Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the questions below to learn more.

What is a fiduciary?

A fiduciary cannot accept any commissions and they must always do what is best for you, without conflicts of interest.  They should also be totally independent, so they cannot be pressured to sell securities that might be good for their firm, but not necessarily good for you.

Aren't all advisors required to put my best interests first?

No.  Even if he calls himself a “financial planner” or an advisor, anyone who accepts commissions or is not independent is not a fiduciary.  Besides the commissions, brokerage firms frequently provide incentives and pressures to sell certain products, such as annuities and low-quality stocks and bonds.  So instead of doing what’s in your best interest, they are selling you products pitched by their firm.  They make money first when you buy something, and again when you sell it.  They make money, regardless of whether or not you do.

What Is The Difference Between Fee-Only And Fee-Based?

There are two common forms of financial advisor compensation:  fee-only and fee-based.  They sound very similar, but they have vastly different meanings.

A fee-only advisor is compensated solely by the fees you pay directly to him.  He receives no other compensation.

A fee-based advisor is compensated not only by the fees you pay him for his services, but also by other means, such as commissions and incentives given him from his firm and mutual fund families.

It can be difficult for a fee-based advisor to always do what is only in your best interest without thinking of himself first, especially when a trip to Hawaii for them depends on selling a certain fund or annuity.  In fact, since they are not a fiduciary, they are not required to place your interests first.  A fee-only advisor is a fiduciary and has a legal obligation to do what is in your best interest.

How is Sherwood Investments Compensated?

Our compensation is based solely on the value of your portfolio.  When your portfolio grows, we both benefit.  We do not receive one penny in commissions from either you or any other party.

What should I look for in selecting an investment manager?

The investment manager you choose should be a fiduciary, disclose all costs without being asked, have an excellent reputation, and clearly communicate their strategy.  No two markets are the same.  It is hard for someone to give good advice if they have not experienced the ups and downs of different types of markets.  Extensive knowledge and proficiency gained from many years of experience is required.  And of course, trust is essential.

Who are your clients?

Our clients are of all age.  They want to simplify their financial life.  And they want to make sure they do not outlive their money.  And they want to make sure they can live comfortably, both before and after retirement.

What are the three most frequent questions you are asked?

1.  When can I retire?
2.  How much can I spend in retirement?
3.  Will I be able to leave a legacy for my loved ones?

What type of investments are used?

We use only investments with which you are comfortable.  For most of our clients, this means mutual funds, ETFs, individual bonds, and stocks.  We develop a financial strategy and manage your investments using a proven, five-step process.  This ensures that we are constantly evaluating your needs and adapting our strategy accordingly.  See Investment Choices for a full list of options.

Do you give advice on my Social Security?

Yes.  We have helped many clients optimize their Social Security payouts.

See some of our newsletters under”Investment Advice and Newsletters” in the Resources tab on top.  Or just go to Social Security and Medicare

Can you help me decide if I should take a pension or a buyout?

Yes.  Analyzing whether to take a buyout instead of a pension is complex and done for clients, without charge.

Can I get a 529 College Plan for my children through you?

Yes, we can open 529 Plans for your children and your grandchildren.  We use the 529 Plan offered by American Funds.  It is rated highly because of its low cost, large number of investment choices and consistently good performance.  If you already have a 529 Plan, we will be glad to manage it for you or, if advantageous to you, we can move it to the American Funds plan.

For a summary of 529 College Plans, go to our newsletter,  529 Plans – Summary

How often do you report performance?

Your account positions, transactions and balances are updated every second throughout the day.  You can easily view all details of your account online on our secure website.

What areas do you serve?

Our investment services are available in Redmond Washington, on the Seattle “Eastside”.  Also on the Eastside are Bellevue, Kirkland, Sammamish, Issaquah, Woodinville, Bothell and Mercer Island.  Slightly east of us is Duvall, Carnation and Monroe.  We serve all these areas, as well as more.

What is the next step?

Contact us, either by phone or email.  We will reply within one day, answer your questions and be available to discuss your financial situation.  If you decide to work with us, we will work very hard to get you to where you want to be.

To get started, please click here: Improve my financial future today .

“We manage your money based on your objectives, not just your age.”

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