How do you charge for your investment management services?
We are an independent-minded advisor. We only get paid by you, the client. We do not receive commissions or fees. We do not sell products. Depending on the level of service, the investment management fees are a percentage of assets under management. They are assessed on the last business day of every quarter and billed automatically from each account.
How do you charge for your financial planning services?
We offer a needs assessment for all clients. For clients who have a more complex situation, a more in-depth financial plan may be required and a flat rate may be assessed.
How long have you been in business?
Tom Meyer joined the firm in 1982 and began his career constructing investment portfolios and managing client assets. He learned from his grandfather, who founded the firm in 1963 and was a fee-only fiduciary more than 50 years ago; he was truly a pioneer. By 1987, Tom took over the firm and while continuing to focus on providing clients with white glove customer service, he began preparing the company for change. He also had the foresight to see the potential growth of alternative investment strategies in the Investment Company Act of 1940 structure and how this could provide significant benefits to individual investors while reducing investment risk. For his efforts, Financial Advisor Magazine featured Tom as their cover story for liquid, transparent alternative mutual funds. Tom also saw the benefits of adding passive investments (ETFs) along with active managers to lower costs and provide more tax efficiencies to client’s portfolios.
What are your resources?
Our investment committee represents professionals with over 200 years of average experience. Every month we conduct research and due-diligence meetings on the existing and new potential investments. Our professionals hold various degrees and industry certifications (MBA, CFP® CFA®, AIF®, CFS®, Various Series Licenses). Tom Meyer has been a sought-after guest speaker for industry events across the country, covering alternative investment strategies and socially responsible investing.
Have you worked with people like me?
We work with every type of client, ranging from custodial accounts for newborns to clients in their 90s. We advise on more than $1B in assets.
What is your client retention rate for the past year?
What percentage of your clients has been with you for five years or more?
What is the average length of your employee tenure?
Where will my money be held?
Directly with an independent custodian — Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (Schwab)
Are you registered with the SEC, State or FINRA?
Hightower Advisors, LLC is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission
How do I know my funds are safe?
Meyer Capital Group will rarely take possession of your assets.
We do not hold a Full Power of Attorney with the ability to extract funds for any reason.
Your assets are often held with an independent custodian — Charles Schwab & Company (SIPC and FDIC)
Accounts are 100% visible for daily access on Schwab, as well as meyercg.com. Schwab statements, confirmation and tax documents are sent directly to you on a regular basis.
As a member of the Charles Schwab Advisor Network, we are required to have a regular audit performed by a third-party outside firm.
Hightower Advisors, LLC is a SEC registered advisor. We are subject to stringent protocols, as well as periodic SEC audits.
Tell me about your licenses, certifications and affiliations.
Our investment committee has professionals with over 180 years of average experience. Every month we conduct research and due-diligence meetings on existing and new potential investments. Our professionals hold various degrees and industry certifications (MBA, CFP®, CFA®, AIF®, CFS®, Various Series Licenses). Tom Meyer has been a sought-after guest speaker for industry events across the country, covering alternative investment strategies and socially responsible investing.
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM) certification is a professional designation attained by a person who has successfully completed the requirements of the Certified Financial Planner Board. CFP® professionals have completed extensive training and experience requirements and are held to rigorous ethical standards, as well as ongoing continuing education requirement. They understand the complexities of the changing financial climate and know how to make recommendations in your best interest. The CFP Board adopted the Code of Ethics to establish the highest principles and standards. These principles are general statements expressing the ethical and professional ideals certificants and registrants are expected to display in their professional activities. The principles form the basis of the CFP Board's Rules of Conduct, Practice Standards and Disciplinary Rules, and these documents together reflect the CFP Board's recognition of certificants' and registrants' responsibilities to the public, clients, colleagues and employers.
Charted Financial Analyst® (CFA®) is a professional designation given by the CFA® Institute that measures the competence and integrity of financial analysts. Candidates are required to pass three levels of exams covering areas such as accounting, economics, ethics, money management and security analysis. Completing the CFA® program shows that a candidate has mastered a broad range of practical portfolio management and advanced investment analysis skills. The Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct ("Code and Standards") is the ethical benchmark for investment professionals around the globe, regardless of job title, cultural differences or local laws. As a CFA Institute member or CFA Program candidate, you are required to follow the Code and Standards.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is an accounting professional who has passed the Uniform CPA examination and has also met additional state certification and experience requirements.
Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) is a professional designation awarded by the Center for Fiduciary Studies demonstrating the focus on all the components of a comprehensive investment process, related fiduciary standards of care and commitment to excellence. Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designees undergo rigorous initial and ongoing requirements to attain and retain their designation. Since October 2002, the AIF® designation has been the mark of commitment to a standard of investment fiduciary excellence. Those who earn the AIF® mark successfully complete a specialized program on investment fiduciary standards of care and subsequently pass a comprehensive examination. AIF® designees demonstrate a thorough understanding of Fi360's Prudent Practices for investment advisors and stewards.
Certified Fund Specialist (CFS®) designation program at the Institute of Business & Finance is an intermediate-to-advanced course on mutual funds, ETFs, REITs, closed-end funds and similar investments. A CFS® learns about advanced topics in fund analysis and selection, asset allocation, and portfolio construction. In addition, they gain sophisticated investment strategies for risk management, taxes and estate planning.
Series 63, 65, 66 — Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination. The Series exam is a North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) exam administered by FINRA. Completion of the Series Exam qualifies an investment professional to operate as an Investment Adviser Representative. The exam focuses on topic areas that are important for an investment adviser to know when providing investment advice. These areas include topics such as retirement planning, portfolio management strategies and fiduciary obligations.
Will I be consulted before each investment decision is made in my portfolio?
We offer both discretionary and non-discretionary contracts. In a discretionary relationship, we involve clients as much as they want to be involved. As a non-discretionary relationship, clients must approve each trade, and therefore communication is paramount to success.
How will I access reports on my portfolio?
We have a reporting software and website access available to you that provides daily updates and transparency. We can upload any custom reports to your secure portal or provide them via email or during our face-to-face meetings. All reports will show performance net of management fees. As your custodian, Charles Schwab and Company will provide all trade confirmations, monthly statements and tax reporting documents.
How often will we meet to review my portfolio?
Portfolios are reviewed at least quarterly with our Portfolio Strategy Group. Every client is different, so our goal is to ensure you are consistently informed, according to the method and frequency you prefer. A service team is assigned to you, and one of our professionals is always available to take your calls or answer your questions.
Am I free to contact you at any time?
Yes, our team strives to respond to all calls and inquiries within a 24-hour timeframe.
If you aren’t available, is there someone else you work with who will be familiar with my situation?
Yes. We assign a service team (relationship manager, portfolio manager, client service representative) to your relationship as part of our onboarding process when you join the firm, so there are a number of people available to you. Also, since your portfolio is reviewed with our team of portfolio managers, they too can answer questions in the event that your primary contact is unavailable.
How are investment decisions made and what drives the decision to buy and sell investments?
Monthly Investment Committee meetings are held to conduct due diligence reviews on the allocation strategies and individual investment products, theories, etc. The portfolio managers then meet during the week to reallocate their assigned client portfolios.
How do you handle market crashes and boom periods?
We do not time the market. We utilize asset allocation based strategies designed to adhere to your risk tolerance. Certain market conditions may cause concern for some clients. We are always available to discuss changes to your risk tolerance. Should your situation change, we can adjust your risk tolerance and associated allocation.
What financial planning methods do you utilize?
Our planners have many years of experience including MBA, CFP®, and AIF® designations. We use two tools: NaviPlan® and Money Guide Pro® to meet our clients’ diverse needs.
How do you manage the compliance requirements outlined by the SEC?
Hightower Advisors, LLC provides a compliance team that ensures our compliance on all levels in all firm processes.
Does Meyer Capital Group have a succession plan?
Tom Meyer has no plans to retire. Our Business Continuity and Succession Plans are in place should he or any key employee be unable to continue with their duties for any reason. More than 50% of our peers do not have these formalized plans. The firm also has a five-year strategic business plan, which is used to determine our annual goals and ensure we are moving in the direction that best serve our clients.
Can you provide me with a copy of a recent compliance record?
You can view the Hightower Advisors, LLC ADV here or at the bottom of every page.
Hightower Advisors, LLC is an SEC registered investment adviser. Registration as an investment adviser does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Securities offered through Hightower Securities, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. brokercheck.finra.org
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