Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Stonegate Wealth Management, LLC fee-only?
Simple! We want to provide you with the best, unbiased advice. Since we are fee-only, we do not accept any compensation or commission from third parties.
How long has Stonegate been in business?
Stonegate was formed in 1993. The founder, Stephen Craffen is one of the partners.
What are some of the benefits of Stonegate’s investment management process?
Our investment process is an integrated approach to portfolio design that incorporates years of experience with exceptional knowledge:
- Your portfolio will match your goals and desire for safety.
- You’ll have the comfort of knowing that we’re watching your assets continuously.
- We will rebalance your portfolio as needed to mitigate risks and to avoid weighting the portfolio too heavily with one asset class.
- We will keep you up-to-date on your investments and progress towards goals through frequent contact with your advisor and quarterly reports
- You will receive a complete tracking of your tax basis so taxation of gains may be minimized and deferred.
What types of investment vehicles do you use?
Investment vehicles may include mutual funds, individual securities and exchange traded funds.
How does Stonegate select outside portfolio managers?
We start with automated computer filters and screens that enable us to assess thousands of portfolio managers. During the search, we focus on the key factors that, according to proven, reliable academic studies, indicate the potential for a manager’s performance to be better than average. Parameters that we examine include expense ratio, manager tenure, turnover, and tax efficiency.
Generally only 10-15 managers pass the test of our filters in each asset category. We then assess each select manager more thoroughly. Stonegate has invested enormously in software and tools that help us properly assess a managers investing skills–greatly increasing the odds that their performance will justify their cost. If no managers can be found that meet our stringent requirements we may use an index fund.
How often is my account traded?
We will rebalance an account to bring it back to investment policy guidelines at any time during the year if the portfolio becomes over-weighted in any asset class. Our rebalancing strategy is more market dependent rather than time dependent. Studies show that timely rebalancing can enhance your return and help manage risk.
We will make trades to capture or harvest tax losses so we can help reduce tax consequences for our clients. Typically the proceeds are reinvested in another investment vehicle whose characteristics closely match the one we sold. We will also trade an investment vehicle out of an account if we believe the investment’s quality has deteriorated and better choices are available. And, we may trade out a vehicle if the manager whose expertise we are buying has left.
We do not generally trade based on market events since market timing does not work.
How often will you review my account?
Your account will be reviewed at least monthly, or more frequently if the situation requires it.
If I am one of your wealth management clients, how often will you meet with me?
During your first year as a client, we usually would meet with you six to eight times. The first two or three meetings help establish the goals for your portfolio and review the financial plan we establish for you. Additional meetings are helpful to discuss our recommendations and agree on the investment policy for your account. If you prefer to meet less often, we can mail you reports and recommendations and discuss them in a conference call or by email.
How often will you update me on my portfolio?
You will receive monthly statements from Stonegate Wealth Management’s custodian for each account. The custodian will also send you a confirmation statement for all trades as they are made.
You will receive a quarterly performance report from Stonegate that indicate the starting and ending values for your portfolio for the quarter in question. The report includes a complete summary of all transactions for the quarter. And, it specifies the actual and annualized return for your portfolio and for each individual component of the portfolio since account inception.
If you like to receive information more frequently, you may contact Stonegate to receive a current statement at any time you choose.
What do you provide me with at year-end to prepare my taxes?
You will receive a complete analysis of all transactions with tax implications for your taxable accounts by the end of January. Our accounting system allows us to track the cost basis of every share for every investment held by Stonegate. This facilitates deferral of taxation since the IRS allows you to use different methods to identify which shares of a position (if sold partially) have been sold.
In addition, our custodian will send you a 1099 form that provides additional comprehensive information regarding your account.
If you wish Stonegate Wealth Management to track the cost basis for investments that you have transferred to us, you must provide us with the original cost basis information.
Do you charge separately for financial planning services?
Depends. If you engage us for investment advisory services to manage your portfolio, personal financial planning services are included in your annual management fee, at no additional charge.
You may also engage us separately for financial planning services only for which a fee will be charge either on flat or hourly basis depending on the complexity of your financial situation.