Institutional Vs Retail
At Blackthorn Private Wealth Advisory our goal is to provide our clients the strategies and advice that is typically only available to institutional investors.
Due to their scale and size, many corporations, trusts and institutions receive favorable pricing and selection when it comes to investing. This is an unfair disadvantage that many individual investors have to deal with. At Blackthorn Private Wealth Advisory, our advisors work closely with our clients to help you understand the difference between what the large institutional clients are doing versus the fees and instruments that you have within your portfolio. Our goal is to bridge this gap and allow our clients to enjoy a similar value proposition available to large investors.
Brokers versus Advisors
A broker is typically an individual who charges a commission for executing buy and sell orders submitted by an investor.
Many brokers are employed by the financial company which they represent. They offer retail products such as mutual funds, stock, bonds and annuities. These products are specifically designed to provide easy access to a retail client to financial markets for a commission. Some of these products may be owned by the financial company represented by the broker and may provide a high level of profit to the company. To learn more, see ‘MUTUAL FUND FLAWS: DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU OWN?’ below.
Institutional investors are typically managed by financial advisors. Financial advisors have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the client’s best interest. Accounts managed by financial advisors normally have a flat annual fee that is based on the size of the portfolio. The fee is transparent, so each and every client knows how much their portfolio is being charged. This allows for objective advice that is not clouded by commissions.
As a fee based client, you will not pay any transaction costs associated with your portfolio* (nominal transaction charges and internal expenses charged by certain investment products may apply). This helps ensure that our recommendations and advice are aligned with you and your goals. You will no longer have to worry if this is in your best interest or the advisors best interest.
This structure allows us access to almost every investment in the market place. This includes Exchange Traded Funds, Index Funds, No Load Funds, Stocks, Bonds, and commodities. This freedom gives us the ability to pick the most cost effective investments to represent you and your bottom line.
For some individuals, it may be possible that some of your fee can be structured as an itemized deduction on your tax return. This tax savings helps further reduce your cost of investing. Unlike other investment options where those costs cannot be itemized.
This approach may provide greater liquidity and the increase ability to transfer or sell your positions at any time. This flexibility will give you the confidence that you will never be stuck with a product you do not want.
Account Managers vs Wealth Managers
At most retail companies, the account managers responsible for clients’ accounts work with products marketed by their company. Their job is to sell products. It is rare to find account managers who are dedicated to their craft and carry advanced and specialized designations.
Wealth managers often are highly specialized and typically have advanced certifications or designations such as CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER CFP ®, Chartered Financial Analyst CFA ®, or Certified Public Accountant CPA ®. The organizations that govern these professionals hold them to a higher standard of education, experience, examination and ethics. Due to these higher standards, these professionals offer a comprehensive approach to meeting client’s needs. At Blackthorn Private Wealth Advisory, we are committed to providing our clients with the best possible advice. Our financial planners carry several designations and are focused on providing our clients with the most appropriate strategies to help pursue your ever evolving needs.
Asset Management on an Institutional Level
At Blackthorn Private Wealth Advisory, we implement a multi-disciplinary approach to help our clients efficiently align with their goals.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections, or trying to anticipate corrections, than has been lost in corrections themselves"-Peter Lynch
The most common mistake we see when investors try to call the best time to buy or sell a particular investment. In today’s age, markets are extremely efficient and it is very difficult if not impossible to consistently predict how the price of an investment will move. We also find that emotional buying and selling end up hurting investors in the long run. Having an optimal asset allocation means dividing you portfolio across various asset classes such as stocks, bonds, real estate, commodities and cash. The main goal of asset allocation is to minimize the risk (volatility) of the portfolio while targeting an optimized rate of return needed to achieve an investor’s needs. As part of our service model, we help our clients understand these concepts so you can then adopt a portfolio that suits your comfort.
Disciplined Portfolio Rebalancing:
A very common mistake made by investors is not re-aligning your portfolio as the markets shift. The only guarantee in investing is that different sectors of the market will change over time. Rebalancing is a disciplined process of buying and selling portions of your portfolio so you stay in alignment with your goal. At Blackthorn Private Wealth Advisory, we regularly review your portfolio in an effort to design a selling strategy when certain investments are high and create a buying opportunity when other assets are low. In all, re-balancing can add considerable value to your bottom line. It is important to note that rebalancing in a taxable account may result in tax consequences.
Tax Aware Allocation:
Tax efficiency is essential to maximizing returns. Due to the complexities of both investing and International tax laws, many investors don't understand how to manage their portfolio to minimize their tax burden. When reviewing your portfolio, we take the time to understand your taxable, tax-deferred and tax exempt accounts. We can then align your investments in each of those accounts to pursue the most tax effective return of your portfolio. With certain tax brackets being very high and in an increasing tax environment being tax aware is essential in portfolio management.
Tax harvesting is another planning strategy used to generate tax savings today which gives your portfolio the ability to work harder. This strategy involves selling investments that have decreased in value for a tax deductible lose. This tax savings can then be reinvested for further growth of the portfolio. Remember, in this ever changing tax environment is it not only about what you earn, it is about what you keep.
Risk & Volatility Management:
At Blackthorn Private Wealth Advisory, we implement several alternative investment strategies that are designed to help preserve your assets in market downturns and/or potentially increase your portfolio return. In our initial stages of working together we review each strategy and you can then decide what works best for your family. Please keep in mind that alternative investments may not be suitable for all investors as the strategies employed in the management of alternative investments may accelerate the velocity of potential losses.
Communication on an Institutional Level
Retail money management consists of professional money managers making portfolio decisions for all the retail clients who are invested with the money manager. These professional money managers who actually make all the buy and sell decisions are typically not accessible. As a result, it is up to the broker or account manager to provide and dissemble the information to a retail investor.
Institutional investors receive information through an Investment Policy Statement. An IPS is a document drafted between a portfolio manager and a client that outlines general rules for the manager. This statement provides the general investment goals and objectives of a client and describes the strategies that the manager should employ to meet these objectives. Specific information on matters such as asset allocation, risk tolerance, and liquidity requirements would also be included in an IPS.
At Blackthorn Private Wealth Advisory, our financial planners will work with you to develop your own personal Investment Strategy and will regularly review progress towards your goals.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual, nor intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a one of our advisors.
Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.