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Frequently Asked Questions

What type of client is a good fit for CedarPoint Investment Advisors?

Our typical client is usually an individual or organization that has attained a certain level of success, and has a strong desire to make a difference in the organization of their financial life. They are most often successful professional, such as business owners, physicians, or mid- to high-level management, and have discovered that the allure of being a financial "do it yourselfer" comes at the cost of lost opportunity, and lost time with family and friends.

I've heard that all the premiere firms have minimums account values. Does CedarPoint have minimum account sizes to become a client?

We believe that the concept of minimums has more to do with an advisor's ego than it does with good business. CedarPoint does not utilize hard minimums as a primary criteria that clients need to meet in order to establish a relationship. With that said, however, we do want to make you aware that there are situations in which it may not be economically in the client's best interest to work with CedarPoint, and if that is the case we will be very clear about that point.

How do I know if I am a good fit for CedarPoint Investment Advisors?

We have two specific criteria for which we initially screen all potential clients.

First, you have to be as serious about improving your financial situation as we are about helping you to succeed. This type of relationship, when properly conceived, is a partnership. We will do everything within our power to design and implement a financial strategy for your family that will help you to achieve your goals. But no financial strategy, no matter how well designed, can function properly if there is lack of desire and discipline on the part of the individual. This is your money, and you are always free to do as you see fit, but if your definition of discipline and desire is different than ours, we may suggest that you locate an advisor whose views are more closely align with your own.

Second, we have to like each other. This might sound odd, but we have been in business long enough to know that strong relationships start with mutual respect and admiration. And let's face it, don't we all prefer to spend time with people that we truly enjoy? We haven't had to disqualify too many people based upon this particular item, but it certainly helps to know that every time our telephone rings that it is a friend on the line.

What geographical area do we service?

The majority of our clients reside in Southeastern Wisconsin, but as of last count CedarPoint has clients scattered throughout 15 states and over three continents. With the communication technology now available, geography is not a significant concern of ours, unless it is a concern of yours.

How do we charge for our services?

We provide our services on a fee-based platform, which means that the primary source of income to the firm is the management fee that our clients pay monthly to receive unbiased, independent advice. These fees are generally equal to 1.0% of your portfolio value on an annualized basis, although they are lower, on a percentage basis, for portfolios above $2 million and 501(c)3 non-profit organizations.

Is CedarPoint a "fee only" firm?

CedarPoint is NOT a fee-only firm, and believes that too often advisors fail to recognize that a client's best interests are served by a solution that is not consistent with the "fee-only" approach. While we seek to minimize these occurrences to the greatest degree possible, and thoroughly disclose them in writing (with a client acknowledgment required in advance) we firmly believe that it is important to fully address a client's needs.

Do you provide references from your existing clients?

While we are aware that existing client references are utilized by other firms seeking to obtain your trust, at CedarPoint we do not ask our current clients to fulfill that role for four reasons.

1) There are very specific and (justifiably) prohibitive rules that govern the use of “testimonials” for advertising purposes in our in profession, and they are designed to minimize an advisor’s ability to manipulate the information received by prospective clients.  While “personal references” are not necessarily considered in the same light by the SEC, we believe that our ability to dictate which existing clients you would have access to, violates the spirit of these rules, and as such, is a practice that we seek to avoid.

2) The vast majority of our new clients are referred to CedarPoint by friends, family members, or other trusted advisors (CPAs, attorneys, etc.).  As such, we would encourage you to speak with those people whom you already know and trust to garner feedback directly from them.

3) Our firm’s formal Privacy Policy specifically dictates that we will not share our clients’ personal, non-public information, unless required by law to do so.  We have no desire to “soften” this statement simply to attract new clients, and believe that the strength of this statement only enhances our value to existing clients.

4) Most importantly, Privacy Policy or not, our clients have the right to expect confidentiality and privacy in all matters.  While we believe that the majority of our clients would be willing to offer their time and feedback to prospective clients, if we asked, we don’t consider it appropriate to even ask.  While we certainly hope that we never lose an attractive prospective client relationship based upon our desire to guard our existing clients’ privacy, we stand very willing to do so.

How are CedarPoint's financial plans different from others?

Quite simply, we build your financial plan from the ground up, and do not utilize "technology" that requires reams of data input, only to regurgitate a 200 page document that is unreadable and without meaningful feedback. A financial plan, even a really expensive one with a pretty leather binder, is useless if it provides no sense as to where you are, where you want to go, and what steps you need to implement to arrive safely.

Any financial plan that CedarPoint prepares will include both the quantitative data (hard numbers and facts) and the qualitative data (goals, desires and attitudes) that is necessary to establish your benchmarks, your goals, and the expectations that will be used within your plan. Our financial plans are clear, concise and meant to be utilized as reference tool throughout your engagement with us.

As a final point, your financial plan is not meant to be the end of the process, but the beginning. Once your plan is in place, CedarPoint has the ability to update your underlying financial information as often as daily to continually reexamine the effect of an undulating market on your cash flow projections, your retirement capital needs analysis, or your income and estate tax planning projections. In short, once the plan has been completed, it becomes a dynamic, living entity that is designed to provide peace of mind by providing meaningful, easy to understand information about your financial situation.

Can you provide an overview for the financial planning process?

You bet! Please click here for the Financial Planning area.

Can you provide an overview for your investment management process?

Absolutely! Please click here for the Investment Management area of our website.

How do you describe your Investment Management Philosophy?

Our clients understand that the world's equity and fixed-income markets are almost perfectly efficient and that attempting to predict market trends is a systematically futile effort, and ultimately very costly. The technology that is available today, as well as those government regulations that are designed to ensure investor-parity, have essentially ended the days of the great stock pickers such as Peter Lynch and Sir John Templeton.

Our clients recognize that they have far more to gain by focusing on long term financial planning that involves all aspects of their financial life, not strictly the investment component.