Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your frequently asked questions about our services, pricing, and more. Make an informed decision with the information you need.

Financial planning is about mastering the art of using money to achieve your dreams and secure peace of mind. It's not just about numbers on a spreadsheet or returns on an investment. It's about creating a bridge between your present and your desired future.

It involves setting clear and realistic financial goals, understanding the resources you have, recognizing your financial responsibilities and risks, and implementing a plan to achieve those goals. This could span across a variety of areas like retirement planning, saving for your child's education, managing debts, tax planning, insurance, and estate planning.

It's important to remember that financial planning isn't a one-time event. It's an ongoing process that requires regular reviews and updates as your life circumstances and the economic environment change. It's also not a one-size-fits-all solution. Your financial plan should be as unique as your fingerprint, reflecting your personal values, risk tolerance, life goals, and financial circumstances.

Financial planning provides a roadmap for your financial future. It allows you to understand how each financial decision affects other areas of your finances, helps you navigate life’s uncertainties, and ensures you're well-equipped to meet financial goals and secure your financial well-being.

Everyone! Whether you're just starting out in your career, preparing for retirement, or anywhere in between, financial planning can help you make informed decisions and achieve your financial objectives.

Yes!. To schedule a free consultation, click here

A Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) is a financial advisor or advisory firm registered with either the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or a state securities regulator to provide investment advice. Unlike broker-dealers, who may also offer investment advice but primarily engage in the buying and selling of securities, RIAs are held to a fiduciary standard. This means that they are obligated to put their clients’ best interests ahead of their own when providing investment advice.

Key Characteristics of an RIA:​

  • Fiduciary Duty: RIAs must act in their client's best interest, offering advice and recommendations that align with their goals and financial situation.
  • Fee Structure: RIAs typically charge a fee based on a percentage of the assets under management (AUM), or may charge a flat fee or hourly rate for their services. They generally do not earn commissions from buying or selling securities, which helps to eliminate potential conflicts of interest.
  • Regulatory Oversight: RIAs managing assets over $110 million are generally required to register with the SEC, while those managing fewer assets typically register at the state level.
  • Comprehensive Services: Many RIAs offer a range of services, including portfolio management, financial planning, estate planning, and tax strategy, among others.
  • Transparency: RIAs are required to disclose any conflicts of interest and are also mandated to provide clients with a Form ADV, which details the advisor’s services, fee structure, disciplinary history, and other important information.
  • Customized Guidance: RIAs often provide more personalized, comprehensive advice tailored to each individual client’s needs and financial situation.

A fiduciary is an individual or organization with the legal obligation to act in another party’s best interests. In the context of financial planning and investment management, being a fiduciary means that the advisor must put the client’s needs and objectives ahead of their own or the firm’s interests, particularly when it comes to investment recommendations and financial advice.

Key Characteristics of a Fiduciary:​

  • Duty of Loyalty: A fiduciary must make decisions based on what is best for the client, not what may generate the most commission or fees for the advisor.
  • Duty of Care: A fiduciary is expected to exercise a high standard of care in their advisory role. This means they should provide accurate and complete information and recommend strategies suitable for the client's financial situation and goals.
  • Full Disclosure: Fiduciaries are obligated to disclose any conflicts of interest, commissions, or fees that could influence the advice being given to the client.
  • Transparency: A fiduciary should be clear and transparent about their fees, investment approach, and any potential risks involved in their recommended strategies.
  • Confidentiality: Fiduciaries are expected to protect their clients' privacy and confidential information.
  • Professional Conduct: Fiduciaries should adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct, ensuring they maintain the knowledge and skill sets required to effectively serve their clients.

Find out more

Yes, Able Wealth Management is a fiduciary firm. As a financial advisory firm, we are committed to serving our clients' best interests above all else.

Yes, all of our advisors at Able Wealth Management are fiduciaries. We uphold a strict code of ethics that requires us to prioritize our clients' financial well-being.

Investment management is the art and science of making decisions about investment mix and policy, matching investments to objectives, asset allocation for individuals and institutions, and balancing risk against performance. You can learn more about our investment philosophy here.

The frequency of updates depends on the advisor and the specific agreement you have with them. Typically, you should receive a quarterly report on your portfolio’s performance, but you may request more frequent updates.

You can view your portfolio, track performance, link your bank accounts, and deposit and withdraw cash. Current clients can access their accounts here.

Your investments are held with a reputable third-party custodian. A custodian is a financial institution that holds customers' securities for safekeeping to minimize the risk of theft or loss. These may include banks, trust companies, or other organizations specializing in holding investments securely. While your investment advisor manages your investments, the custodian holds your assets and executes the trades as instructed by your advisor. This ensures an extra level of protection and verification for your investment assets.

We custody with SchwabFidelityBetterment, and Altruist.

Wealth management is a specialized and comprehensive approach to managing one’s financial assets, focusing on growth, preservation, and efficient wealth transfer. It typically encompasses a wide array of services, such as investment management, estate planning, tax planning, and risk management, and is targeted at high-net-worth individuals and families who require a more sophisticated level of financial expertise and personalized attention.

While wealth management and financial planning aim to help individuals achieve their financial goals, wealth management is a more specialized and comprehensive approach focusing on high-net-worth individuals and families. Financial planning is broader in scope and can be applicable to individuals and families with varying levels of wealth and financial complexity.

Wealth management services are best suited for high-net-worth individuals and families who have complex financial needs and require a more sophisticated level of financial expertise and personalized attention. If you have a significant amount of assets, multiple income streams, or complex estate planning needs, wealth management services may be more appropriate for you.

  • Financial Management for Artists and Galleries
    Artists and art galleries require specialized financial management services to handle the unique financial aspects of the art world. These services may include managing art inventories, valuations, sales, acquisitions, and consignments. Wealth management firms specializing in art-related financial services can provide guidance on pricing artworks, portfolio diversification, art market trends, and managing the financial aspects of art collections.
  • Financial Services for Socially Conscious Clients
    Wealth management firms are increasingly offering services for clients who prioritize social and environmental impact in their investment decisions. These services, often referred to as sustainable or impact investing, help clients align their financial goals with their values. Wealth managers in this space provide guidance on socially responsible investing, integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into investment strategies, and measuring the impact of investments.
  • Alternative Investment Strategies
    Some niche wealth management services cater to clients with a preference for alternative investments. This includes investments in sectors like real estate, private equity, venture capital, hedge funds, and commodities. Wealth managers specializing in alternative investments provide expertise in evaluating, selecting, and managing these non-traditional asset classes, which can help diversify portfolios and potentially enhance returns.
  • Retirement and Succession Planning for Business Owners
    Business owners require specialized wealth management services to plan for retirement and succession. These services assist clients in developing strategies to transition their businesses, maximize the value of their assets, and ensure a smooth succession process. Wealth management provide guidance on business valuation, exit strategies, and wealth transfer to the next generation.
  • Lifestyle Management Services
    Wealthy clients with demanding careers, such as professional athletes or artists, often require assistance in managing their day-to-day personal affairs. Lifestyle management services offered by wealth management firms can handle tasks such as travel arrangements, event planning, concierge services, and household staff management. These services aim to alleviate the administrative burdens and allow clients to focus on their careers and personal lives.
  • Individuals with Significant Equity Compensation
    Equity Compensation Wealth Management is a niche service tailored to clients who receive a significant portion of their income or net worth through equity compensation, such as stock options, restricted stock units (RSUs), employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs), or other forms of equity-based incentives. This specialized service focuses on addressing the unique financial planning and wealth management needs of individuals with equity compensation.

As a wealth management firm, we use a percentage-tiered fee schedule to charge our clients based on the amount of assets under management. This means that the fees we charge are based on a percentage of the total assets that our clients have with us.

Our fee schedule has three tiers based on the amount of assets under management:

Client Assets Under ManagementAnnual Rate
First $0 - 500,0001.25%
Next $500,001 - $1,750,0001.00%
Next $1,750,001 - $5,000,0000.75%
Amount Over $5,000,0010.50%

For example, if a client has $800,000 under management with us, we would charge them 1.25% on the first $500,000 (which comes to $6,250) and then 1.00% on the remaining $300,000 (which comes to $3,000), for a total fee of $9,250 for the year.

If the same client's assets under management increased to $1,200,000, we would charge them 1.25% on the first $500,000 (which comes to $6,250), and then 1.00% on the next $700,000 (which comes to $7,000), for a total fee of $13,250 for the year.

Similarly, if a client has $6,000,000 under management, we would charge them 1.25% on the first $500,000 (which comes to $6,250), 1.00% on the next $1,250,000 (which comes to $12,500), 0.75% on the next $3,250,000 (which comes to $24,375), and then 0.50% on the remaining $1,000,000 (which comes to $5,000), for a total fee of $48,125 for the year.

At Able Wealth Management, we do not impose any fees based on trading activities or commissions related to managing your investment account. Instead, we utilize an annual investment management fee structure, payable quarterly and calculated according to your account’s average daily balance during the billing period. This balance takes into account any deposits or withdrawals made within that time frame. To determine the average daily balance, we add the daily balances for each quarter day and divide the sum by the total number of days in the quarter. This approach allows us to establish the market value of your account’s assets based on the advisory fee. Our firm employs a percentage “blended” tier fee schedule, meaning that the fee charged on your assets varies depending on which tier your account balance falls into. As your account balance grows, the fee percentage decreases. The annual advisory fees are determined based on the combined value of all household assets.

At the end of each quarter (March, June, September, and December), we deduct our fees directly from your investment account(s). You don’t need to take any action, and we will never charge any fees if there is no balance in your account. Our fees are calculated based on the daily balance of the assets under our management. We use this daily balance to determine the market value of the assets on which the advisory fee is based, and the fee is assessed quarterly according to your fee schedule.

There are a few payment options available for financial planning fees. These include making a one-time payment for the entire service upfront and quarterly or semi-annual payments. Payment can be made by Check, Credit Card, or ACH Payment. Instructions on making your payment will be included with your invoice. Before beginning the financial planning engagement, your initial payment is required.

Our one-off hourly financial planning services start at $250/hour. If you want to learn more about hourly financial planning, contact us for more details.

frequently asked questions FAQ what is investment management

Additional frequently asked questions available throughout the site.

Schedule an appointment

Volatility Drag

Volatility drag, often unnoticed by many investors, plays a significant role in the performance of investment portfolios, especially in markets characterized by high volatility. Understanding volatility drag is crucial for making informed investment decisions and managing long-term investment performance.

Understanding Volatility Drag

Volatility drag refers to the negative effect of investment volatility on compound returns over time. It occurs because losses have a more significant impact on portfolio value than gains of the same magnitude. For example, if an investment loses 10% one year and gains 10% the next, the investment will not return to its starting value due to the mathematical asymmetry between gains and losses. This phenomenon underscores the importance of minimizing large fluctuations in investment value to protect long-term returns.

The Mathematics Behind Volatility Drag

The mathematical principle underlying volatility drag is relatively straightforward but profound in its implications for investors. The key concept is that percentage gains and losses are not symmetrical. A 50% loss requires a 100% gain to break even, not a 50% gain. This asymmetry means that volatility (up and down movements in price) can erode the compound growth rate of an investment, even if the arithmetic mean of the returns seems healthy.

Example of Volatility Drag

Consider an investment with the following annual returns: +20%, -15%, +10%, and -5%. While the arithmetic mean of these returns might suggest a modest positive performance, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) would tell a different story, factoring in the volatility drag and showing a lower effective return than the arithmetic mean would suggest.

Implications for Investors

  • Risk Management: Understanding volatility drag emphasizes the importance of risk management strategies, such as diversification and the use of derivatives for hedging, to minimize significant downturns in portfolio value.
  • Investment Strategy: Investors might consider investment strategies that aim for steady, consistent returns over those with potentially higher but more volatile returns. Such strategies might include investing in low-volatility stocks, index funds, or using dollar-cost averaging to mitigate the impact of market fluctuations.
  • Psychological Aspects: Volatility drag also highlights the psychological challenge for investors who may overreact to short-term market movements. A long-term perspective is crucial for successful investing, as frequent trading in response to volatility can exacerbate the drag on returns.
  • Performance Evaluation: When assessing investment performance, considering both the arithmetic mean return and the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) can provide a more comprehensive view of an investment’s performance, factoring in the effect of volatility.

Financial Planning Fees

Plan Type
Sources of Income (select all that apply)
Additional Considerations
Total Fee: $0
  • Fees can be paid monthly, quarterly or semi annually
  • Actual fee will be determined on complexity and scope after an initial consultation
Investment Advisory Fees

Fee Rate: %

Annual Fee: $

  • Fee charged on a percentage-tiered rate
  • Fee based on total assets managed
  • Fee covers services such as portfolio design, continuous monitoring, rebalancing, and personalized guidance

Join Our Mailing List