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TAMPs For Dummies

Scott's Column

Big.  Some firms say you should work with them because they are very, very big.  But who wants to be just another number?  Ever try to resolve a problem with your cable company or your health insurance provider?  That’s what big looks like.

Old.  Some firms say you should work with them because they’ve been around a long, long time.  That’s fine if you’re looking for old ways and old ideas.  But the five most valuable companies in the S&P 500 are disruptors and innovators, not old-guard companies.

All About Them.  Some firms tell you how great they are and how thankful you should be to work with them.   If they can’t stop talking about themselves when they first meet you, do you think it will be any different later?  Enough about them.  What are they going to do for you?

Evidence.  Some firms say their approach to managing money is “evidence-based” or grounded in “academic research.”  Really?  That evidence and that research have been around for decades and is available to everyone.  The real question is what did they do with it?

Alts to a Fault.  Some firms offer “sophistication” or “institutional quality.”  They’ll part the velvet ropes just for you and show you how to invest like the big boys.  Everyone wants to feel special, but falling for this story is likely to be expensive for you and your clients.

Robotica.  Some firms offer a computer to manage your clients’ money.  It might be driven by an algorithm programed by whiz-kids or a black box that once timed the market correctly.  Have fun explaining to your clients why the results aren’t as good as the back-test.

Freebie Models.  Some firms offer “free” model portfolios.  Of course, nothing is free in this business—the fees are simply buried in proprietary products.  Maybe your clients won’t notice and will also miss the fact that all the funds are from the same company?  And maybe it doesn’t matter to you that you are left with the burden of implementation and all the back-office work.     

Fluff and Babble.  It’s hard to tell with some firms.  They say they’ll care more about you than anyone else, help your clients find the meaning of life, turn your firm into a marketing powerhouse, and re-invent your tech-stack.  They’ll even teach you to juggle for an extra fee.  What about managing money?  Who does it?  What’s their experience and track record?

The Straight Story.  Rather than force you into one rigid way of doing business, we offer a variety of services to meet the diverse needs of firms that want expert investment support.

  • We manage four types of portfolios: active/passive, passive, factor-based, DFA-funds.
  • We are available through platforms like Envestnet, Adhesion, and SMArtX.
  • We manage customized portfolios for firms with specialized needs.
  • We offer OCIO services for firms that want access to our investment expertise, but don’t want to outsource portfolio management discretion or account administration.

Our portfolios are managed by an investment committee with years of experience and excellent credentials.  They’ve done this before.  Their bios are right there on our website.

We keep the channels of communication open.  We let you know what’s going on.  You always have access to people who can solve problems and make decisions.  We know your name.

We help you attract new clients and better serve the ones you have.  Tools range from portfolio diagnostics to educational material—and it can all be private labeled for your firm.

Working with us is easy.  We use technology to make things simple, not to show off.

We introduced flat fees to the TAMP market.  Flat fees differentiate your firm and meet your fiduciary responsibilities, while helping your clients keep more of what they earn.

Are We a Good Fit?  Our clients voted us the #1 TAMP and the #1 Online Portfolio Management Tool in the 2020 T3/Inside Information Advisor Software Survey based on client satisfaction.

Here’s what the industry thinks of us, our innovation, and our thought leadership:

  • We’ve been finalists for 8 Wealthie Awards in the last four years
  • We won Wealthies in the TAMP (2018) and ETF Strategist (2019) categories
  • We won the Investments & Wealth Institute’s Governance Insight Award (2019)
  • We’ve published over 60 articles in industry publications over the past five years

If you’d like to learn more, give us a call, send us a message, or request a demo from one of our regional sales consultants.