Who Is in Control?

Does working with an Investment Advisor mean giving up control of your investments? Not necessarily. At BWFA, our clients are always in control of their investments.

But being in control doesn’t mean that clients have to do all the tedious work themselves. Just as supervisors don’t do all the work that gets done within the departments they supervise, our clients don’t have to perform all the tasks necessary to maintain their investments. By delegating some authority to us, our clients, like business managers, get more done and remain in control.

In order for this supervisory relationship to work, two things must be present. In business, the supervisor and the employee must first agree on how things will be done. Secondly, they must establish a way to monitor what’s happening. The same is true with our clients.

First, the Investment Model establishes the “agreement” between the client and BWFA. The purpose of the Model is to allow the client to provide BWFA with directions about how to handle the investments. Strict procedural rules restrict BWFA from taking excessive risks by speculating or making “big bets.”

Second, clients are able to monitor what’s happening through two simple and easy to read reports.

1. The Portfolio Statement shows information about investments at a point in time: the end of each calendar quarter. This statement helps clients confirm that BWFA is following its agreement. It gives clients a consolidated view of all their investments so that they can see exactly what they own and how close they are to the agreed-upon Investment Model.

2. The Performance Summary enables clients to see how their investments have done over a period of time. They can clearly see the money they started with, how much they have added and withdrawn from their accounts, how much income they have earned, how much their assets have appreciated, and what their fees have been. They can see the “net” of these numbers, which is how much they have made, and their percentage return.

Like any supervisor, our clients always have access to us if they have questions about what we are doing or how their investments are performing. Clients who invest in mutual funds or who use sub-managers do not get this level of transparency or access to the manager.

With our system of investing, clients really do stay in control. At BWFA the rules are: keep it simple, keep costs down, be totally transparent, and avoid surprises. Our clients are always in control; we just work for them.