FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We've compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions and listed them below to help you gain some understanding about how we fit into your financial plans for the future. We realized you may have more questions, so we encourage you to contact us with any further questions or concerns you may have.
Q: Do you sell any investment products such as life insurance, mutual funds, or annuities?
A: No, we do not sell any products and therefore do not accept any commissions. We only recommend products that, where possible, are commission-free. Sometimes with life insurance it’s not possible to find a plan that does not pay an agent commission. However, even in those rare occasions, we will not receive a commission from the agent.
Q: How do you get paid?
A: We only get paid one way, and that’s a fee for services. In most cases the fee is based on a percentage of assets that we manage. It’s a fee arrangement that puts us both on the same side of the table.
Q: You’re a reasonably new firm, how do I trust that you know what you’re doing?
A: Jack Monteith, with over 30 years of experience, was the co-founder of a $1.2 billion investment firm in the Northwest. He recently sold his business to his partners. Jack and his son Mike started Monteith Wealth Strategies with the idea of taking the best traits of a large firm and improving on areas that are better suited for a smaller, hands-on practice.
Q: What is your investment philosophy?
A: We believe that the evidence overwhelming shows it’s very difficult for stock pickers (active managers) to out-perform the markets over any reasonable period of time. Therefore, we believe in a globally diversified portfolio consisting of index (passive) funds and ETF's. Among the advantages of this approach: very low internal expenses, the potential for lower risk due to diversification*, and income tax efficiency.
Q: What makes your firm any different than all the rest?
A: We can’t speak for all the other firms, but here are some points that may set us apart:
I. We are a goals-based investment management/financial consulting firm. Meaning we customized our portfolios to match each client’s time frame, current or future income needs, tax brackets, risk tolerance, and capacity for risk.
II. We believe that “it’s not what you make, but what you make after taxes.” Our question has always been – how can you make wise investment decisions without a thorough knowledge of income and estate taxes? Jack’s long-term experience with taxes solves that problem for our clients.
III. Our investment philosophy of globally diversified, low-cost index funds and ETF's sets us apart from many firms.
Q: In brief terms describe the client experience.
A: Our relationship begins with a discovery meeting where we both get to know each other. Below is a summary of our relationship.
Step 1. Together we’ll establish your goals. What do you wish your investments to provide for you? Current or future income? Peace of mind? A build up, or growth of assets for future generations? Additional topics included in the discovery meeting:
I. A discussion designed to discover your risk tolerance.
II. Review of your recent tax returns. Remember, how can you make a wise investment decision without knowing the impact of income taxes?
III. Review of your current assets.
Step 2. At our next meeting we will present our recommendations based on the facts gathered at the initial discovery meeting. We’ll share with you why we made the recommendations and the expected benefits of implementing the recommendations. Of course, feed-back from you may alter the recommendations. If at that time we come to an agreement, we will enter into a formal contract. This contract will lay out what is expected of us and what is expected of you.
Step 3. At this stage we begin the investment process and the implementation of any financial planning.
Step 4. Regular communication regarding your investment progress.
Step 5. You have unlimited access to us regarding any financial matter or question. We will be your own personal financial advisor. There is no additional fee for this service.
Q. What if I decide to terminate our relationship; is there a surrender charge, or other type of fee?
A. We do not charge a fee to terminate our relationship. Remember, the only way we get paid is for providing services—no upfront commissions.
*Diversification does not assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment loss. As with any investment strategy, there is the possibility of profitability as well as loss.