Buying a stock or a mutual fund is easy. Developing a well thought-out, strategic investment portfolio, takes time and expertise. A Private Client Services planner can help you develop an investment portfolio aligned with your goals and objectives. Since no two investors are the same, your financial situation is evaluated on its own merits and a diversified model is designed specifically for you.
In designing investment portfolios, our planners strive to help you evaluate different securities in various asset classes. We believe the right combination of investment vehicles is the key to a successful portfolio. Therefore, each individual security is evaluated on its performance, risk and style as well as its correlation with other securities in the portfolio. By doing so, your planner can advise you on specific investments while at the same time designing a portfolio in which the overall volatility, risk and anticipated returns match your stated goals and objectives.
If you are looking for someone to do more than simply trade securities for you, contact a PCS planner to help you develop a thorough investment plan and a strategic investment portfolio.
Private Client Services offers a variety of services to help meet your financial needs, from brokerage accounts to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Below is an overarching view of the services our firm provides. Your PCS planner can help you select brokerage product(s) appropriate for your individual needs.
Money Management Solutions
Your PCS planner can arrange the purchase of a wide range of securities in a brokerage account on a non-discretionary basis. These securities include mutual funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs), common and preferred stocks, corporate and municipal bonds, U.S government bonds, zero coupon bonds, certificates of deposit and options. Moreover, your planner can help you manage your money over your lifetime and for generations to come.
Two Clearing Firms
Our firm offers brokerage account services through two clearing firms: National Financial Services, LLC®,(NFS) and Pershing, LLC®. Both are well-known across the financial services industry. Our firm and other broker-dealers use clearing firms to act as custodians for and hold clients' brokerage account assets, execute trades, provide customer confirmations and statements, and handle many tax-related reporting activities. Investment account statements from PCS clearly indicate which clearing firm serves your account.
A Fidelity® Investments company, NFS provides brokerage account services for Brokerage Portfolio® Accounts and Basic Brokerage Accounts. NFS also provides custodial services for IRAs, profit sharing plans, and money purchase plans, as well as the LincSolutions® Universal and Separate Accounts – special accounts offered through our firm's proprietary asset management program. Online account access for brokerage accounts served by NFS is available through mystreetscape®.
- Brokerage Portfolio® Account: Enables you to consolidate your finances and manage your assets from a single source. Thousands of publicly traded securities are available – including stocks, bonds, mutual funds and U.S. Treasuries. Reporting collects data from your Brokerage Portfolio Account as well as mutual fund companies, variable annuity, variable life insurance and advisory services products. Margin features allow you to leverage your purchasing power 1.
- Basic Account: This account offers the traditional benefits of a brokerage account but excludes additional services you may not require. It is designed for investors who wish to buy and sell a diversity of investment products and is available as a cash or margin account 1.
- IRAs: These accounts, offered by PCS through NFS, are designed to help you toward financial independence at retirement and preserve assets for future generations. Whether potential earnings grow tax-deferred or tax-free, your retirement savings enjoy the full benefit of tax-deferred growth potential.
1 Margin trading entails considerable risk and is not suitable for all investors. If the market value of securities in a margin account declines, the investor may be required to deposit more money or securities to maintain the line of credit. Investment losses do not minimize the obligation of a margin account investor to repay a loan in full.
Pershing, an affiliate of The Bank of New York, provides clearing firm services for Standard Brokerage Accounts, Resource Checking Brokerage Accounts, the Corestone Account™ family of asset management programs, Pershing Retirement Accounts and IRAs. Online account access for brokerage accounts served by Pershing is available through NetExchange Client™.
- Standard Account: This account may hold various securities, including stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Idle cash balances may be swept into both taxable and tax-free money market funds. A $500 minimum cash balance is required for a money market sweep in a non-retirement account. Services include margin account trading 2.
- Resource Checking Brokerage Account: This offering is similar to the Standard Account, with additional features including checkwriting. Margin accounts offer overdraft protection 2.
- Corestone Account: This family of accounts allows efficient consolidation of your financial activity in one convenient account, including the ability to pay bills directly from the account for a low monthly fee. Four Corestone Account tiers are available: Silver, Silver Plus, Gold and Platinum. They offer escalating levels of services that include no-fee ATM withdrawals, check-writing privileges, debit cards, rewards programs and concierge attention
- Pershing Retirement Account: These accounts are self-directed retirement plans for both businesses and individuals. These include: traditional, Roth, SIMPLE, Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) and Salary Reduction Simplified Employee Pension (SAR-SEP) IRAs; Profit Sharing, Money Purchase, 401(k) and Simple 401(k) plans; Education Savings Accounts; and 403(b)(7) custodial accounts.
- IRAs: These accounts, offered by PCS through Pershing, are designed to help you toward financial independence at retirement and preserve assets for future generations. Whether potential earnings grow tax-deferred or tax-free, your retirement savings enjoy the full benefit of tax-deferred growth potential.
Equity Dividend Reinvestment Program
The Equity Dividend Reinvestment Program is a Pershing service that automatically uses cash dividends and capital gains from securities in your account to purchase additional whole shares of the same securities without additional commissions. This service is available for most listed and over-the-counter (OTC) securities in an account held by Pershing on your behalf, i.e., held in a "street name."
Ask your PCS planner which level of brokerage or IRA services may help suit your needs.
2 Margin trading entails considerable risk and is not suitable for all investors. If the market value of securities in a margin account declines, the investor may be required to deposit more money or securities to maintain his or her line of credit. Investment losses do not minimize the obligation of a margin account investor to repay a loan in full.
After you have developed a financial plan with your Private Client Services planner – including a customized asset allocation strategy to help meet your specific goals and objectives – the next step is implementation. Your strategy may be carried out in one of two overarching investment programs: a brokerage account or, as described here, an asset management program.
Active Management at a Quarterly Cost
Asset management platforms provide ongoing, active management of your personalized portfolio. Your account is charged a quarterly advisory fee. This differs from the traditional practice of charging trade commissions. Certain service costs and/or transaction costs may apply, depending on the type of account you select. You will receive a comprehensive quarterly report that thoroughly analyzes your asset management program.
Two Types of Asset Management Programs
Our firm serves as the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) for some, but not all, of the available asset management programs. You may choose between two types of asset management programs:
- Separately Managed Account Programs: Often called SMAs, these programs offer access to a large number of institutional money managers selected through an extensive screening and due diligence process that assesses investment philosophy, methodology, technical procedures and experience. Many manage your account on a discretionary basis, and the performance of your portfolio is continually analyzed.
- Wrap-Fee Mutual Fund Programs: These programs offer diversification using mutual funds from a variety of asset styles. Some programs offer automatic re-balancing to help your portfolio stay on track with your long-term goals. In most programs, our firm leverages strategic relationships that help your planner evaluate mutual funds and recommend asset allocation strategies.
Ask your PCS planner whether an asset management program is appropriate for you.
Mutual funds — portfolios run by professional money managers who invest pooled assets in a variety of stocks, bonds and other securities — offer you convenience, liquidity and diversification. Diversification helps lower the risk and volatility generally associated with investing in a limited number of securities. Please note that diversification neither ensures a profit nor protects against a loss.
There is a mutual fund to help meet virtually every investment objective, but selecting among the thousands of mutual funds on the market can be difficult. Additionally, while certain mutual fund families excel in some areas they may fall short in others. Identifying which single mutual fund or combination of them is appropriate for your specific situation may require guidance.
Your Private Client Services planner is prepared to help you make mutual fund decisions aligned with your risk tolerance, investment objectives and time horizon. Our firm has access to a multitude of mutual fund options from a wide array of mutual fund families.
Mutual funds are offered by prospectus. The prospectus contains complete information on the style of investment objectives you should expect in addition to the risks, costs and expenses the fund may incur. Ask your planner for a prospectus of any of the mutual funds available through our firm.
Carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, costs and expenses of an investment company before investing. Read the prospectus carefully before investing or sending money. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate with changes in market conditions so that an investor's shares when redeemed may be worth more or less than the original amount invested.
Alternative investments comprise a number of different non-traditional investments, such as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), Limited Partnerships (LPs), private placements and oil and gas programs. They are classified as "alternative" because they are unlike traditional brokerage securities, such as stocks and bonds, and are generally not traded on an exchange. In some cases, alternative investments have a negative correlation to traditional investments and are used to further diversify portfolios beyond the traditional asset classes to help manage risk.
Ask your Private Client Services planner if alternative investments are appropriate for you.
Please Note: Alternative investments may be subject to illiquidity and other special risks. Some may be speculative and involve substantial risk. In some cases it may be difficult to determine the current value of the asset. There is no assurance that the stated investment objectives of an alternative investment will be met. Clients must meet specific suitability standards before investing. Suitability may vary by state. Units or shares of these types of investments may fluctuate in value. Therefore, at the time of redemption, they may be worth more or less in value than the original amount invested. Most of these offerings are sold by prospectus or offering memorandum which contains more complete information including risks, costs and expenses. Clients should read these carefully before investing.
This information is for general information purposes only and should not be considered a solicitation.
Section 529 plans offer a potentially efficient way to save for future college expenses. Also known as qualified tuition programs, 529 plans are named for the section of the tax code that provides for their favorable tax treatment. They are designed to help fund the future college educations of children, grandchildren and others. 529 plans are usually established by individual investors, but businesses also may offer them as employee benefits.
Any adult may open a 529 plan for a future college student; the donor need not be related to the future student. The donor can invest a lump sum or make periodic payments. In either case, contributions are made with after-tax dollars. Any earnings at distribution for qualified expenses, such as tuition, books and room and board, are exempt from federal taxes. Most, but not all, states also allow tax-free withdrawals.
Your Private Client Servuces planner is prepared to help you determine whether a 529 plan suits your college-expense planning needs. Our firm offers access to nearly 30 different 529 plan sponsors in 28 states.
Please Note: Although qualified withdrawals are exempt from federal taxes, non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to taxes and a 10 percent penalty on any earnings. Ask your PCS planner for a brochure with complete information on risks, costs and expenses and read it carefully before investing. Investments in a 529 plan may not perform well enough to cover the rising cost of college as anticipated. Investing in a 529 plan outside of your state of domicile may deny you the opportunity to take advantage of favorable state tax treatment or incentives.