Print
PDF

Frequently Asked Questions

Read through the questions and answers by clicking on each of the questions below.

What’s the minimum amount of money required to be your client?

Downing Street Wealth Management clients must have $200,000 or more available to invest.

What fee do you charge?

Our fees for a continuing advisory relationship are 1% of the your asset total per year. Our fee for hourly advice is $285 per hour.

What do I get for my ongoing fee?

That's a question that more clients should ask of their financial advisors. At Downing Street, your fee pays for a high level of service, including ongoing financial planning, investment management and communication. We believe that carefully monitoring your investments, communicating about your plans and finances, and making adjustments as necessary are vital to keeping you on track toward your long-range goals.

How often are fees charged?

The 1% fee for ongoing advice relationships is charged in quarterly increments of .25%.

As a Downing Street client, who will have my money?

The assets of Downing Street clients are kept in the custody of First Clearing, LLC, a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Co., one of the country's largest financial companies. Downing Street does not have direct access to your funds, nor should any financial advisor.

Will my assets be insured?

Yes. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation http://www.sipc.org/ protects investors from financial harm in the event of a broker-dealer's failure. First Clearing, LLC, which custodies Downing Street's client assets, is such a broker-dealer. Please note that investment losses are not insured.

The market hurt my nest egg. Will I have to delay retirement?

It's possible. The only way to know for sure is to evaluate your situation in depth. However, Downing Street believes that a well-managed investment portfolio should never shrink to the point where delaying retirement significantly needs to be contemplated.

How often do you meet with each client?

We formally meet three times per year with each client, whether on the phone or in person. Downing Street principal Bob Morrison regularly travels to meet with clients, including those who live outside Colorado. Of course, we are available for informal meetings whenever you desire.

How will I access cash from my account to use as retirement income?

Typically, clients receive monthly checks from our custodial firm, First Clearing, LLC.

What if I need money from my account for an emergency?

Funds can be wired to your bank account within 24 hours or less.

Are you a brokerage firm or advisory firm. What’s the difference?

Downing Street is an advisory firm, and that is an important differentiator. Brokers are paid for selling products, while advisors, including our firm, are paid for selling advice. Our model ensures that we have no financial interest in recommending one kind of investment over another, since clients pay us the same amount whether we recommend, for example, investment A or investment B.

Another key distinction between brokers and advisors is that advisors are held to what is considered a stricter regulatory standard. Advisors are legally bound to act in their clients' best interest. Brokers are only required to sell their clients products that they deem "suitable."

What does the term "comprehensive financial planning" mean?

Many financial professionals are in the business of selling you the products that they specialize in, regardless of what your needs are. We approach things differently: Through our comprehensive planning process, we work with you to understand and define your financial goals—including college savings, retirement and passing wealth to your loved ones.

Armed with a broad, long-term perspective, we can use our expertise to recommend the mix of investments and insurance that, along with tax planning, will best help you reach your goals. It's an approach that we believe can lead to real peace of mind about your future.

How does your tax planning help me meet my financial goals?

Careful planning can help reduce the amount of taxes you pay, both over the short term and the long term. What seems like modest savings in the short term can make a big difference over time in achieving your financial goals.

Downing Street principal Bob Morrison is a certified public accountant with broad expertise in income tax and estate tax. In contrast, most financial planners are not qualified or permitted to advise clients in these areas beyond providing rudimentary guidance.

Since taxes are the largest expense that a typical client pays annually, we believe it pays to have a planner who is qualified to give comprehensive tax advice.

How much control will I have over how my money is managed?

Downing Street has two types of clients. One group custodies assets with our custodial firm, First Clearing, LLC. We invest those clients' assets according to the recommendations that are accepted by our clients. Since it's clients' money, by the way, they always have the final say.

The other group of clients pays for advice and then implements, on their own, the recommendations they choose.

Will you need my approval when investments are bought and sold?

No. For clients in long-term advisory relationships, we have the ability to make portfolio transactions without the client's formal approval of each one. We can buy or sell investments but do not have the ability to withdraw cash. We let clients know each time a trade has been made, typically through e-mail or a phone call.

What is your investment approach? Are you aggressive or safe?

Downing Street uses a time-tested strategy of buying high-quality investments and holding them for long periods in order to capture their full appreciation potential. We don't believe in jumping in and out of the investments as they rise and fall.

Why? For one thing, numerous studies have shown that "chasing returns" is typically unsuccessful. The market's long-term history of growth, on the other hand, is a matter of record; we believe investing discipline yields the greatest rewards. In addition, a patient approach can be advantageous in limiting tax liabilities and trading costs.

Where can I see my investment results?

Clients' investment results are available in the statements they receive each quarter. Clients can also go online to check their balances daily, just as they would with a bank account.

How does a smaller firm like Downing Street compete with larger, national companies?

In numerous ways. For example, we charge significantly less for our services than do the so-called full-service brokerage firms. And we are completely independent—we aren't under pressure from an investment-banking arm to sell certain products; instead, we buy independent research from third-party providers.

What's more, as a registered investment advisor, we are held to a higher standard of responsibility to our clients than are many of the well-known national firms.

How do I transfer my money to you from another investment firm?

Simply provide us with a copy of a current statement. We'll handle all the paperwork needed to set up a new account and transfer your assets.

How can I do due diligence on Downing Street?

It's a good idea to research any financial firm you plan to do significant business with. State regulatory agencies—Colorado's can be found at http://www.dora.state.co.us/securities/index.htm --are a good place to start. A Form ADV, which all advisors are required to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, contains information about qualifications and disclosures of any conflicts of interest.

I like what I’ve heard so far. What’s the next step?
We offer a complimentary get-acquainted meeting to describe our services determine whether our services are right for you. To arrange one, click here.

Why Choose Us

Not all financial planning firms are created equal.

Learn More

What We do

A comprehensive approach, putting your interests first.

Learn More

Who We Serve

Pre-retirees, Retirees, Women in Transition

Learn More