Experience - Jeffrey Smith, co-founder, has over 28 years of professional portfolio management experience. He holds CFP(R), and CFA(R) designations as well as an MBA. Less than 1% of advisors hold both the CFP(R) and CFAR) designations. Over the years, Mr. Smith has refined his expertise in all major asset classes including domestic and international equities, emerging markets, fixed income, real estate and alternative investment strategies. Experience has been global in scope and includes the development and implementation of retirement plans in Canada, the U.K., Israel, Hong Kong and the Netherlands in addition to the United States.
Professional designations and memberships include:
Certified Financial Analyst (CFA)
Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
Member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)
MBA in Finance - DePaul University
BA in Economics - Northern Illinois University
Member of the Wilmette and Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce
Technology - NSIC uses, and makes available to clients, Black Diamond (R) performance reporting technology. Black Diamond(R) is a sophisticated tool that allows us to integrate all client investment positions, evaluate portfolio performance as well as permit clients to keep track of their balances and returns independently, at any time and all in a single place via a personalized application ("app"). In addition, NSIC utilizes Money Tree(R) Total Planning System applications to construct meaningful long-term financial planning "road maps" for our clients. These applications allow us to conduct sophisticated and powerful "what if?" scenario analyses with our clients.
Fees - NSIC prides itself on keeping costs low for our clients while providing exemplary service. Our fees start at 95 basis points per annum for assets held in custody. NSIC has a $1.0 million minimum account size.
NSIC engages in fee-only relationships, and as such, is neither motivated by commission-based compensation structures nor is subject to the potential conflicts of interest that may result under such structures.
Why Fee Only Is Important - A financial planner who has a financial stake in the course of action that he/she recommends to a client faces an inherent conflict of interest and cannot be considered objective and unbiased. The vast majority of finanical advisors in the United States are sellers of financial products. A significant portion or all of their income may be dependent upon their ability to steer clients to a limitied number of financial products (putting aside the confilict-of-interest factor, this limit of choices, in and of itself, often is enough to impact the quality of the investment advice). Such "advisors" include stock-brokers, insurance agents, accountants, attorneys as well as brokers who refer to themselves as financial planners/advisors. Many of their clients are not aware of their advisor's lack of true independence. As a fee-only planning firm, NSIC is able to operate in an objective and unbiased manner, free of such conflcts.
Fidelity - NSIC uses Fidelity Investments as a third-party custodian for our client investment assets. Fidelity maintains professional liability coverage with a one billion dollar limit for the protection of assets held in custody via NSIC. This is the maximum allowable dollar amount of such insurance coverage for asset custodians.
Client Servicing - NSIC offers quarterly meetings for clients. Meetings are encouraged to be in person, when practical, and serve to confirm that we remain on-track to meet goals and to modify plans accordingly if material life-style changes have taken place that need to be taken into consideration. During times of market volatility and if warranted, we reach-out to clients to advise on the status and stability of the market. We also provide an annual letter each year to review the prior year and to give an assesment of what to anticipate in the upcoming year. NSIC makes it a point to return all phone calls and E-mails within a 24 hour period. If you have a concern, it is our concern as well, and we want our clients to know we are always there for them.