facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast phone blog search brokercheck brokercheck Play Pause

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

Do you act as a fiduciary for your clients?

Yes. Since 1984, Focus has operated as a fiduciary, meaning we are required to put our clients' interests ahead of our own. We have not had to change our business model like many of the large firms in our industry have needed to.

What types of people do you work with?

We primarily work with clients that have investable assets of at least $500,000 and are looking for a partner to help guide them in all aspects of managing their wealth. These aspects include growing, preserving and passing along their wealth to future generations or charitable organizations. We also work with small business owners on a flat-fee or retainer arrangement since their assets may be tied up in their company. Learn more about who we work with by seeing our client overview.

If I don’t meet your $500,000 account minimum can I still work with you?

We will occasionally make exceptions for friends and family members, or those who may not be at our minimum but are clearly going to be there soon.

Do you prepare tax returns?

No, but we work in conjunction with CPAs and accountants to do extensive tax planning on an ongoing basis. We can also recommend several CPAs to assist you with tax preparation, if needed.

What types of investments do you utilize in your client’s portfolios?

We strive to keep portfolio costs as low as possible with a mix of both passive and actively managed exchange-traded funds (ETF’s) and mutual funds along with individual bonds and stocks in cases where appropriate.

How often will we meet?

As we develop and establish the financial plan in the initial stages of our relationship, we may have anywhere from two to up to five or six meetings in the first few months, depending on the complexity of your situation. After that, we generally recommend semi-annual meetings but are flexible on when and how often we meet. We also offer virtual meetings and are happy to do those as well.

I don't live local. What meeting options do you offer?

We have clients all over the country. And even, many of our local clients only stay in town part of the year. Along with in-office meetings, we offer virtual meetings. Additionally, we often travel to meet with clients all over the country as our schedule permits.

Will I get billed extra when I call or contact you with questions in between meetings?

You have unlimited access to contact us with questions, problems or things we may be able to help you with in between meetings. Since our fees are agreed on at the time we begin our relationship, there is no “nickel and diming” you for calls or questions in between meetings. We are also happy to meet more often than our regular meetings to discuss important events in your life that we can help plan for, such as retirement, updating your estate plan, or other major life events that may affect your plan. However, if there is an additional major project above and beyond the scope of our agreement, we would likely have a separate fee arrangement that we would discuss before we begin.

What are your fees?

View a detailed overview of what we charge on our fee overview page.

Is there a fee for an initial consultation?

No. If you believe you are a good fit for our services, we would love to have a meeting to get to know you better. It could take a couple of meetings and that is fine as well.  A trusted relationship between a client and advisor is essential. We value trust-based relationships and want you to be absolutely sure that you are comfortable with the advisor you choose.

Do you provide referrals?

No, due to our oath of confidentiality we strive to keep our client's identity and information secure. Also, we get a large portion of our clients through word-of-mouth referrals from existing clients as well as local accountants and attorneys.

How do you keep my money safe?

All of your accounts are held with two renowned companies, Schwab and Fidelity. This means they hold your investments and provide your account statements and tax forms. With advanced technology and insight, these companies provide important security measures, oversight and compliance. Partnering with Schwab and Fidelity means we offer cutting-edge resources while still maintaining our boutique, personalized approach. 

Since you are a smaller, boutique firm, do you have a business continuity plan should something happen to your key advisor?
Yes, we do have an arrangement in place and would be happy to give you details during our first meeting.

Operational FAQs

How long do account transfers take?
Once the account is opened, the transfer process normally takes anywhere from 5-14 days depending on the type of transfer and where the transfer is coming from.
Does Focus provide Notary services?
Yes, we do provide Notary services, but please call first to make sure our staff member is available to notarize your document(s).
If I need cash, how long does it take and are there fees associated with funds transactions?

MoneyLink: EFT (electronic funds transfer) directly into bank account either next business day or same day depending on custodian (if cash is readily available). There are no fees.

Overnight check: Delivered next day (if cash is readily available) – $8.50 (Schwab) or $8.00 (Fidelity)

Wire: Same day depending on the time of day – there are time cut-offs from the custodians (if cash is readily available) $15 (Schwab) or $15 (Fidelity)

What is the process if I need to free up cash in my account?
If you need to free up cash for a special withdrawal, simply give us a call and we will place trades as needed to accommodate this. Please keep in mind trade settlements. Mutual Funds, Stocks and ETFs settle T+1 (trade date plus one more business day). Holidays and market closures affect this, of course.
How do I deposit money into my account(s)?
Most of our clients set up MoneyLink so that EFT (electronic funds transfer) can be used to move money directly from their bank into their account(s) safely and quickly. Often, they set up a scheduled deposit. Depositing checks is another option – see next section.
Who do I make checks payable to?

A. Schwab

  1. Best practice: Client’s name and Schwab account number included in the Memo Line.
  2. Also acceptable: Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., with the Schwab account number included in the memo line.

B. Fidelity

  1. Fidelity Investments
  2. National Financial Services, LLC
  3. Account holder exactly as it appears on the Brokerage Account Registration. Checks payable to the account holder must be endorsed by the account holder to prevent paying bank from returning the check to Fidelity.
How do I access the Client Portal?
On the upper right of our website, you will see the “Client Login” button. That button takes you to our page with several 3rd party links you may use once you are a client with Focus. You may also access the Client Portal here.