Several clients have asked if we are happy with our move to Fidelity Investments. Our response has been that we couldn’t be more pleased with the changes we have seen since we transitioned custodians nineteen months ago. Fidelity has more than met our objectives to reduce client fees (low or free trading costs) and to provide innovative technological solutions for our clients’ needs. As we fielded these questions, we realized that we had not sufficiently shared with all of our clients information on Fidelity’s technological opportunities.
So here is what is new at StrategicPoint thanks to our move to Fidelity in 2017.
As many of you know we hired Kristina Mello in February of 2018 to expand our financial planning capabilities. In addition to her planning experience Kristina brought with her a background in operations, credit and lending, and practice management. She has proven to be a wonderful match for taking advantage of Fidelity’s product solutions. She joins a team of dedicated advisors ready to provide to you with the range of services you need. These include:
Interactive financial planning software that allows clients to dream up all kinds of “what if” scenarios and see which of these goals they are likely to achieve. The process is very visual and encourages participation. The end product is greater clarity on what is possible, an evaluation of the events that can slow down a plan and steps that should be taken next.
The software, eMoney, is an asset aggregator that allows us constant access to the most up to date values of our clients’ portfolios, making it easy to have a living plan at all times. As events change in our clients’ lives, we can easily address the impact they pose to their plan by having a virtual, collaborative discussion.
Access to a line of credit tied to portfolios. The product, GS Lending, offers access to assets on a temporary basis without having to sell holdings and incur taxes. Clients who have taken advantage of this line of credit have used it to buy real estate property, often when timing is an issue, providing a bridge loan to themselves. In addition, clients can find the line useful for fulfilling “lumpy” obligations such as payments for taxes and tuition. It can also help small business owners by serving as general liquidity for ongoing business operations. Thus, the line has opened opportunities clients might have formerly had to pass up.
A big advantage to this product is the short turnaround time in establishing the line of credit, which avoids the typical underwriting process, because the line is collateralized by a client’s non-retirement assets. With no annual or origination fees, and a flexible repayment schedule, we have found this to be an easy, hassle-free way to help our clients finance their goals.
Establishment of a Donor Advised Fund (DAF). Given the recent changes in the tax laws, some clients find it advantageous to aggregate their donations in selected years. This “bunching” allows for the use of itemized deductions in one year and the new standard deduction in other years, with a result of greater tax deductions overall. In addition, often times assets with low cost basis are gifted to the Donor Advised Fund to save on capital gains tax, providing another advantage. And, of course, a Donor Advised Fund is an excellent solution for those who want to spread their charitable giving over a number of years.
Fidelity’s charitable arm and DAF program are not new, but we appreciate our ability to coordinate the gifting through Fidelity’s easy to use platform. Seamless contributions can be made when using assets already held at Fidelity, and our team can help facilitate contributions made from outside accounts as well. Our team also has access to a client’s donor advised account and can help navigate the website, make grant recommendations, and access gift receipts all in one portal.
In the financial planning and investment management field, meeting the changing needs of clients is of utmost importance. We are always looking for better ways to deliver added value and take advantage of the best opportunities offered. Fidelity has given us an edge, which we greatly appreciate.
At the same time, we maintain a full staff to provide you with the one-on-one service and personal attention you are accustomed to. Joining Fidelity has been the best of both worlds: access to the latest available technology coupled with our traditional personalized relationship with you.
The information contained in this post is not intended as investment, tax or legal advice. StrategicPoint Investment Advisors assumes no responsibility for any action or inaction resulting from the contents herein. Betsey’s opinions and comments expressed on this site are her own and may not accurately reflect those of the firm. Third party content does not reflect the view of the firm and is not reviewed for completeness or accuracy. It is provided for ease of reference.