Here are the key differences between us and a lot of other financial professionals out there.
We Put You First
This is perhaps the most important differentiator. As a Registered Investment Advisor, Lighthouse Wealth Management operates under the “fiduciary standard,” meaning we must put your interests before our own. We are an independent advisor. This means we are not tied to any fund company, broker-dealer, or anyone that forces us to sell their funds or products. We choose a broker or custodian based on the variety and quality of the investment options it provides, and we don’t receive any kickbacks or commissions from them.
You might think this is true for all financial professionals, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Many advisors operate under the “suitability standard.” This only requires the advisor to ensure that an investment is SUITABLE for a client at the time of the investment. That does not always mean it’s the BEST option for you, and in many cases, the advisor receives kickbacks or commissions for selling you a “suitable” product. For example, the advisor has 2 funds to choose from, one giving you a better potential return, but the other giving him/her a commission. While both might be suitable, clearly the one that has the potential for better return for you is the one that is in your best interest. That advisor, however, might choose the one that gives him/her the best commission. That is not how we operate here at Lighthouse. We operate under the fiduciary standard.
We are a fee-only advisor. This means we receive no commissions or performance based fees. We charge a percentage of assets under management. Our revenue is totally dependent on your investment success and the long term relationship we build with you. If your investments do well, we do well, so we will do our best for you. It’s that simple.
How We Invest Your Money
We generally take a long-term conservative approach to preserving and growing your wealth. Our advisors listen to you. They will assess your goals, needs, and risk tolerance and clearly explain every aspect of managing your wealth so you can feel confident about the decisions you make.
Our primary investment platform is no-load mutual funds. Mutual funds diversify away the majority of risk associated with owning individual stocks. And because we are independent, we can choose from the entire mutual fund universe. We can choose funds in each asset class, with managers that offer different approaches, management styles, and investment themes to find the best fit for your needs and risk tolerance.
We also use low cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs). An ETF is an investment fund traded on stock exchanges, much like stocks. An ETF holds assets such as stocks, commodities, or bonds, and trades close to its net asset value over the course of the trading day. Most ETFs track an index, such as a stock index or bond index. They are popular because of their low cost, tax efficiency, and stock-like features.
We also can purchase individual stocks or bonds for clients who wish to hold those in their portfolio.
We partner with Charles Schwab to custody, or “hold” your assets. We chose Schwab because they offer excellent client services and resources, as well as a wide array of investment products to meet your needs. Remember, we receive no commissions or kickbacks from Schwab, and we are not forced to sell any specific product they offer.
We Are Accessible
Our clients enjoy unlimited access to our advisors for phone calls and meetings for no additional cost. When you call us you speak to a person, not an automated attendant. If our advisors are available they will take your call. Every time. And if they can’t answer your questions on the phone, most times you can get same day or next day appointments. Stop in and see our beautiful office or just to say hello. We’ll have a cup of coffee ready for you!
Fee Only Investing
Lighthouse Wealth Management is an independent, fee-only investment advisory firm. We partner with you to help you navigate all the financial challenges of life. We can answer your financial questions, help with tax planning and preparation, and guide you with your investments to help you reach your goals.
To learn more about the benefits of working with an independent advisor…