Frequently Asked Questions
Why choose Purtill Financial?
The best reason to choose an investment adviser is to work with a team of advisors who can develop a financial plan that includes your tax situation, investment objectives, and retirement goals.
Our firm's goal is to perform well for you in terms of investment returns by keeping costs low, recommending mutual fund and ETF managers to maintain highly diversified, value-oriented global portfolios, and to adjust portfolio allocations as market situations change while working towards accomplishing your retirement goals.
How do I find the right fee-only adviser?
Fee-only advisers are not all the same. Some do not choose investments themselves. They may hire this out to other individuals for a fee or put their clients only in index funds or ETFs (baskets of securities that match an index, such as the S&P 500), which have average performance by definition.
Some fee-only advisers specialize in preparing financial plans. If what you need is a good plan that you can implement on your own, choose a fee-only adviser who specializes in plan preparation. If you need ongoing investment help, make sure you choose fee-only advisers who are focused on asset allocation, portfolio design, choosing investments, active investment management, and in generating returns for clients.
How can I verify the credentials of an investment adviser?
To look into a financial advisory firm online and determine whether it is legally registered as a fiduciary firm working in the best interest of its clients, go to the SEC website:
To find out whether an advisor is a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, the nation's leading organization of fee-only advisors who meet the highest standards for professional competency, comprehensive financial planning, and fee-only compensation, go to the NAPFA website:
To verify that an advisor has met the requirements for the Personal Financial Specialist designation, go to the American Institute of CPAs website:
To verify that an advisor holds an active Certified Public Accountants license and has successfully completed the certified public accountants examination, go to the following website and select Accountancy Board in the Division drop-down box:
To verify that an advisor holds an active CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ credential and has successfully completed its examination and experience requirements, go to the following website:
Who will I work with if I become a client of Purtill Financial?
Our investment management team works with all Purtill Financial clients. Clients receive help and support from all employees of the firm.
Don Purtill provides general oversight for portfolio management and sets strategic direction for the firm, as well as meets with clients. Tom Geraci, Michael Purtill, and Carly Purtill participate in all of the firm's activities, work directly with clients, and participate as team members in investment selection, financial planning, tax preparation, and executing trades and other financial transactions for clients.
What is your client base like?
We currently serve more than 165 client families and businesses. Individual clients range from 25 to 95 years old. Many clients are currently retired and drawing retirement distributions, but we also have many working professionals as clients.
We have many clients who are medical and legal professionals, corporate executives, small business owners, and educators. We also have clients who are Ph.Ds, engineers, CPAs, and media professionals. Many of our clients are from Ohio and Florida, although we also work with clients who reside in many other states.
In most cases, our clients have portfolios ranging in size between $250,000 and $7 million in investable assets.
What kind of clients qualify to work with your firm?
Our clients are expected to have a sufficient amount of investable assets in order for us to meet mutual fund minimum investment requirements and provide a globally diversified portfolio.
Clients should have access to the Internet so that they are able to execute trades online through an online broker. We provide assistance to ensure clients are able to do this easily and can make most trades for clients with email authorizations in advance. Clients need to have an e-mail account where they can receive regular communications from our firm about their investments. With proper authorization we can also work with family members who assist in financial matters.
Our clients should be responsive on a timely basis when we recommend changes in investments. Investment recommendations are time-sensitive and it is helpful if clients react in a reasonable time frame to recommendations.
We provide clients with detailed information about the market and individual investments and appreciate client feedback. We recognize that some clients have little interest in investing specifics and we can accommodate them as well as long as they are patient and understanding about what can reasonably be accomplished in a diversified investment portfolio.
Our firm is not suited for individuals who want to pick stocks, make daily trades, and micromanage their investments. Such individuals may be better suited to work with brokerage firms or invest on their own.
Besides the asset management fee, are there any other expenses that could be charged to me as a client by Purtill Financial?
No. For our investment management clients, we only charge a fee based on a percentage of their investment assets at the end of the previous quarter. We bill clients only once per quarter.
Also, we frequently choose no transaction fee, no-load mutual funds and low-cost ETFs for our clients. We also recommend mutual funds and ETFs which have trading fees when the funds are bought or sold. These fees typically do not exceed $25 per trade for our clients. These are fees charged by the custodian and we try to minimize in our recommendations.
Asset management clients can receive basic tax preparation and financial plan development for no extra charge.
Are there minimum account sizes for investment management services?
We currently do not have an investment minimum. We have a minimum quarterly fee of $250. We feel that it is most cost-effective for clients if they have approximately $250,000 or more in investable assets.
Does Purtill Financial provide legal or insurance advice?
We are not a law firm and cannot provide legal advice. Where estate planning issues are involved, we can answer general estate planning questions and recommend an estate planning attorney, as needed. We can also help identify sources to purchase various types of insurance and provide guidance on types and amounts of insurance. We receive no compensation for any referrals. We are not licensed to sell insurance.
How safe is my money?
Purtill Financial LLC is an advisory firm only. We do not take custody of your assets. We recommend TD Ameritrade Institutional for all non-employer plan security purchases. Funds invested in such accounts are generally covered by SIPC protection up to certain limits.
As with any investment, you are subject to normal stock market risk to the extent that you wish to invest in stock or bond funds or individual stocks or bonds.
Are you currently accepting new clients?
Yes, we currently have capacity to add one or two new clients each month. Many new clients come to us as referrals from current clients or from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) website.
We pay no referral fees for new clients and do not spend firm resources on advertising for new clients. We employ no sales staff and do not solicit client business by mail or telephone, other than responding to client inquiries we receive.
How do we get started as clients?
The best way would be to contact our firm through our contact page or telephone (440-484-5340) to arrange for an initial meeting. We generally meet with clients in our main office near I-271 in Highland Heights, Ohio. We also meet clients in Fort Myers Beach, Florida during certain months of the year. There is no charge or obligation for an initial meeting for prospective clients.
When clients do not live in reasonable proximity to our office locations, we arrange client meetings by telephone and exchange documents by e-mail or fax.
In an initial client meeting, we normally gather information about financial objectives, risk comfort levels, investments, and loans, and then discuss our initial thoughts as to whether there is a mutual fit to establishing a client relationship.
If the prospective client meets our qualifications to become an investment management client and wishes to do so, we ask them to sign a minimum one-year investment advisory contract and then we would get started with analyses of their financial, tax, and investment statements and prepare a plan to get them started. We then work with the client until our recommendations have been implemented.
We then follow up with monthly progress reports on their consolidated investments and investment performance and recommendations for changes in investments as we go forward.
How specific are your recommendations?
We make specific recommendations on mutual funds, exchange traded funds, stocks, and bonds and identify specific securities and amounts to buy or sell. We want to make it as easy as possible for clients to implement our recommendations and to do that without error. That requires specific recommendations and specific instructions and as much help from us as might be needed by anyone. For clients who are not comfortable executing investment recommendations, we are able to execute those transactions on their behalf with their written or email approvals for recommended transactions except for outside employer plans where we do not have access to the accounts.
How does your advising work?
We monitor client portfolios each month in terms of returns compared to benchmark averages. Our software updates all client portfolio and efficient frontier positions daily. We provide investment recommendations whenever clients add or withdraw funds from their accounts. All client portfolios are rebalanced each year. This is part of our regular service for no additional fee.
Can you help with other financial questions outside of investments?
We also provide assistance with tax issues, 529 plans, mortgages, refinancing, Roth IRA conversions, 401(k) rollovers, executive incentive plans, deferred compensation plans, stock options, general advice on long-term care insurance needs, Social Security, and financial planning in general.
We routinely receive financial questions from clients. Our clients feel free to e-mail or call us with these questions.
Our goal is to give our clients advice on any financial situation. We discuss and advise on financial topics and will refer clients to outside specialists as needed.
What is your privacy and confidentiality policy?
Do you have liability insurance?
Yes, we have liability and errors or omissions insurance.
Are you comfortable with making recommendations and allowing clients to place their own trades, or do you prefer to assist with implementation?
We prefer to execute trades with client approval when possible, but if the client is comfortable in executing online trades, clients are free to do so. We provide the help needed to open accounts, roll over accounts, and execute trades.
What if a client doesn’t want to or cannot act on a recommendation?
We are advisors only. It is entirely up to the client if they want to adopt a recommendation. Our role is to provide specific recommendations and give clients alternative ways of meeting their objectives and provide as much help as needed in implementing the recommendations.
How frequently do you meet with each of your clients?
We do not have any required meeting schedule for our clients. We encourage them to meet with us as often as they would like and do not limit the number of times that they see us.
Do you include emergency reserve and cash savings in overall asset allocation?
We are able to prepare investment plans separately for emergency accounts at client request, versus all other investments, but include emergency accounts in overall portfolio reporting and financial planning. We normally include some cash reserves in client portfolios.
What is your business continuity plan?
We have a continuity plan in our company policy manual. Basically, it calls for continued investment in training our staff in all functions of the firm so business status quo will be maintained in the event of any disruptions. All client recommendations are prepared jointly by the investment advisors so that clients can gain the benefit of multiple viewpoints on specific investment categories and securities.