Steward Advisors GroupFrequently Asked Questions
Portfolio Management Disciplines and Costs
Financial planning and money management can be confusing. Here are answers to four frequently asked questions about our financial disciplines and costs.
01. What is your investment discipline?
The vast majority of our clients are Christian investors who have tried to be good stewards of their resources. They have studied stewardship books and have become competent savers and givers. Their primary focus has been achieving competitive investment returns while reducing risk and volatility to avoid catastrophic losses.
No one can predict the future, but it is proven that different assets and investments will perform well at different times. Therefore, like many traditional portfolio managers, we design our portfolios to be diversified across numerous asset classes in order to minimize risk and provide potentially more consistent returns.
In addition to the services provided by traditional financial planning firms, we have a unique calling to help our clients to invest in ways that further the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. We call this “eternity focused investing” where we combine traditional with impact portfolios as described below.
First, we create traditional portfolios by sifting through the universe of investments to find managers and portfolios that align with Christian values and that have strong historical patterns of return, outperforming their peers and their benchmark indexes. Our traditional portfolios are created to provide attractive risk-adjusted returns by investing in a combination of stocks, bonds, ultra low-cost index funds, ETFs, and actively managed funds.
Second, we create complementary impact portfolios made up of funds and private companies that have articulated clear missional and kingdom impact outcomes including social, spiritual and environmental objectives (called quadruple bottom lines, or QBL investments). We have close relationships with private equity funds who perform due diligence prior to investing in quadruple bottom line companies. They also monitor the investments and provide ongoing accountability to monitor the progress of their portfolio companies. . These relationships give us up-close information regarding their underlying investments and performance. We also frequently make investments into individual redemptive businesses. Using multiple investments in this way enables us to create diversified missional investment portfolios that effectively accomplish financial return and kingdom impact.
By strategically combining the two portfolio management disciplines, we create an overall portfolio that cohesively achieves God’s purposes while managing risk and return to accomplish your personal financial objectives.
02. Is your compensation commision-based or fee-based?
Steward Advisors Group operates as a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) under the regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As such, our investment advisory and portfolio management services are fee-based, not commission-based.
Charging fees versus receiving commissions is like comparing how two contractors might bill for their time when they remodel your home. Most people would prefer to pay a contractor for completed tasks rather than a contractor who requires payment in full before they start to work.
Similarly, paying a commission to a financial advisor is like paying a contractor 100% before they get out of their truck. A commission assumes the advisor will continue to work hard for you for as long as the investment lasts. A fee-based advisor, on the other hand, is paid at the end of each quarter based on the work and performance completed each quarter. The fee is tied to performance. Steward Advisors Group operates on a fee basis because we believe this method better aligns the interests of the client and the advisor. Both are seeking a successful outcome, not just a transaction. Our purpose is to help you build a Life Plan and portfolio that aligns with your values, achieves eternal outcomes, and accomplishes your goals.
Our fees are structured so that Steward Advisors Group can be your trusted guide for many years and through many life changes, not just a help for single transactions.
03. Are you a fiduciary?
There are two different standards under which a financial advisor can operate: the suitability standard or the fiduciary standard. The suitability standard means that the broker/agent/advisor is not required to disclose or minimize their conflicts of interest, including compensation. This means that an advisor could recommend an investment that is adequate, or suitable, but not necessarily in the client’s best interest.
The fiduciary standard, under which the Steward Advisors Group operates, legally requires our advisors to always recommend what is best for our clients, even if it means fewer dollars in compensation to the advisor. The fiduciary standard holds our advisors to a legal standard similar to that of a trustee of a trust, trustees of a not-for-profit, or board members of an organization, who each must act in the best interest of their organization or client. Failure to do so is illegal. For a complete disclosure of our fiduciary responsibilities and a listing of our Investment Advisor Representatives (IARs) you can request a copy of our Form ADV Part 2 which is filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Filing and registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission does not imply a certain level of skill or training.
04. What will it cost to work with Steward Advisors Group?
There are few RIAs that simultaneously integrate traditional and missional investments into a single portfolio so that Christian investors can achieve their personal investment goals AND achieve spiritual outcomes such as advancing the kingdom of heaven in unreached locations. Seeking out, screening, transacting with, and monitoring investments that are achieving multiple bottom line objectives is more complex and time consuming than traditional portfolio management.
Steward Advisors Group serves our clients by keeping fees to investors as low as possible even with the higher cost structure associated with private placement missional investments. An advantage of our three decades of industry experience and professional industry relationships is that we can keep traditional investment costs competitive by including ultra low-cost institutional share classes which are unavailable to many financial advisor firms. Doing this offsets the higher costs associated with cross-cultural missional investing.
All Steward Advisor Group annual advisory fees are based on total assets under management (see table below). The quarterly calculation of advisory fees is based on an average daily balance throughout the quarterly cycle. Fees are billed in arrears for the 3 previous months.
Our annual fees for investment advisory services are as follows:
1.90% for assets up to $500,000
1.70% for assets of $500,001 to $1,000,000
1.40% for assets of $1,000,001 to $2,000,000
Fee for assets of $2,000,001 and above is negotiable.
139 Meyer Road, Suite 201
Clifton Park, NY 12065