User FAQs

 

Linking accounts

 

 

I cannot link my accounts. Can you please help?

 

Let’s try a few steps to take care of the issue:

 

1. First try logging into your financial institution’s website directly to ensure you are using the proper login credentials.

2. Next, log back into yourLeafvest's digital platform.

3. If you do not see the icon of your financial institution in the Add Accounts page, then type the name in the search bar. That way you will see a drop down menu with the matching names.

4. Avoid copying and pasting text and passwords.

5. Try deleting and re-adding your financial accounts.

 

If these steps do not work, please send this information to your Leafvest’s support email and we will research your issue. In your email please provide:

 

A. The user’s email used to log into your advisor’s digital platform

B. The financial institution’s website URL

C. Any error messages and codes you receive from the digital platform.

D. Please attach screenshots, if possible.

 

 

 

Why should I link my accounts?

 

When you visit your Leafvest’s digital platform, you will have the option to “link” all of your accounts (including your 401K and accounts you have scattered across multiple firms). An advisor of Leafvest will analyze every holding you own, every fee you are paying (with the exception of management fees), and every risk you are taking. The Leafvest advisor will give you a comprehensive analysis and a suggested target asset allocation. You may take this complimentary info and implement the action items on your own. Or, if you decide to move forward with the advisor, at the click of a button, you can transfer your accounts and have your advisor manage your wealth, so long as you meet the minimum investment amount.

 

There are no commissions, just a flat management fee, which is based on your total portfolio value.

 

Is linking your account safe?

 

Yes. It is safe. Leafvest uses the services of CashEdge (Fiserv), a leading provider of account aggregation services to banks, brokerages, and other financial institutions, to safely and securely import your portfolio information. CashEdge stores your encrypted login credentials in a secure, dedicated database. CashEdge uses multi-layered encryption on both their hardware and software.

 

My accounts are not linking even though my credentials are correct.

 

It may be that the website of the financial institution that you selected to link is not the right one. Many financial institutions have multiple websites for different accounts. To confirm that you are selecting the right URL for your financial institution please:

 

1. Type in the name of your financial institution partially in the search box which will open a drop-down menu of matching institutions. Then you can select the one relevant to you.

2. Alternatively, you can also type in the primary website link of your 401K plan in the search box and then click Enter to display the matching institutions.

3. If you are trying to add a 401K, you can also try to search by company name.

 

Once you select the website, you can confirm if it is the correct one by clicking on the link of your "financial institution name" under the login credentials box and logging into the website from there.

 

If you still experience issues, please send us an email with the name of your financial institution and the URL you use to log into their website.

 

Cannot find your financial institution?

 

Here’s what you do to find your financial institution:

 

1. Start typing the name of your financial institution into the search box. A drop-down list of matching institutions will be shown. Select the one that is relevant to you.

2. Alternatively, you can also type or paste the URL of your financial institution or the 401K plan into the search box to display matching results.

3. If you are trying to add a 401K you can also try to search by company name.

 

Once you select the website you can confirm if it is the correct one by clicking on the link of your "financial institution name" under the login credentials box and logging into the website from there.

 

If you still cannot find the institution, please send us an email with the name of your financial institution and the URL you use to log into their website.

 

How do I add additional financial accounts?

 

To add additional financial accounts to your portfolio, please follow these steps:

 

1. Log into your advisor’s digital platform with your email and password.

2. From the Dashboard, click Transfer Another Account from the right of your screen.

3. Select your institution from the list provided or type in the first few characters of the broker name or your company name (for 401K plans) in the field provided. Alternatively, you can also copy/paste your financial institution website’s URL in the search box and click Enter to find it.

4. Select your financial institution from the dropdown list.

5. Enter your login credentials for that financial institution.

 

We have two user names at our brokerage/bank. How do we add both?

 

In the scenario where you and your spouse have accounts at the same financial institutions with different login credentials, or if you want to add the same financial institution twice due to different login information, please follow the steps below:

 

1. Go to the Portfolio page and add your accounts once.

2. Follow the whole product flow until you reach the Dashboard page

3. Click Transfer Another Account.

4. Follow the same steps again to add the second account.

 

 

Security

 

Is my information secure?

 

Yes. Your advisor uses the highest level, bank-grade security measures to keep your information safe. Information is imported securely through CashEdge, a leading provider of account aggregation services to financial institutions.

 

How do you store my brokerage usernames and passwords?

 

Your advisor uses the services of CashEdge (Fiserv), a leading provider of account aggregation services to banks, brokerages, and other financial institutions, to safely and securely import your portfolio information. CashEdge stores your encrypted login credentials in a secure, dedicated database. CashEdge uses multi-layered encryption on both their hardware and software.

 

Why does my advisor need the usernames and passwords I use for my online brokerage accounts?

 

Your advisor requires this information so that we can download and categorize your portfolio information safely and automatically. Without your username and password, we would not be able to request and receive information through a secure, encrypted connection. This information is then analyzed. Your advisor will review your current holdings (stocks, bonds, and mutual funds) from all your accounts, including your 401K. Your advisor will show how much you are really paying and how much less you will have at retirement if you don’t minimize fees. Your advisor will show your risk exposure. In other words, how well did your portfolio hold up in 2008 and other market downturns? Your advisor will then introduce you to a target portfolio option.

 

When/how does my data get updated on your advisor’s digital platform?

 

We aggregate and update data for your account(s) every day using the services of CashEdge, a leading provider of account aggregation services to banks, brokerages, and other financial institutions.

 

Investing with Leafvest Capital

 

To open an account, after you link your accounts and review your analysis, select the "Transfer an account" button. You will be prompted to select the accounts you would like to transfer and asked some additional questions. Your advisor will then email partially completed new account opening forms to you in a DocuSign envelope. You will be asked a few short questions to verify your identity and keep your personal information secure. The next step is to electronically sign the TD Ameritrade forms in the DocuSign envelope and then submit those forms. Your account will be opened within 24-48 hours and your account transfer will be initiated over the coming days.

 

Should you have questions at any time, feel free to email and discuss with one of our Client Support Specialists or give us a call.

 

Is there a minimum amount required to invest?

 

There is minimum investment requirement of $50,000. If you don’t meet the minimum, you can still take advantage of your advisor’s services and “link” any of your accounts (even your 401K and accounts you have scattered at multiple firms). Your advisor will then analyze every holding you own, every fee you are paying, and every risk you are taking. Your advisor will give you a comprehensive analysis and a new asset allocation. You can take this complementary information and implement it on your own.

 

Alternatively, feel free to contact us via email or give us a call for more information.

 

Can I set up a U.S. bank account and invest even if I’m non-U.S. based or not a U.S. citizen?

 

Currently, only U.S. based accounts can be linked. If the account is a U.S. based account, the user can be anywhere in the world and still link and access the account. Your advisor is not able to provide services to individuals who do not have a permanent U.S. mailing address and a U.S. Tax ID Number or U.S. Social Security Number. We are working on a solution for international clients and would be happy to inform you when we do have an update.

 

 

 

How do I open a new account if I don’t have an existing account to link and transfer?

 

If you cannot proceed with the advisor’s online process of linking existing accounts and transferring, we may assist you directly. Please keep in mind there is a minimum account size to invest with this advisor.

 

Please contact us via email or give us a call so that we can send you the necessary information and documents to join.

 

 

 

Performance

 

How does your portfolio stack up?

 

Within seconds, your adivosr will pull in and review your current holdings (stocks, bonds, and mutual funds) from all your accounts, including your 401K. Your advisor will show how much you are really paying and how much less you will have at retirement if you don’t minimize fees. Your advisor will show your risk exposure, for example, how well did your portfolio hold up in 2008 and other market downturns.  Your advisor will then introduce you to a target portfolio option.

 

 

 

What does the performance chart on the analysis page tell me?

 

This chart represents a hypothetical 15 year back-test of the performance of your current allocation and a target allocation to which you have been mapped based on the questions you answered. Where possible, the back-test uses the historic performance of actual holdings. Should a holding not have 15 years’ worth of data or if no public data is available for a holding then we make use of proxy data. You should not only focus on the dollar value of the performance of each allocation, but also on the paths they took. Ask yourself if you are OK with the ups and downs of each asset allocation over the past 15 years. If you are not comfortable with the volatility in the target allocation, edit your profile and lower your risk to see how this might reduce the volatility. It is also important to always remember that past performance does not guarantee future results.

 

How is the performance chart on the analysis page calculated?

 

The past performance of your allocation and the target allocation is calculated using the historic market data for the various holdings. The performance of each holding is calculated using the monthly returns from each holding where possible. All historic returns for these holdings are inclusive of the annual fees charged on these holdings. For the target allocation, in the case where a holding does not have 15 years of data, we use the historic performance data from a close alternative/proxy holding to get the required 15 years’ worth of data. The returns for the close alternative/proxy holding are inclusive of the holdings historic annual fees.

 

For your current allocation, in the case where a holding does not have 15 years of data, we use data from a broad-based index tracking fund with the same broad asset class we have matched the holding to. As we are using an index fund as a proxy for the historic returns, these returns are inclusive of the historic annual fund fees for the index fund. The use of proxy data is explained in more detail below.

 

We generate the historical performance of holdings using the current percentage allocation of your portfolio as it is today, for the following reasons:

1. When we read the holdings from your account through account aggregation, we can only see what you hold today, not what you have held over the last fifteen years.

2. We can’t assume how long you may have been investing or how your holdings may have changed over the past 15 years.

 

Furthermore the calculation reflects:

3. Annual rebalancing of both allocations

4. No transaction fees

5. No taxes

6. Reinvestment of dividends and other earnings

 

Our goal in providing you with this chart is to give you a comparison of the historic performance of your allocation versus the target allocation recommended by your advisor. Ideally we use the historic performance of individual holdings to do this, however this is not always possible as 15 years of historic data is not always available for a holding for various reasons. In these instances, we look for a proxy to help estimate what the performance may have been.

 

For the target allocation, we are typically able to match the existing holding to a similar alternative/proxy holding given that we are able to conduct prior research on the target allocations that are available on this system. However, we are not always able to find a similar alternative/proxy holding in your current allocation because, among other things: (i) we are unable to match a similar alternative/proxy holding to each of your existing holdings without prior research and this cannot easily be done “on the fly” at the moment you import your holdings; and (ii) you may not agree with the holdings we have used as a similar alternative/proxy holding. As a result we use a broadly diversified asset class index fund with the same broad asset class categorization for holdings in your current allocation where the requisite 15 year data is not available. What follows are examples of the performance data used in the back-tested calculation of your target allocation and your current allocation respectively.

 

Does the performance chart on the analysis page include fees?

 

The performance for both your allocation and the target allocation are reduced to account for annual fund fees – the fees all mutual funds and ETFs charge to their shareholders as stated in their disclosure documents. The historic performance for all mutual funds, closed end funds and ETFs are inclusive of annual fund fees, and accordingly all historic performance for both portfolios is inclusive of annual fund fees. When it comes to proxy funds, we include fund fees by using historic performance data for the proxy which is inclusive of the proxy’s historic annual fees. The historic returns for the target allocation include an advisor management fee which is the highest fee your advisor charges. The estimated performance of your allocation assumes NO management fee since we do not know what management fees were being charged to your allocation.

 

 

 

What data is used to calculate the performance chart?

 

The performance data used in the back-tested calculation of your current allocation: If historic data is available for a holding, it is used in the historic performance. If a holding hasn’t been in existence for 15 years or if no public performance data is available then historic performance for the holding is sourced from a broad asset class that is related to the holding’s asset class categorization.

 

For example, as of July 2015:

 

1. If you currently hold a percentage of your portfolio in the ETF SPY (SPDR S&P 500 ETF): the ETF SPY has 15 years’ worth of data and the data is publically available therefore we will use the performance data from SPY in the target allocation portfolio’s back-tested performance.

 

2. However, if you currently hold a percentage of your portfolio in VTV (Vanguard Value ETF): the ETF VTV does not have a full 15 years of performance data as it has only been in existence since 01/26/2004. In order to retrieve a full 15 years’ worth of historic data for the holding we will use performance data from a broad based index fund that matches the broad asset class categorization of VTV to fill in any of the “missing” data. In the case of VTV, which has the broad asset class categorization of US Large Cap Stock, we would make use of the performance data of an investable index fund that tracks an index of US Large Cap Stocks such as SPY (SPDR S&P 500 ETF) to fill in any missing data on the primary ETF VTV.

 

The performance data used in the back-tested calculation of your target allocation: If historic data is available for a holding, it is used in the historic performance. If a holding hasn’t been in existence for 15 years or if no public performance data is available then historic performance for the holding is sourced from similar alternative/proxy holding that has the required data.

 

For example, as of July 2015:

 

1. If the target allocation recommends you hold a percentage of the portfolio in the ETF SPY (SPDR S&P 500 ETF): the ETF SPY has 15 years’ worth of data and the data is publically available therefore we will use the performance data from SPY in the target allocation portfolio’s back-tested performance.

 

2. However, if the target allocation recommends you hold VTV (Vanguard Value ETF): the ETF VTV does not have a full 15 years of performance data as it has only been in existence since 01/26/2004. In order to retrieve a full 15 years’ worth of historic data for the holding we will use performance data from a close alternative/proxy fund to fill in any of the “missing” data. In the case of VTV we may make use of the performance data for the mutual fund VIVIX (Vanguard Value Index Fund Institutional Shares mutual) to fill in any missing data on the primary ETF VTV.

 

 

Fees

 

What does the fees chart on analysis page tell me?

 

The performance for both your allocation and the target allocation are reduced to account for all fund fees – the fees all mutual funds and ETFs charge to their shareholders and state in their disclosure documents. We calculate the weighted average fund fee per asset class based on the underlying investments and then adjust the historic returns for your allocation and the target allocation by their respective fund fees portfolio. The historic returns for the target allocation also include a your advisor’s management fee which is the highest fee your advisor charges.

 

 

 

Why are fees important?

 

Fund fees and trading commissions might seem small but they can have a significant impact on your portfolio’s long-term performance. You essentially "lose” twice because every dollar paid in fees is a dollar you don’t have today, plus you don’t receive any long-term growth potential on that dollar.

 

 

Are there different types of fees?

 

Yes.

 

Annual fees: Are recurring charges to cover the costs of managing and operating a fund over a given year. This cost is often represented as a percentage of a mutual fund’s net assets, called the Total Expense Ratio (TER). Expense Ratios are a very useful comparative 

measure. Index or passive funds generally have lower expense ratios compared to actively managed funds because they are cheaper to setup and maintain.

 

Trading commissions: Are a direct cost charged by brokerages for executing buy and sell trades on your behalf. They directly reduce the value of a portfolio thus creating a drag on your portfolio’s long term returns. The fees charged per transaction typically range between $7 and $50 depending on the institution and investment type.

 

Up-front or sales load fees: Are charged when you initially invest in a fund. They are charged as a percentage of the amount invested. They immediately reduce the amount you have to invest and therefore negatively impact your future potential returns. Load fees can range between 1% to 8.5% depending on the institution and investment type.

 

Deferred load or withdrawal fees: Are charged when you sell a fund. They are charged as a percentage of the amount sold. With deferred loads you are charged on your initial investment plus all capital appreciation that you have earned in the fund.

 

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Your advisor works hard to reduce your costs

 

Reducing Annual fees: Your advisor seeks to identify the best fit, lowest cost index funds in each of the respective asset classes for your target portfolio to minimize the annual fund fees you pay. The annual fund fees for advisors portfolios typically range between 0.13% and 0.16%. Approximately 85% of your portfolio can be traded commission free, reducing the transactions fees in your portfolio and increasing your retirement savings.

 

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How does your advisor calculate the costs shown in the fees chart?

 

Leafvest assumes a fixed 8% annual return for your portfolio over the next 20 years to calculate the Dollar value of your portfolio excluding all costs. Leafvest calculates the weighted average expense ratio of your current portfolio. Leafvest  then calculates the difference between how much your portfolio will be worth excluding fees and how much it will be worth given your current funds fees. Leafvest then does the exact same calculation for your target portfolio and compares the difference.

 

Here is a basic example using 1% fees:

No fees: $100,000 investment X 8% growth X 20 years = $466,096

With a 1% fee: $100,000 investment X (8% growth - 1% fee) X 20 years = $386,968

Impact of fees: $79,128

 

Assumptions made in this calculation:

Your advisor assumes a time horizon of 20 years and a flat 8%. The target portfolio expense calculation assumes that you sell all of your existing holdings to purchase the recommended holdings.

 

How much will I pay in management fees?

 

Our annual fee for the investment management services provided to you will be an asset-based fee. This fee is prorated and billed on a quarterly basis, in arrears, based upon the average daily balance of the assets in the previous quarter. No portion of the fee will be based on capital gains or appreciation of the assets. You authorize us to deduct the fee directly from the account(s) where such assets are held, pursuant to applicable custody rules. It is your responsibility to verify the accuracy of the calculation of the fee; the custodian will not do so. In addition to the fee, unaffiliated third parties may impose certain charges. These charges may include, but are not limited to, custodial fees, brokerage commissions, transaction fees, charges imposed directly by a mutual, index or exchange traded fund, transfer taxes, and wire transfer and electronic fund fees. We do not receive any portion of these commissions, fees or costs.