Should Ask Questions

Questions you should be asking will clarify the difference between a firm like ours and the typical responses you may receive from other wealth management firms. Below are questions you should be asking your advisor or financial expert to verify that they are truly looking out for you and your investment needs in all types of market environments (rising, declining, flat, volatile).

Does your firm utilize indicators or signals that help to monitor market action?

At Stern Brothers, we combine internal technical, fundamental and quantitative analysis and research to assess the market’s risk level at any given time. Our management team created and developed SAMi™ (Stern Aggregate Market Indicator) to determine potential market strength and health based on a combination of economic, political, governmental and technical factors. When these factors are combined together, they can provide a better, more transparent picture of the financial markets and the investing environment.

What action does your firm take to protect my portfolio during a sharp market downturn?

We take action. We decisively shift our portfolios to a defensive stance when market internals weaken and intermediate price trends turn negative. Additionally, we may hedge your portfolio, or even grow your portfolio during a market decline. That’s right, we may invest in securities that profit when the market declines. Many fund managers do not even consider this opportunity in their investment strategies. If your financial expert advises you to “ride out the storms” and that the “market always bounces back”, then you should give us 10 minutes to explain why that answer is not acceptable.

Are you incentivized by a mutual fund, mutual fund wholesaler, sub-advisor or otherwise, to invest my account into their funds (front-end loads, back-end loads)? Do you receive 12b-1 fees?

No. We have the flexibility to invest in the securities that fit your risk tolerance and seek the best performance for your portfolio. We are not compensated by investing in another firm’s products.

Do you sell competing products (life insurance, etc.)?

No. We do not underwrite securities, make loans or sell insurance products. Our only incentive is to grow your portfolio.

Do you earn commissions trading my account (like a Broker/Dealer)?

No. Our fee structure is completely transparent. We execute our trades in the market through our trusted, third-party custodians and although they may charge a small transaction fee, we do not receive any part of that as compensation.

Do you answer to a larger corporation delegating policy?

No. We are a privately-owned, independent Registered Investment Adviser firm that has the freedom to do what is best for you in ALL circumstances. We are always on the same side of the investing equation with you.

Do you adhere to the Fiduciary Standard?

Yes. Your investing needs ALWAYS come first and our sole incentive is to serve you and to grow your portfolio.