How do I choose an investment professional when they say they are a financial advisor, stockbroker, insurance broker, enrolled agent or CPA, Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP), attorney or banker?

Ask if they are a “Registered Investment Advisor” (RIA). If yes, then they owe you a fiduciary duty to put your needs first. If no, then they are financial professionals who only need to meet a lesser standard called “suitability;” i.e., anything that is sold to you should be “appropriate” for you, but not necessarily in your best interest. GFG is a San Mateo-based Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) with fiduciary responsibility.

For further information read “How to Choose a Financial Advisor: 10 Questions to Ask,” Oct. 9, 2013 at www.jillonmoney.com. Also, see “50 Things: What a Professional Financial Advisor Does for You” at www.goshofinancialgroup.com.

What is the difference between a “fee-only” and “fee-based” financial advisor?

A “fee-only” financial advisor like GFG accepts only fees paid by the client and does not accept commissions. A “fee-based” financial advisor will accept both fees paid by the client and commissions paid by a brokerage firm, mutual fund company, insurance company or investment partnership. See: http://moneyover55.about.com/od/findingqualifiedadvisors/g/Feeonlyadvisor.htm

What range of fees can I expect?

Clients can choose from three different types of fees depending on their needs: a) Asset Management where investment advisory fees range from 1.75% to 0.5% per year of assets under management; b) Hourly Fees generally for financial planning advice; or c) Fixed Fees for comprehensive or modular financial planning services.

Why should I pay GFG for investment management?

The main reason is to grow and manage your investments with better returns and less risk than you might be able to achieve on your own.

It is not widely known that the S&P 500 stock index averaged only a 2.2% gain in thirteen years from its peak in 2000. We can provide a unique perspective and experience that can be helpful in bolstering gains and mitigating losses. For example, we can tell you if we are in a long-term bull, bear or sideways market; it is critical to be good at picking stocks versus mutual fund selection in a bear or sideways market.

It is also imperative to understand how the direction of interest rates will affect fixed income investments, particularly bond funds versus individual bonds.

We build custom portfolios to not only meet a client’s need for income, growth or both, but also on how much time is available to put money to work and how much price and income volatility one can tolerate.

We analyze and keep track of what is happening in the financial markets and the interest rate environment and interpret the information for you. That helps us determine what we think will improve your portfolio performance.

Why do 401k accounts need to be managed?

401k plans have become the key investment for retirement income and need to be managed with better information and better investment options.

401k accounts were originally intended as supplements to pensions and not as the main source of retirement income, as they have become today. 62% of private sector employees had a pension in 1980 versus only 7% in 2008.

But the increasing importance placed on 401k  accounts to provide most of the retirement benefits to employees has not been matched by the investment and retirement planning education necessary to help employees make appropriate investment decisions. A professional financial manager like GFG can provide the supplemental education and the timely advice that is currently lacking.

401k plans usually offer a preselected menu solely of mutual funds, narrowing the choice of investments and excluding individual stocks or bonds for improved control of outcomes. A registered investment advisor can offer a broader range of investment choices that may help improve returns and mitigate risk in a bear market.

Please see the above “Why pay GFG for investment management” for the overall reasons to hire a financial advisor.

What is the relationship between GFG and TD Ameritrade Institutional (TDAI)?

GFG does not take physical custody of client assets. Instead, GFG has chosen to use TD Ameritrade Institutional (TDAI) as the custodian for holding clients’ account assets, trade settlement, collection of dividends and interest, and processing of corporate actions and other asset-servicing activities including clearing services.

How often do you provide performance reporting on investments that are managed?

Performance reports are issued quarterly or as needed.

How often do you meet with your clients?

We meet with clients as needed or at least annually.

New Clients – What is the minimum investment level for new clients?

The cumulative minimum account requirement for opening and maintaining accounts is $500,000. 401(k) accounts might have a lower minimum depending on other factors and circumstances. Families might be viewed as a single entity. And we are happy to counsel young people who are serious about getting started investing, especially when in their twenties.

What separates Gosho Financial Group from other financial advisors?

We believe that the quality of our financial advice and the personal service that we provide our clients are key distinguishing factors as well as our foresight into world-wide market trends, our independence enabling us to offer a wider range of investments and our active portfolio management resulting in timely advice/actions to benefit our clients. In short, we offer “World-class financial services with a personal touch.”

How is Gosho Financial Group involved with the local community?

Gosho Financial Group has had a thirteen-year+ involvement with the National Alliance on Mental Illness – San Mateo County (NAMI SMC). Carol Gosho has served on the NAMI San Mateo County board for many years as co-president, helping to produce a video on the history of the grassroots family movement for better mental health treatment, and helping to found and co-chair the NAMI Walk SF Bay Area—the largest mental health walk in Northern California.

GFG supports financial education through public workshops and financial literacy for young and old alike.