Happy New Year!
Emerging into a new year and decade, we’re always seeking ways to remain innovative and keep pace with a rapidly changing wealth management industry. I started the Firm with the idea that clients can still be the centerpiece and sole priority of a financial company. That requires a near constant effort to stay on top of changing trends in technology, investing, and behavioral tools.
With that as our focus, some announcements:
We are introducing a new pricing tier for ongoing investment clients. As of January 1st, once an investment client reaches a 3-year anniversary with Innovate Wealth, they’ll automatically drop to a lower fee tier. Forever.
What’s that mean?
- Starting immediately (Jan 1), your first invoice after your 3rd anniversary will automatically revert to a lower fee tier, as seen below. If you’ve been with the Firm since the beginning (reminder, we started billing clients in August 2016), then it’ll start immediately.
- You don’t have to do anything. We know the dates, we’ll do the work.
- It’s not a refund and it will not be applied retroactively. The date is January 1st, 2020 for everyone. (the regulators really frown on ambiguity here)
Why are we doing this?
- Investing is a long-term game, it requires discipline and commitment. If you’ve made it three years, that means you agree, and are willing to commit to a long-term strategy. That behavior should be rewarded.
- Investing is cheaper than ever! The cost of investment products, commissions, tools, etc, have dropped dramatically over the last decade. The recent fee war between online brokers has taken online commissions to or near zero. That saves us money and we feel it’s only right to pass that through.
- We’re growing, and frankly, we’re not greedy. With more clients and more scale we can become more operationally efficient. That means we can share success with clients.
- Last but absolutely not least, it’s a thank you. This idea of a fully functional, mobile, nimble financial firm started in my head over 6 years ago, and here we are. It worked. But it would have never gotten off the ground if clients didn’t share that vision and enthusiasm. I could have enrolled you in a ‘jelly of the month’ club instead but I suspect you’ll gladly take the cash.
Schwab buys TDAmeritrade
Consistent with the rapid change mentioned above, 2019 gave us the biggest consolidation of online custodians yet, as Schwab agreed to buy TD for $26 billion. The combined company will house over $5 trillion in client assets!
Since 2015 when we first started evaluating custodians for the new Firm, we’ve felt TD represented the ‘purest’ of the online choices. They do not make their own products, therefore aren’t incentivized to sell you any proprietary stuff, and it gave them a unique, open architecture investment marketplace.
That’s obviously going to change, as Schwab certainly makes their own products and isn’t shy about selling them.
This will have an impact on clients. The merger won’t be final until the second half of 2020 and communications have been light, so it’s too early to speculate how deep that impact will be.
We’ll stay on top of this as more information is released but we also won’t be passive. Startup companies are popping up to fill the gap as the big get bigger, and we’re testing one of those companies now. If it’s better for clients to switch, we’ll do it, and we’ll try our hardest to make your effort minimal.
SECURE Act passed
In the last weeks of 2019, Congress passed a bill that made significant changes to the rules surrounding retirement accounts. We’re still digesting all of the changes but please watch here for a more thorough summary soon.
A reminder: this company exists for clients. If you ever have thoughts or ideas about how we can make it better, please share them. We wouldn’t be here without you and we won’t be here in the future without adapting to what you need.