Since starting our wealth management firm 26 years ago, Atlanta Financial has been proud to say every decision we have made as a firm has been made with the best interests of our valued clients in mind. Every day, we look for ways to live our creed, “Making Life’s Journey Richer,” for our clients. Late last month, we announced an important step on that path.
Effective August 27, 2018, we have become an independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). Simultaneously, we selected Charles Schwab to be our account custodian. Both of these changes position us to offer you more and serve you better in this digital age.
Access to advanced technology, tools
First of all, aligning with Schwab as our account custodian allows Atlanta Financial to use cutting-edge, fully-integrated technology to enhance the client experience and serve you better. We conducted extensive due diligence before making this pivotal decision. With Schwab as our account custodian, we will be able to leverage advanced technology to create and manage the sophisticated and increasingly complex financial solutions your wealth requires.
The Schwab platform already serves as the technology backbone for many of the “brand name” national financial services firms you know, which is a testament to its power, reliability and security. The industry’s top wealth managers prefer Schwab. More than 70% of the advisors on the Barron’s Top 100 Independent Advisors list custody assets with Schwab.
In addition, using Schwab as our account custodian gives us access to a dedicated institutional trading team with a vast range of securities available to meet a variety of needs. For clients with banking and lending needs, this new arrangement will also make available Schwab Bank’s competitive and far-reaching banking and lending offerings.
Industry-leading low costs
Schwab has been an industry-leader in bringing costs down to clients across the board. We are happy to offer to our valued clients transaction pricing that is the best in the industry with both mutual fund and stock/ETF trades priced at about half of what they were previously. In addition, we so believe in this transition that your account will be credited for any transfer fees that are charged by our former custodian.
Data protection guarantee from Schwab
As a firm that handles nearly $3 trillion in client assets, Charles Schwab is one of the financial service industry’s security and data protection leaders. Because they want you to have a high level of confidence inyour data integrity, Schwab covers 100% of any losses in any of your Schwab accounts due to unauthorized activity. (To receive a print copy of Schwab’s data protection policy, please contact our office.)
Opting for electronic notification delivery from Schwab
If you wish to skip paper notifications in the future, log into your new Schwab account using the link mailed to you. For instructions, visit http://content.schwab.com/learningcenter/index.html. Converting to paperless statements only takes a few minutes.
Of course, if you want to receive your statements in paper form, you can certainly do so and should disregard the email from Schwab.
Account transitions with Schwab
Please note that if you log into your accounts as they are transferring, assets still in motion will not be visible. Don’t worry. They are not lost, just moving through the transition process.
Once your accounts have fully transitioned, we will be sending you a separate notification to set up your access to our new Atlanta Financial client portal. We encourage you to set up your access to this portfal to explore all of the new features available with our new and enhanced technology. When you first log in, there will be a brief video waiting for you to review our new portal. Please do remember, however, that if you have accounts that aren’t held at Schwabsuch as 529 plans or variable annuities) it will be 30-45 days before they will once again appear in your AFA portal.
Transactions will proceed as scheduled during the transition
The good news is that the new process for sending monthly distributions, making deposits and requesting withdrawals will work as it has in the past. We are working behind the scenes now to assure that monthly distributions proceed on schedule. If you wish to withdraw funds, simply notify us of the amount you need, and we will ensure you receive the funds as quickly as possible.
Nothing is changing about your relationship with Atlanta Financial
Atlanta Financial has always been an independent wealth management firm and that has not changed. Our principals, wealth managers and staff remain the same. We remain committed to delivering the highest level of customer service possible to our valued clients and to serving as your fiduciary, with complete transparency and without conflicts of interest. We will continue to use our time-tested financial models. Our commitment to serve your best interests – always – remains the same.
We are of course happy to answer any questions you have and look forward to continuing on the path with you of “Making Life’s Journey Richer.”