We Are Fiduciaries
We are often asked if we are a “Fiduciary.” It seems like the word is all over the news these days, but what exactly does it mean? In a nutshell, a fiduciary is a person or organization who is ethically bound to put a client’s best interests first at all times. And as of June 9, 2017, the government has passed the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule to ensure that anyone who gives financial advice on retirement savings accounts must behave in a fiduciary manner. We are pleased that the government is looking out for the best interest of consumers, but we want you to know that the government didn’t need to tell US to do this…we’ve been doing it for years. At Tull Financial, we understand the importance of serving as a fiduciary because the client’s interest must always come first.
- TFG officially became a fee-only firm in 2004, which means we do not accept any fees or compensation based on product sales. Our advisors are only compensated by fees paid directly by our clients. We receive no commissions, no third-party payments, and have no financial interest in any services or investment products we employ for our clients.
- We have long been Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) which requires fiduciary duty.
- In 2006, we also joined NAPFA, the leading professional association of fee-only financial advisors, where we have taken a Fiduciary Oath. NAPFA has also created an infographic called Fiduciary 101, explaining what consumers need to know in order to protect themselves.
As always, we are happy to answer any questions you have about our fees and services, or just to help clarify the differences in financial professionals.
Our Core Values
Trust: Our priority is to build a personal, committed relationship with you, based on honesty, openness, and confidentiality.
Integrity: We believe in the value of comprehensive professional financial planning. Our purpose is to help you identify what is important and valuable to you, and assist you in achieving your long-term financial goals.
Relationships: As an independently owned and operated firm, we have – and use – the freedom to apply creative planning strategies to attend to each client’s particular needs and circumstances. We communicate regularly with our clients.
Excellence: Our competent team is here to serve you. Our office culture is characterized by mutual respect and a commitment to quality.
Discipline: Our continuous investment research and asset management helps us maintain your portfolio in an optimized and financially healthy allocation.
Our Investment Philosophy
At the core of our investment approach to manager selection and asset allocation is diligent research. This research-intensive investment process focuses on adding value over the long run in two ways:
First, we use a tactical asset allocation approach that overweights asset classes when we believe they are priced at bargain levels.
Second, our investments within asset classes are chosen based on our extremely thorough due diligence. Our underlying investment philosophy demands that all asset class overweightings and manager allocations be based on a very high level of conviction. We believe that setting the bar high significantly increases the probability of success over a market cycle.
Our asset allocation targets are met using investment managers that we are highly confident will beat a comparable index over the long term. Our manager selection process involves extremely thorough due diligence on the management team, investment process, company culture and performance results.
We select and monitor only a small number of managers in each asset class who we have determined possess an investment process with an identifiable and sustainable competitive edge.
We welcome any questions you may have about our investment approach. Please contact us if you believe we may be a good fit for you.
How Do I Prepare for a Financial Plan?
Once you feel that TFG comprehends your goals and you have engaged us to create your Financial Plan, our planners will equip you with a list of data and documents that will be needed. This may include, but is not limited to:
- tax returns
- bank account statements
- investment account statements
- employee benefit (401k, 403b, etc.) account statements
- mortgage statement
- debt and loan statements (student, auto, personal, credit card, etc.)
- insurance statements
- health care expenses
- pay stubs
- cash flow details
- budget items and expenses
When all the data gathering is complete (which may entail a few additional meetings or phone calls), our planners will assess, assemble, and present your Financial Plan.
It may seem daunting at first, but the result of having a “roadmap to your financial goals” is worth the paperwork! Our skilled and friendly team will walk you through every step of this important process, and we are always available to answer your questions.