FAQ

What is OPCM’s history?

The firm was founded over 80 years ago as an investment management boutique for sophisticated investors by Jack Stephenson, an early partner with Dodge & Cox, and Phelps Hunter, a portfolio manager with Crocker Bank. By successfully transitioning ownership throughout the generations, OPCM has become a well‐established multi-asset class manager with $1.5 billion in assets under management (as of 6/30/2017). Ownership has evolved from the original two founders to the diverse ownership today, which includes 14 current OPCM employees.

What does Osborne provide?

The rare combination of sophisticated Investment Management and active Financial Planning. We offer all services for one fee and pride ourselves on top‐quality client service. Each client has a team working for them at Osborne. You will work directly with your own Portfolio Counselor (PC) who is a seasoned CFP® professional on staff. The PC knows the details of your portfolio, regularly speaks with the investment management team, and is experienced in financial planning.

How is Osborne Partners different?
  • We customize portfolios over six major asset classes similar to large foundations and endowments
  • We manage portfolios in‐house versus hiring outside managers
  • We use nearly all individual securities versus buying mutual funds or other investment products
  • We have a long history of generating stock‐like returns with less than 60% allocated to stocks
  • We concentrate on reducing downside risk
  • We include customized, active financial planning services from experienced CFP® professionals on staff

General
What is a registered investment advisor and how is that different from a broker‐dealer?

A Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) is registered with the Securties and Exchange Commission (SEC) or state securities authorities. RIAs are different from broker‐dealers since they are often not paid on the sale or purchase of securities or commission/product based. RIAs have a fiduciary obligation to put the client’s interests above our own, regardless of all other circumstances. RIAs are also required to disclose any possible conflicts of interest to our clients. Broker‐dealers as opposed to RIAs, follow the suitability rule (only details that the broker‐dealer has to reasonably believe that any recommendations made are suitable for clients but their own interests may come first) and are regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

What is a fee‐based (fee‐only) adviser and how is that different than commission‐based?

A fee‐only advisor’s management fee is normally based on a percentage of your investment assets. The manager does not accept any fees or compensation based on product sales. This is different from fees based on commissions where fees are earned by the sale of financial products. At Osborne, we make it easy – it is one fee based on your account value regardless of holdings, transactions, or financial planning. The account value is assessed each quarter (all accounts in your household combined) and you can clearly see how fees are calculated.

What is an ADV?

Form ADV is used by investment advisors to register with the SEC and is required to be filed on an annual basis. Form ADV Part 2 is formatted like a brochure and required to be given to all prospective and current clients. Some of the topics in the brochure include detailed information on advisory services offered, fee schedule, disciplinary information, conflicts of interest, as well as background information on the investment team.


Investments
How can you improve my portfolio?

The majority of portfolios we see from new clients either lack portfolio diversity, contain expensive and poor performing products, or are filled with investments managed by outside managers. We improve portfolios by customizing to your risk/return standards, properly diversifying, improving tax efficiency, reducing multiple layers of fees, and improving long‐term risk‐adjusted performance.

Why does Osborne not buy products or have funds like other firms?

Since 1937, Osborne Partners has generated revenue from one source – investment management fees. If our clients succeed, and their portfolios rise in value, our firm’s revenue rises. If we protect client portfolios during difficult markets, our firm’s revenue stream is protected as well. We firmly believe selling products to clients, hiring other people to manage client portfolios, and making money on commissions defeats the purpose of proper portfolio management.


Service
Who will I work with at OPCM?

You will work with a single point of contact, a Portfolio Counselor with at least 15 years of experience. They will be your pointperson for all things financial. Have questions about your portfolio or the recent markets? Want to update an old financial plan? Need to update your beneficiaries? Need to complete your annual RMD? Your Portfolio Counselor is there to help.

How frequently do I receive statements from OPCM? Can I see a sample statement?

OPCM’s very thorough statements are distributed quarterly either via the online client portal or to your mailing address. If you’d like to see a sample statement, just ask! You will continue to receive monthly statements, trade confirmations, and tax documents from your custodian (ex. Charles Schwab or TDAmeritrade).

Where are our meetings held?

We want to make it convenient for you! Meetings can be held in either of our offices (San Francisco or Menlo Park), via phone, or at your home.

Can I bring my grown children to a meeting so they can learn about the family’s finances?

Yes of course! We find having “family meetings” to discuss finances is extremely valuable. We can always set up a conference call for those that live far away.

How do I get started?

Give us a call/email and we’ll walk you through the next steps. We’ll review your current statements and provide paperwork to either link on to your existing accounts or to move your portfolio to another custodian. You will work with your Portfolio Counselor to create a customized Investment Policy Guideline (IPG) which includes your investment strategy and gauges your willingness and tolerance for risk. You will have access to our OPCM tools – our website, client portal, and account aggregator. The investment team, following your investment policy guideline, begins to allocate your portfolio once the paperwork is completed. Typically portfolios are fully allocated in 1‐4 months. We have a history of client relationships that last decades, so we do not completely reallocate your portfolio on day one.