The Client Experience
Understanding Your Financial Picture
We’ll meet with you in person, by phone, or by videoconference, according to your preference, to learn in detail about your current financial situation and clarify your goals and aspirations for financial security. We’ll help measure your tolerance for risk and understand any restrictions or special circumstances you may have.
Next, we will review our investment strategies with you, carefully explaining both the potential benefits and risks associated with each strategy, leading to concrete portfolio recommendations. Some clients come to us having already developed substantial investment sophistication, while others have very little experience with financial markets. Either way, we’ll make sure you understand our offerings and our recommendations.
As part of this process, we inventory your financial assets, however far-flung, and establish a straightforward plan for organizing and consolidating them into a single, well-thought-out investment program. We will confer and coordinate, as needed, with your advisors—including accountants, attorneys, and financial consultants.
Opening Your Accounts
Your assets are held in one or more accounts established in your name with a third-party custodian, such as Fidelity Investments, TD Ameritrade, or Charles Schwab. We prepare all the necessary account opening paperwork for you.
You typically fund these accounts with cash or assets transferred from one or more investment firms. Gould oversees all aspects of the transfers for a smooth and seamless transition. You enter into Gould’s management agreement, which details our responsibilities and our fees.
Implementing Your Investment Plan
We are notified by your selected custodian when your assets arrive at their destination, usually within one week of the time your paperwork is submitted.
Next, we implement your investment plan, buying and selling the securities necessary to construct your portfolio according to the strategies you have selected. We stay in close touch with you throughout this process, making sure you are informed on the progress of your portfolio implementation.
Communications from Asset Custodian
Your custodian will provide you with written confirmation of each investment transaction, either by mail or electronically (your option). Shortly after the end of each month, you will also receive a custodial statement detailing your month-end holdings and account value, as well as all transactions that occurred during the month. On a 24/7 basis, your custodian also offers you real-time account information via secure online access and/or toll-free customer phone support.
In February or March of each year, your custodian will mail you the required tax forms for the prior calendar year, such as Form 1099.
Communications from Gould
Each quarter we send out comprehensive reports that summarize client portfolio holdings, transaction activity, asset allocation, performance, and fees. In a quarterly letter, the “Economic and Market Overview,” we express our views on the economy and financial markets. We also provide our “Strategy Performance Review,” which details the major factors contributing to each strategy’s return in the prior quarter.
In addition to these reports, we reach out quarterly to clients by phone, email or with an in-person meeting. That’s how we make sure your questions are answered and we stay up to date with your personal circumstances.
Annually, each client receives a customized “Investment Management Overview,” providing an executive summary of their Gould investment portfolios, including selected investment strategies, investment objectives, and custodial account details. We provide the following additional items during the year’s first quarter:
|Form ADV – Our required disclosure document, periodically updated and submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).|
|Privacy Statement – Required by federal law, in which we set forth how we collect, share, and protect clients’ personal information.|
|Tax Reports – On request, we supply you or your tax preparer with information required to prepare your tax return, such as realized capital gains reports and cost basis information.|
Alignment of Interest with Clients
As a registered investment adviser regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)*, Gould is a fiduciary, which represents the industry’s highest standard in the management of client assets. Simply put, it means that our clients’ interests always come first.
As an independent firm, we are free to select only those investments that best serve our clients. We are never beholden to investing in the mutual funds of any sponsor, or purchasing securities from the inventory of a related party. We work hard to ensure that our clients receive competitive transaction fees and high quality client service from the third-party custodians holding their assets.
Our fees are calculated as a percentage of the market value of assets. We receive no transaction fees or commissions. This means that our compensation moves exactly in line with the value of client portfolios. It aligns our goal—portfolio growth, consistent with risk tolerance—with that of our clients.
*Note: registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training.