FAQ

How is Mentor Capital different from a broker or insurance agent?

We are different because our clients receive advice that is objective and free from most of the conflicts of interest that are present in a commission-based relationship. We are different because our clients don’t have to worry about whether our recommendations are in their best interests or are designed simply to earn high commissions for us. We are different because our clients always know what they are paying for our services. With a commission-based financial planner, you never know what you are paying, because of hidden fees and trailing commissions.

What is the process for your financial planning services?

Our first meeting, for which there is no charge, gives the potential client an opportunity to assess our expertise and to decide whether there will be value in working with us. It also gives us an opportunity to determine whether our services are right for the potential client. If an engagement occurs, a second meeting is scheduled to gather data and documents from the client – tax returns, investment statements, wills and trusts, employee benefits manuals, insurance policies. At a third meeting, a number of preliminary reports are presented for review and correction. A fourth meeting is typically where the financial plan, analysis and recommendations are presented. Additional meetings may be scheduled every two weeks or so until the plan is fully implemented. Then, meetings are held each quarter for updates and additional implementation, if needed.

How Mentor Capital assures the safety and integrity of client assets

As federal authorities continue to unwind the alleged Ponzi scheme perpetrated by New York investment manager Bernard Madoff, we’d like to offer the following observations in an effort to distinguish ourselves from this shameful thief.

First, Mentor Capital deals only with well-known, publicly available investment funds that report their results and holdings on a regular basis. We perform due diligence, carefully reviewing the nature and holdings of each fund before we recommend it to our clients.

Second, all funds in which we invest client assets are independently audited each year by well-known public accounting firms.

Third, all client assets invested through Mentor Capital are held in the client’s name in brokerage accounts or directly with the fund company. An independent third party prices all client assets each day.

Fourth, Mentor Capital does not use solicitors or feeder funds to gather assets under management. Most of our clients are referred to us by other clients or through NAPFA, the fee-only industry organization.

Finally, all client assets are invested transparently, and clients receive monthly statements from a third-party custodian reporting all positions.

The Madoff scandal has unfairly given a black eye to the entire investment advisory business. But there are thousands of ethical, objective investment advisors who put their clients’ interests ahead of their own. Mentor Capital is one of those.

What is the history of Mentor Capital?

Mentor Capital Management Inc., an Illinois corporation, was founded in 1992 and is registered with the Illinois Securities Department as an investment advisory firm.  It has applied for an exemption from registration with the Texas Securities Board.  Mentor Capital Management Inc.’s SEC File Number is 123176; its IRS Employer Identification Number is 36-3854239. Its founder, president, principal, chief investment officer and chief compliance officer is John S. Davis, CFP.

How much do you charge for managing investments?

Fees are based on the size of the portfolio under management and are assessed quarterly. They range from 0.5% per year for very large portfolios to 1.0% per year for smaller portfolios.

Do I have to sign a contract for your services?

No.  It is always at the client’s discretion whether or not to continue with our services.

Will I know what the charge will be for financial planning services?

At the first meeting you will know exactly what this fee will be.  After all, how can you decide whether to engage our services unless you know how much it will cost?

What is the fee for financial planning services?

Fees for the financial planning services are based on the client’s needs and the complexity of the client’s situation.  During our initial (complimentary) meeting with you, we determine — and tell you — how much your financial planning fee will be.

How frequently will my account be reviewed?

We are constantly monitoring all investments that we recommend. Client portfolio meetings take place each quarter, and formal portfolio rebalancing takes place when necessary, every six to 12 months.

When will I receive statements on my portfolio?

Each month you will receive a statement from the broker or brokers holding your investments.  Each quarter you will receive a statement from Mentor Capital showing dollar benefit for the previous quarter, change in each investment from the previous quarter, and a list of all current positions you hold.  Each year you will receive a statement showing how your portfolio performed during the prior year and for trailing periods, and comparing your performance with that of market benchmarks.  We believe it is extremely important to give you tools to assess our performance and whether you are getting your money’s worth from our services.

Do I have any say in what investments are made in my account?

Yes, we will not take any action until we receive your permission.  You will receive a notice, either by email or telephone, for each and every purchase or sale recommendation that we make.  However, we try to discourage clients from selecting their own investments.  We simply do not have the time to assess the hundreds of investment ideas we receive from clients each year.  We recommend that if a client wants to hold stocks and mutual funds that do not meet our screening criteria, they hold them in accounts not under our management.

What is NAPFA?

NAPFA, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, is an organization of experienced, highly qualified financial planners who are compensated solely through fees paid by their clients. NAPFA-registered financial advisors strongly believe that the only way for a consumer to receive objective, unbiased financial advice is by engaging the services of a Fee-Only financial planner.