Frequently Asked Questions
Below you'll find answers to the most popular questions you may have about: how we do business, how we manage your money and how we're different, in a good way.
No. Longhouse is not affiliated with this company, nor are we compensated by them in any way! No fees, commissions, or incentives. IB does offer us indirect support in running our business more efficiently with software, seminars, and occasional consultation.
Interactive Brokers will send you monthly statements through email or via U.S. mail. In addition, you can access your account with them online 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, providing account balances, trades, cash flows, and past statements.
Methodology & Expertise
We would be happy to discuss portfolio performance, but we find that this topic is often confusing, in part because returns must be evaluated in the context of inherent risk. Please schedule a time to speak with one of our advisors so that we can show you our performance in a way that is relevant to you and your situation.
Longhouse is an investment management firm. We are not “traditional” financial planners, but we specialize in retirement investing. In order to develop a plan for your IRA and other retirement accounts, and to help you grow it, we will discuss financial planning topics like taxes. If we find that your situation requires additional, more complex financial planning, we can recommend an hourly-fee planner in your area.
Retirement investing is tricky. The U.S. government gives you a tax break on your contributions, but it wants its share of the gains, in the form of income taxes, once you begin withdrawing at retirement. There are more than 100 pages of IRS code on IRAs alone, and there are many traps along the way. We specialize in optimizing your IRA so that you end up with more when you need it, in retirement.
Unfortunately, we are unable to offer this level of service. But our portfolios offer a range of risk tolerances and are designed to fit a wide variety of retirement investors. We use them ourselves.
ETF stands for “exchange-traded fund.” These funds trade on the stock exchange just like any stock. ETFs are no secret, but investment professionals such as brokers can’t earn fees from most of them, so they go ignored. Each ETF is a “basket” of stocks that represents a particular index. For example, if you wanted to own every stock in the S&P 500 Index, you would buy one of several ETFs that follow that index. One example is the State Street Global Advisors SPDR S&P 500 (the ticker is SPY). By owning one share of SPY, you own 500 stocks in one.
Mutual funds are six to 10 times more expensive than ETFs because they hire pros, who attempt to select a few stocks within the index that they believe will beat the entire index. By owning the ETFs we use—funds which are widely held and used by millions of investors every day—you get nearly the exact return of the index that fund tracks. Since computers manage the stock buying, rather than a highly paid fund manager, the fees are very low.
An educated investor is our best client. We urge you to read and ask us any questions so that you understand and become comfortable with how we manage money. We have adopted the same investment approach used by the world’s most effective college endowments, foundations, and pension funds. They have achieved their well-earned reputations by focusing on asset allocation, not stock picking, by driving down fees, and by sticking with disciplined portfolio rebalancing.
We can usually have your account(s) set up and a portfolio purchased within 5-7 business days.
However, certain custodians or 401(k) plans could have extra forms to fill out to cancel or transfer your assets to Longhouse. That will delay the process.
Longhouse has no account minimums at this time.
If you wish to cancel service, there is no need to be embarrassed or to feel uncomfortable. The process takes a day. We simply remove ourselves from your account and pro-rate and deduct any accrued fees. There is no cost to terminate service and you may do so at any point in time and for any reason.
There is no catch. In fact, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires that we disclose our fees completely in our Form ADV Part 2 We encourage you to review this document.
Our fees are 1.1% per year based upon total assets under management per account. There is NO set-up charge for your account. In addition to our fee, there are ETF fund fees that average less than 0.2% and there are trading costs, which average between $1 and $5 each time we rebalance your account. As of 11/2018, Interactive Brokers charges only $0.005 per share traded. So 1,000 shares would cost ~$5 in commissions.
At Longhouse Wealth Management, we know that for you to live well and retire with more, you must pay less in investment fees. Most investment managers charge fees of at least 2-4% per year. Because of our unique approach to IRA investing, our technology, and our focus on keeping overhead low, we can offer personalized, high-quality service at half the price.
There are two kinds of investment managers: an Investment Advisor, which we are, and brokers, such as those you will find at Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, or UBS. As a Registered Investment Advisor under the Securities Act of 1940, we are required to act as a fiduciary, that is, to put your interests above our own and to declare any conflicts of interest that may arise. You can be assured that we construct portfolios to meet your goals and put your interests above all else.
Comparatively, a broker, or Registered Representative, not an Advisor, is required only to recommend investments that are “suitable” for you. Legally, he or she can put his or her own interests above yours when recommending investments.
Your money will be at Interactive Brokers in an account under your name. You will be able to log on to their site any time, day or night, and to check your account balance, and to download statements. Because of our partnerships with these firms, we are able to open accounts and buy and sell securities on your behalf, with your agreement, as part of our service. IB has ample government and private insurance covering your account.
. We file an updated version of this document with the SEC each year. It describes our services, fees, and all practices which relate to our role as your fiduciary. The SEC requires that it be written in “plain English” so that it is easily understood by the average investor.