Business has been picking up lately. I think this is due, in part, to the new processes I have created. When I meet with a prospective client for the first time, I have a “track” to follow. Included in this track are three questionnaires. The first is a qualitative questionnaire asking how their parents handled money, what their goals are, etc. The next questionnaire is called “What’s Important to You?,” and the last is named “Conflicts of Interest.” This has proven to be a concise way to determine if a good fit exists.

Transfer Frustrations

Last year it took three months to transfer a client’s account from a particular brokerage firm to my custodian at the time (Fidelity). It should have taken about 10-14 business days since both firms are on the ACAT system (electronic transfers). Why did it take so long? It wasn’t Fidelity’s fault. It seems there were a lot of problems with the contra firm. The client finally called the other firm and raised a stink. Soon thereafter, the assets were transferred. I am currently in the process of transferring another account from this same firm to my current custodian (TradePMR) and it’s starting to smell eerily similar. It’s been about five weeks and still no assets. I wish I could tell you why.

Morningstar Office Edition Update

It’s been four months now and I still don’t have the ability to download data to my current custodian. On a positive note, the right people are now working on it and I hope it will be resolved very soon. I know I’ve said that before, I’m just trying to stay optimistic.

My New Fiduciary Fund & ETF Score Card

How do you know which mutual funds or ETFs to use? How do you know when to sell them? As an RIA, I am responsible for making prudent investment decisions when managing a client’s money. To do this, I have been looking for a process to efficiently accomplish this task. I found a few software programs with a price tag ranging from $1,000 to $1,500. The key would be to rank the funds according to fiduciary standards. To have someone create it for me would have cost $1,250 to $1,500. So being the frugal person that I am, I created my own. First, I export a list of all funds held by my clients to MS Excel. Then, I import this into MS Office Edition and save it as a list. Next, I select the custom view in MS OE with the criteria I deem to be important and export the list into another Excel file. This file compares each fund to its appropriate category and provides a fiduciary score ranging from 1 (very bad) to 100 (a perfect score). This will be a great tool to manage my funds and ETFs.

Thanks for reading!