I wanted to write about the process in order to take the fear of the unknown out of how we begin to work with our clients. The process will be broken into four separate posts and will hopefully illustrate the ease to taking the step to getting control of your financial future.
This is the third post which discusses the third step in the financial planning process. The first post detailed the first meeting (the discovery meeting) and how it is the initial point of reviewing your current situation while discussing what your goals for the current time frame and into the future. It allows us to help you clarify what you are trying to achieve and review what you currently have in place.
The second meeting detailed how we bring out insight to help you achieve your goals with a personalized financial plan. The third step is the filling out of the necessary forms and paperwork to establish our working relationship.
The paperwork to open an account can be intimidating and overwhelming, but you will receive all the support that you will need to make it manageable. We provide all of the necessary forms for your signature and describe the reason for each form. The information below provides an overall description of the paperwork:
The Account Application: This form establishes your individual account with the custodian. A custodian is company where your funds are held and is often called the third party administrator. In most cases, we use TD Ameritrade Institutional and the forms to open an account will be provided by TD Ameritrade. You will receive all of the account applications filled out for you and all that will be necessary is your signature. The applications are necessary for each account that you will be opening. For instance, if you are opening an individual taxable account and an individual retirement account (IRA), two applications with all of the information will be provided for you.
The Structured Investment Agreement: This is the written agreement to engage Crimmins Wealth Management, LLC and Loring Ward as your financial advisors. It details what our responsibilities are and includes our fee schedule. This form is signed by you and by us at Crimmins Wealth Management. The agreement is an at-will agreement which means you can terminate the relationship at any time without any exit fee.
The Investment Portfolio Statement (IPS): The IPS describes in detail how your account will be invested, and how a similarly invested portfolio has performed historically . It will be carefully discussed at the meeting and will highlight the risks and expectations of the portfolio. Each account that you will be opening with a different asset allocation will have its own IPS. This form is signed by both you and by us at Crimmins Wealth Management.
The Account Transfer Forms: This form allows the custodian (such as TD Ameritrade) to request the transfer of funds from their current firm. A current statement will need to be sent along with the account transfer form. This statement would have already been requested by us before the paperwork is provided for your signature. This makes the transfer easier and there are no phone calls or work necessary on your behalf to have the funds moved to your new account. Loring Ward will work with the custodian to transfer the assets. In addition, mailing instructions will be provided to you if you are sending a check from your bank account.
Once all the paperwork has been signed, we will process the forms and keep you updated as to when the account has been established. We will provide to you a signed copy of the IPS (Investment Policy Statement) and the structured agreement for your files. We will notify you when all of the transfers and trades are confirmed. We continue to work closely with you and monitor your financial situation.
The paperwork section is now completed. Now that wasn’t as difficult as you thought it would be – was it?
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