Are you ready to experience the difference it makes having someone on your side of the table? Read below for answers to frequently asked questions on how we operate or if you have a specific question—please feel free to contact a GWS partner. We’re happy to answer any questions you have.
How many households are serviced at GWS?
We currently serve 365 households throughout the country and are constantly growing. We added 65 new client households in 2020.
Are employees involved in the investment decision process?
Absolutely. We have a designated internal Investment Committee, headed by our Chief Investment Officer, Aaron Tuttle, that works daily to manage our model investment strategies, stay up to date on market trends, and much more. As rules-based investors, it is essential to our firm to ensure we are using favorable and the most current data to inform our investment decisions.
Do you work with only local clients?
No — we work with clients throughout the country and are constantly growing! We leverage our integrated, enabling technology solutions to give remote clients a quality experience. In some cases, we travel throughout the year to physically visit clients as their needs require. To view our current client map, click here.
What is a Fee-Based Advisory Services Firm?
"Fee-based" means that we are compensated based on a percentage of the assets we manage for you. Essentially, we both win when your investments perform well. Thanks to this aligned and transparent compensation model, you don't have to worry about us trying to "sell" you on outside products. Plus, as fiduciary focused advisors, we are legally bound to make decisions only in your best interests. Our goal is to put your mind at ease through industry-leading transparency. To view a demo of how we put this into action in our client app, the GWS Portal, click here.
Who holds my money?
Our asset custodian is LPL Financial. They are a partner and truly live up to their mission “we take care of our advisors, so they can take care of their clients.”
What is your client retention rate?
We maintained a 100% client retention rate in 2020, even during the pandemic. We took pride in this metric and were glad we could still provide our clients with the experience they deserved in that environment, launching Weekly Market Insight webinars and amplified video communications. We pride ourselves on being a quality home for retiring advisors' clients and longstanding relationships. Our goal for 2021 is to continue that momentum!
Am I able to access my funds in my portfolio in case of an emergency?
Yes, is the short answer. Depending on how they are invested, it may take several days for trades to settle, but your funds are always liquid and available to you. We do not hold any illiquid private investments.
What makes you different than other advisors?
We intentionally keep our firm at a sweet spot of size and strategy. Because we only serve 368 families, we know their circumstances like our own. We can dig deep into everything from their investments to cash management. Yet, we still maintain strong resources from both a human and technology standpoint. It's a suitable intersection of a high-touch client service model, with all the competitive technology, specialization, and talent clients could expect from a more prominent, specialized firm.
Additionally, we make it a point to keep creative and strategic control in all aspects of our business. We don't need to outsource essential resources and departments from specialized knowledge to in-house CFA®'s and marketing professionals.
Finally, we leverage our integrated, enabling technology to amplify our client service. We think clients should have whatever digital access they want to their portfolios and us, so we update our GWS app daily with their investment information, educational materials, and more.
What is the minimum for working with GWS?
There is no minimum; based on our fee structure, it usually makes the most sense for clients with $500,000 and above of investable assets to work with us. Our average client has a portfolio of roughly $2,000,000, and our average annual fee is about 0.72%.
How do you get paid?
We are not obligated to limit our investment decisions to any investment management, holding, or fund company. We want our trading tools and proprietary processes to drive our trading decisions. That means the only person paying us is you, based on a percentage of your assets under management with us.
How would you invest my assets?
GWS takes a highly data-driven, research-based approach to working toward maximizing your returns. For more detail on our process and to hear directly from our CIO, visit our Investment Philosophy page or check out our deep library of content on our YouTube channel.
What can I expect in a relationship if I became a client?
We hold our Midwestern values — including honesty, hard work, and kindness — close to our hearts at GWS. We don't believe in trying to intimidate or prove ourselves to clients through the jargon. Every client has the right to understand and learn, know what they have in their portfolio, how their plan is working, and what we're doing for them to help them work toward their goals and financial dreams. We would love the opportunity to earn your trust and serve you and your family.
Do you prepare legal documents and/or file tax returns?
No, we do not currently offer these services. We do work very closely coordinating our clients' affairs with all of their professional services team members.
Can you work with my children to help them manage their financial lives as well?
Absolutely. Managing and building intergenerational wealth is something at which we are well-practiced. We believe in bringing families together to whatever extent you're comfortable, so everyone can be in the same room to discuss important financial matters and decisions. Then, we provide guidance and accountability every step of the way.
Is there a fee for terminating my relationship?
No, there is no fee. We do not make our clients sign any sort of contractual lockups.
What is your fee structure?
As an extension of our deep commitment to providing tremendous value to the families we serve, we’re introducing a new Dynamic Tiered Billing process so that you can automatically pay lower fee rates each quarter as your portfolio grows. Our GWS team is thrilled to enhance our billing process and move away from the more antiquated flat-fee approach.