical performance significantly exceeds their benchmark. We take all these costs into account and are judicious in the frequency of our trades.
  7. What kind of a financial plan do you offer?  Is it a simple computer program or do you use a detailed model of my assets?

    We offer a highly detailed financial plan using Emoney™, which is considered the gold standard in financial planning software. Emoney™ allows clients to link all their investment accounts in one place, and it provides us with consistently up to date net asset information. It also allows us to project portfolio growth based on actual investments, show financial outcomes based on a chosen retirement date, and we can even examine the impact of a semi-retirement period. Further, we can analyze the effect of moving to a lower (or higher) tax state, the financial implications of buying or selling real estate, and many other financial decisions.
  8. What is your investment philosophy?

    We believe in a personalized approach to investing. We strive to invest in assets that are appropriate for meeting your goals and at the same time don’t stress your risk tolerance. We believe in regular rebalancing as various assets grow at different rates, and your portfolio can drift from its original allocation. Further, we pay attention to changes in our clients’ circumstances that call for shifts in investment style. Lastly, we make occasional tactical shifts when warranted by market circumstances. For example, in the last year, we took clients out of bond positions and invested in very short term Treasuries and money market funds due to our concerns about rising interest rates.
  9. Do you personally own the same investment and insurance products you’ll be recommending to me?

    Unlike many financial planners and investment advisors, we are airline pilots not air traffic controllers, i.e. we are on the plane with you. While everyone’s goals and risk tolerance may be different, we invest in many of the assets we place in our client’s portfolios.
  10. Do you pay attention to tax consequences?

    Yes, we practice tax loss harvesting in taxable accounts.
  11. Who is your custodian?

    Charles Schwab is our custodian. Schwab is the largest service provider to independent investment advisors, and our clients benefit from their advisor platform.

    a) As fee-only advisors, we can invest in institutional asset classes with lower expense ratios than classes normally available to retail investors.

    b) There are no trading costs associated with moving in and out of Schwab’s Money Market Fund, and certain other mutual funds and Treasury securities incur no trading costs.
  12. What types of clients do you specialize in and do you have a minimum initial investment amount?

    Our focus is to ensure women, whether married, single or divorced, are involved in the financial planning process and understand not only how they are invested but why. Our customary minimum investment is $1 million.
  13. How much contact do you have with your clients?

    We spend a lot of time getting to know our clients and educating them about their financial plan and investments. This means several meetings to gather information, explain the financial plan, and review the investment strategy. During this period, we also have a number of follow up phone conversations and emails to insure everyone is on the same page. After this initial process, we talk to our clients as needed, but encourage a minimum of annually (or when significant market moves occur). Further, we communicate in our client’s preferred method, including face-to-face meetings, email, phone calls and video conferencing.
  14. Will I be working only with you or with a team?  Will I be meeting regularly with the person who is investing the money?

    You will be working with Lori and Lisa as a team, and we will incorporate other professionals such as estate attorneys and CPAs as directed by you. We invest your assets and are always available to discuss them, and when appropriate, we may be able to make outside mutual fund managers available for questions.
  15. What makes your client experience unique?

    While we take planning and investing very seriously, we make the process both manageable and enjoyable, sometimes even fun! Quite a few clients have told us they are more relaxed and feel relieved once they have a financial plan and we start managing their assets. Creating that feeling is one of our primary goals.

The views and opinions expressed in the posts on this page  are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position or views of Ingalls & Snyder, LLC.  Certain content on this page were originally  posted in a personal blog maintained and operated independently by the author prior to joining Ingalls & Snyder, LLC. 

The content on this page are for informational purposes, and is not intended to be a formal research report, a general guide to investing, or as a source of any specific investment recommendations and makes no implied or express recommendations concerning the manner in which any accounts should be handled. Any opinions expressed in this material are only current opinions and while the information contained is believed to be reliable there is no representation that it is accurate or complete and it should not be relied upon as such.  Investing involves risk, including loss of principal, and no assurance can be given that a specific investment objective will be achieved.