What are Assets Under Management (AUM)?

Assets Under Management (AUM) refers to the total value of financial assets that our financial advisory business holds in custody and manages on behalf of our clients. These assets are entrusted to us by our clients with the explicit understanding and agreement that we will invest and manage them in line with their financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment preferences. AUM serves as a critical indicator of the scale and scope of our services, reflecting both the trust our clients place in us and the extent of our responsibilities in optimizing their financial portfolios.

When clients choose to work with our financial advisory firm, they contribute their various financial instruments—such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), cash, and other investment vehicles—into their investment accounts held under our custody. These assets then become part of our AUM, forming the foundation of the investment strategies we employ to help clients achieve their financial objectives.

The significance of AUM extends beyond its numerical value. It is a metric that encapsulates the depth of our relationship with our clients. Our commitment to managing AUM according to the agreed-upon investment strategies and objectives reinforces the fiduciary duty we have toward our clients. This fiduciary responsibility mandates that we act in the best interests of our clients, prioritizing their financial well-being and objectives above all else.

As the AUM figure grows, it underscores the confidence our clients have in our expertise and ability to make informed investment decisions. It is a testament to the successful outcomes we've achieved for our clients and the consistent value we've provided over time. A larger AUM also often enables us to offer more comprehensive and personalized financial services, as we have access to greater resources that can be dedicated to research, analysis, and strategic planning.

It's important to note that AUM is subject to fluctuations based on market performance, client contributions, withdrawals, and changes in investment strategies. As markets evolve and clients' financial circumstances change, the composition and valuation of the assets within our AUM may adjust accordingly. Our role is to continuously monitor and adapt our strategies to align with these changes while striving to optimize returns within the parameters defined by each client's unique financial situation and objectives.

In conclusion, Assets Under Management (AUM) encapsulates the financial resources that our clients entrust to us, highlighting the depth of our client relationships and our commitment to their financial success. It reflects both the scope of our responsibilities and the value we provide through our investment management expertise. As we steward these assets in alignment with our clients' goals, AUM becomes a tangible representation of the partnership we have cultivated, driving us to deliver results that secure their financial futures.


What does it mean to be an "AUM Client"?

Becoming an "AUM Client" entails entering into a comprehensive financial partnership with our advisory firm, where the fees we charge are calculated as a percentage of the total Assets Under Management (AUM) that we manage on your behalf. This arrangement encompasses a wide range of financial services designed to holistically address your financial well-being and aspirations, with the exception of commissions related to specific life insurance policies and annuities. As an AUM client, you gain access to a suite of services that are meticulously tailored to your unique financial circumstances, ensuring that you receive expert guidance and support as you navigate the various stages of your career and retirement journey.

Our commitment to AUM clients extends well beyond mere investment management. It encompasses a comprehensive array of services that are strategically bundled to provide you with a roadmap for pursuing your financial dreams and seizing opportunities throughout your life. These services encompass:

  • Retirement Analysis and Planning: We analyze your current financial situation and create a personalized retirement plan to help you achieve your retirement goals.
  • Ongoing Retirement Planning: Our support doesn't stop at the initial plan. We continuously assess your progress and make necessary adjustments to keep you on track for a comfortable retirement.
  • Investment Management: We manage your investment portfolio in alignment with your financial objectives and risk tolerance, aiming to optimize returns while managing risk.
  • Distribution Planning: We assist in structuring a sustainable strategy for withdrawing funds during retirement to ensure your financial security while minimizing tax implications.
  • Regular Meetings: You can expect 1-4 meetings per year where we discuss your financial progress, address concerns, and fine-tune your financial strategies.
  • Tax Planning: We devise strategies to help you minimize your tax burden and maximize your after-tax returns.
  • Long-Term Care Planning: We help you navigate the complexities of long-term care options and expenses, ensuring you're prepared for potential future needs.
  • Estate Planning: We work with you to develop an estate plan that aligns with your wishes and minimizes potential estate taxes.
  • Social Security and Medicare Integration: We provide guidance on optimizing your Social Security and Medicare benefits, ensuring you make informed decisions regarding your retirement income and healthcare coverage.

Being an AUM client means joining a partnership where your financial objectives are at the forefront of our strategies and recommendations. Our dedicated team of experts collaborates to provide you with holistic financial guidance that evolves as your circumstances do. This comprehensive approach aims to empower you to live your desired lifestyle and seize opportunities confidently, knowing that you have a team of professionals supporting you every step of the way.

In essence, being an AUM client symbolizes a commitment to securing your financial future through a multi-faceted relationship that transcends investment management alone. It encapsulates our dedication to your financial success and well-being, enabling you to make the most of all that life offers across your career and retirement phases.


What is an AUM Minimum?

An AUM minimum represents the lowest account value required for someone to become an AUM client with our financial advisory firm. It serves as a practical threshold that ensures the costs of delivering our services are effectively covered. These costs include fixed expenses like technology, software tools, maintaining office space, supporting staff members, and ongoing education that enable us to provide the range of services we offer.

To maintain the quality of service we're committed to, we've established a minimum account value of $300,000. This level ensures that the fees generated from managing these accounts can support the resources needed to provide the services that our clients expect. While this standard applies in most cases, we understand that individual situations can vary. In certain cases, we may consider clients with account values below this threshold, recognizing that unique circumstances sometimes call for flexibility.

We anticipate our clients to spend down their accounts during their retirement years. This may cause their account values to drop below the AUM minimum. We acknowledge the dynamic nature of personal finances and strive to provide personalized support that adapts to the changing needs of our clients.

In summary, the AUM minimum is a practical requirement that ensures our ability to deliver valuable financial services while also accommodating individual situations when appropriate. It's a balance between the costs of providing our services and our commitment to helping clients achieve their financial goals.


What should I expect at our first meeting?

At our initial meeting, we aim to create a comfortable conducive environment for a productive conversation. Typically, we gather in our conference room—a comfortable space with old wood adorned with an array of books that reflect our curiosity and our commitment to always be learning. This setting sets the stage for a collaborative and informative session where we can get to know you better and initiate a meaningful dialogue about your financial aspirations and goals.

During this first meeting, our primary objective is to establish a solid foundation for our advisory relationship. This involves talking about your financial background, current circumstances, and long-term objectives. It can be a serious conversation, but there’s also usually laughter and warmth. We'll take the time to listen carefully as you share your financial journey, including your goals, concerns, and any specific challenges you're facing.

With the specifics of your situation in mind, we'll begin discussing potential strategies and approaches that align with your objectives. Our aim is not just to provide financial advice, but to collaboratively craft a roadmap that reflects your values, preferences, and ambitions. While we may touch upon various financial concepts, our priority is to ensure that you're comfortable with the information and explanations we provide. Our team is here to guide you through any complexities, making sure you have a clear understanding of the options available to you.

As we progress through our discussion, you're encouraged to ask questions and express any uncertainties you may have. We value your input and believe that open communication is key to a successful advisory partnership. We want you to leave this meeting with a sense of empowerment, armed with insights and a preliminary vision of how our collaboration can help you achieve your financial goals.

By the end of our first meeting, we aim to have a clear understanding of your financial situation, goals, and preferences. This sets the stage for the subsequent phases of our engagement, where we can delve deeper into crafting tailored strategies and solutions that are designed to work for you.

Our priority throughout this process is to create a warm and inclusive atmosphere where you feel valued, heard, and supported. Just as our meeting space is surrounded by books representing knowledge, our commitment to your financial well-being is grounded in informed decision-making and a partnership built on trust.