Why have you decided to become a Registered Investment Advisor ("RIA")?
- Our business is looking out for our clients’ best interests. As times and technology have changed, we believe there is an inherent conflict of interest as institutional firms increasingly put shareholders’ interests above the best interest of the client.
- We believe that the Registered Investment Advisor (“RIA”) is the best structure for meeting the strongest ideals of in protecting our clients’ best interests. As an RIA, we are a fiduciary to you, not corporate shareholders. We can source the best technology and tools, and we can provide you the customized plans and service that we promise to our clients.
We’ve spent time completing extensive due diligence to find the best long-term structure for our clients. The mega-bank model is not it. We believe that the Registered Investment Advisor is the best structure to serve our clients’ best interests. In fact, we decided to take on a lot of extra work to create the type of firm clients deserve because we sincerely believe in our clients’ loyalty and trust in us to put their best interests above all else.
Why didn't you tell us it was going to happen?
Legally, we were not allowed to pre-solicit clients for the new firm. Upon resignation, we can contact our clients and explain the numerous benefits of Strong Valley Wealth & Pension and help transfer their accounts to the new firm.
What are the benefits for my family and me?
- This move enhances and builds upon our unwavering commitment to our clients. In addition to better tools and technology, we will have the ability to provide you with a broader range of advice. As an independent firm, our sole fiduciary responsibility is to you our client, free from bureaucratic constraints that pit shareholder interests against our client’s best interest.
- Our commitment to our clients and our communities is, and will always be, unwavering. We believe that this decision empowers our firm to provide the best possible service to you, our clients and friends. As family legacies endure across generations, so too must our ability to serve those generations.
Why did you choose to partner with Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. ("Schwab") and Laurel Wealth Advisors Inc.?
- Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”) will be our custodian and will hold your assets. Schwab, a subsidiary of The Charles Schwab Corporation, is one of the leading custodians for independent investment advisors. Schwab supports over 7,500 firms with over $1.5 trillion in client assets and has been working with independent advisors for over 30 years.
- Laurel Wealth Advisors, Inc. (“Laurel”) in San Diego, CA will provide back-office services such as compliance, archiving of data, billing, regulatory filings, etc. They will help keep us in compliance with regulations and allow us to spend time on clients’ needs.
- Both Schwab and Laurel work for us, and thus they work for our clients. We all are working for you, not for shareholders or on institutional mandates. This is the beauty of an independent advisory firm like Strong Valley Wealth & Pension.
Will there be regulatory oversight of my assets?
Absolutely. As an SEC Registered Investment Advisor, we are subject to SEC rules mandating matters such as disclosures of conflicts, recordkeeping and business conduct. We are also subject to its oversight and inspection program. As a fiduciary, we are held to the highest standards of trust and confidence, meaning we are legally required to follow prudent investor practices and seek solutions that are in the best interests of all our clients.
Will the new firm be as capable of serving my financial needs as you have always been?
Absolutely. It is important to note that nothing will change as a result of this move regarding the team you have come to know and whose guidance you have come to trust and value. Our firm is unchanged in terms of how we view the responsibility of serving our clients’ needs.
How will this move directly affect me?
In addition to providing access to some new investment options that we would be happy to review with you; we are also now compelled to adhere to a Fiduciary Standard of Care for all of our clients. Over time, we believe you will notice the positive changes as a result of our increased capabilities. Strong Valley Wealth & Pension will become your investment advisor and Schwab will be supporting that business as the custodian of record for your accounts. In the short run, however, you can rest easy knowing that we are the exact same people you have come to know and trust.
How will this impact my investments? My financial plan?
Your investments and financial plans will be looked after by the same people who have cared for them for years. What’s more, we will now have access to a broader array of investment choices.
Can I expect the same level of communication from you going forward?
Yes! We’ll be communicating with you proactively and meaningfully, as we always have; and we will reach out to you with updates and other information as we continue to evolve our wealth management products and services.
What do I need to do now, if anything?
You will be receiving a call from our team shortly to give you the details on next steps and what to expect as far as paperwork is concerned. We are available if you would like to reach out to us in the interim at (559) 384-2500.
How long will my accounts take to transfer over, and how will I know when it's done?
As soon as you sign the necessary documents (electronically if you would prefer!) to move the assets, it usually takes about 4-5 business days to complete. Under special circumstances, it could take longer but we’ll be in contact with you every step of the way.
What happens to all my account history? Will my cost basis transfer?
Your account history is the property of the previous firm. We were employees of that firm, even though our commitment was to our client-advisor relationship. Your cost basis WILL transfer over.
Why do I need to provide all my personal and financial information to you again?
At our departure, we were allowed to bring VERY limited information about you. We want this to be as easy and painless as possible for clients, so we will prefill everything we remember or were allowed to take with us from the old firm. You’ll only have to provide us a few pieces of information and sign a few documents.
Why is another advisor calling me?
The advisor calling you works for the old firm. The old firm holds your assets and they believe they own your relationship until you begin the transfer process.
What happens to my accounts if something happens to you?
We don’t plan on going anywhere for 25+ years, but in the tragic occurrence that something happens to one or both of us during that period, your accounts would remain intact and unaffected at Schwab. We have partnered with other advisors here and you could continue working with them or find a new advisory team with the same knowledge, commitment, and high standard of care we aim to provide through Strong Valley Wealth & Pension.
How and when will my accounts be billed?
Accounts will be billed in the same fashion, quarterly in the first month of the quarter. If you leave, we prorate the charge and you get back money for the remaining days. So effectively, just like before, we still work for you daily. However now, we have the tools, technology, flexibility and resources to do so much more!
When does this change become official?
It’s official! We’ll be contacting you personally, in short order, to discuss all of this with you in as much detail as you’d like.
We are still located in Fresno, CA but are now near the intersection of Friant Road and Fresno Street in the six-story black building.
Our new phone number: 559-384-2500
Our new address: 45 River Park Place West, Suite 103 Fresno, CA 93720
Our office is on the first floor, to the left of the lobby elevators. Click Here to View/Download a PDF Map