This is a fully-managed investment program provided by S.E.E.D. with investment accounts primarily held at Charles Schwab.
In this program, S.E.E.D. performs the initial and ongoing investment management according to the client’s risk profile including portfolio design and investment review and selection. In addition, S.E.E.D. handles all of the day-to-day investment management activities including paperwork, income distribution, rebalancing, and account maintenance.
An annual charge based on the total amount of client assets managed by S.E.E.D. is assessed in this program.
S.E.E.D. offers three types of investment management
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The goal of the Traditional Management Strategy is to provide a low-cost, professionally managed portfolio that minimizes speculation and market timing while providing an efficient mix of income and capital appreciation. The investments found in this portfolio are ETFs and mutual funds.
S.E.E.D. views “risk tolerance” both as a condition of investing environment and by personal definition. Because of this perspective, it is our opinion that traditional questionnaires are inadequate. We believe that personal discussion and discovery with clients regarding their goals, biases, history, and competencies is the primary way to assess portfolio design.
S.E.E.D. rebalances accounts twice yearly unless a lack of volatility creates a scenario where asset values have not “spread” from their targets. S.E.E.D. will periodically decide to remove, restrict, or add an asset class to manage risk per the client’s objective.
S.E.E.D. uses fi360 for peer-to-peer ratings to filter potential investment options. fi360 is a leader in fiduciary management training and services. They provide a service that rates funds based on a significant amount of criteria including (but not limited to): underlying charges, management history, performance, style drift, audits, etc.
S.E.E.D. uses a combination of strategies to develop its portfolio models including modern portfolio theory, efficient frontier, and a general effort to avoid speculation. To design and test these strategies, S.E.E.D. uses tools provided by fi360, Morningstar, eMoney, Charles Schwab, and our own research.
S.E.E.D. generally has all dividends pay to cash in a portfolio. We then buy funds back into the underlying portfolio each time we rebalance. S.E.E.D. typically holds about 2% cash in portfolios. This is accounted for with a 2% reduction in the fixed-income portion of the portfolio’s allocation.
Investment Quality Review
S.E.E.D. has a fiduciary obligation to our clients. In order to maintain this standard, we utilize fi360 to do a quality, efficiency, and performance review of every mutual fund and ETF investment that we recommend to purchase, buy, or hold.
fi360 is an independent, third-party fund review software. It provides analysis of metrics that include expense ratios/fees, performance relative to peers, and fiduciary scores, among other criteria.
Fund reviews and rankings do not guarantee future returns, but independent studies have indicated a correlation between funds scoring in the top quartile for one-year fiduciary scores and the top-performing funds in subsequent years.
Other negative screens can restrict investment in companies based on the products they sell. This is common in companies with gambling-, drug-, alcohol-, or tobacco-related products.
Research shows a positive correlation between ESG investing and the investment’s risk-adjusted return. This is attributed to that fact that companies striving to demonstrate ESG factors have the potential to be more sustainable in the long run.
The ESG screening for S.E.E.D.’s socially conscious portfolio is done in addition to the fiduciary screening applied to all of our fund recommendations.
Investment Plan Design Program
This is an investment program provided by S.E.E.D. where the participating client’s investment accounts are not held at Charles Schwab.
In this program, S.E.E.D. provides a review of a number of investment options including the client’s current holdings. S.E.E.D. provides recommended investments and portfolios that match the client’s risk profile. Clients receive communication and advice regarding their investments and recommended updates throughout the year.
Since S.E.E.D. is not contracted for the ongoing investment management, it is the client’s responsibility to follow the investment advice and to make the adjustments as recommended.
An annual charge ranging from $150 to $720 is charged as retainer for this service. An hourly charge ranging from $80 to $200 is assessed for additional work including, but not limited to, the following:
- Investment company paperwork
- Opening accounts
- Service work including beneficiary changes and tracking performance
- Calling service centers to make investment purchases or redemptions
- Online assistance to make investment purchases or redemptions
- Investment company website setup and training
- Researching funds not directly related to the investment company (at the discretion of S.E.E.D.). For example, if a client’s investments are at Vanguard, S.E.E.D. will research Vanguard funds. Researching the “universe” of mutual funds or another investment company’s funds will be billed at an hourly rate.
Customized Investment Management
Customized Investment Management is an alternative to the Traditional Management Strategy. The goal of a Customized Management Strategy can vary greatly, but a general commonality is a focus on higher income and capital appreciation. Each client in this investment program has a Customized Strategy based on their unique needs and perspectives.
The portfolio itself is designed in two specific parts: fixed income and individual stocks. The fixed income portion of the portfolio is generally comprised of mutual funds and ETFs (although if deemed necessary it can be individual bonds), while the equity portion of the portfolio is generally comprised of 15 to 20 different individual equities diversified across many individual industries such as: Leisure, Oil and Gas Refining, Restaurants, Utilities, Insurance, REITs, Packaged Foods, Tobacco, Asset Management, Beverages, Drug Manufacturers, Industrial Metals and Minerals, Telecom Services, Consumer Electronics, Internet Content and Information, Aerospace and Defense, etc.
In the Customized Management Strategy, very few clients have the exact same holdings due to timing, investment goals, and tax situations.
S.E.E.D. rebalances the accounts twice yearly unless a lack of volatility creates a scenario where asset values have not “spread” from their targets. S.E.E.D. will periodically decide to remove, restrict or add an equity position to manage risk per the client’s objective.
A Fundamental Approach to Investing
At S.E.E.D. Planning Group we approach equity investing by focusing on the characteristics we believe make a company attractive. Through research we identify companies that have:
- A sustainable competitive advantage
- Growing free cash flows
- A dividend that grows with those free cash flows
- A strong balance sheet
Through our fundamental approach to investing, we help clients achieve their long-term goals by identifying companies we believe will grow their wealth over time.
Why Dividend Growth Matters
Dividend-paying and dividend-growing companies have had a higher annualized return and lower volatility historically than their non-dividend paying counterparts. Rising dividends tends to be an indicator of the other characteristics we believe make a superior business such as a sustainable and competitive advantage, growing free cash flows, and a strong balance sheet. Also, because an asset’s value should be a multiple of the income it produces, higher income generally leads to higher valuations.
Building Customized Portfolios to Meet Your Income Needs
As investors get closer to retirement, the important question shifts from “how much money do I need?” to “will my portfolio generate enough income for my needs?” We build diversified portfolio to meet your income needs through our Customized Portfolio program. Based on your tolerance and need for risk, S.E.E.D. combines fixed income with dividend-growing stocks to build a portfolio whose income increases with your rising income needs over time.
Nothing herewith in is investment advice and is intended for informational purposes only.
S.E.E.D. Planning Group, LLC ("S.E.E.D.") is a Registered Investment Advisor ("RIA"), registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). S.E.E.D. provides financial planning and investment management services for clients in New York and other states across the country. S.E.E.D. will notice, file, and maintain all applicable licenses as required by the various states in which S.E.E.D. conducts business, as applicable. S.E.E.D. renders individualized responses to persons in a particular state only after complying with all regulatory requirements, or pursuant to an applicable state exemption or exclusion.
This web site is intended to provide general information about S.E.E.D. It is not intended to offer investment advice. Information regarding investment products and services are provided solely to read about our investment philosophy, our strategies, and to be able to contact us for further information.
Market data, articles, and other content on this web site are based on generally-available information and are believed to be reliable. S.E.E.D. does not guarantee the accuracy of the information contained in this web site. The information is of a general nature and should not be construed as investment advice.
S.E.E.D. will provide all prospective clients with a copy of our current Form ADV, Part 2A ("Disclosure Brochure") and the Brochure Supplement for each advisory person supporting a particular client. The Disclosure Brochure and Supplement are updated at least annually and are available on the SEC website at: You may also contact S.E.E.D. to request a copy.
If you have any questions regarding Compliance and Regulatory information contact us.