Frequently Asked Questions2020-10-09T13:41:33-04:00

Frequently Asked Questions

We are here to help.

Choosing an advisor to guide your wealth plan is a significant decision, and we know you’ll have questions. Below you can find some answers to questions we often receive from those seeking a wealth advisor. However, every client has unique needs, and we believe strongly in connecting one-on-one to address questions specific to your situation. We invite you to send your own questions to us or you can schedule an appointment to speak with a member of our team.

Choose CornerCap

What makes CornerCap different from other wealth advisors?2020-01-22T20:57:07-05:00

No other wealth advisor will develop a Frame Your Picture™ investment and retirement plan the way CornerCap does.

As a CornerCap client, your interests will always be put first, never our own.  We are able to give you precise, real-time answers about how your investments perform under our watch because we customize every element of your portfolio.   You’ll get total transparency from us at all times – on everything from what it will take to achieve your retirement goals to the fee you pay us.

If it sounds like the way a wealth advisor business should be designed, that’s because 30 years ago our founders created CornerCap to give the wealth advice their friends and family deserved, which is how we operate still today.

You can learn more about what sets us apart here.

What does it mean that you are a fiduciary?2020-01-26T18:00:37-05:00

Our founders made the important choice three decades ago to operate our business by the highest legal and ethical standards that exist in the financial services industry.  As fiduciaries, we are not only ethically but also legally bound to act in your best interest with every recommendation we make or investment we enact on your behalf (our practices are governed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC). 

Our wealth advisors never receive commissions for placing you in one investment product vs. another, and their only goal is to work on your behalf to meet your financial goals and objectives, plain and simple.

What type investment products do you use with clients?2020-01-26T18:02:07-05:00

We invest in liquid, marketable securities (see details below) and use our proprietary Fundametrics® investment research to customize an appropriate strategy based on each client’s unique needs and goals.  Following are examples of the types of securities into which we invest clients’ funds:

Equities (domestic or international) such as common stocks, preferred stocks, open-end and closed-end mutual funds, REIT’s, ADR’s, publicly-traded limited partnership interests and exchange traded funds.  Open and closed-end funds and exchange traded funds may be actively managed or passive index-type investments.

Fixed Income securities (domestic or international), such as governmental, corporate, or tax-free municipal securities. Depending on the account suitability, we may buy individual issues, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or mutual funds.  International securities may be company, country, or region specific.

Cash Equivalents, such as money market mutual funds, CDs, guaranteed investment contracts and other fixed income securities generally maturing within 90 days of their date of acquisition.

Other investments could include commodity-oriented securities, currency funds, and other less actively traded investments, such as publicly traded limited partnerships.

Please contact us for more granular specifics and additional ways we can invest on your behalf.

What fees do you charge for your services? What does the fee cover?2020-01-22T20:58:15-05:00

Clients pay a flat investment management fee of 1% of the assets we manage on their behalf up to $3 million, and that percentage decreases on a graduated scale for additional assets beyond the first $3 million invested. We do not charge any other account load fees, trade commissions or other hidden costs, so you can rest assured that you will receive clear and transparent pricing throughout your relationship with us. 

For clients in whose portfolios we recommend including third party mutual funds or ETFs, we identify appropriate products with reasonable fees, which are paid directly to the custodian and ETF or mutual fund company (i.e., CornerCap acts in your best interest to find the right product for you and does not profit from the transaction).  

Many investors don’t know how much they’re actually paying in fees to their current broker or financial manager, so we invite you to contact us for a complimentary fee analysis to uncover what you’re currently paying.

At no additional cost, every CornerCap client receives the added benefit of a financial plan that is revisited annually – or more frequently if needed as your circumstances change.  Our 1% fee also grants year-round access to your wealth advisor as life circumstances change – or simply as you have questions about your financial picture (whether that’s how to fund a child’s education or whether to buy vs. lease a car). All our clients also receive ongoing education that supports their financial wellness as well as that of their dependents. 

Do you have to manage all my investments for me to work with you?2020-01-22T21:00:07-05:00

As long as your overall investment portfolio comprises $1 million in net worth, you are welcome to partner with a CornerCap wealth advisor. 

Many of our clients are business professionals or small business owners who hold assets in company 401(k) plans, stock or other investment products that must remain with another institution until they change jobs, retire, or sell their business.  In such cases, our wealth advisors will consult to ensure you are appropriately invested in these other accounts until the time comes to transition them to your master investment portfolio with CornerCap to optimize your portfolio management. 

Get Started

What is your minimum investment level?2020-01-22T20:48:45-05:00

We work with clients who have at least $1 million in net worth.  Net worth is defined as the financial value of your combined assets (which could include a company 401(k), savings accounts, traditional or Roth IRA, equity in your home, stocks, bonds, mutual or index funds) minus any debts you hold (such as your mortgage balance, car loan note, credit card or student loan debt).

For individuals who are actively striving to reach that $1 million net worth threshold, we offer a separate wealth accumulation platform called MAP™, which stands for My Accumulation Plan, that provides investment management and education resources.

What should I expect in our first meeting? How much do I need to prepare to get started with you?2020-01-22T20:49:41-05:00

Expect the process to be easy for you, and for us to listen to the unique details that make up your financial picture. For example, we’ll ask about your current investments, prior financial experiences, family status and needs, retirement goals, projected inheritances and any special life circumstances you anticipate.

This conversation will help us to gauge your risk tolerance, understand your financial priorities and quantify your investment time horizon, which are key elements in coming back to you with a custom proposal for how we would manage your investments. 

The only preparation required on your end is to provide recent statements from all financial accounts you currently hold and a recent tax return so that we can get a complete view of your net worth to create a fully-informed investment and financial plan for you.

What is your onboarding process? What happens after I hire you?2020-01-22T20:49:55-05:00

Once you agree to become a CornerCap client, your wealth advisor will sit down with you to review and confirm the information shared in your first meeting.  At that time, you will be presented with an Investment Policy Statement that formalizes the approach to managing your investment portfolio so that you have absolute clarity about how your wealth will be managed by CornerCap.  You and your advisor will partner to ensure a shared understanding of your goals and objectives. 

From that point, our client service team makes on-boarding simple for you by providing turn-key documentation ready for your signature as you transition assets to our management. 

As an established client, you will meet with your wealth advisor at least once annually for a comprehensive review of your investments’ performance and your current financial picture.  In addition to receiving quarterly reports from CornerCap, you will have access to your account performance through our client portal, and you are welcome to meet with your wealth advisor throughout the year as needed (in person or by phone). 

How do I transfer assets from another advisor or institution? How much of my time will that take?2020-01-22T20:50:11-05:00

For you as a client, it’s as simple as providing relevant account information to your CornerCap wealth advisor and then signing documentation prepared by your client service manager.  The time commitment on your part is minimal, but your wealth advisor and client service manager will spend as much time as needed with you answering any questions you may have about the transition of assets. 

Find the Right Fit

Do you work with clients in cities where you don’t have a physical office?2020-01-10T16:05:59-05:00

Absolutely.  Our clients live, work and enjoy their time across the U.S. as well as other countries.  From coast to coast and to other continents, our wealth advisors travel as needed to ensure annual in-person touch points with every client.

Thanks to our advanced technology platforms, ongoing client communications and access to account information are easily available from anywhere. Your advisor is always as close as a phone call or screen share meeting when needed.

What is your average client portfolio size?2020-01-26T18:06:10-05:00

Our specialty is serving single-digit millionaires – individuals and families with net worth between $1 million and $9 million.  Our wealth advisors also have experience in managing the portfolios of decamillionaires – those with $10 million or more in net worth.

What type clients are you best suited to serve?2020-01-10T16:04:10-05:00

We pride ourselves on growing and preserving the wealth of self-made millionaires – whether that’s a professional who’s worked hard to achieve corporate career success or a business owner committed to growing their operation through grit and determination. 

As small business owners ourselves, we value the work ethic and financial discipline required to accumulate wealth through a client’s chosen career path, so we are highly compatible with those seeking a partner they can trust to work as hard as they do to grow and protect their wealth.

With so many self-service and automated investment products available today, why should I pay for a wealth advisor?2020-01-10T16:48:26-05:00

Individuals with high net worth (more than $1 million dollars) have financial complexities that require expertise to manage, and their financial well-being can be compromised without a keen eye keeping close watch. Our advisors have expertise cultivated over decades of training and real-world experience that they apply to each client’s unique, individual circumstances to optimize their financial picture. 

Actively managing your portfolio in response to market dynamics, understanding nuanced economic trends and navigating ever-changing tax implications that impact your net returns are just a few of the benefits of partnering with our wealth advisors. 

But what our clients frequently tell us they appreciate most are the time savings and peace of mind that come from knowing a trusted expert is managing their financial picture so that they can focus on living their desired lifestyle.

Partner with Your Advisor

How do you approach client service?2020-01-26T18:10:22-05:00

We treat people the way we’d want to be treated.  That means we will meet as many times as it takes to make you comfortable that your retirement and estate plans are in good order, or scenario plan how to recover from an unexpected event like career change or divorce.

Once you retire, we’ll nudge you to take your required minimum distributions at the right time so you don’t miss out on your hard-earned income while minimizing tax burden where possible. 

We aren’t afraid to have tough conversations and give honest advice about what’s in your best financial interest.  That means having a frank conversation if we see that your spending is outpacing your accumulation and eroding your ability to retire when desired.  It also means helping you set up appropriate authority over the accounts of a parent or grandparent who may be encountering memory issues.

How many points of contact in your office will I work with?2020-01-22T20:50:43-05:00

You will have a dedicated wealth advisor with deep knowledge about the ins and outs of your account who works with you to make sure your investment strategy is in line with your financial picture as your needs flex over time. Each of our wealth advisors is supported by a client service manager, who works in lock-step with your wealth advisor to facilitate all paperwork and transactions on your behalf.

Working as a team, your wealth advisor and client service manager will proactively reach out to you as they manage your investment portfolio.  They keep an eye on your financial picture all year round, whether that means reaching out to update you on changes in the markets or reminding you to complete year-end paperwork to avoid missing tax-relevant deadlines.

While you will partner directly with your wealth advisor and client service manager, you’ll benefit from the team of dedicated investment researchers, in-house traders and other back-office support working seamlessly to optimize your investment experience. 

How will you respond if I have a major life event that changes my financial picture?2020-01-22T20:51:01-05:00

Your wealth advisor will partner with you to account for triggering events (birth, death, marriage, divorce, retirement) and life circumstance changes (illness, job loss or transition) and recalibrate your investment portfolio as needed.

When you experience a life-impacting event, your advisor will also apply his or her expertise in tweaking your overall financial plan, including cash flow projections for living expenses, to account for your new circumstances.  All of these services are included as part of our flat 1% investment management fee.

Will your retirement income last?

Let us conduct a complimentary fee analysis for you.