I’m not familiar with your firm, and I don’t have anyone I can ask about their experience with you. How can I do my due diligence on you?

We understand how important trust is in the client-adviser relationship, and here at Goodman Financial we work hard to show you our commitment to doing what’s in your best interest.  We’ve been fee-only fiduciaries since we started the firm over 25 years ago.  As a fiduciary regulated by the SEC, we’re required to do not just what’s suitable for you, but what’s in your best interest.  By avoiding selling products and doing any commission-based business, we avoid the conflicts of interest inherent in those situations.

We have no history of disciplinary actions against either our firm or any of our licensed employees.  To check the background information, including disciplinary history, of any SEC-registered firm or individual, you can search for them on https://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/.  The searchable IARD/CRD number for Goodman Financial Corporation is 114637.

We have no affiliation with any brokerage firm, insurance company, or mutual fund company.  Client assets are held at independent, third-party custodians such as TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab.  Clients receive monthly/quarterly statements from their custodian that they can compare to the reports we provide, to ensure that we report the same asset value as the custodian reports.  Any reconciling differences are noted in the disclosures of our quarterly report.

Professional designations can be one way for you to know that an adviser has obtained additional education and training in a particular area.  Several of GFC’s team members are credentialed professionals who must uphold prescribed ethical standards and codes of professional conduct to maintain those licenses and designations.  To check the license status and board disciplinary history of Texas CPAs, you can utilize the Licensee Lookup feature on the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy’s website at http://www.tsbpa.state.tx.us/php/fpl/indlookup.php. To check the status and inquire about the sanction history of a Chartered Financial Analyst® charterholder, check out the CFA Institute’s website at https://www.cfainstitute.org.  To verify the certification status and disciplinary history of Certified Financial Planner® professionals, check out the CFP Board’s website at https://www.cfp.net.

When choosing an adviser, you should find someone you feel comfortable with and that you can reasonably believe is qualified and experienced to help you with your needs.

My current investment adviser isn’t giving me the personalized attention I want and I rarely hear from them. How will GFC be different?

Communicating with you and getting to know you are key to our being able to provide you with GFC’s personalized approach to investment management.  It’s important that you feel comfortable sharing with us the details about your situation, your concerns, and what you want to accomplish.  We understand that for many of our clients, we are managing their life savings.  We recognize the trust and confidence you place in us as your adviser, and we take that responsibility seriously.  We take the time to get to know you and your goals, and then formulate a plan to help you reach them. We invest the time to create an individualized portfolio that fits your needs and preferences.

We are available via phone or email to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have throughout the year, and we let you dictate how often you want to meet with us (though we recommend meeting at least annually).

All throughout the year, we send you various communications so that you are kept abreast of what’s happening in your portfolio and the market as a whole.  Please visit our Process and Oversight page for a list of the type of communications you may expect from us as a client.

What do you charge for your services?

We are a fee-only adviser, meaning we charge an annual percentage fee. We sell no products and receive no commissions or any other type of compensation. The fee is based on the amount of assets under management (AUM). Our fee schedule starts at 1% for $1,000,000 of assets under our management. The fee percentage drops at higher levels of AUM. Please contact us or see our Form ADV 2A for additional information about our fees.

In addition to receiving investment management services for this fee, you also receive all our regular financial advisory services for no additional fee. This one fee covers all our regular services. With very few exceptions, we only provide financial advisory services to our investment management clients.

What type of investments do you use?

We predominantly use individual stocks and bonds in our clients’ portfolios.  We are an active, not passive, money manager, but on a limited basis, we may use exchange-traded funds (ETFs) when warranted.  Generally, we do not use mutual funds in portfolios unless you come onboard as a client with an existing mutual fund holding and there are compelling reasons to keep it.  We may also use publicly-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs).  We do not use any commission-based products or privately-held securities.

Most of my investments are in my 401(k) account, but I also have a couple of different IRAs from rollovers of previous jobs and a small Roth account I contributed to for a couple of years. Can you help me with all these accounts?

Most of our clients have multiple types of accounts held with various companies.  We can help you find opportunities to consolidate accounts when possible, potentially reducing the quantity of statements that you receive and the number of companies sending them to you.  Also, our portfolio management software allows us to produce quarterly reports that provide you an overview of your entire combined portfolio under our management.  This composite view of your investments can help you better track your progress toward your financial goals, rather than you having to piece together each account separately to form your own picture of where you stand.

What types of accounts do you manage? For example, can you manage my 401(k) that I have to keep where my employer has it?

For individuals, we have the ability and experience to manage many different types of accounts including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Employer-sponsored retirement accounts of a participant – 401(k), 403(b), 457, deferred compensation plan (DCP), tax-sheltered annuity (TSA), tax-deferred annuity (TDA).  NOTE: Even though these accounts must be custodied at the company chosen by the employer, we have the ability to manage, monitor and report on these accounts.
  • IRAs – traditional IRA, rollover IRA, Roth IRA, SIMPLE-IRA, SEP-IRA
  • Taxable, non-qualified accounts – individual, joint tenants with rights of survivorship (JTWROS), tenants in common (TIC), tenants on death (TOD)
  • Trust accounts
  • Estate accounts

For business owners, in addition to the accounts listed above for individuals, we can also manage the following types of accounts for your business:

  • Employer-sponsored retirement plans on behalf of the employer – cash balance plan, profit sharing plan, defined benefit plan, pension plan
  • Business accounts – partnership, corporation, LLC

For institutional clients, we can manage the following types of accounts:

  • Pension fund
  • Nonprofit
  • Foundation
  • Endowment
  • Association
Do you have a minimum fee or minimum amount that you will manage?

While we don’t have a minimum fee, we do have an asset minimum.  Our personalized approach to investment management involves primarily using individual stocks and bonds; this approach is better suited for portfolios valued at $1,000,000 and above.  Obtaining adequate diversification using individual securities is more difficult with smaller portfolio sizes, although we may make limited exceptions on a case-by-case basis.  The minimum is based on the assets under our management, not your total net worth, and is calculated on an aggregated portfolio basis, not on an account-by-account basis.  For example, you would meet our portfolio minimum if you wanted us to manage your $700,000 401(k), your spouse’s $300,000 rollover IRA, a joint taxable investment account of $50,000, and your spouse’s $10,000 Roth IRA.  If you have questions about how the minimum would be applied in your situation or if you would meet an exception, please contact us and we would be happy to provide a free consultation to determine if and how we might be able to help you meet your needs.

I recently suffered the loss of my spouse and am now trying to keep up my portfolio. My spouse always handled the finances. Can GFC help get it in order?

Yes, several of our clients came to us after facing the loss of a spouse.  We can help you navigate this difficult time in your life, easing the burden of managing your assets and helping you figure out your options and an appropriate path forward.  We can also help you get more familiar with investment terms and the investment and financial planning process in general.

I’m in the process of getting a divorce and am concerned about whether my settlement will provide me with enough to live on. The relationship with our current investment adviser is through my soon-to-be ex-spouse, so I want to find a new adviser but don’t know where to start. My spouse always handled the finances. Can GFC help me?

Yes, we have several clients who came to us during or directly after a divorce.  We are not attorneys and cannot provide you legal advice, but from a financial advisory standpoint, we can help you evaluate and create settlement options, analyzing their ramifications for you post-divorce.  Once the settlement has been finalized, we can prepare savings and retirement projections to help you determine your new spending and savings goals.  If handling finances is new to you, we can also help you get more familiar with investment terms and the investment and financial planning process in general.

Who chooses the investments in my portfolio?

Goodman Financial makes all investment decisions internally.  Our in-house Investment Committee (IC) and research team carefully analyzes and regularly monitors all the holdings in our clients’ portfolios.  Many of our IC members are veterans in the investment industry, and half of them are Chartered Financial Analyst® charterholders.  Please see Our Team page for the biographies of our GFC team members.  You can also find additional information on how investments are chosen at our Portfolio Management page.

How does employing CFA® charterholders help with wealth management?

While earning the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation is not a sign of professional skill in and of itself, the process of earning the designation can be seen as a sign of dedication to the practice of investment analysis. It is a graduate-level investment credential, and becoming a CFA® charterholder requires the passage of three rigorous tests covering topics including portfolio management, corporate valuation, accounting, economics, and fixed-income and equity analysis. Earning the designation also requires four years of related work experience.  Please see our Form ADV 2B for additional information about the credential and our team members who have it.

How does employing CFP® professionals make a difference with the financial advisory services you provide?

While earning the  CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification is not a sign of professional skill in and of itself, the process of earning the designation can be seen as a sign of dedication to the practice of financial planning and a willingness to be held to a stringent code of conduct and standards of practice. Individuals pursuing the designation must complete an advanced college-level course of study addressing various financial planning subject areas including insurance planning and risk management, employee benefits planning, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning.  Earning the designation requires passing the comprehensive CFP® Certification Examination as well as obtaining three years of related work experience.  Please see our Form ADV 2B for additional information about the credential and our team members who have it.

How does employing CPAs differentiate you from other advisers? Do you prepare tax returns?

Taxes overlap the investment and financial advisory areas of practice in a multitude of ways.  Having professionals on staff with the background to analyze the tax consequences of investment decisions that we make, as well as the planning decisions we recommend, allows us to provide you more well-rounded solutions to your needs.  Please see our Tax Efficiency page for how Goodman Financial factors taxes into what we do for you.

While we prepare tax projections and analyze the tax consequences of various transactions and situations related to the investment and financial advisory services we provide, we do not prepare any tax returns.  Goodman Financial Corporation is not a CPA firm.

All of the CPAs on staff are active in the Houston CPA Society, the local chapter of the professional organization for CPAs here in Texas, the Texas Society of CPAs (TSCPA).  We can work directly with your CPA, so that you don’t have to be the go-between for your multiple advisers.  For over 25 years, GFC has developed professional relationships with many CPAs in our community and across the country, and enjoys working closely with our CPA peers to meet the needs of our mutual clients.

Please see our Form ADV 2B for additional information about the CPA license and Our Team page for the biographies of our CPA team members and their involvement with the CPA community.

I have certain beliefs that won’t allow me to invest in certain industries (tobacco, alcohol, etc). Will GFC be able to accommodate these preferences when investing my assets?

Yes. Part of our personalized approach is taking preferences like this into consideration. During our initial meeting we will go over preferences like these and document any investment restrictions you may have so that holdings that violate your restrictions won’t be purchased in your accounts.  You can notify us at any time to add or remove such restrictions.

We can also add restrictions to accounts if you are considered an insider of a company or you have limitations placed on if/when you can trade in your employer’s or other company’s stock.

What does “commitment to philanthropy” mean?

We believe philanthropy is “Doing Good Things for Good People,” and we strive to live that value both in and out of the office. Many of our employees are heavily involved with their communities and donate professional time as well. As a company, Goodman Financial strives to make a positive impact on those around us. We donate a portion of our fee back to all our nonprofit clients and also provide employees with a grant at the end of each year to donate to whatever charitable organization they choose.  Check out our Philanthropy page for more details about how GFC engages with our community.