If we've recently met, you probably have a lot of questions. Let's get started with the one that everyone wants to know...

How Can I Work With Carroll Advisory Group (and how much does it cost)?

Engaging my firm should never be a mysterious process. We believe that our clients should clearly understand:

- The service we provide
- The cost for that service

Carroll Advisory Group offers two types of client relationships:

One-time planning relationships

For a flat fee, we offer planning and analysis of optimal retirement distributions. This analysis generally includes finding the most efficient sequence of distributions from your retirement savings, the optimal filing scenario for Social Security, and the impact of Roth conversions.

The best way to think about this relationship is to compare it with hiring an attorney to draft a Will, Trust, or other legal document. We gather the required information from you to complete the plan and then deliver the plan back to you with a detailed walkthrough. After this is delivered, we can answer any questions you may have regarding that plan, but there is no ongoing relationship after that.

The cost of this plan ranges from $1,500 - $2,000. 

If you'd like to see an example Retirement Roadmap plan, click here https://youtu.be/2Vqp3fGVoSo

Ongoing comprehensive relationships

The comprehensive relationship we offer our clients is for those who want our guidance on an ongoing basis. This includes the same planning steps as we perform for a one-time planning relationship, with the addition of serving as your guide along the retirement journey. In this relationship, we build and execute your plan, and then manage your investment portfolio to match the objectives of the plan.

In this relationship, all planning, ongoing consulting, and investment management is included in one fee. This fee is based on a percentage of the assets under our care. Our fees are generally 1% of managed assets from $500,000 - $2,000,000, and decrease once assets exceed $2,000,000.

If you are considering becoming a comprehensive client, here are a few additional questions you may have…

Yes! Our primary custodian, LPL Financial, has a robust technology solution that’s available via computer or mobile app named AccountView. This program has all of the standard features you’d expect to find at any major firm. If you want to see more about how the system works, see the client video here.

There are three parties involved in the management of your accounts

  • The Advisor
  • The RIA
  • The Custodian

Let’s cover each of these individually.

The Advisor

Our lead advisor is Devin Carroll. Even though he has a team helping him, he is the ultimate responsible person for your account. His services as an advisor are offered to the public through our advisory firm, Carroll Advisory Group.

The RIA

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules, a legal entity (not individual person) must be the registered investment advisor (RIA). The investment advisor representative (IAR)  is the individual advisor underneath the RIA that formally deliver the advice.

Currently, my RIA is Strategic Financial Concepts (SFC). I am not an owner of this firm, simply an Advisor with the RIA. In the past, I have owned my own RIA, but sold it due to the compliance workload and the desire to focus more on the part of the business I enjoy (and that isn't the endless paperwork that’s required when you own your own RIA 😳).

To ensure compliance, Carroll Advisory Group is under constant oversight by my RIA, and my RIA is audited by the SEC.

The Custodian

This is the third party company who is responsible for the custody of your assets. They are the ones who process your fee billing, statements, trades, and multiple other back-office tasks. As the Advisor, I have a choice of who to use as a custodian and can even use multiple firms at the same time. For example, I could use TD Ameritrade, Schwabb, Fidelity or a number of other companies alongside my current custodian. For now, I’ve chosen to exclusively use LPL Financial for their ease of use and technology package. This allows us to thoroughly understand the systems and processes that are important for our clients like Accountview (instead of having to learn the systems of multiple firms).

All three of these parties are required to meet very strict requirements as dictated by the SEC.

Our custodian, LPL Financial, will send reports with transactions and other information on a monthly or quarterly basis. We can provide comprehensive customized reports at any time subject to your request.

Absolutely! Even though most of our clients work with us virtually, we love having clients come to the office. Texarkana is one of those towns that not many people live in, but lots of people drive through. 🙂 

If you know you are coming through, please let us know. You can find directions and see a few pictures of the office on our Google listing at https://g.page/r/CbbljhzBTiriEAE 

We offer open communication in whatever format you desire. Whether it’s by phone, video chat or good old fashioned email, your preference dictates how we communicate. With that said, most of my clients are busy living their life and most of our communications are asynchronous. The client will send an email, and we’ll respond with an email or even record a quick video and simply email the link.

As to the frequency of communications, we don’t do quarterly meetings or check-ins. Instead, we communicate on an as-needed basis. With the client management process I’ll detail in a moment, this method of communication typically means that we are in contact with our clients more frequently than those firms who employ a quarterly or semi-annual review schedule. 

Our entire client management process is built on process. I’ve designed a detailed client service calendar that a dedicated associate is responsible for executing. 

For example, January’s calendar is as follows:

  • Review individual equity positions
  • Review core portfolio components
  • Rebalance analysis
  • Review cash positions
  • Review progress against financial plan and update plan
  • Beneficiary review
  • Review personal information (phone numbers, addresses, etc.)

Each month has a certain set of tasks that are the same for every month, and then tasks that are unique to that month. Following this client service calendar allows us to follow a process that ensures we don’t let anything fall through the cracks and get neglected. Some of this is the behind-the-scenes work that won’t involve you. It’s simply us doing what you are paying us to do. But often, we will have to reach out for clarification or questions. 

Although I have dedicated associates who help me administer this calendar, I am directly involved on a daily basis in the direction and execution of these tasks. 

If Devin dies or became disabled today, there is a written succession plan in place where an experienced advisor would be immediately assigned to manage all of the firm’s accounts.

We want to be very clear that we do not engage in market timing. The data is very clear that this simply does not work. This has been our founder’s position through bear markets and bull markets.

Instead, we build a broadly diversified portfolio that can weather the market storms. This doesn’t mean that our portfolios won’t decline. They will! But we view that as a natural, normal part of investing.

Over the last 100 years, on average, the market has experienced a 10% drop at least one time per year. Over the same period, a 20% decline occurs once every 3.5 years and a 30% decline occurs once every 10 years. In these periods of decline, we do not change course. The reason for not changing course is based on the historical data that show us the best days in the market often occur within a few days of the worst days. In other words, the market’s return is typically concentrated within just a few days. If we sell based on the bad days, it’s highly likely you’ll miss the best days. If you miss the best days, the damage is massive.

Consider this…over the past 20 years the market has averaged 9.85% in average annual returns. If you missed just 10 of the best days your total return would slip to 6.11%. If you were out of the market for only 40 of the best days, your return would have been negative! Just keep in mind that past performance does not guarantee future results.

Just know that we are fierce opponents of timing the market. It simply doesn’t work.

None of this means we employ a “set it and forget it” approach to investing. There are occasional allocation changes to portfolios. Additionally, we frequently rebalance our portfolios to bring all the holdings back to their assigned percentages.

We know there are probably some questions that you'll never ask us

When you're evaluating hiring an advisory team, doing your due diligence on their competence is an important step. 

Many people are not comfortable with asking a potential advisor "do you really know more than I do about this topic?" 

Here's a low confrontational way to find out my expertise. 

Big Picture Retirement Podcast

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Social Security Intelligence Blog

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YouTube Channel

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If you have a question that was not answered here, feel free to reach out to us at 903-794-4014 or [email protected]

Retirement planning, uncomplicated.
Based in Texas | Serving Clients Nationwide
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Copyright 2021. Carroll Advisory Group. All rights reserved.  Investment Advisory services offered through Strategic Financial Concepts, LLC. A registered investment advisor. Form CRS
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