Mayport is reinventing financial advice.
- Fiduciary standard. Brokers and other financial salespeople are not required to adhere to what is known as the “fiduciary standard.” This means that they are legally permitted to put their own interests ahead of yours – choosing to sell you a particular investment product, for example, because it provides them with a bigger commission. Indeed, many brokers have for years been fighting the government’s effort to impose even a partial fiduciary standard on their business. In contrast, Mayport adheres to the fiduciary standard, as defined by the CFP Board — with all clients at all times. In fact, as a Registered Investment Advisor, Mayport is required to adhere to this standard.
Financial planning as the bedrock of every client relationship
- At Mayport, we start every relationship by building a long-term financial plan around your individual goals. And, at Mayport, a financial plan isn’t just the starting point for our relationship; it’s the foundation for all future discussions. You’ll be able to access your plan through our client portal, and we will update and discuss it regularly. In contrast, many investment firms see themselves simply as “money managers” operating without any specific knowledge of their clients’ goals.
Straightforward, fair fees
- No percentage-of-asset fees. Most other advisors’ fees are based on the size of a client’s account – 1% per year, on average. This can result in very high fees. In addition, these traditional percentage-of-asset fees have a tendency to increase over time because of the stock market’s historical upward trend. In contrast, Mayport charges fixed fees for its Wealth Management Service, and our fees vary only relative to the complexity of your needs.
- Fee only. Traditional brokers and financial salespeople who charge commissions for each trade have an incentive to make more frequent changes to your account, and these trades may incur higher costs and taxes. In contrast, Mayport is a fee-only advisor. This means that our sole source of compensation is directly from our clients. While no relationship can be completely free of potential conflicts of interest, a fee-only arrangement greatly reduces this potential.
- Completely transparent fees. Many other advisors have “soft dollar” arrangements with brokers. This means that they benefit from a portion of your brokerage commissions, and this may create an incentive for them to make more frequent trades in your account. Another common practice among advisors is to collect payments from fund companies as compensation for selling particular funds to clients. These fees are known as “12b-1” or “distribution fees” and are completely invisible to you, the client. Mayport believes opaque payments like this are fundamentally unfair to clients and, as a result, has no such arrangements.
- Billed in arrears. Most other advisors bill their clients a quarter in advance. In contrast, Mayport bills clients after we have provided the service.
- Flexible payment options. Most other advisors deduct fees directly from client accounts, making it harder to appreciate the scale of what you are paying them. While Mayport offers this as an option, it is just an option. You also have the option of paying by check or even credit card. That is because we believe you should not be in the dark about the fees that you are paying.
- Hourly option. If your needs are limited, and you don’t yet have investments to manage, Mayport offers a flexible, hourly-based consulting service. With this option, Mayport can help you get your financial picture organized, develop a long-term plan and answer any other money-related questions that may be on your mind.
Evidence-based investment strategy
- At Mayport, our approach to investing is informed by decades of academic research. This evidence is very clear about the factors that drive positive investment performance. Among them are: minimizing costs and taxes by keeping turnover low; choosing investments that are simple and straightforward with measurable intrinsic value; diversifying across and within a sensible set of asset classes; avoiding a reliance on predictions of the future; avoiding market-timing; and including small-cap and value investments in a stock portfolio. In contrast, many investment firms employ highly-paid analysts and economists to engage in extensive forecasting and analysis that, in Mayport’s opinion, does not contribute any value. For that reason, we have eliminated these roles and pass the significant cost savings on to you, the client. Please note: this is just a snapshot of our approach; we are happy to discuss our investment philosophy in as much detail as you would like.
Sensitivity to taxes
- Mayport recognizes that taxes matter, and that your true investment return is what you keep after taxes, so we structure and manage your portfolio with an eye toward minimizing taxes. We accomplish this via careful asset allocation, asset location and security selection. In addition, we avoid market timing and active trading – practices that both can contribute to higher taxes (as well as errors in forecasting, higher fees and higher commissions).
Emphasis on education
- At Mayport, one of our primary objectives is to educate clients. For that reason, we regularly add new articles to our blog and email clients with weekly commentary and advice. We believe that a good understanding of how investments work, and of market history, will serve you especially well during periods of market turmoil, when you may be unsure what to do.
- Mayport clients benefit from a web portal and mobile app that allow you to monitor your accounts, check your financial plan and store important financial documents in an online vault.
- You don’t punch the clock at 5 o’clock, and neither do I. If you prefer to meet at 7:00 in the evening, or at 7:00 in the morning, or on a Sunday morning, I’ll make it happen. As a client, you will have my cell phone number, and I hope you will use it.