Frequently Asked Questions
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What is SmartPairing?

SmartPairing is a superior way to engage a financial advisor. Think of it like a matchmaker service. We take the time to learn about you, and your unique investment needs, then introduce you to a qualified advisor that matches your needs. SmartPairing typically makes sense for clients with an approximate minimum of $250,000 in investable assets.

We believe in  helping you find a life partner for your money. We have a network of registered investment advisors (RIAs) that will work in a fiduciary capacity to help you with your personal investment needs and beliefs.

The only way we get paid is as a percentage of the fee you pay to the advisor each year. This means we are looking for long term relationships, like a good marriage. Prior to introducing you to your ideal advisor, you can rest assured we have evaluated the firm profile and staff, their money management approach, client fees, and client retention rates.

This is done to keep you happy for the long term.

What is a fiduciary and why is that important?

n. from the Latin fiducia, meaning “trust,” a person who has the power and obligation to act for another (often called the beneficiary) under circumstances which require total trust, good faith and honesty.

Banks and Brokers will typically operate under a “suitability” meaning they have to provide the client with something that basically makes sense for their situation.  They are legally allowed to put their interests ahead of the client.  When Investment Advisors operate under the fiduciary standard, they are legally required to put the client interests first.   If you are getting any financial advice, please make sure you are getting 100% fiduciary based advice at all times.

Isn’t there a new fiduciary law and won’t that help me?

The new law went into partial effect June 9, 2017 with full rollout in early 2018.  It is our opinion that this law is well intended but falls short in protecting consumers.  The biggest lacking is the law only applies to retirement accounts.  This leaves you open to risk when dealing with an a traditional bank or brokerage firm — you could sit down with $5,000,000 cash from selling a business and a $25,000 IRA.  That “broker” only has to act as a fiduciary on the relatively small IRA and is still allowed to follow the suitability standard on your cash.

The second hole, is the best interest contract exemption (BICE) form — this is a simple acknowledge that allows the advisor to sign off that they won’t be acting as a fiduciary.  When you sign account contracts with an advisor there is a lot of fine print and this form leaves clients open to considerable risk.

Working through PrePair will help avoid these risks since we only work with RIA firms where they take true fiduciary responsibility.

Who is the ideal client for SmartPairing?

Honestly, just about anyone looking for assistance with their finances.  We have a wide network and tailor this service to each client.  Here are just a few types of people we assist:

  • Plan Sponsors and CFOs shopping for a new company 401k plan
  • Retirees and Pre-Retirees looking for income and capital protection
  • Growth Investors
  • Recently widowed or divorced individuals who need extra hand holding as this is new to them
  • High Net Worth Individuals and Families looking for unique or custom strategies
  • Complementary strategies to existing portfolios for increased diversification

If you have less than $250,000 we are still able to assist, but you will have fewer options of investment.

Why does SmartPairing have an RIA network and why shouldn’t I just use my bank or a larger, more traditional brokerage firm?

This answer is simple – many employees of other firms are not rewarded or incentivized to do what is right for the client.  Examples of the problems out there today include the news reports about the scandal at Wells Fargo.  High sales goals reportedly led employees to open accounts for clients without their knowledge.  Additionally, have you noticed that your current broker or advisor has changed firms several times since you began working with them?  Or at your discount broker, do you keep getting someone new every couple of years because of staff turnover?  That’s the reality of the financial services business today.  The “discount broker role” isn’t considered a career.  Brokers at large national firms pay HUGE bonuses to bring advisors and their client base into the fold.

At SmartPairing we screen, align and reward advisors so that clients’ interests are first and foremost in the minds of advisors.

What does this service cost me?

There is no fee to participate in this service.  We are completely confident we can find a good long term match for you and we only get compensated through the advisor if you become a client.

What are the investment management fees with the advisor?

The fees will vary from firm to firm based on your individual investment objectives. Fees typically start at 0.5% of the managed assets for more conservative bond portfolios and can rise to approximately 1.00% depending on the diversification and complexity in the portfolio. Because of our stringent criteria in creating a match, you can be assured that the fee will not exceed 1.00% of the total asset value.

We believe in total transparency – some investments (like ETFs or Mutual Funds) have internal expenses on top of a management fee. You can opt not to include these type of investment in your portfolio, of course, and we will eliminate advisors that hold them.

Where are my assets held? What about Bernie Madoff?

Your assets are held at a firm like TD Ameritrade, Scotrade, or Charles Schwab. The RIA you chose to work with simply has a trading authorization. They cannot make withdrawals from your account. Only trades. Think of it as your Bernie Madoff Protection because the advisor never has possession of your assets.

Are my investments insured?

Cash assets are insured to the FDIC limit and your Investments are insured to the SIPC limits. For more information, please see https://www.fdic.gov and http://www.sipc.org.

What type of criteria do you use when helping select an advisor?

The short answer is a lot of factors. We first analyze your current investments and evaluate cost basis in individual positions. Next, we will then discuss your preferences such as working with a large or small firm and your preference towards, individual stock, bonds, ETFs, or mutual funds. Other things are if you have a concentrated position, use margin, or will need a line of credit against the portfolio. Each client is unique and we feel you have to be very comfortable with the advisor and firm we have selected.

How do I know if my advisor is a good fit?

This is where our experience and expertise come into play. Based on your objectives, you can be assured we have diligently sought to find the ideal fit.

Sounds great, but what if the advisor isn’t working out how I expected?

We understand your concern and that is a great question. The contracts for your advisor are “at will.” If you are not satisfied with the services, you can terminate them at any time and hopefully allow us to find the right advisor.

There is no commitment to our SmartPairing service or the RIA you hire. If you wish to sever ties, simply let us or the advisor know and we will arrange to have your assets removed from the program. This can be as soon as one day after starting or twenty years down the road. There is no penalty, restriction, or lock in period that you are bound to if your expectations aren’t being met.

How does PrePair make money off of this service?

We participate in revenue sharing with the advisor we select for you. For example, if your advisor is being paid a fee of 0.75% on your assets, then we would receive a portion of that fee back each year for our services. Our clients pay no additional fees to PrePair.

Am I being charged more by these advisors so they can pay your portion of the fee?

Not at all! That is a great question, and we are happy that you are conducting your due diligence.  We provide a service that benefits all parties. Due to economies of scale and the fact that we take care of marketing, your advisor can focus efforts where it belongs, on you the client. By pre-negiotiating our fee with a pool of advisors, we are often able to provide fees that are less than if you went directly to the advisor. Additionally, by already having matched the philosophies of the advisors and the client, the relationship is harmonious from the start. All management fees charged to a client are listed in each firm’s ADV and provided to you, so there are no surprises.

How can I get started?

Click here to Get Paired Today and someone will reach out to you shortly. If you would like to complete this in person or over the phone, please call us at 888-551-8890 to get started.

SmartPairing by PrePair Financial
(888) 551-8890
12 Penns Trail, Newtown, PA 18940
12 Penns Trail, Newtown, PA 18940
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