We’re happy to answer any questions you have about our firm and our processes. Below are answers to some of the questions we receive most frequently.
What is Blankinship & Fosters’ core business? ANSWER
We provide integrated financial planning and portfolio management with a special focus on serving retirees, near retires and financially independent women.
What’s a fiduciary and why is it important to me? ANSWER
A fiduciary is someone who always acts in good faith and in the best interest of each client. At Blankinship & Foster, we are fiduciaries. Adhering to a fiduciary standard turns a moral obligation into a legal requirement. As Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), Blankinship & Foster is legally bound by the fiduciary standard. Many other types of financial professionals are not held to this same standard.
How is Blankinship & Foster compensated? ANSWER
We are a fee-only firm. We are compensated only by our clients. We do not accept any commissions or payments from any third parties.
What does “fee only” mean?ANSWER
Fee only means that we are paid by our clients, and only by our clients. We do not receive commissions nor do we sell insurance or any other products. We do not receive any referral fees and we are not compensated by any third parties. View our Fee Schedule
Where is my money held? What is a custodian?ANSWER
Client investments managed by Blankinship & Foster are always held with an independent custodian. Our preferred custodian is Charles Schwab & Company. A custodian is a third-party institution that holds a client’s securities for safekeeping either in electronic or physical form, and executes trades, serving as an added check and balance by protecting against fraud or theft. Your advisor and your custodian are two separate entities, with no overlapping management or control, and all activity in your accounts is confirmed separately by each party. You can contact either party to confirm the status of your accounts at any time.
Do you take custody of, or have access to my assets?ANSWER
No. We use an independent custodian, primarily Charles Schwab & Company, to hold your assets. You still maintain control of your assets. Only you retain the ability to withdraw any assets from your account. You will simply sign a Limited Power of Attorney on your account(s) to name us as the advisor. This provides us with the ability to interact with the custodian about your account(s), have trading authority and deduct our management fees.
Does Blankinship & Foster have a minimum portfolio size?ANSWER
Our minimum portfolio size for new clients is $1 million. We provide a high level of service to our clients, and the minimum portfolio size for new clients helps us to continue this service as we grow.
For new clients with less than the minimum portfolio size, but who are building their wealth, we can make an exception to the minimum portfolio size. In the case where we make this exception, a minimum fee of $2,500 per quarter will be charged.
Are there financial incentives for you to recommend certain financial products?ANSWER
Absolutely not. We only recommend financial products that are suitable for you and that meet your financial needs.
Are my assets pooled with other investor funds?ANSWER
No, we do not pool client assets.
I have some investments I want to manage on my own. Can I still work with you?ANSWER
Yes. We can set up a separate account(s) that will hold the assets you would like us to manage, and collect our scheduled fee only on those assets.
Can I get money out of my account quickly in case of an emergency?ANSWER
Yes, your accounts remain very liquid. If there is enough money in your money market account to handle your request, then we can usually transfer money into your bank account within 24 hours. If we need to liquidate investments to meet your cash requirements, then your money will generally be available within 2-3 days.
Do you contact me before you make trades in my accounts?ANSWER
As long as we are acting within the terms of your agreed-upon asset allocation using agreed-upon funds, we do not need to contact you before making trades on your behalf. This includes re-balancing, buying new positions upon contributions and selling positions to free up cash. We have found that most clients prefer this arrangement.
Can you arrange for regular transfer to my bank account each month?ANSWER
Yes. We can set up your account for regular withdrawals on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. In most cases there is no cost to you for this service.
How often do you meet with your clients?ANSWER
We believe it is beneficial to meet in person on a regular basis. How often we meet will depend on your individual needs.
How often will I receive statements on my account?ANSWER
You will receive monthly statements from your custodian showing your balances, positions and any activity in your account. Your custodian will send you any trade confirmation notices. In addition, Blankinship & Foster will provide quarterly statements providing performance reporting.
Is my account guaranteed?ANSWER
No. The value of your investments will fluctuate, and there is no way to insure against investment losses. The brokerages we use as custodians for your assets have insurance (known as “SIPC” coverage) to protect against the possible loss of securities by the brokerage which does not include market losses.
How do I pay you for your services?ANSWER
Investment management fees are collected at the beginning of every calendar quarter. Our management fee is billed directly to the accounts so there is no need to write us a check each quarter.
Is Blankinship & Foster affiliated with any other companies?ANSWER
Blankinship and Foster is an independently owned company, and is not affiliated with any other company. As a result, we are not beholden to any other company’s interests or agendas, and are free to act in our client’s best interests. See our firm ADV for more information