Whether making a career change, nearing retirement, or organizing your financial life, selecting the right financial advisor can be hugely beneficial and rewarding; but can take time. Over the years, we have answered many questions ranging from fees to fiduciary duty. Here are our top 10:
Q: Is Buttonwood a fiduciary and what does “being a fiduciary” mean?
A: Buttonwood serves our clients in a fiduciary capacity. This means it is our legal duty to act in the best interest of our clients. While it may be surprising that many financial advisors are not held to a fiduciary standard, it is the unfortunate truth. Many advisors are compensated by the Firm they work for and/or through product sales. Others are limited by their Firm to the advice they can provide, where your investment assets are custodied, how they are compensated and more. When working with the Team at Buttonwood, we implement strategy based upon open architecture technology and fiduciary advice – advise focused on your best interest.
Q: Does Buttonwood manage investments?
A: The management of investment assets at Buttonwood is coordinated by our Investment Policy Committee with the objective to produce a more consistent rate of return over economic cycles. With a more consistent rate of return, we, along with our clients, have a much higher probability of projecting future asset values and thus cash flow, tax and estate implications from investments: A smoother financial ride through life!
Q: What is a Family CFO?
A: By default, you are the CEO of your family. As your Family CFO, we focus on the creation, implementation, and ongoing strategy in your financial life. We provide comprehensive strategy for tax, insurance, estate planning, investments, cash flow, retirement, education, business and more – all integrated into your life and based around your specific desires.
Q: How is Buttonwood Financial Group different than the traditional Wall Street Firms?
A: As different as day and night. Many of the traditional names in the industry are “broker/dealers.” At these Firms, compensation is generally tied to investments, and strategy is limited to Firm approved recommendations. Advisors tend to work as individuals or in small groups, thus the experience clients receive is inconsistent from person to person. At Buttonwood, we are independent – our compensation comes from our clients. Not from a parent company, investment products or hidden cash flows; like payment for order flow.
While we absolutely understand investment management is an important component to the accomplishment of financial strategy, we also know that without solid strategy in place for cash flows, tax, insurance estate and more even wildly successful investments often fail to accomplish longer term family financial objectives. We think and act as strategic Family CFO; developing impactful outcomes for you and your family.
Q: How is Buttonwood different from the technology-driven “free” advisors?
A: While some find “robo” advisors appealing because of their nominal, or “free,” fee structure, the result of choosing tech centered options can be harmful to your overall financial life. While technology and A.I. can provide many insights, at Buttonwood, your strategy is developed, implemented, and monitored by a Team of professionals working for you. Our comprehensive approach includes the use of multiple technology and A.I. platforms – each with their own focus. The actions from the output of these platforms are interpreted with your Team. Human interaction helps to ensure both the strengths and weaknesses of your financial strategy are understood, and you and your family have a solid financial foundation for success.
Q: What is the cost for Buttonwood to serve as my Family CFO?
A: Because we have two distinct areas of focus, we have two separate fees. Our Investment Advisory Fee, starting at 65 basis points for the first $500,000 in investment assets we are managing declines as assets increase. Our Family CFO Service Fee covers all other services, starts at $1,000 per quarter and increases with financial complexity. As a multigenerational Family CFO, we often establish a Family CFO Service fee at a household or family level. For specific details and pricing, please schedule an informal conversation with one of our Lead Advisors.
Q: As a Family CFO… Does that mean you will work with my entire family?
A: Generally, clients begin to work with Buttonwood because of specific situations in their lives. However, as we develop core strategy it is rare when kids, parents, or other family members do not enter the financial equation. As such we have developed a specialty in multigenerational family financial planning. We believe a coordinated strategy across your entire family will produce positive impact for generations to come.
Q: Does Buttonwood work with clients outside of Kansas City?
A: At Buttonwood, our Team works with each of our clients through the complexities that come with money, taxes and the realities life cycles. Through ongoing conversation, we truly know each of our clients. While we have no plans to stamp out Buttonwood offices in every city, we do have clients across the country and overseas. The relationships we develop remain as clients move from place to place, often with our assistance! We are legally able and well equipped, through the power of travel and technology, to seamlessly meet and coordinate Family CFO strategy from wherever our clients happen to call home.
Q: Can Buttonwood assist with strategy for my business as well as my family?
A: Many of our clients are business owners. At Buttonwood, we generally include business opportunities and challenges into family strategy. For many business owners, their business is the largest investment asset. As such, business entity structure, tax, insurance, acquisition, succession, employee retention and more are critical components of and strategic plan.
Q: How do I learn more about Buttonwood?
A: Simply schedule an informal conversation with one of our Lead Advisors. Like you, we want to make sure there is a good fit between what we do and what you are looking for. As such we welcome the opportunity to answer questions, learn about you and your life and share details about who we are and what we do as a strategic Family CFO.