How We are Different – Part 1 (Our Structure)

Independence: Publicly traded companies have to report quarterly earnings and have a duty to shareholders to maximize share value. This can lead to short-term thinking. For example, some companies operating under this paradigm may make decisions based on the short-term impact to “the bottom line”.  Unfortunately, this approach may incentivize management to raise client fees, keep their employee head-count low or elect to defer investing in the business, such as in new technology or employee retention and growth. While this may maximize the next quarter’s profits, it can negatively impact you given it has a tendency to lead to a lower level of client service and employee loyalty. We believe that this short term thinking is at odds to building a successful partnership with clients.

As a privately owned Registered Investment Advisor, Stage Harbor maintains a long-term perspective and has a duty of loyalty only to you. The partners of Stage Harbor Financial all plan to partner with your family for multiple decades. We are also committed to building a culture of like-minded employees that will see this vision through for many generations.  Therefore, instead of a quarterly outlook, we make our decisions based on a much longer-term perspective, and one that is acutely focused on what we believe is best for you. By making all decisions with a sole focus on your success, we recognize Stage Harbor can thrive.

Incentives: Our incentives are completely correlated with your success. In larger firms, advisors often have pressure to sell proprietary products or cross-sell with other business lines of the company. These products are generally more profitable to the parent organization or create additional revenue streams. As an independent firm, you can always be confident that we are recommending what we believe to be the best solution available to meet your specific needs.

Our Role as a Fiduciary: As an investment advisor, we are subject to a fiduciary standard of care. This fiduciary standard requires that all of our recommendations and guidance are in your best interest. This is a standard that we fully embrace. This fiduciary standard is much stricter than the suitability standard that most brokers must adhere to. Furthermore, all Stage Harbor advisors are all CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNING™ professionals, which comes with its own fiduciary standards. Therefore, as a client of Stage Harbor Financial you can be confident that we are always working in your best interest.

Our Relationships: At many organizations, advisors add as many clients as possible without regard for capacity and providing a good standard of care to each client. At Stage Harbor, we are delighted to work with a small number of wealthy families. By maintaining a low advisor to client ratio, we are able to build stronger relationships with you and your family and we can be more proactive with our communication.  Further, we are absolutely focused on ensuring your advisor does not exceed his/her capacity and is fully supported by experienced staff.

Transparency: Your Stage Harbor-managed portfolio is aggregated onto a single fee schedule that is simple and transparent. The fees that you pay are easily calculated and understood. When we combine our independence, fiduciary responsibility and transparency – you can be confident that we are always acting in your best interest. Lastly, you have 24/7 access to your account and financial plan information through Stage Harbor’s secure client portal, accessible through your computer or mobile device.

Competitive Fees: At Stage Harbor, we recognize fees impact your overall returns. Given your success is our foremost focus, it is a sensitive topic for us. As such, we have established a fee schedule that you will find very competitive while ensuring we can still provide your family with leading service, planning and investment solutions. While most of our competitors begin with a management fee of 1% or higher, our fees start at 0.80%. This rate would be further reduced as the assets under management reach additional break-points. Please find our fee schedule here.

Being different has never felt so good. Connect with us to learn more about how our differences can lead to your successes.

Please click here for important disclosure footnotes.