There is a better way.
UN-TAMP™ your business.
We’ve been quiet about it for a while, but we want more financial professionals to know that our investment management program is different from anything else you’ve ever seen.
“I started working with a third-party money manager, which was one solution to me which lessened the load of back-office functions—and it was an effective one. But I still felt there had to be something even better than that.”
“To me, the investment ‘stuff’ is becoming commoditized—is already commoditized. To me, that’s the stuff you can outsource. But you can’t outsource the relationships. And that’s what I want to spend my time doing.”
As their trusted financial professional, your clients look to you for collaboration, personalization, and communication.
While trying to maintain their focus on financial planning activities, many advisors have historically chosen to keep investment management on their plates—at the same time recognizing it isn’t their passion or strongest skillset.
As our team regularly consults with advisors, we typically see them using some variation of one of these 3 options to handle investment management for clients:
The “bespoke” method:
Advisor manages their clients’ investments on an individual (unique, non-model) basis.
- Advisor creates a different portfolio of assets for each and every client.
- Advisor researches, manages, and trades each account at an individual client level.
- Advisor is responsible for maintaining initial and ongoing documentation regarding investment choices.
The “in-house model” method:
Advisor puts most client assets into one or more of their own in-house models.
- Advisor creates a series of model portfolios.
- Advisor continuously researches, manages, and trades those models in-house.
- Advisor is responsible for maintaining initial and ongoing documentation regarding investment choices.
The third-party asset management program (TAMP) method:
Advisor outsources investment management to an outside party for most client assets.
- Advisor selects TAMP(s) to oversee investment management responsibilities for clients.
- Advisor does not maintain discretion on TAMP assets.
- Advisor receives general communication from TAMP regarding their investment approach along the way.
With any of these scenarios, advisors often face challenges or limitations.
Outsourcing investment management to a TAMP is a timesaver, but what happens when a client has a question about why a change has been made in a portfolio? Does the spirit of the financial planning relationship change when a third-party is communicating directly with your end client?
On the other hand, if you’re creating unique portfolios for every client, you’re seeking to deliver customization. But in most cases, we find that as you grow your business, you’ll likely find this isn’t scalable; from research to documentation to trading, going it on your own is challenging.
FocusPoint’s private label portfolio management process was designed – and continues to evolve – around what we know you need. Because our firm was built by advisors, for advisors, we understand what it’s like to face these issues. So we designed an investment management program utilized by many of the advisors we support.
We’ve been quiet about it for a while, but we want more financial professionals to know that our investment management program is different from anything else you may be used to.
Here’s what makes our solution different (and what our advisors have to say about it):
Our unique investment management solution keeps you in control of your client experience.
Your FocusPoint team is tasked with managing and trading your private labeled portfolios for you, while YOU maintain discretion and control of your client investment experience. For many of the advisors we support, our unique offering is a great fit for their lifestyle and business needs.
“I looked really closely at some other turnkey asset management programs and just decided I didn’t feel comfortable with any of them. I just knew there had to be a better option out there which would give me more flexibility and control.”
“The discretion on the accounts falls to us, not to FocusPoint. Ultimately it helps me to feel better that I’ve done everything I could to make sure that these are suitable recommendations for my clients and I’m on top of things. I know I’m doing what’s best for my clients and that’s why I continue to stay involved at that level. I’m comfortable with that responsibility.”
We’ve built our solution to address your clients’ unique needs.
Most advisors need to build around existing assets and accommodate various account types and sizes. That’s why our private label portfolios are flexible – they can be customized to accommodate your specific needs and clients. We’ll help you get all of your existing assets and accounts organized – quickly and based on what’s best for your clients. Unlike a typical investment manager, we do not force everything into cash – we work together with you to do what you feel is best for your clients.
“When I started working with one third-party manager, I couldn’t move existing positions into an account. So if I had clients with low cost basis or investments they owned for sentimental purposes and so forth, my hands were tied. They couldn’t try to work a model around them— now I can, which to me is a huge advantage.”
“Today, because I have the right support and systems, I’m also able to work with some smaller accounts. I have a good client with a $700,000 IRA, but his spouse has a $5,000 Roth. I don’t want to have to say to them, “I can manage your account, but I can’t do yours.” Before, because there were minimums, it was not for everyone. Now, it’s nice to have that flexibility of being able to work with small accounts when necessary. It wasn’t that I was going to go out prospecting for 5k accounts, but when you have clients who have smaller accounts in addition to their larger accounts, you want to be able to accommodate them.”
You have direct access to—and regular communication from—your investment management team.
In a perfect world, you probably wouldn’t be spending lots of time on investment research. You’d be doing what you enjoy most and do best: meeting with clients and/or gathering assets. Advisors who work with us are freed up to do just that. At the same time, at a high level, you want to be knowledgeable about what’s happening within your clients’ portfolios. Your investment team is a CFA-led Investment Policy Committee, who constantly reviews the investments within each portfolio and communicates insight on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to all advisors. This steady communication allows you to make informed decisions – yet spend only a handful of hours each month on portfolio management. You’re also able to opt out of recommendations as you see fit.
“I have much more involvement in the investment process—being able to move positions in and hold them. Yes, I outsourced the investments in the first place to not be involved, but I think at some level you want to have some control. I never want to have to tell my clients, “They did this” or “They did that.” I now can honestly tell my clients, “This is what WE did” when we made a strategic decision to move out of high yield bonds, or trimmed back on real estate, for example. “
“With typical money managers you don’t have the luxury of delaying changes to a client’s account based on what you think is best. It’s whatever they decide to do—even if you don’t agree with it. You don’t have choices. Today, I can opt out of or delay recommendations based on what I think is best for my clients. I’m not looking for “better” options out there than what is recommended to me by my research team, but I do think it’s important that when I speak to my clients, I can do so intelligently about why I made those changes.”
Our solution is transparent to your clients. Fiercely independent advisors enjoy our true private label solution.
FocusPoint seeks to remain completely invisible to your clients. Your clients are not required to sign an agreement with us; we support you, the advisor.
We don’t dictate how you manage your practice; we simply provide you with tools, leverage, and a highly scalable business model. And, our integrated suite of technology is non-proprietary; we designed them to be compatible with any planning process or software you might use.
You can customize your private label client reports and presentations. Plus, you’re welcome to use anything we have already created, or edit whatever you like to suit your unique needs—all displaying your own unique logo, color scheme, and brand.
“The agreement my clients have is with us, not with FocusPoint. I can also run any type of private labeled performance or management reports I want. It’s what works for me.”
We provide you with documented rationale for all investment recommendations.
Each time a portfolio trade, change, or rebalance is recommended, your investment management team provides you with documented justification for the recommendation. Not only does this unique system give you the ability to speak knowledgeably to your clients about any changes within their portfolios, it can be greatly beneficial to you from a compliance and records standpoint.
“I do a little of my own due diligence, but no more than 1-2 hours a week—and that might be a lot. When a change or recommendation is being made, that’s when I go into my mode of doing a bit of research on my own. For example, maybe it’s proposed that we sell XYZ fund and use two new large cap positions. If I feel it’s necessary, now it’s time for me to do a bit of research on my own to help me make that well-informed decision for my clients.”
A CLEAR AND SIMPLE INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY.
Ultimately, our investment philosophy aligns with (and becomes) your own.
Our experienced team can help you design/update your clear, effective and customized investment process. We can also help you communicate, incorporate, and brand your Investment Philosophy to clients. You also have access to a complete package of other private label branded marketing collateral like fact cards. All of this can help to streamline and enhance your client experience.
“It’s just streamlined and simplified things, but not at the clients’ expense, which is a very important element. I’m also more accessible to my clients. That can’t be bad.”
In summary, you’re using an investment philosophy that feels right to you, to design and maintain model portfolios to accommodate all of your clients’ needs. Concurrently, you are utilizing the experience of a trusted portfolio management team who makes ongoing recommendations, keeping you apprised of what you need to know in order to make—and document—solid, informed decisions for your clients.
You’re able to speak knowledgeably to your clients about their portfolios, while spending a limited amount of your valuable time on the investments themselves. We believe it’s a simple, unique solution that just makes sense.
Advisors who work with us have been amazed at the simplicity of our systems and the strategies our team can provide. They find they are able to consolidate most assets into a streamlined, manageable, controlled fee environment, while increasing revenue and the intrinsic value of their business.