Grubman Wealth Management Overview
We’re a small team of financial experts who have worked with clients for over twenty years to achieve their financial goals. We look at your finances from a holistic point of view, offering what we believe is the “crucial trifecta” of integrated financial planning, investment management and tax planning. Our comprehensive approach allows us to pay attention to tax and expense minimization, which, when combined with our passive investment strategy, makes for the most prudent and efficient path to savings. We’re also deep believers in technology, offering just the right balance of financial software expertise and personalized client management.
In 1996, our founder, Audrey Grubman, began advising clients at tech startups on how to invest and manage their money. In the two decades that have since passed, Grubman Wealth Management has grown into a full-service firm that now advises about 140 clients with more than $300 million of assets under management.
Most of our clients are referred to us by other clients, so it is important to us that our clients are satisfied with our advice and service. Read our Code of Ethics for how we make decisions on behalf of our clients.
Initially, we help clients develop a comprehensive long-term financial plan. We meet with each client individually to become familiar with all aspects of their finances. We also inquire about their financial and life goals and priorities, and from this gathering of information, we build an investment strategy that we then manage for the lifetime of our relationship with the client. Contact us today to find out how we could help you.
Our typical clients are individuals and families concerned with how to most effectively plan for their lifestyle and goals. Whether their primary focus is on funding the future college education of a child, saving for retirement, giving charitably or figuring out how to fit a new Tesla into the budget, our clients see the value in having a trustworthy professional help them make decisions using a comprehensive solution that includes financial planning, investment management and tax services.
Some of our clients are working professionals; others are retirees. Our prerequisites for working with a client are that they are looking for a long-term relationship and are are willing to adhere to our investment philosophy which is firmly grounded in a passive investing strategy. We are not a good fit for clients looking for stock tips, extreme strategies or other shortcuts in the hope of hitting an investment home run.
Contact us today to find out if we would be a good fit for your needs.
Ethics and Values
Yes, we are a fiduciary. We are an independent Registered Investment Advisory firm, subject to the fiduciary standard and regulated by the Securities Exchange Commission.
There are two standards to which financial advisors are held: the suitability standard and the fiduciary standard. The suitability standard requires advisors to give advice that is “suitable”, i.e., that it fits the client’s investment objective, time horizon and experience. It does not require advisors to recommend the best investment; only one that is “suitable”, and there is no requirement to disclose compensation or conflicts of interest.
The fiduciary standard goes well beyond offering suitable advice – it requires an advisor to always act in the client’s best interest, to disclose compensation arrangements and to avoid conflicts of interest. Whether the advice pertains to investments, whether to pay off a mortgage, roll over a qualified plan, contribute to retirement accounts, or anything else, the fiduciary standard requires that an advisor always place the client’s interest ahead of his or her own.
If you have a question about whether an advisor is a fiduciary, ask! And ask if he or she will put that in writing.
An ethical client/advisor relationship is one in which the advisor acts with undivided loyalty and in the best interest of the client. The client understands the services the advisor provides and how the advisor is compensated. This type of relationship is one in which potential conflicts of interest are minimized and fully disclosed.
A potential of conflict exists in every professional engagement. The goal is to minimize the potential by compensating your advisor for the work itself—not for transactions executed or products sold—by transparency of fees and through full disclosure of potential conflicts.
One common issue illustrates a potential conflict and how we handle it. We advise clients on debt management. Paying off a mortgage reduces the assets that we manage, and our fee along with it. Our fiduciary obligation is to place clients’ interests ahead of ours, so if paying off the mortgage is the right move for the client, that’s what we’ll advise.
This isn’t just our ethical obligation; it’s also a good business strategy—we get all of our clients by referral, and it’s more important to us to have a satisfied client with a smaller amount of assets than an untrusting client with more money—or, worst of all, no client at all.
Yes, and you can view our Code of Ethics here.
We commit to always act in the best interests of our clients and to strive to help our clients in every way we can. We want to be honest, fair and forthright; to provide excellent advice and to continually work to improve our knowledge. We value respect toward clients, coworkers and everyone we have contact with.
Read about our fees and services.
View our Form ADV disclosure document for Registered Investment Advisors.
Madoff’s firm prepared fraudulent portfolio statements. Our clients receive monthly statements directly from Fidelity or Schwab, so it wouldn’t be possible for us to doctor the statements.
We spend a lot of time and resources protecting clients’ accounts and data. We continually remind clients to check the brokerage statements for account values and transactions to protect against fraud. We verify outgoing money requests by calling each client beforehand, and notify clients of checks and other electronic transfers of over $10,000 when they happen.
By doing so, our clients have a built-in system of checks and balances they can rely upon.
We do not pay for referrals, nor do we get paid for making referrals. Referrals reflect on the referrer. We only want the professionals to whom we refer clients to do a good job for them, and make us look good as a result.
Our clients typically have investable assets of $1 million or more. We also work with clients who do not yet meet this threshold but are on a path that will get them there in the future.
We do not sell insurance products, draft legal documents, or offer trustee services.
We are an independent, fee-only wealth manager. This means that we are a registered investment advisor with a fiduciary responsibility to act in our clients’ best interests. We do not accept any compensation based on product sales to best align our interests with our clients’ and serve our clients with utmost integrity and care.
As a fee-only wealth manager, we do not sell products.
Yes. As a part of our financial planning services, we will help you manage and plan your retirement benefits plan(s).
We provide asset allocation developed as part of a smart financial plan, weighing all considerations of our clients’ resources, current financial needs, future goals and downside risks. Our investment strategy is a passive strategy.
Our financial planning process models different asset allocations, each with its own expected investment return and the risk associated with that return. Together with our clients, we land on the asset allocation expected to generate the growth necessary to fund client objectives, with sufficient protection from downside risk. We implement the asset allocation developed from the financial plan using our recommended investments for each asset allocation.
We use mutual funds and ETFs to obtain the greatest diversification with low expenses and tax efficiency.
We use funds from Dimensional Fund Adviser and Exchange-Traded Index Funds.
Client Relationship Management
Communicating often and clearly with clients is a great priority of ours. We start with the financial planning process. The plan results in a comprehensive list of action items for us and the client. This first stage of our relationship with clients is intensive, with at least two meetings and lots of phone calls and email follow-up along the way and afterward.
We communicate with clients frequently throughout the year by phone, email, web meeting and face to face.
While it’s our goal and desire to be highly communicative and transparent, we also understand that our clients are busy and are probably hiring an outside advisor in order to save themselves time and headache. So, we practice highly efficient communication and will work with you to ensure that you’re hearing from us as often and exactly as much as you would like.
How we work with your family members depends on their ages and needs. Sometimes we manage small investment accounts for dependent children or children who have inherited assets. We also work with “emerging adults” to prepare them for financial independence. During our initial meeting, we will discuss your family’s needs and make a plan for all future scenarios.
During the planning process we’ll look at your existing portfolio and explain how our portfolio compares and the changes we would recommend. If you have positions that would generate taxes upon sale, we deal with them on a case-by-case basis, weighing tax cost against risk, and discuss strategies for minimizing the risk of a concentrated portfolio and for divesting over time.
Of course, we are biased, but we think that most people would benefit from working with us. Our clients are very smart and accomplished people: C-level executives, entrepreneurs, financial professionals and professors. Some of our clients know a lot about personal finance and could probably do much of what we do for themselves. But even these clients often find it difficult to take the actions they need to, either because they are too busy or psychologically unable to take action when it’s needed most. We serve as a trusted advisor, doing what we do best so that our clients can free up their time to do what they do best.
Yes. We have a long list of clients who would be happy to speak with you. Contact us today for an introduction.
Contact us today to arrange an introductory no-fee, no-obligation meeting to learn more about how we can help you.