FAQ

How does Fort Vancouver Investment Management differ from brokerage firms, trust companies, banks, and other asset management firms?

We are a fee-only, Registered Investment Advisor firm. Our only revenue comes from ongoing fees we receive directly from you, our client; we receive no compensation from outside sources. We prefer the fee-only model for the objectivity and transparency it brings to our relationship. Our fee is calculated as a percentage of overall assets, which aligns our interests with yours. (As your assets grow, we do better as well.) We also find it the best fit for our fiduciary obligation as a Registered Investment Advisor firm, which obligates us to always serve your highest interests, first and foremost.

In contrast, brokerage firms, trust companies, banks and many other firms’ revenues comes partly or entirely from commissions or transaction fees. We feel this model of third-party compensation fosters incentives to recommend products or trades that may not be in your highest, best interest. Firms outside of the Registered Investment Advisor role are typically only legally bound to the more lenient “suitability” rather than fiduciary obligation to their clients, which in our opinion further erodes the strength of the relationship.

How do we begin working together?

We’ll begin our relationship by forming a deep understanding of your current situation as well as your goals and objectives. Whether it’s planning for retirement or college for a loved one, we want to know your timelines, including your most important goals and biggest challenges. There is no charge or obligation for our initial meeting. We consider it a time for getting acquainted, to freely ask questions and exchange information to see if there is a comfortable match.

Do you work with my current advisors (attorneys, CPAs, and other professionals)?

We are pleased to work with your advisors to ensure that we are collectively apprised of and smoothly addressing your interrelated goals and circumstances. We proactively strive to build strong relationships with each of your advisors, so we can best pool our collective expertise on your behalf.

How are you compensated and when do you get paid?

We are a fee-only advisor firm, with quarterly billing in arrears, calculated as a percentage of overall assets. Typically, our fee is automatically deducted directly from your taxable investment account(s) under management. We submit a copy of your bill to you each quarter. You’ll also receive separate monthly account statements from your independent asset custodian, so you can verify that our billing meets your expectations.

What services do you offer beyond investment management?

In addition to managing your investment portfolio, we provide retirement and financial planning services, including analysis and input regarding your non-investment assets, debt structure, insurance coverage and other financial decisions. Like a company’s Chief Financial Officer, we serve as your personal CFO, to help you maximize your overall, after-tax net worth. Both our investment management and related services as described are covered under your one, transparent quarterly fee, as mentioned above.

Will I receive reports to help me or my accountant prepare my tax returns?

Each year, your independent account custodian sends out both a Realized Gains & Loss Report and a Form 1099 to each of our clients with taxable account(s).

How often do you review my investments?

Each business day, we run a transaction ledger to monitor cash flows in your accounts. We also review your portfolio at least quarterly for cash-flow, rebalancing or other ongoing management needs. This allows us to keep our portfolio on track toward your goals while also serving as a second set of eyes to help identify any unusual activity that may warrant attention.

How often do you communicate with me?

We’ll send you a quarterly report so you can track the performance of your investments’ rate of return (net of fees) at various breakpoints, such as annually, year to date, and since inception. We’ll also include a letter with your report, summarizing topics of timely interest, plus we post regular blogs to help you remain informed and maintain perspective relative to your investment activities. We prefer to meet with you in person at least annually, but we can augment face-to-face meetings with phone calls or e-mails as appropriate. We rely on you to help us determine how often and under what circumstances you would like to meet. We try to strike an effective balance between being available to you, yet respectful of your time.

What if I move out of the area?

Many of our clients live outside the Pacific Northwest, so we are experienced at serving long-distance clients as if they were here by substituting in-person meetings with e-mail, web services such as Go-To-Meeting and, of course, the telephone.

Where are your clients located?

Arizona Mesa, Sun Lakes and Prescott
California Berkeley, Rancho Cordova, San Francisco and San Jose
Montana Wisdom and Kalispell
North Carolina Arden
New Mexico Carlsbad
New York Whitney Point
Oregon Ashland, Beaverton, Bend, Gresham, Hillsboro, Jacksonville, King City, Klamath Falls, Lake Oswego, Newberg, Rogue River, Silverton, Sunriver, The Dalles, Tigard, Troutdale and Portland
South Carolina Johns Island
Texas Tyler
Virgina Leesburg
Washington Battle Ground, Brush Prairie, Camas, Freeland, Longview, Olympia, Port Orchard, Puyallup, Redmond, Ridgefield, Seattle, Silverlake, Washougal, White Salmon and Vancouver

What is NAPFA?

Rob Pool is a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor® which represents the top level of membership in the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (www.napfa.org). All NAPFA‐Registered Financial Advisors® must:

  • Demonstrate three years of comprehensive financial planning experience
  • Pass a sample comprehensive financial plan peer-review process
  • Possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and either a Certified
  • Financial Planner™ (CFP®) or CPA/PFS designation
  • Complete 60 hours of continuing education requirements every two years.
  • Provide investment and/or financial advice strictly on a fee‐only basis as defined by NAPFA

Who are Dimensional Fund Advisors (www.dfaus.com)?

Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) was founded in 1981 by David G. Booth and Rex Sinquefield, both graduates of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, who felt passionately that they could offer a new model for helping investors capture market returns in accordance with personal goals and risk tolerances. Since its founding, Dimensional has developed a strong, worldwide presence, with headquarters in Austin, Texas. The firm currently manages more than $230 billion (as of June 30, 2011) across a globally diversified array of fund selections.

Dimensional’s objective is to “deliver the performance of capital markets and increase returns through state-of-the-art portfolio design and trading.” It does so under the guidance of an impressive line-up of academic luminaries. Its board of directors includes Myron Scholes, Nobel laureate and Frank E. Buck Professor Emeritus of Finance and Law at Stanford University. Nobel laureate Robert C. Merton currently serves as the firm’s resident scientist; and the late Merton Miller, another Nobel laureate, was also on Dimensional’s board of directors. Other directors include leading economists such as George Constantinides, Eugene Fama, Kenneth French, and Roger G. Ibbotson.

Who is Charles Schwab?

While we manage your assets for you, they are held in your name, under your control at an independent outside custodian. Our primary asset custodian is Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab” or “Schwab Institutional”). In rare circumstances, there may be a need to hold your assets elsewhere. When that is the case, we will go over the reasoning and procedures with you, to ensure you’re completely comfortable with the decision. Schwab provides clarity and transparency by sending you separate monthly statements, online account access, and trade confirmations. Schwab also provides security and insurance measures to ensure your assets’ safety. We are happy to provide additional details on these measures upon request.