Frequently Asked Questions

Do I really need a financial advisor?

If you don’t have the expertise to understand investments or the time to monitor your portfolio, we suggest hiring a financial advisor. An advisor can help you identify your financial goals, construct a plan, and then develop a properly structured investment portfolio to suit your risk tolerance and financial objectives.

Are all advisors the same?

No. Traditional brokers are typically paid by commission, work for major brokerage houses, and are usually not fiduciaries. An independent advisor is usually fee-based (which includes commissions and fees), may be affiliated with a broker-dealer, and may be a fiduciary. Independent fee-only advisors never collect a commission, are completely objective, and are almost always fiduciaries on your account. When you make a decision to hire a professional advisor, make sure he/she is objective, independent, and has your best interests at heart.

Why should my independent financial advisor be a fiduciary?

A fiduciary is an independent financial advisor held to a Fiduciary Standard. As a fiduciary, the financial advisor is required to act with undivided loyalty to the client. This includes disclosure of how the financial advisor is to be compensated and any corresponding conflicts of interest.

Brokers are typically held to a suitability standard and are not fiduciaries. If you wonder whether the fiduciary standard is higher than the suitability standard that brokers are under, simply ask a broker whether his company will sign a letter stating that they accept fiduciary duty. It won't happen, sadly.


Piermont is an SEC-registered investment advisor and a fiduciary on all its clients' accounts

How long has Piermont been in business?

Philip Capell, President of Piermont, has been serving clients for more than 20 years. This encompasses the bull market years of the 1990s, the technology bubble, the tragedy of 9/11, the Great Bear Market of 2000 to 2009, wars, currency crises, etc. He opened Piermont’s doors in 2000 as a fee-only, independent wealth management firm. Through it all, day by day, we've stood by our clients and guided them toward their futures.

What is the minimum size portfolio Piermont accepts for an investment management client?

$500,000 is the minimum initial portfolio size needed to engage Piermont. However, once you have met our minimum, we treat each client with the utmost respect and commitment.

Do you work with clients located outside of New York?

Yes, we have clients in numerous states. We are able to use technology as well as occasional face-to-face visits so that we can work with clients anywhere in the world. Through the effective use of phone conferences, fax, and e-mail, we are able to address your concerns and questions.

How does Piermont typically make money?

Piermont is a fee-only SEC-registered investment advisory firm and is paid directly by its clients. The fee schedule is based on a percentage of our clients' assets under management. We prefer to be paid only by our clients, so that we share the same interest in growing their accounts. Many investment advisors are paid by commissions or by a third party, which creates conflicts of interest. We've found our fee schedule to be more cost-effective than many of the alternatives available to individuals, including a portfolio built using just individual stocks.

Please contact Piermont at 888-496-1665, and we will be happy to discuss your specific situation.

Who has custody of my money when I hire Piermont to manage it?

Piermont never physically has possession of or access to your money. Your funds are held at either Schwab Institutional or TD Ameritrade Institutional (each acts as a custodian) in an account that is registered in your name and Social Security number (or tax ID, in the case of trust accounts). Piermont uses Schwab Institutional as the custodian for about half of its clients and TD Ameritrade for the other half. You generally wouldn’t have accounts at both custodians.

Schwab Institutional and TD Ameritrade are leading providers of custodial, operational, and trading services for SEC-registered investment advisory firms. All cash accounts at Schwab Institutional or TD Ameritrade are guaranteed by FDIC insurance up to federal limits.

Do I give up control over my assets when I hire Piermont?

You always have access to your accounts at Charles Schwab or TD Ameritrade. That being said, as a Piermont investment management client, you are typically providing Piermont with the ability to make trades on your behalf and in your best interest on a discretionary basis; to receive duplicate statements, confirmations, and other paperwork that you acquire by way of mail or e-mail; and to withdraw its management fee on a calendar-quarterly basis.

Will I be able to view my accounts online whenever I want?

Yes. You will be able to view your accounts online whenever you wish. However, we ask that you don’t change your investments yourself once you’ve hired us. That would work against your long-term goals and defeat the purpose behind hiring Piermont.

If I hire Piermont as my retirement investment advisor, how will I receive regular withdrawals from my account to live on during my retirement?

We will work with you to determine the amount of your monthly withdrawal, and it will be deposited directly into your bank account. For most people, this is the same procedure their employer uses to deposit their paychecks. The amount of your withdrawal can be changed as often as you'd like. Just call Piermont and we'll help make the change for you.

Do you guarantee any rate of return for my investments?

No. It is illegal for an SEC-registered investment advisory firm to guarantee returns. Instead, we devote a full-time effort to creating and executing investment strategies that we believe will help you reach your financial goals.

How will I know when you have made changes to my account, and how will I keep up with the progress of my investments?

When Piermont makes a trade in your portfolio, a confirmation will be sent to you directly by the custodian (i.e., Charles Schwab or TD Ameritrade). Additionally, you will receive a monthly account statement directly from either Charles Schwab or TD Ameritrade. Finally, you will receive further information regarding your portfolio at your client meetings with Piermont. We also welcome your phone calls whenever you have questions or concerns.

What services do you provide for your clients?

  • Investment Management Services;
  • Retirement Planning and Income Strategies;
  • Comprehensive Financial Planning; and,
  • Estate, Gift, and Income Tax Planning.

How do I get started?

Simply e-mail us at info@piermontwealth.com or call us at 888-496-1665 so that we can set up a FREE consultation in person or over the telephone, depending upon your location.