Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What makes Southbridge Advisors stand apart?
We recognize that you have a choice when it comes to selecting a registered investment advisor. Explore these questions to learn more about what makes us different from the rest.
Q: What is Southbridge Advisors' basic investment philosophy?
We do not endorse a “one size fits all” approach; all financial situations are unique. Our portfolios are custom-tailored to each client, taking into account your personal investment situation. We consider a host of factors such as account structure, tax sensitivity, goals, time horizon, client involvement, and risk tolerance. We then employ an array of investments, including multiple strategies and investment asset classes. We focus on risk- based investing and lower correlation investments strategies to minimize the risk of loss. We call this Guardrail Growth℠.
Q: How can I become a client of Southbridge Advisors?
The first step is to schedule an introductory Discovery meeting in order to discuss your needs, which may be general or very specific. Whether your needs fall under financial planning, investment management, or another area such as estate planning, trusts or insurance, our ultimate goal is to help uncover any weaknesses in your financial situation, and to recommend and implement feasible and manageable improvements.
Q: Who will service my client needs?
You will have a primary portfolio manager and a client service manager to assist you with your accounts and financial needs. You will also have access to other team members, who are available to assist if your primary advisor is out of the office.
Q: What are the typical planning and investment fees?
For investment advice, fees are charged based on a percentage of assets and scale down as assets increase. For financial planning, fees are based on our time and the complexity of the planning. Initial financial planning generally involves three meetings with an advisor. After the first meeting, we will quote a flat fee—usually ranging from averaging $900 to $3,500 depending on the engagement. Hourly rates are available. It is possible for investment fees to reduce or totally offset planning fees depending on the size of the account.
Q: Does Southbridge Advisors offer any satisfaction guarantees?
Southbridge Advisors is dedicated to total client satisfaction. Clients have the power to request a refund for any financial planning advice that they deem unsatisfactory.
Q: Does Southbridge Advisors provide financial education?
Our website provides general information on a host of financial topics. Feel free to discuss any topic in depth with your advisor. We also provide and encourage annual financial reviews to uncover and assist on a wide array of financial issues.
Q: What disclosures does Southbridge Advisors provide?
All of our disclosure information is provided on our ADV PART 2A and supplemental brochures for your advisor. Please call or email our office if you would like a copy of any current disclosures, We also provide all relevant disclosures in “plain English,” in addition to supplying prospectuses and explanatory information on compensation methods whenever they are requested.
Q: How does Southbridge Advisors sustain objectivity?
Southbridge Advisors does not accept referral fees from its partners and we adhere to a strict code of ethics. We are determined to maintain neutrality with various financial service providers, basing our recommendations on quality of service and performance. As an independent firm, Southbridge Advisors is not required to use any product or service if it fails to satisfy our clients’ best interests - a key advantage.
Q: I don’t live in Georgia. Can Southbridge Advisors invest money for me?
Southbridge Advisors is a Registered Investment Advisor. We file notice in each state as required. Southbridge has advisors licensed to offer and trade securities in many states. If Southbridge Advisors is not licensed to practice in your state, the licensure process is a simple one, but we are required to do so before assisting you with your investment portfolio.
Q: Can I access my brokerage accounts through the Southbridge Advisors website?
You will have online access to your accounts (positions, history, activity etc.) at all times. See the client login button to be directed to the proper custodian link.
Q: Where will my money be held?
While we provide investment advice, we never take custody of a client’s assets. We use leading national custodians such as TD Ameritrade Institutional to hold our client accounts. Through these custodial firms, our clients receive the safety and protection of SIPC insurance.
Q: What credentials do Southbridge Advisors have? What Is A CFP® Professional?
Southbridge Advisors are fiduciaries and act in the best interest of clients. Our advisors are experienced and have the requisite education, credentials, licenses, and continuing education necessary to help provide clients excellent advice and service. Each advisor has designations that complement their career experience, financial interests, and education.
The CFP® mark represents a Certified Financial Planner designation. One who has earned the CFP marks has met the education, examination, experience and ethics standards established by the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards (CFP Board). Financial planners who earn the CFP marks should be distinguished from those who have not.
If a financial planner has earned the right to use the CFP marks, this means that he or she has met the following requirements:
Education: There are three ways to meet the CFP certification education requirement
- Completing an education program at a college or university whose curriculum is registered with the CFP Board
- Submitting a transcript of previous financial planning-related course work to the CFP Board for review and credit
- Showing the attainment of certain professional designations or academic degrees
Examination: Candidates for the CFP certification must pass a rigorous two-day, 10-hour CFP Certification Examination administered by the CFP Board that covers the financial planning process and includes such topics as tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance.
Experience: Candidates for CFP certification must prove they have experience in the financial planning process before being authorized to use the CFP marks.
Ethics: Candidates for CFP certification have their backgrounds checked by the CFP Board, and must also disclose any investigations or legal proceedings related to their professional or business conduct. The CFP Board reviews all such disclosures and investigates those statements that indicate areas of concern.
Candidates must also adhere to the CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Financial Planning Practice Standards. Once certified, CFP certificants must fulfill a biennial continuing education requirement to stay up-to-date on planning strategies and financial trends affecting their clients.
Q: What is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®?
A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA™) can forecast the long-term effects of a divorce settlement. By using a CDFA™, both partners have a clearer view of their financial futures. Then can they approach a settlement that fully addresses the financial needs and capabilities of each. CDFA™'s also provide valuable information on financial issues that are related to the divorce, such as tax consequences, dividing pension plans, continued health care coverage, stock option elections and more.