We are excited to be delivering the first issue of our newsletter, "CogentBlue Conversations". Going forward, this newsletter will be released on a monthly basis and will cover topics ranging from the markets to behavioral finance to key wealth enhancing strategies and everything in between.
PUTTING THE YEAR IN PERSPECTIVE
With the start that we've had to the year and all that has transpired in the past six months, we thought it would be helpful to share with you what we’ve been working on.
From the beginning, you’ve heard me talk about the pursuit of four key objectives in launching CogentBlue and I’m very proud to say that we achieved all four of them. Here’s a recap of those objectives and how we achieved each one:
- Retain autonomy and control
While the seeds for CogentBlue were sewn over the last 10+ years, the timing of our transition earlier this year caught all of us off guard and that’s not something we want to have happen again in the future. I believe we have eliminated any possibility of that by retaining full control of the direction of the firm. At the same time, establishing key partnerships and custodial relationships with each of the major custodians has ensured that no compromise has been made regarding the depth of resources available.
- A smooth transition
In order to make the transition as easy as possible, it was important for our custodial relationship with Fidelity to remain intact. That allowed all existing account numbers and settings, and access to Fidelity’s website to remained unchanged. In addition, portfolio holdings weren’t affected as a result of this transition and there were no immediate tax implications.
- Lower Expenses
Through ongoing investment in technology and a more thoughtful and efficient business model, CogentBlue was able to lower the cost of delivering financial planning and investment management to all clients, passing those savings on to clients. On average, this has worked out to between a 9% and 13% cost reduction in annual expenses. This was achieved in the following ways:
- Low-Cost, Data-driven Investment Strategies
Our investment strategies incorporate ETFs and Mutual Funds that capture key drivers of higher expected return effectively across the globe.
- No Trade Fees
CogentBlue covers all trading costs for clients, where clients previously were charged up to $35 per mutual fund trade.
- No Separate Fees for Ancillary Services.
CogentBlue is focused on helping clients make crucial decisions about their finances. We provide full-service financial planning, including advice on 401K assets, assistance with Medicare applications, and developing Social Security claiming strategies based on your unique situation, just to name a few.
- Bring enhanced value
Fulfilling the role of a true fiduciary requires that we continually be assessing if the recommendations being made and the investments you own are appropriate options for helping you to achieve your goals. Achieving this requires objective collaboration and consensus. To that end, in addition to harnessing the resources available through our partnership with Wealthcare, we have established and will continue to grow a deeper well of expertise to draw from across all areas, including tax, investment, risk, wealth transfer planning, and charitable giving.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
CogentBlue is more than just an interesting name. We feel it embodies the goal we’ve set out to achieve for all of our clients: To trigger CLARITY and inspire CONFIDENCE. It sets the standard for the effective and impactful financial planning we aim to provide.
WHAT'S TO COME?
Here are a few key initiatives we're actively working on:
- The continued buildout of the firm's website.
- The launch of a fully-integrated client financial dashboard. This will be your single source of information related to your plan and portfolio, as well as all other elements of your financial picture.
- The review and refinement of our portfolio strategies. The aim is ongoing incremental improvement across the areas of people, process, performance, and price.
- The rollout of our client service calendar to ensure that we are effectively addressing all planning areas in a systematic way.
As always, it's a privilege and a joy to serve you. We look forward to many years of continued success together.
All my best,