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Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions. We have answers.

At Smith Salley, we want to make sure our clients are well-informed about their financial investments and wealth management. As you take the next step, we are here to address all the questions you may have.

Are you a Fiduciary?

Yes, as an RIA, Smith Salley is and has always been a Fiduciary. We are required to put our clients interests above our own. This is often taken for granted but it is a big deal. In our industry where there are products for sale and high commissions to be earned, you want to know the advice you receive puts you first.

What is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA)?

As a federally Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), we are registered with the SEC. You can visit here to look up our company. Like many RIAs, we are independently owned, and we partner with larger custodians (primarily Fidelity and Schwab) to hold client portfolios.

So where is my money?

Using our dedicated team at either Fidelity or Schwab, we assist you in opening accounts and service accounts at those custodians. So each of our clients has an account in their name and can log in directly to the custodian to see their holdings and transactions. The result is a combination of a larger organization to safeguard your funds and provide tax-reporting, etc. while having the benefits of a boutique wealth management firm to build a plan and manage your assets.

How do you manage portfolios?

We manage our investment strategies “in-house.” That means our team is responsible for buying/selling the stocks/bonds in client accounts. We view this as a critical part of our DNA and value the transparency, fee reduction, and risk control benefits this provides our clients. We have a variety of stock and bond strategies to fit a range of client situations and we always have the ability to customize according to client wishes.

What are your fees?

Our typical fee arrangement is a fixed percentage of the assets we are managing. We arrive at that percentage based on a variety of factors including the size of the account, the type of investments utilized and the planning services employed. The normal range is between 0.5% to 1.0%.

Who do you manage money for?

Most of our clients are individuals and families. Our firm has been built around their needs (retirement planning, tax strategy, estate coordination) so our skillset and communication caters well to individuals. That said, we also serve foundations, corporations and trusts.

Is there a minimum to work with Smith Salley?

Typically, the minimum relationship size that we will accept is $500k.

What do the Initials CFA Stand For?

The letters CFA after a name denote that the individual holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. The CFA designation is granted only after the candidate has garnered the requisite work experience, has committed to following the CFA Institute ethical guidelines and has successfully completed a rigorous program of testing covering fields of micro- and macroeconomics, security valuation (equity, debt, derivative instruments), portfolio management, quantitative methods and ethics.

What do the initials CFP® stand for?

The letters CFP® after a name denotes that the individual holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. The CFP® designation is granted after the candidate has garnered the requisite work experience, has passed the testing requirements, and completes the ethics and education requirement. These requirements cover the fields of retirement, insurance, investments, education, estate and tax planning.

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