Frequently Asked Questions
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The firm was founded in 1974 and registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 1984. The principals collectively have over 100 years experience in financial and investment management. The firm embraces its role as a fiduciary and is among the oldest fee-only firms in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
We offer financial planning and investment advisory services as fiduciaries.
- Our wide range of financial planning services for families, individuals and small businesses may include every aspect of a client’s financial life; i.e.: reviewing insurance plans, and income tax, cash management, estate, education, retirement, and special needs, and planned giving planning.
- Our investment advisory services are rooted in our status as fiduciaries. As fiduciary advisors, we have legal obligations that non-fiduciary advisors do not have. We must put our clients’ best interests first, disclose any actual or potential conflicts of interest, treat all client information in strict confidence, and, generally, adhere to the highest ethical standards managing client financial affairs. Furthermore, we are only compensated through our clients’ fees. This means we do not receive any compensation other than our client fees. We do not receive commissions, fees, or bonuses from the investment recommendations we make from any third party.
RPJ’s investment philosophy is derived from firmly held beliefs regarding the economic and investment environment and the threats and risks that can hinder returns. Our philosophy is based on three major principles. We believe: (1) wealth is best created through long-term participation in the global capital markets, (2) asset allocation across and within asset classes generates maximum returns for a given level of risk, and (3) minimizing expenses through passive strategies is a prudent course of action. The firm strives to reduce and manage its clients’ risk exposure in the capital markets. These are central tenets of Modern and Post-Modern Portfolio Theory.
We are exclusively registered as an Investment Advisor with the SEC. We are not registered as a brokerage firm with FINRA (formerly NASD). We only accept compensation in the form of fees from our clients. We affirm our fiduciary duties to our clients in all the services we offer. These are the key attributes which distinguish RPJ from large financial services firms.
Additionally, after 30 years registered with the SEC, we feel we know of other attributes that our clients appreciate. First, we believe clients appreciate that we take time to look at their total financial picture and investment policy as a basis for making investment recommendations. Second, we believe clients like that we are not commission-based sales brokers and do not spend time trying to “sell” them products. Instead, we offer recommendations that can help clients meet their investment and financial goals that are based upon firms we have evaluated, have a track record and offer mutual funds that support achievement of those goals. Third, we believe clients like the fact that we are “Fee only” and that we are fiduciary advisors, as opposed to brokers who are not fee only and whose interests may favor their company rather than their clients. Fourth, we believe in delivering personal client service to each and every client. We conducted an internal analysis for the years between 1996 and 2006. We found that each year, on average, 98 percent of RPJ clients chose to remain RPJ clients.
There are no guarantees to investing. Therefore, we would never guarantee any return on an investment portfolio. No firm should. Doing so is prohibited by the SEC. Historically, the financial markets provide an overall rate of return (over time) which justifies investors entrusting their assets to them. Real rates of return are impacted by the effects of inflation, taxation, and other investment expenses. At the same time, strong consideration must be given to the preservation of capital. That is to say, minimizing risk of loss is a fundamental guiding principle. History has shown that investing in a well-diversified portfolio can increase returns and manage the volatility (risk).
We believe our fees are often lower than the fees of brokerage firms, comparing our range of fees with theirs. Our fee range starts at 1 percent and decreases to .4 percent or less with larger accounts. According to a recent study by the Rand Corporation for the SEC, as it concerned brokerage fees, “Fees that are based on account size generally range from 1 to 3 percent of assets, whereby larger accounts are subjected to lower fees, and wealthier clients are often in a position to negotiate the fee rate.” *
* Investor and Industry Perspective on Investment Advisors and Broker-Dealers, December 2007
Some clients may not feel they have accumulated sufficient assets to work with our firm using this type of assets-under-management fee arrangement. In those cases our comprehensive financial planning services may be provided on a retainer basis tailored to the specific client need.
To set up online access to your accounts and all other related data, please call (800) 515-2157 or visit www.schwaballiance.com.
Please contact your advisor promptly to notify them of your address change. They will mail you a change-of-address form that will require your signature. Keeping your address current with RPJ and the custodian of your assets will help ensure that you experience no lapses in service.
Be sure to make checks for investment payable to “Charles Schwab & Co.” or yourself. Also include the account number into which you would like the check deposited on the memo line. We cannot and do not accept any investment checks made payable to our firm.
*Note: If you mail a check for investment made payable to your advisor or Rembert Pendleton Jackson, we are required by law to mail the check back to you within 24 hours.
As an extra measure of security, please mail your checks for investment to our office.
It is possible for you to mail checks directly to Schwab, however if you were to do this, we have no ability to track checks that are not sent directly from our offices. We have had instances in the past where checks mailed from clients to Schwab have been lost.
All physical client files are kept in a secure location and are locked up each night. We also retain electronic client files on our secure in-house data storage system. Only our staff has access to client files. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires that registered investment advisors, such as RPJ, keep client files for a minimum of five years from the most recent activity. It is company policy not to retain any original documents. Therefore, our files consist purely of copies of information which you have in your possession.
If you are unable to reach your advisor, please call our main line at (703) 821-6655, or toll-free (877) 821-6655. Let the person who answers know who your advisor is and that you require assistance. They will put you in touch with an available advisor at our firm who can offer assistance.