FAQs

Firm

What is your Client Profile?

From our Chapel Hill office, we serve individuals, wealthy families, business owners and non-profit institutions in 18 states.  We manage approximately $365 million as of June 30, 2017.

Do Clients Have Separate Accounts or are Assets Co-Mingled?

Investments are never co-mingled; they are held in separate accounts in each client’s name, or in a trust, by a qualified custodian.

Who is the Custodian of Client Assets?

Investments are held primarily at Fidelity; other custodians are considered on a case-by-case basis.  Hamilton Point does not take custody of client assets.

Does Hamilton Point adhere to a Fiduciary Standard?

We are a Fiduciary, which means we are required to act in the best interests of our clients at all times.

How is Hamilton Point Regulated?

Hamilton Point is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

How is Hamilton Point compensated?

We are a fee only advisor. We do not sell products or receive commissions. Our annual investment management fee is 0.50% on accounts greater than $20 million, 0.60% between $5 and $20 million, and between 0.80% and 1% on accounts less than $5 million.

Portfolio

Do you manage Stocks or Bonds?

We typically build Balanced Accounts – meaning a combination of stocks (equities) and bonds (fixed income) – with varying degrees of equity exposure based on client needs.  We do manage accounts exclusively in equities or fixed income when appropriate and desired by the client.

Do you Buy Individually-Purchased Securities or Mutual Funds?

We primarily purchase individually-researched stocks and bonds which we believe maximizes quality while minimizing expenses and taxes. Limited use of funds offer exposure to international holdings which cannot be efficiently purchased on an individual basis in separate accounts.  Our goal is to construct endowment-quality diversified portfolios with low embedded expenses.

Do you Customize Portfolios?

While investment strategies are consistent across portfolios, accounts have a customized asset allocation.  When appropriate, strategies can be tailored to minimize tax liabilities (i.e.: holding custom low-cost basis shares) and to meet mission oriented investment demands (i.e.: social responsibility).

Who Directs Trades in the Account?

Accounts are subject to discretionary management based on a management agreement indicating the appropriate strategy.  We do not generally consult with clients prior to completing a transaction, allowing us to make timely investment decisions.

How Do Hamilton Point’s Principals Invest Their Money?

Our own discretionary portfolios are invested in the same securities we recommended to clients. We think it is important to align our interests squarely with our clients’; we call it “eating our own cooking.”

How Much Paperwork is Required?

We make every effort to minimize client paperwork. We do the front-end work to gather information, answer questions and complete forms so all that remains for the client is to review and sign.

What Reporting do I Receive?

Online account access, including monthly statements and relevant tax documents, are available through the custodian (typically Fidelity).  Hamilton Point also provides Quarterly Reporting Packages and a proprietary newsletter.

Wealth Management

Does Hamilton Point Provide Services Other than Investment Management?

Our credentialed financial and wealth planners assist clients in all aspects of wealth management – including tax minimization and complex estate and retirement planning. We consult on investment and spending policies for our non-profit clients and provide valuation and transition in wealth consulting for private companies.

Does Hamilton Point have CPAs or Attorneys on staff?

No. We prefer an independent approach which allows us to coordinate with clients’ existing accountants and attorneys, streamlining the client experience and ensuring appropriate follow through and implementation.  We also maintain a strong professional network from which to make referrals.

Does Hamilton Point Sell Insurance?

No. We do not believe an advisor can act in a fiduciary capacity while selling financial products. We do review insurance needs as part of our wealth management program and maintain relationships with reputable insurance providers for referral. We do not receive compensation for any outside referrals we make.

Service

Who Answers the Phone When I call?

During business hours, humans answer our phones. Advisors and client service professionals are available to promptly respond to client inquiries throughout the business day.

With Whom Do Clients Meet and How Often?

Our clients review their portfolios with member(s) of the investment committee on a frequency that best suits the client – typically annually or semi-annually, but more frequently as requested or as needs demand.

What Credentials are Held by Hamilton Point Employees?

As of June 30, 2017, Hamilton Point employees collectively include three Chartered Financial Analysts® (CFA®), one Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®), a Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) and two Masters of Business Administration (MBA).

What is the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) Designation?

The CFA® credential is one of the most respected and widely recognized designations in the investment management industry. The curriculum covers academic theory, current industry practice, and ethical and professional standards.  Only one in five candidates who enter the program completes the 1,000 hours of intensive study, three 6-hour exams and four years of investment-related work experience required to attain the CFA Charterholder designation.

What is the Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®) Designation?

The CFP® examination covers a curriculum focused specifically on the financial planning process, including specialized topics such as tax planning, employee benefits, retirement planning and estate planning.  CFP® professionals are required to build their theoretical and practical knowledge by undergoing a comprehensive course of study, completing several years of financial planning work experience and maintaining their right to use the designation through ongoing continuing education requirements.

What is the Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) Designation?

The CPWA® certification is an advanced credential specifically for wealth managers who work with high-net-worth individuals with complex needs, focusing on the life cycle of wealth: accumulation, preservation, and distribution. Those who earn the certification learn to identify and analyze challenges high-net-worth individuals face, and understand how to develop specific strategies to minimize taxes, monetize and protect assets, maximize growth, and transfer wealth.