In order to provide you with some background information regarding Geier Asset Management, Inc., here are the answers to some questions you might have. This statement is in lieu of Form ADV Part II, required by the Securities and Exchange Commission to be given to all potential clients by investment advisors and the CFP® Certificant Disclosure Form required by the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(TM) Board’s Code of Ethics and Financial Responsibility.
Geier Asset Management, Inc. is an Investment Management and Financial Planning firm established in 1999 and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a Registered Investment Advisor. Our Securities and Exchange Commission file number is 801-56955. Our principal owners are Joseph N. Geier, President, Thomas M. Geier, Vice President, and Brian J. Woods, Vice President.
GAM provides high quality, professional expertise in wealth accumulation for individuals and families leading active and complex lives. Additional clients may include businesses, corporations, 401(k), pension, and profit sharing plans, estates, and trusts.
A Registered Investment Advisor is a fiduciary who has a duty of undivided loyalty to his Investment Advisory clients and must deal fairly and honestly with them. A Registered Investment Advisor is a representative of the client and must put the client’s interests above any other relationships. Any person or entity that holds itself out as an Investment Manager must be registered either with the Securities and Exchange Commission or its state of residency as an Investment Advisor.
GAM provides both Investment Management Services and Financial Planning Services to clients.
As a Registered Investment Advisor, GAM can provide investment advice regarding all aspects of your financial situation and/or manage the activity of an investment account or accounts established for your behalf through our Investment Management Program. Our investment advice is tailored to the goals of each client. We offer our standard models for consideration as well as custom models that can be constructed to best meet client needs. Clients are able to impose restrictions in writing for any securities or strategies they do not wish to pursue.
We do not have a minimum requirement for assets to utilize our Management Services and our client investment accounts range anywhere from under $100,000 to over $5,000,000.
GAM offers a full range of financial planning services on an hourly or fixed-fee basis depending upon the specific services requested. Some examples of our financial planning services include review of 401k accounts, consultation regarding cash flow and control, budgeting, investment planning, college funding, retirement planning, estate planning, inheritances, risk management, insurance, employment benefits, tax planning, corporate or business coordination with personal situation, financial decisions, and charitable donations.
Our custom financial plan consists of a written evaluation and analysis of the information provided by you regarding your financial goals, objectives, time horizon, risk tolerance, and current financial situation.
We will provide you with specific recommendations, endeavor to educate you about the implications of selecting a particular alternative, implement the recommendations selected by you, and periodically update the plan adopted.
Yes, we require that a written agreement be executed outlining the responsibilities of each party and the rights thereof, as a prerequisite of doing business. However, our written agreement may be terminated at any time by delivery of written notice. In addition, within the first five days of signing the agreement, you may terminate without penalty.
It is our policy to make ourselves available whenever the client needs us, through email, phone, or face-to-face meetings. We have found that our clients’ preferred means of communication with us is via email. We also offer a secure document vault on our file server where important information can be exchanged. In addition, our website is available as a source of information at www.geier www.geierfinancial.com. In all cases, it is customary for us to meet face-to-face with each client, typically quarterly, but no less than annually, to review the client’s investments as well as any changing needs and objectives. For your part, it is important that you notify us on an ongoing basis of any major and material changes in your financial situation.
We currently manage $156.1 million in discretionary assets and $16.3 million in non-discretionary assets for a total of $172.4 million in managed assets as of December 31, 2013.
Our current fee for our Investment Management Program, subject to change, is 1.5% of assets under management up to $500,000 and 1% for assets under management over $500,000.
Asset-based fees are billed quarterly in advance. Fees are calculated by multiplying one-fourth of the indicated annual fee by the total dollar amount of assets under advice at the market close on the last business day of the immediately completed calendar quarter. The management fee for the first billing will include a prorated amount for a partial billing calculated from the contract date to the end of the first full quarter for which assets are received for accounts that are placed under management after the beginning of the quarter. A client will be entitled to a pro rata refund of any prepaid quarterly fee based upon the number of days remaining in the quarter after termination.
The full value of accounts, which includes any cash positions, is considered assets under advice for the fee calculation. Any client directed investments are excluded from the calculation. Client directed investments must be specified in writing.
On a quarterly basis, we will send you an invoice which outlines the calculations for the fees due. A copy of this invoice will be transmitted to Fidelity Institutional Brokerage Group (IBG), our custodian for asset management accounts, who will automatically deduct the invoice amount out of your account.
Our financial planning fees depend upon the specific services requested. We offer custom financial plans for a set fee and also perform financial planning and consulting work on an hourly basis. The charge for hourly financial consulting work ranges from $50 to $200 per hour.
The normal charge for a custom financial plan is approximately $1,500, usually paid 50% upon the second consultation and 50% upon final presentation.
You will be billed directly and are responsible for any outside professional work performed in conjunction with our financial planning services such as estate, tax, or trust attorneys’ fees.
Because we provide advice in regard to investment company securities (i.e. “mutual funds”), you should be aware that, in addition to the fees paid by you in connection with our advisory programs, each investment company also incurs its own internal operating expenses as outlined in the prospectus of the various mutual funds. Although Geier Asset Management normally has no financial interest in these operating expense payments, clients should be aware of them in determining the overall cost of their investment program.
The mutual funds we recommend are obtained for clients at “net asset value” and are not subject to additional sales charges.
Mutual fund investments may be subject to additional restrictions such as minimum investment amounts, fund closings, and short term trading and redemption fees.
In addition, your account may incur costs due to brokerage transactions. You also have the option to purchase investment products recommended by us through other brokers or agents not affiliated with us. See the section under “Brokerage” for more information.
We may vary from our fee schedules at our sole discretion. The primary determinants of any variance from our current fee schedules would be the nature of the services being provided.
In some circumstances, GAM may allow clients to make payments to us directly instead of through deductions from accounts. For example, large company qualified plans may desire to remit fees to us via company check. Any direct payments must be received by us within thirty days of the invoice date or the fees may be deducted from the asset accounts.
Yes, Section 212 of the Internal Revenue Code permits an itemized deduction for tax and/or investment advice.
Note: Subject to certain restrictions. For example, fees debited out of a regular brokerage account are tax deductible, whereas fees debited out of an IRA account are not. Please consult your tax advisor for more information.
Anyone who does not have the time, inclination, or expertise to properly manage their own portfolio can benefit from our asset management. We also specialize in helping people deal with the financial aspects of life-altering occurrences such as retirement, job change, death of a spouse, inheritance, sale of a business, and exercise of stock options through our full range of financial planning services.
We have developed a broad array of strategies intended to benefit our clients based upon their individual investment goals. We offer our own proprietary strategies as well as custom portfolios consisting of individual securities and/or mutual funds.
In addition, we have selected an array of separate account managers (third party advisors) who have demonstrated an expertise in obtaining investment success in very specific asset classes. In certain cases, the separate account manager’s investment philosophy and strategy will add value with respect to achieving the client’s investment objectives.
Such programs typically provide reporting directly from the third party advisor. Separate account manager programs are varied with respect to the fees charged, account restrictions and minimums and in the management style and strategy employed. The client is informed of these specifics prior to entering into such a program.
Our Investment Committee meets quarterly, at a minimum, to review the current investment environment and determine if any changes need to be made to our strategies.
We use a fundamental, top-down approach, considering economic conditions, earnings, industry outlook, politics (as it relates to the investment), historical data, price-earnings ratios, dividends, general level of interest rates, company management, and tax benefits. We also use technical analysis, chart analysis, cycle analysis and regression analysis to determine such factors as price and volume action, momentum, direction, and relative strength. The material risks to our methods of analysis are that the information we rely on to form our judgments may be incomplete, inaccurate, or misinterpreted. Historical correlations evidenced in charts may no longer hold true. Cycle projections may become distorted or unreliable due to unforeseen events or interventions.
Geier Asset Management utilizes paid and unpaid research materials and releases provided to us by our broker/dealer, clearing firm, investment companies, and other investment experts, economists, and advisors. We also utilize the general media of domestic, international and governmental newspapers, bulletins, magazines, books, and other publications, as well as information sources available through the internet.
GAM provides advice on bank deposits, U.S. Government securities, corporate bonds, commercial paper, municipal securities, equities, mutual funds, variable annuities, variable life, limited partnerships, real estate investment trusts, and options.
The Investment Questionnaire is a tool that enables us to discern your investment risk tolerance, time horizon, and investment goals. The Questionnaire, in conjunction with your Investment Policy Statement, helps us to determine the investment strategies that will best meet your objectives.
The Investment Policy Statement (IPS) is a working document that outlines the investment management process agreed upon by you and GAM. The IPS establishes the criteria for matching your long term investment goals to an appropriate investment plan and investment recommendations.
No. Investing in securities involves risk of loss that clients should be prepared to bear. Past performance is no indicator of future performance.
GAM makes no representation that your goals will be achieved. Any projections, targets, or other information included in the Investment Policy Statement or other reports regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of future results.
Other potential risks for clients are:
No. Geier Asset Management is a financial counselor and investment advisor and limits itself to asset management and financial planning. However, we can recommend highly-qualified legal providers to you, if you so desire.
No. Geier Asset Management provides Asset Management and Financial Planning services only.
Yes. Geier Asset Management, Inc. has adopted a Code of Ethics to ensure that securities transactions by GAM employees are consistent with GAM’s fiduciary duty to its clients and to ensure compliance with legal requirements and GAM’s standards of business conduct. The Code requires transaction confirmation and quarterly reporting of such transactions. A written copy of GAM’s Code of Ethics is available upon request.
Yes, an outside CPA firm conducts an annual audit of the books and records of Geier Asset Management. In addition, the principals and associates have obtained various licenses and are subject to the Code of Ethics of the American Institute of CPAs, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Board of Standards, as well as various state and federal regulators.
Yes, it is the law.
At times, the principals and affiliated persons of Geier Asset Management may invest in products recommended to the client. With respect to our personal investment accounts, we make every attempt to trade in such a way as to give every advantage to our clients before our own interests. There is no conflict of interest, as the securities are widely held and publicly traded. Furthermore, we maintain personal transaction records, strictly enforce all rules and regulations of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and do not permit insider trading.
Most of our asset management accounts are held at Fidelity Institutional Brokerage Group (IBG).
Fidelity Institutional Brokerage Group (IBG) provides advanced brokerage, technology, and other services to fee-based investment advisors like GAM. IBG provides GAM clearing and custody for our fee-based asset management accounts.
IBG may charge you an annual fee and closing fee for IRA accounts. In addition, general securities transactions are subject to minimum transaction charges by IBG, which are paid by the client.
No. Clients are under no obligation to accept recommendations made by us or effect transactions through Geier Asset Management or our related persons or parties. Clients may be able to purchase recommended securities outside of our program at little or no transaction cost and without our advisory fee. In reality, however, if a client agrees with our recommendations, they will generally implement their investment and other financial objectives through GAM.
Yes, we may utilize other brokers or agents to obtain specialized or beneficial investment products that may or may not be offered through Fidelity IBG’s platform. We select these brokers or agents based on their expertise, experience, professionalism, favorable execution, and costs. Clients may incur additional transaction expenses for these products.
GAM does not enter into soft dollar arrangements with broker-dealers. GAM utilizes paid and unpaid research materials and releases provided to us by our broker-dealer, clearing firm, investment companies, and other investment experts, economists, and advisors. We also utilize the general media of domestic, international and governmental newspapers, bulletins, magazines, books, and other publications, as well as information sources available through the internet. Research services include supplemental research, securities and economic analyses, statistical services and information with respect to the availability of securities or purchasers or sellers of securities and analyses of reports concerning performance of accounts. It is not possible to place a dollar value on the research and other information received.
All trades are executed for the best interest of the client and any fees or commissions paid to broker-dealers are for execution only.
Because of our custodial relationship with Fidelity Wealth Management, GAM will receive access to Wealth Central and other software programs provided by Fidelity.
Yes, when possible, we combine orders for multiple clients in bulk to obtain best and fair execution.
We do our best to avoid any possible errors but sometimes, a mistake may happen. We reimburse clients for trading errors that adversely impact their account. However, we retain any trading credits.
The reports you receive depend on the arrangement and services agreed upon by Geier Asset Management and you. In all cases, you will receive regular account statements from those companies where investments are held. Clients in our Investment Management Program may receive quarterly reports from us that are generated by our Portfolio Management software. You may receive a Confirmation Notice of every trade made in your account, on a per-transaction or quarterly basis, depending on your instructions to us.
The Client Manager assigned to your account will review your portfolio at least once a quarter, usually upon generation of our quarterly reports. More frequent or interim reviews can be requested by you at any time.
Most of our new clients come to us as a result of referrals of existing clients. In addition, Geier Asset Management has relationships with other professionals such as CPAs and attorneys. In some cases, there may be a written agreement between us and the referral source whereby Geier Asset Management compensates the referral source. In no cases are clients’ fees impacted by referral sources.
Geier Financial Management, Inc., a related entity to GAM, may in some instances have custody of certain client accounts. Please carefully review all statements you receive from each outside custodian and compare them to any statements issued by GAM to you.
When you sign your Investment Advisory Agreement with us, you give us a limited power of attorney to assume discretionary authority over the trading within your account, subject to the restrictions you impose upon us in writing. In other words, we will be able to place orders for trades in your account without prior authorization from you for those orders. However, this discretionary authority is limited, as we are prohibited from withdrawing funds and/or securities from client accounts.
When, in our judgment, a security should be purchased or sold within our models, the corresponding trades are placed across the entire model, for all accounts within that model. It is impractical for us to contact every client to receive permission to place such an order. In our experience, market opportunities pass quickly and constraints on timeliness of trades may have a negative impact on the potential value of the account.
Some of our clients request that we hold stocks or bonds in their accounts that they do not wish to sell. Such securities are “unmanaged” and GAM will remove these securities from its performance calculations and from the value of your account upon which GAM’s fee is calculated. As such, GAM takes no responsibility for these restricted securities and you agree that GAM will not be liable for any loss incurred in any manner in connection with these restricted securities. Initial restrictions and any modifications to or instructions regarding these restricted securities must be made in writing. If the restricted holdings are numerous or a large percentage of your account, we may require that a separate account be opened to keep these restricted holding segregated from the actively traded holdings.
We do not take any action or render any advice with respect to voting of proxies solicited by the issuers of securities in which assets of your accounts may be invested from time to time.
Please note the following material updates from our last Disclosure Brochure annual update of March 25, 2013:
The Firm no longer provides advice to an investment company, the Geier Strategic Total Return Fund.
This brochure provides information about the qualifications and business practices of Geier Asset Management, Inc. If you have any questions about the contents of this brochure, please contact us at 410.824.1853. The information in this brochure has not been approved or verified by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or by any state securities authority.
Additional information about Geier Asset Management, Inc. also is available on the SEC’s website at http://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/.
Although we use the term “registered investment advisor” throughout this document, registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training.