Engaging my firm should never be a mysterious process. We believe that our clients should clearly understand:
- The service we provide
- The cost of 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 is typically $1,500-$3,000 (depending on complexity). If you'd like to see an example Retirement Roadmap plan, click HERE
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. All planning, ongoing consulting, and investment management is included.
This fee is based on a percentage of the assets under our care. Our fees are generally 1% of managed assets from $1,000,000 - $2,000,000, and decrease once assets exceed $2,000,000.
Detailed Retirement Roadmap plan
Social Security optimization
Tax efficient withdrawal strategies
Roth conversion analysis
Fiduciary standard of care
Annual update to Retirement Roadmap plan
Unlimited access to Carroll Advisory team
Proactive financial guidance
Tax loss/gain harvesting
Roth conversion processing
Tax return analysis
Online access to view portfolio and transactions
Coordination with other professionals (CPA, Attorney, etc.)
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
Let’s cover each of these individually.
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.
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.
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.
To read more about LPL Financial, click here
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:
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.
When you're thinking about hiring an advisory team, doing your due diligence on their competence is an important step.
But we also know there are probably some questions that you'll never ask.
Here's a low-confrontational way to find out about our expertise.
Big Picture Retirement Podcast
The success of your retirement may depend on how well you planned for the "big picture" and connected the dots of your legal, tax, and financial plan. In this podcast, we dig beneath the surface and discuss how you should apply this planning with your hosts- attorney John Ross and financial planner Devin Carroll.
Social Security Intelligence Blog
Those who enjoy the intricacies of how Social Security works find themselves spending a lot of time on this website.
If you want to stay up to date on retirement planning (with a focus on Social Security), join the other 400,000+ subscribers on Devin's YouTube channel.