The most important difference in having an independent and unaffiliated custodian is that the investment advisor initiates transactions as part of its portfolio management responsibility and the custodian clears transactions as part of its safekeeping responsibility. The custodian has no investment authority (unless assigned for overnight excess cash balance sweep management) but serves to provide an audit trail of all the activity within an investment account. Charles Schwab institution manages over $2 trillion in assets, has online account access and reporting and strong credit ratings from Moody’s (A2), S&P (A) and Fitch (A). TD Ameritrade has over 6.6 million client accounts, over $660 billion in assets and solid credit ratings from Moody’s (A3), S&P (A) [as of 2016].
TD Ameritrade, Inc. is one of the firms that we use to custody our client assets. TD Ameritrade, Miracle Mile Advisors, and the other entities named are separate and unaffiliated firms, and are not responsible for each other’s services or policies. TD Ameritrade does not endorse or recommend any advisor and the use of the TD Ameritrade logo does not represent the endorsement or recommendation of any advisor. Brokerage services provided by TD Ameritrade Institutional, Division of TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. TD Ameritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. Used with permission.
Over the last several years, there have been a few periods of time when all asset classes are under negative pressure and cash is your best investment choice. In those rare instances where downside risks significantly outweigh upside potential, we have often chosen to sell positions and move to cash equivalents. Using liquid funds with very low trading costs has made that defensive play cost-effective for families seeking to preserve wealth.
2008 brought a paradigm shift to the capital markets making everything more efficient – we believe macro trends will continue to dominate markets and asset allocation will be the single most important factor for returns. Given that reality, we continually evaluate the current market environment to take advantage of opportunistic investments being presented.
Capital preservation is a fundamental tenet of investing that is often talked about and rarely implemented effectively. For an investor, finding the optimal balance between risk and reward through portfolio construction – and having the fortitude to hold fast to one’s investment program over the long haul – is no easy task. For many clients, allocating a portion of their assets to a strategy that has limited downside risk is critical to achieving their investment objectives regardless of the volatility in the public markets. However, there is no free lunch in investing or in life. There are numerous financial institutions pitching an array of products that are often not suitable to the client’s needs or just loaded with fees. As independent advisors, we help our clients sift through the noise to find the right solution that works within their larger financial plan.
We invest in index funds and individual bonds that provide daily liquidity. Our firm is built on the belief that clients should have access to their money when they want it!