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Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s a few questions our clients often ask us. This is by no means a complete list. If you have something in mind, feel free to drop us a line.

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Here Are a Few Common Questions

There is no cost for the meeting. The initial meeting is to make certain our investment approach is the right fit for you and your investment needs. During this initial meeting you can expect discussions concerning your objectives, your interests, and your overall expectations.

We are a fee-only investment advisor. Our fees are based on a percentage of your assets that we manage. A fee-based approach puts our interests in alignment with yours:

  • A fee-only structure means there is never a clock ticking during our conversations with you.
  • Fundamental does not accept commissions.
  • As your portfolio grows, the percentage of our fee decreases.
  • We take an aggregated approach to investing, We combine your family’s accounts to determine your fees.
  • There is no fee assessed for assets NOT under our management.

While you grant Fundamental Advisors Limited Power of Attorney to execute transactions on your behalf, you remain in control of your assets. Your individual account is held in your name at a quality custodian such as Charles Schwab & Co., Fidelity Brokerage Services, Inc. or TIAA/CREF.

We use Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) as the Fundamental building blocks. DFA keeps its internal fees lower than other funds by requiring investors to access them via a select group of financial advisory firms. Fundamental Advisors is proud to be among this select group.

While DFA is currently our Fundamental tool for constructing globally diversified, passively managed portfolios, it is by no means our only tool! Here are a few examples:

  • If your fixed income requirements are significant, our Fixed Income Department can build custom bond portfolios to manage portfolio volatility and/or address income flow needs.
  • Fundamental maintains an alliance with TIAA-CREF, some of whose fund offerings complement our distinct investment approach.
  • There are times when other passive vehicles such as TIPs, ETFs and index funds might be appropriate solutions for individual needs; we can help you access these resources.
  • If you come to us with holdings that you do not wish to sell, we can accommodate them within your overall portfolio.

If you are not familiar with TIAA-CREF, you have probably never worked for a major not-for-profit institution such as a medical center, college and university, government institution or charitable organization.

Founded more than 80 years ago, the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association/College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) is one of the nation’s largest pension plan providers for such organizations. The firm currently manages approximately $280 billion in pension assets for thousands of plans across the United States.

While TIAA-CREF was founded to serve the not-for-profit universe, it has more recently begun to custody tax-deferred accounts held by the general public. It offers select mutual funds that complement a passive asset class investment approach. When appropriate, Fundamental might recommend using TIAA-CREF for all or a portion of your tax-deferred holdings.