Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between a registered investment advisor like Blue Sky Investment Partners and an investment representative at a bank or brokerage firm?
A: Registered investment advisors, like Blue Sky Investment Partners, are held to a higher standard versus banks and brokers when it comes to putting client interests first. Blue Sky Investment Partners is a fiduciary for clients. A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care imposed by law. A fiduciary is required to place the interests of their clients first. They must not put their personal interests before their fiduciary duty, and must not profit from their position as a fiduciary. Stockbrokers, Investment Representatives, Financial Advisors, Account Executives and Financial Consultants are not fiduciaries. They are only obligated to give "suitable advice" to clients. A broker is required to place the interests of their respective brokerage firm or bank first, not their client's interests.
Q: Does Blue Sky Investment Partners or its officers/employees receive commissions or any other fees from custodians, insurance companies or mutual fund companies for the investments recommended?
A: No, Blue Sky Investment Partners is a 100% independent, fee-only advisor and is only compensated in the form of fees that are directly billed to clients quarterly or on a project or hourly basis. This assures complete objectivity in the portfolio management process. We are not compensated in any way except by the fees paid to us by our clients.
Q: Do you invest your personal portfolio in the securities you recommend?
A: We take pride in "eating our own cooking". Many of the investments we select for clients are held in our personal portfolios. We cannot guarantee that we will own every security recommended to clients, however, because some may not be appropriate for us given our personal goals and risk tolerance. We will guarantee that every investment recommended to clients fits properly into the portfolio and is thoroughly researched.
Q: How can Blue Sky Investment Partners save me money?
A: We look at virtually all aspects of your financial life to identify areas where you can prudently realize savings. We save clients money mainly by helping clients reduce investment management fees (by emphasizing low-cost index funds in portfolios), by reviewing all insurance policies including life, property & casualty, disability and health insurance and by properly investing portfolios to take advantage of tax laws.
Q: Who are your typical clients?
A: Our current clients include retired individuals and couples, pre-retirees, successful small-business owners, entrepreneurs, business executives and educators. It is our desire to work with successful and highly respected people. We seek clients that are kind, friendly, fun and open to learning. While each of our clients is unique, they all have one thing in common in that they want unbiased investment advice from experienced professionals. Our clients have worked hard for their money and look to us to preserve and grow their wealth.
Q: What is the minimum size portfolio I need to get started?
A: We work with clients at all portfolio sizes and income levels. For clients with less than $500,000 in investable assets, we offer our Portfolio Management Plus Service or our Portfolio Check-up Service. The minimum account size for our Wealth Management Service is $500,000. More detail on our services can be found in the "Services" section of this website.
Q: How do I get started?
A: The first step is an initial inquiry from you. You many contact us by phone at (847) 864-5070, or email at email@example.com. We offer an initial no-cost, no-obligation, no-pressure "get acquainted" meeting, either over the phone or in person. The purpose of this meeting is for us to discuss your financial concerns, needs, goals and objectives, and give you more detail on our firm, investment philosophy and services. Most clients find the financial planning process to be stimulating and enlightening. The end result, of course, is greater peace of mind and increased likelihood that you will achieve your personal and financial goals.
Q: Are your fees tax deductible?
A: Yes, some portion may be tax deductible. Section 212 of the Internal Revenue Code permits an itemized deduction for tax and/or investment advice in the miscellaneous section of Schedule A. It is subject to a 2% floor of your adjusted gross income on your personal tax return. Please consult your tax accountant to address your specific tax situation.
Q: How often do you meet with clients?
A: We typically meet with Wealth Management clients three to four times per year and Portfolio Management Plus clients semi-annually. We recommend that clients utilizing our Portfolio Check-up Service complete a check-up with Blue Sky on an annual basis and schedule periodic reviews any time financial situations change. Please note that our Portfolio Check-up Service does not include implementation of any changes, on-going advice, portfolio monitoring and management and is not meant to be comprehensive.
Q: Why is a 100% fee-based relationship with an advisor the best option for me?
A: There are over 650,000 financial advisors in the U.S. 85% of them are sales representatives who are paid commissions to sell investment and insurance products to you. They are not paid to help you achieve your financial goals. Many of these advisors have no formal investment education, training or background. They typically only have a sales background. Advisors compensated solely by a predetermined client fee rather than commissions assures that the advice clients receive is unbiased and always in their best interest.
Q: Where will my assets be held?
A: Scottrade is our custodian of choice because they offer the most cost effective and convenient way to invest in many different securities and they have a commitment to technology and service. They act as a custodian of your assets, which means they hold the actual securities and cash for you in your account(s) and are responsible for safe-keeping. Your 401(k) or 403(b) plan with your current employer will continue to be administered by your employer. Blue Sky, however, can review your investment options, help you reallocate the portfolio to meet your long-term goals, and monitor the portfolio on-going.
Q: Who will have access to my money?
A: Blue Sky Investment Partners has limited power of attorney to buy and sell securities in your account, but we do not have access to your money. You are the only person with direct access to the funds in your account. You always have a direct link to your account by calling Scottrade, or by using the Scottrade website to access your account.
Q: How are Blue Sky's fees calculated and how and when do I pay your fees?
A: Blue Sky’s annual management fee for Wealth Management and Portfolio Management Plus Services is 1% of assets under management on the first $1 million under management. Fees step down for amounts above $1 million. Further detail on fees can be found under "Services". Management fees are based on the total market value of all securities and cash in the client’s portfolio including personal brokerage accounts, money market accounts & certificates of deposit, retirement accounts (including 401(k), 403(b), IRAs), college savings accounts and custodial accounts for children (as shown by the quarterly statement). The fee will be computed and billed at the end of each calendar quarter by applying one-quarter of the applicable annual rate specified above to the market value of the Client’s Account. Fees for Wealth Management and Portfolio Management Plus Service are paid quarterly in advance. An invoice will first be issued and then fees will be automatically deducted from the client's Scottrade account. For Portfolio Check-up and Portfolio Management Plus Services, upon signing Blue Sky’s agreement, 50% of the financial planning fee is due. The balance of the fee will be payable immediately upon presentation of the analysis and recommendations to the client.
Please call us for details on fees for institutional relationships.