We have compiled a list of answers to frequently asked questions about our company, our process and fees, and wealth management in general. Please reach out with any additional questions you may have here
Who is Halbert Hargrove?
Halbert Hargrove provides a goals-directed planning process for wealthy families and individuals. Our wealth advisory and fiduciary investment services help our clients preserve and grow their wealth through access to preferred investment vehicles, extensive market experience, and disciplined strategies we’ve continued to refine since our founding in 1933.
Halbert Hargrove is recognized as one of the top wealth advisory firms in the country (click here for more information). Our successful client relationships are due in no small part to our commitment to transparency, fiduciary best practices, and innovative culture – along with our willingness to engage in fearless conversations with clients about their finances.
We know it’s critical that clients can rely on the integrity of our practices. Halbert Hargrove continues to achieve Investment Advisor Certification from the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX) each year. CEFEX is an independent organization that works with investment advisory firms around the globe to assess their investment processes and systems — and their adherence to the highest standards of fiduciary best practices.† CEFEX’s mission is to improve risk management for both institutional and retail investors. CEFEX certification is a relatively rare distinction.
We never make compromises in terms of our values or process, so our clients can be confident about maintaining their lifestyle, contributing to their community, and preparing the next generation for continued success. We believe in Investing to integrate your money and your life℠.
†The CEFEX assessment is based on the international standard, ISO 19011: Guideline for quality management system auditing. The assessment includes document review, client file sampling, on-site visits, a background check and interviews with senior representatives at the firm. The assessment methodology includes attorney-developed schedules based on regulation. The audit is based on the standard published by fi360, Inc. which can be found by visiting cefex.org/advisor.
What makes Halbert Hargrove different from other wealth management firms?
At Halbert Hargrove, we believe value is delivered not only through investment advice, but also by integrating investments with dynamic financial planning. We help you plan and navigate life events, exploring alternatives and action plans that keep you moving towards your goals. Your life choices and priorities inform all our financial services. These encompass everything from this year’s cash flow to your long-term goals for family and philanthropy.
As your life evolves, so should your financial strategies. Each chapter presents different opportunities and challenges. That’s where LifePhase Investing® comes in. LifePhase Investing®, innovated by Halbert Hargrove and available only through us, builds financial planning around your unique life goals, while flexing to the economic changes you experience over time.
There are three phases involved in the LifePhase process:
- Build and Grow: The build & grow phase typically coincides with your primary earning years. This is the time when you start to accumulate and protect large assets.
- Transition: The transition phase is about planning and executing a strategy to transition from earning to enjoying the fruits of your labor.
- Distribute and Deploy: The distribute & deploy phase begins when you start to take distributions from retirement accounts and other resources, and solidify plans for your legacy.
Each phase adjusts to your unique economic reality. We use LifePhase Investing® to explore the entire picture of your finances on an ongoing basis. We’ll help make sure you’re on track to funding what a well-lived life means to you.
What services does Halbert Hargrove provide?
Our services include, but are not limited to, investing and tax planning, retirement and life-based event planning, and charitable gifting. We’d love to see how we can work with you to help you plan and invest for your everyday needs, big aspirations – and everything in between.
What is Halbert Hargrove’s fee structure?
At Halbert Hargrove we understand the concerns fees raise. With any advisor, it’s important to understand how you will be charged and what’s driving your fees to avoid any surprises.
At Halbert Hargrove, we utilize a Fee-Only model. For most clients, the fees are equivalent to 1% of the assets that we manage for them, though clients with significant assets under management may have a lower fee percentage.
Fees – and what you are getting in exchange for these – are very important, but they’re not everything. You also want to make sure you’re working with someone you’re comfortable with, an advisor who truly understands you and your financial goals.
Financial Advisor Specific Questions
What is a Fiduciary?
A financial advisor acting in a fiduciary capacity is legally and ethically bound to place their client’s interests first. This helps establish and maintain a relationship of trust between the advisor and client. Any advisor claiming to be a fiduciary should be willing to put it in writing in their client agreement.
What does a financial advisor do?
An advisor is someone you can talk to – a sounding board to whom you can confidently voice your deepest financial concerns and anxieties. When markets are in chaos, advisors’ training and discipline can help safeguard client portfolios from compulsive moves driven by feelings like fear, panic, and greed.
Halbert Hargrove financial advisors will explore with you how to balance the life you want to live now with your future needs and aspirations. Our active investment process prioritizes listening. Forthright conversations lead to better decisions and better financial outcomes.
Do I really need a financial advisor?
At Halbert Hargrove we understand that hiring a financial advisor is a big decision, one that you should weigh carefully before beginning a relationship. Financial advisors are there to guide you through your overarching economic life goals.
Here are five signs that may indicate it could be the right move for you to hire a financial advisor:
- You have over $500,000 in investable assets.
- You’re feeling overwhelmed and/or uncertain about making big financial decisions.
- You don’t have the time to adequately manage your finances.
- It’s difficult for you to keep your emotions out of your investing decisions.
A financial advisor can help you gain control over your finances and help you reach your goals – whether you’re growing your nest egg, in a transition period, or taking retirement distributions and planning your legacy.
What are the features of a solid financial plan?
A solid financial plan includes more than you might think. It should include realistic, well thought out goals, as well as savings and spending plans – including maintaining an emergency fund to keep unexpected events from throwing your plan off course.
It should also address your investment strategy, tax situation, insurance coverage, estate plan, and other financial aspects unique to your situation. A financial plan should encompass your entire financial picture and be reviewed periodically.
How can I calculate my annual living expenses after I’m no longer working to earn an income?
The starting place is to look at your current expenses and assess which expenses might either go away, decrease, or increase after your primary earning years:
- Will your mortgage end?
- Will your travel budget increase because you have a travel bucket list? Do you plan to visit your family and friends more often?
- What kinds of pastimes are you planning to pursue in retirement?
- Don’t forget to add any car purchases, future remodeling projects, and future expenses for your adult children that you want to help pay for.
It’s a detailed process to look at expenses, but you’ll feel more confident once you look at your spending and make a plan for the future.
Would I benefit from converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA?
The short answer: It depends.
Five reasons it could make sense to convert to a Roth IRA:
- Your current personal income tax rate is currently low, and you expect your tax rate to be higher in the future.
- You want to provide a tax-free income source for your heirs.
- You have enough cash or after-tax funds to pay the tax on the conversion.
- Your traditional IRA account value, or a security you hold in it, is down in value this year.
- You’re not likely to change your mind.
Why do I need an estate plan?
Creating an estate plan is essential for nearly everyone. Whether you have a lot of money or just a little, it’s never too early to start developing your plan. Planning in advance for what happens with your investments, savings and property after your death can help ensure that more of your assets pass on to the people and philanthropic efforts you care about, and less gets taxed.
It’s important to make sure each person who holds a role in your plan, e.g., power of attorney, executor, and/or successor trustee, knows what is expected of them when the time comes. This can be a difficult topic to explore – but necessary to help make sure all your wishes are carried out.