What makes Sphere unique?
Sphere was born out of the idea that the industry is broken. There are good people, that want to do right by their clients at big firms, they're not the problem, it's the firm they work for. We started Sphere to completely change that dynamic, align ourselves on the same side of the table with the client, and offer clients a level of service historically reserved for the economic elites.
Why choose Sphere over the big firms out there?
At Sphere, we never collect a fee from anyone other than the client, and our fees are a set percentage, so as the client does better, Sphere does better. We DO NOT sell anything, we're here to give advice and manage client assets, so it doesn't matter what types of investments we use, our fee doesn't change, meaning there's no conflict of interest with our advice. The biggest issue inside big firms isn't even commissions versus fees, it's where the advice is coming from. Some firms, unfortunately many of the large firms, get large revenue share or 12-b-1 fees back to the firm from certain investment companies, this is on top of all their client fees. The advisor may no longer receive this compensation, but the firm still does. So, when they coach their advisors on which investment companies to recommend, guess which companies they promote?!?! Makes you wonder who beneifts from the recommendation most, the client, or the firm?
Do you think I could do this myself?
I love it when clients ask this question, because the answer is yes. The same way I could represent myself in a criminal trial, change the brakes on my car, or diagnose a sharp pain in my side that won't go away. We do occasionally meet someone with the knowledge to do a lot of what we do and do it well. Usually, those are our best clients, because they understand the time commitment involved in doing this extremely well, is immense. They also recognize that while some people think we just manage "stocks," that's only about 40% of a client's portfolio on average. We also understand how macroeconomic and geopolitical factors can influence the flow of capital into different asset classes. We understand how to build portfolios using these asset classes and maintain a tactical balance of correlated and non-correlated assets.
What types of clients do you work with?
There was a stigma at the big firms, that if you didn't have a lot of money, you weren't welcome. We hated that, we believe everyone should have access to this level of service and expertise, so we do not have an account minimum. We work with individuals and families to build a financial plan, invest well, and meet objectives. We don't care where you're at in life, we want to meet you there.
What exactly does Sphere do for me?
As a Registered Investment Adviser, Sphere designs and manages portfolios for clients based on their risk tolerance and objectives. A lot of firms use 3-5 different risk categories, maybe all of their clients are the same. We use 9 different portfolio strategies which we believe are better suited to meet client objectives over time.
How much does it cost?
Sphere charges a fee based on assets in your account. It's a tiered fee schedule so that as your account grows the percentage we charge decreases. Our Wealth platform fee schedule starts at 1.25% and goes down from there, our average fee is around .80%. The fee is calculated annually, divided by 4, and billed quarterly, so if an account is $100,000, the maximum fee for our services is 1.25% of the account value annually, or $1,250, but billed quarterly at $312.50. If we can increase the account value to $150,000, our fee increases to $1,875 annually. So you can see our incentive is not to sell you any high commission products, but to simply help you grow your account value.
How do you select the investments for your portfolios?
Portfolios are constructed using mutual funds, etfs, individual stocks, and individual bonds or cds. We have designed portfolios to achieve investment optimization when making contributions, withdrawals, or rebalancing the allocation. Mutual Funds and etfs are selected using the Center for Fiduciary Studies process, which has become an industry standard for fiduciary investment advisers. Equities are selected using a rigorous process that involves identifying companies with strong balance sheets and higher than average cash flows and cash return on invested capital. We look for companies that are well positioned in their industry to achieve the objectives of the portfolios. Fixed income instruments are selected using individual client needs and objectives and aim to offer an enhanced yield with less fund flow risk than a traditional etf or fund.
How frequently do you meet with clients?
We believe in offering frequent communication and firm transparency. In addition to a weekly account performance email and an annual client review, we offer clients access to our market commentaries and quarterly reviews through our content library on this site. We also provide educational videos and portfolio management explanation videos as frequently as necessary. Our Cient Experience team is always available to answer questions and/or handle client needs as they arise.