Frequently Asked Questions
- Who regulates Conner Management Group?
- Are my assets pooled with other client's assets?
1. Why do I need a professional investment manager?
As with accountants, lawyers and plumbers, people hire investment professionals to help them with the specialized task of managing their money, while they focus their time and effort on other matters. Managing investments requires objectivity, substantial knowledge, and plenty of time to monitor the markets and watch for opportunities. The right investment manager can keep your investment program moving forward to help you achieve your long term financial goals.
2. How does CMG differ from a traditional stockbroker? What is the difference between a Registered Investment Advisor and a broker/dealer?
Conner Management Group is a fee-only registered investment adviser. As an investment management firm, we are concerned with the growth of your portfolio and the protection of your assets. We are not a sales organization. We work directly for you, the client, and receive no compensation from any other source. A stockbroker is a sales person, who is generally compensated by commissions relating to trading activity by generating the sale/purchase of a security through their firm.
4. What is the minimum account size you accept for new clients?
Our present minimum account size is $25,000.
5. I don't live near your Houston office. Can I still do business with you?
Yes. Several of our clients live outside of the Houston area. While an initial face-to-face meeting is helpful in establishing a good working relationship, video, written, e-mail and phone contacts can all deliver quality service.
6. How does a separately managed account (i.e. my own stock/bond portfolio) with Conner Management Group differ from a mutual fund or pooled account?
A separately managed account is an investment account managed by professionals in which you own the securities, not units of a mutual fund. Because of this, separately managed accounts are more transparent than mutual funds or other pooled investment vehicles as you can see what companies you are invested in. Separate accounts also allow your investment manager to address your personal investment goals more specifically and they allow you to take advantage of certain tax efficiencies that are unavailable when you invest exclusively in a fund.
7. I would like to invest the contributions I am making in my retirement plan with your firm but my employer limits me to a specific list of choices. What should I do?
You may open up a self-directed brokerage account if your plan allows this option and then we will direct your plan investments as part of an investment advisory relationship established with you. Otherwise, if your plan does not currently allow for a self-directed option for employees, you can approach your employer and request that the plan be amended to allow for a participant self-directed option.
8. If I have a retirement account, can I have management fees taken from the account? Is this considered a distribution?
Yes, you may have your management fees taken directly from your retirement account. Management fees are not considered an IRA distribution and are not subject to taxes or penalties.
9. How do you manage my account if you don’t have custody of my assets?
When your account is established with the custodian (the brokerage firm), the account is placed in your name and you retain full authority for the assets in the account. You provide Conner Management Group with limited trading authorization on your account. This authority allows us to initiate buy and sell security trades within your account.
10. Can I allocate just a portion of an existing IRA account to CMG for management?
Yes. This is easily done and is not a problem at all.
11. How are you compensated? When do you get paid?
Clients are assessed a management fee, in advance of each quarter, that is based on the market value of their account at the end of the previous quarter. FOR EXAMPLE, an account valued at $100,000 on December 31, with a 2% management fee, would be charged $500 (1/4 of 2%) for the first quarter. The account will be charged the next quarter's fee based on the value of the account at the end of the previous quarter. The management fee is deducted directly from your account and, as a courtesy, you will receive a fee deduction notice. The fee deduction will appear on your statement.
12. Will my account information remain confidential?
Conner Management Group will not disclose your name, your personal information or your account information to anyone except regulatory authorities without your express permission.
13. Will you charge extra to consult with my tax adviser, insurance provider or attorney?
No. Coordinating your investment program with your other advisers is part of our service.
14. Are your investment management fees tax deductible?
The IRS does allow a deduction for investment management fees but you should consult with your tax adviser to determine if it applies in your situation.
15. What is a custodian and why do I need one?
A custodian is the financial institution that holds your securities which are being managed by Conner Management Group. Firms such as Interactive Brokers, Fidelity, Charles Schwab, and TD Ameritrade provide safekeeping and does much of the administrative work associated with your account so that Conner Management Group can focus on managing the investments within your portfolio.
16. If I need my assets for other purposes is there a termination fee?
No. There are no cancellation or redemption fees. We look forward to you re-opening your account when circumstances have changed. Fees for closed accounts are reimbursed on a pro-rata basis.
17. Can I have multiple accounts with you?
Yes, clients may want an individual account, a joint account with their spouse, and IRA's as well. We can also set up custodial accounts for children, college education funds, and trust accounts.
18. What reports will I receive and how often?
You will receive regular reports of assets and transactions from the custodian of your account. These can be provided on a monthly or quarterly basis. The custodian will also provide detailed reports helpful for filing your income tax. We will make every effort to satisfy your special reporting needs.
19. How do I get started?
- Meet and/or talk with Conner Management Group to determine the strategy for your account.
- Complete our Investment Advisory Agreement.
- Set up the custodian account. We will provide all the necessary forms.
- Deposit your funds or transfer the account from your current custodian.
20. How long does it take to get fully invested?
There is no simple answer to this question. Whether your account starts out partially invested or 100% in cash, the time it takes to become fully invested varies with market conditions. In a majority of cases accounts are fully engaged within a few months.
21. Will you notify me before you make trades in my account?
No, we will not. We make trades in each account according to the strategy on which we agreed. Conner Management Group is a discretionary money manager. It is our job to manage your investment portfolio based upon your risk tolerance and investment objectives. We seek to make the necessary moves to protect your assets and to achieve an attractive return on your investment. We take the decision making out of your hands, thereby alleviating you from this burden.
22. What about my existing portfolio? What will you do with it?
Except for taxable accounts with substantial embedded capital gains, we will fully convert your portfolio into a Conner Management Group model. We put our best efforts into selecting and monitoring securities for our client portfolios and it is impossible for us to adequately follow all the securities which clients bring over from previous advisers.
23. I own some stock that I want to retain but I don't need you to manage it. How would you handle this?
We recognize that it is convenient to keep your assets together, including those which you do not want us to manage. If you need to keep these securities in your managed account we can arrange to deduct the value of this security when your investment management fee is calculated.
24. What is the best way to add money to my account?
Most people add money by wire, although by check is acceptable. Most custodians are part of financial networks that readily allow the movement of funds from one institution to another. If you use a check, it should be made out to the exact name of your account, including the account number. Checks should be mailed directly to your account representative at the custodian institution, not to Conner Management Group.
25. Will I be able to view my accounts online?
Our recommended custodian allows 24/7 online access to accounts.
26. Will I receive reports and proxy voting forms for each stock I own in my account?
You have a choice about whether to receive mailings from stocks which you own. Most clients choose not to receive these materials. Conner Management Group is able to vote proxies on behalf of our clients, thereby relieving them of this burden.
27. Who regulates Conner Management Group?
Conner Management Group is an SEC Registered Investment Adviser and as such must abide by all applicable rules under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The Securities and Exchange Commission conducts periodic reviews of our compliance with their rules.
28. Are my assets pooled with other client’s assets?
No, all clients maintain their assets in individual accounts. Each account appears in the client’s name.