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Frequently Asked Questions


What services can I expect to be included in your quarterly fee? | Cardiff Park is a full service investment advisory firm specializing in financial planning and portfolio management. We follow passive and index investment strategies, and do not practice active investing. You can expect a portfolio design that reflects your personal financial situation, investment horizon, and risk capacity. When implementing an investment strategy, we’ll reposition your assets according to that agreed-upon plan, then oversee portfolio rebalancing as opportunities arise. Comprehensive reports on portfolio performance are issued monthly. Services included in our portfolio management fee include initial financial planning, risk tolerance assessment, portfolio design, implementation support including managing concentrated stock positions, tax-loss harvesting, monthly reporting and administrative support. Our quarterly fee includes ongoing investment advice, rebalancing support, and ongoing portfolio supervision.


Do you have an account minimum? | Yes. Cardiff Park account minimum is $1 million.


How are you compensated? | Our compensation comes exclusively from fixed annual retainer fees from our clients, billed quarterly and paid in arrears. We receive no commissions from fund companies or brokerage firms. At a client’s request, we offer additional non-portfolio related services for a negotiated fee.


What are your fees? | Our fixed fees are established on a case-by-case basis, and are generally well below the industry average. Our fees are not based on assets under management, but on the estimated number of hours required to service individual portfolios. Fees vary depending on the complexity of individual financial structure and needs, and how our clients leverage our services. They typically range from $4,800 to $12,000 per year, or $1,200 to $3,000 per quarter. For details, please see the Client Services section of our website.


How do you collect fees? | Unlike most advisors, unless clients specifically opt-in for fee-debiting, Cardiff Park does not withdraw advisory fees directly from client accounts. Rather, we invoice in arrears and bill quarterly. Our clients may pay us electronically or via check.


Can you help me with my IRA, 401(k) and annuities? | We will incorporate your IRA, 401(k) and other financial accounts into the design of your overall investment strategy. As part of the process, we’ll provide guidance on opening new accounts or investment direction for existing accounts. Should you or your family members own annuities, we can provide access to Dimensional Fund offerings through no-load annuity providers such as Vanguard and Jefferson.


Do you offer private banking services and lines of credit? | Yes. We are experienced at negotiating pricing, and have established competitive lines of credit for our clients.


Do your financial planning services include estate planning, insurance and tax planning? |We believe it’s smart to stick to our core competencies. To best complement our services, we recommend that estate planning be carried out by specialized attorneys, tax issues be discussed with CPAs, real estate matters discussed with appropriate brokers and attorneys, and insurance matters with no-load insurance companies. Keeping these services separate ensures that there is no conflict of interest with respect to our financial advice and the services that these professionals deliver.


Does Cardiff Park accept trading discretion? | We place trades for clients under a limited power of attorney agreement. When we have an agreed-upon a plan, we execute it systematically with client approval. We do not place trades without client knowledge and consent.


Do you accept custody of client funds or securities? | We do not accept custody of client funds or securities. Securities are held by brokerage firms that carry SIPC and other private insurance, including TDAmeritrade, Schwab, Fidelity, Vanguard and Jefferson.


How do you decide when to rebalance? | We continuously review stock/bond ratios and individual equity asset allocations for each client. We suggest rebalancing when asset classes have significantly diverged from the client’s individual investment model. For details, please see the “Managing Your Portfolio” section of our site.


When do you report to clients, and what is included? |We issue reports to our clients on a monthly basis. These reports include asset allocation analysis, performance analysis and a statement of unrealized gains and losses. Reports are available through a secured, password protected site.


What other reports will I receive? | In addition to Cardiff Park’s reports, clients receive monthly reports and tax-lot accounting from the custodians of their assets, who also offer 24-hour online access to account information. Clients can also access account information online via the secure websites provided by their account custodians, with instant access to current account value, cash balances, cost basis, trade confirmations, monthly statements and tax forms. Monthly or quarterly statements are sent to clients directly from the correspondent brokers, banks, and/or insurance companies that hold client investments. We encourage clients to compare the account statements received from Cardiff Park with those received directly from their custodian in a timely manner.


Who is your optimal client? | Our optimal client understands the principles of passive and index investing and is committed to following these principles over the long term. We can recommend several popular books on the subject, and encourage all clients to read our website. Additional information is available at the Dimensional Fund Advisors website.


What background and experience does Cardiff Park bring to my investments? | John Gorlow, Cardiff Park's Principal, brings over 30 years of experience working in and consulting with the financial services Industry. John managed investment advisory engagements for Ernst & Young in San Francisco and spent 14 years delivering personal investment management services for private client groups of leading Wall Street brokerage firms including Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Oppenheimer. John earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) at Fordham University in New York and a Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University. He has held the CIMA (Certified Investment Management Analyst) certification earned through the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. John is a member of the CFA® (Certified Financial Analyst) Institute and the Financial Planning Association, the principal professional organization for Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) professionals. John is 59 years old.


Why should I choose Cardiff Park? | Our investment policy is proven. Our service is personalized. Our work on behalf of clients is honest, ethical, comprehensive and reasonably priced. Our references are excellent, from clients with different professional backgrounds and widely differing investment experiences. We have the experience, work ethic, and objectivity to guide you to long-term investment success.


Is your Investment model personalized, or is it pre-defined? | We do not offer pre-packaged investment solutions. We create customized strategies tailored to individual portfolio goals, objectives, risk tolerance, time horizon, liquidity requirements, tax considerations, specific terms, and other pertinent circumstances. Each portfolio reflects the appropriate ratio of equities to fixed income based on specific client needs and objectives. Information about client IRA, 401(k) and related accounts is also reflected in the overall investment strategy.


How does Cardiff Park deliver competitive value at a low cost? |We keep our costs low by running an independent and operationally efficient business. We manage most key business processes in-house and focus our business investment on technology, research and services that directly benefit our clients.


How do I get started? | Many of our clients are referred to us by other satisfied clients. The process of working together typically begins with emails and a telephone meeting. If you choose us as your advisor, we will agree upon a fee structure, then proceed with review of your financial situation and portfolio design. Cardiff Park will oversee the process of opening new accounts and transferring funds. Our aim is to earn your trust, and reinforce it over what we hope will be a long-term financial relationship.