Q: What is Wealth Management?
A: It means different things to different people. To us, it means looking at your entire financial picture and using all the tools available to enhance that position to meet your unique goals.
Q: Why “Private”?
A: We think that the word exemplifies safety, security, trust, and highly personalized service. You will have direct access to your adviser who will work closely with you on reaching your personal financial goals.
Q: How is BPWM organized?
A: We are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Benchmark Bank. We are regulated by the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) as a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA). We believe it is a superior model that brings together the reputation, culture, and strength of a 50-year old institution with the cutting-edge, open-architecture, and conflict-free format enabled by being a RIA.
Q: What is the definition of a Registered Investment Adviser?
A: A Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) is an investment adviser (IA) registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or a state's securities agency such as the TSSB. An IA is defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission as an individual or a firm that is in the business of giving advice about securities.
Q: Do your investment advisers have experience?
A: Yes. Our team has worked in some of the largest and well-known financial institutions in the world. They possess direct investment management experience gained in their tenures at those firms as well as advanced degrees and professional designations such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification. Please click here to see team profiles.
Q: Will my investment plan be “cookie cutter”?
A: No. We sit down in a face-to-face meeting to get to know you, your current financial position, your risk tolerances, and your goals. We utilize that information to formulate a unique set of investment options that we believe can achieve your objectives. After we discuss these with you and decide on a plan, we draft your Investment Policy Statement which guides the overall plan and how we manage your assets. Your final plan is well-thought out and unique to you.
Q: Do you charge commissions for trading?
A: No. We are a fee-based adviser. Together with you, we agree on a fee that is calculated as a percentage of assets we manage. Therefore, we are not incentivized by frequent trading but only by your portfolio growth.
Q: Do you have in-house attorneys and CPAs?
A: No. We seek the best independent professionals we can find and refer our clients as their needs dictate. We receive no financial incentives from these relationships and the option of provider is always yours.
Q: Do you sell insurance?
A: No. While insurance can be a powerful tool in wealth management and financial planning, we only advise clients of potential needs in their financial plan that insurance may solve. Then, we seek to find the best insurance companies to provide information about that product and refer clients accordingly. Members of the team are licensed insurance agents (Texas Department of Insurance), and thus BPWM may receive referral fees for insurance purchased in certain circumstances. Please see full disclosure in our public brochure by clicking here.
Q: Do you offer trust services?
A: Yes. Through BPWM’s direct investment management of trust assets and the administration-only trust services provided by several independent trust companies, we are able to offer our clients a complete trust solution that utilizes “best-of-breed” service providers in a conflict-free environment. Please see our trust solution announcement by clicking here.
Q: Does Benchmark Bank hold and guarantee my investments with BPWM?
A: No. Your investments are held at a world class custodian such as TD Ameritrade or Charles Schwab who are members of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). The accounts are in your name and you will have direct access and full transparency into those accounts. As is typical of investment products, there is always inherent financial risk and we cannot guarantee performance. However, the BPWM team works diligently within your stated risk tolerances and investment goals to find the best investment choices for your portfolio. Benchmark Private Wealth Management products are not FIC insured, may lose value and are not bank guaranteed.
Q: Do I have to be a banking customer?
A: No. Our private wealth group is separate from the banking operations and has no financial incentives to "cross-sell" banking products. However, we believe Benchmark Bank's relationship-based banking model is second to none and a refreshing change. Please contact us if interested in banking products or services and we can make an introduction to the banking team.
Q: Who is your typical client?
A: We can serve companies, foundations, endowments, trusts, family offices and individuals. No one client type is typical and each is served according to their individual needs, goals, and risk tolerances.
Q: Where can I find more information?