About Gulf Point Advisors
What types of clients do you serve?
Our firm serves high net worth individuals and their families, businesses, and foundations to provide customized investment strategies, credit and lending advisory*, life transition planning and family wealth preservation strategies.
* Credit and lending services offered through dedicated third party partners.
What are your investment philosophies?
We believe in building customized investment portfolios that are tax efficient and cost effective with an eye towards generating high risk adjusted returns.
What type of service can your clients expect?
Our team is committed to accessibility and exceptional service. We’ve chosen to limit our client base so we can provide undivided attention. Coordinating with our clients’ tax, legal, and other outside advisors to ensure strategies are aligned is also integral to our process.
What methods are available to clients for moving funds in and out of their accounts?
Our clients have access to move money in and out of their accounts through an ACH, wire, or check transaction. We can set up automatic, reoccurring instructions as well.
What is your relationship with LPL Financial?
LPL Financial is our broker-dealer and Registered Investment Advisor custodian. As the nation’s largest independent broker/dealer*, they provide an integrated platform of technology, brokerage and investment advisory services to financial advisors.
*As reported by Financial Planning magazine, June 1996-2017, based on total revenue
How are you compensated?
The majority of our business is investment management, which we charge a quarterly fee for based on the amount of assets under management. We believe that offering fee based management services best aligns our interests with our clients’ interests. Our advisors are also licensed insurance agents. From time to time, we may provide our clients with insurance-based products for which we earn a commission.
Compliance and Regulation
What is a custodian?
A custodian is a financial institution that holds customers’ securities for safekeeping to minimize the risk of their theft or loss. A custodian holds securities in electronic or physical form. In addition to holding securities, most custodians also offer other services, such as account administration, transaction settlements, collection of dividends and interest payments, tax support and foreign exchange. Gulf Point Advisors has selected LPL Financial as its custodian. We have the option to utilize other institutional custodians as well.
What is your compliance oversight? Are you a member of FINRA and the SEC?
There are many layers of supervision to help independent firms like ours ensure compliance with all applicable regulations and laws. Gulf Point Advisors’ broker-dealer, LPL Financial, and Registered Investment Advisor (and Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction), GWM Advisors, are regulated by FINRA and the SEC respectively. FINRA and the SEC have oversight in different areas of all securities industry business. Both LPL Financial and GWM Advisors have compliance departments to strive to ensure all standards are being met.
What is the fiduciary rule?
We are required to act in a fiduciary capacity under the Advisers Act. The fiduciary rule requires advisors to act in the best interest of their clients, and to put their clients’ interests above their own. It leaves no room for advisors to conceal any potential conflict of interest, and states that all fees and commissions must clearly be disclosed in dollar form to client. Fiduciary is a much higher level of accountability than the suitability standard many financial advisors are held to, which only requires that a recommendation be deemed suitable for a client or their investment portfolio based on their needs or objectives.
How are your customer's assets protected?
Securities regulations protect your funds and your securities when you keep them at a broker/dealer. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires broker/dealers to deposit customer funds into a separate account, distinct from the firm’s own money.
Securities held by clients in “street name” are kept securely with the Depository Trust Company, separate and distinct from the assets of securities firms. Regulated by the SEC and the Federal Reserve, the depository is a national clearinghouse for settling trades and a custodian of securities. Regulators and independent auditors periodically review firms’ financial records to ensure that clients’ assets are accurately tracked and held separately from the firms’ own holdings.
Securities regulations protect your funds and your securities when you keep them at a broker/dealer. LPL’s regulatory obligations and controls include the following:
- LPL must identify and segregate securities by customer, and must segregate customers’ securities and funds from its proprietary business activities.
- LPL is required to maintain minimum net capital and to set aside a reserve for the benefit of its customers
- LPL’s financial statements are audited annually by an independent public accountant and those financial statements are filed regularly with the SEC.
- LPL is required to purchase a fidelity bond from an insurance company to provide a source of compensation to customers in the event of fraud or embezzlement by employees.
- LPL is required to be a member of SIPC and, for accounts held at LPL, SIPC provides account protection up to a maximum of $500,000 per customer, of which $250,000 may be claims for cash. This account protection applies when a SIPC member firm fails financially and is unable to meet obligations to securities customers, but it does not protect against losses from the rise and fall in the market value of investments. An explanatory brochure is available at www.sipc.org.
- LPL purchases an insurance policy that provides customer protection in excess of SIPC coverage up to an overall aggregate firm limit of $575,000,000, subject to conditions and limitations.
- LPL also purchases additional amounts of professional liability insurance.
What is SIPC and how does its protection work?
Customer assets are protected by SIPC. Congress created SIPC to protect customers of member broker/dealers that may fail financially, be liquidated, or are otherwise unable to meet obligations to securities clients. If any securities or cash are missing from eligible customer accounts, SIPC steps in and, within certain limitations, works to return customers’ cash, stock, and other securities held at the firm. SIPC does not protect customers against losses from the rise and fall in the market value of investments.
The SIPC limit of $500,000 ($250,000 of this amount may be claims for cash) per account does not mean that the account will receive only up to $500,000. Rather, in an SIPC customer proceeding, the account will receive a pro-rata share of all client assets recovered in liquidation and will then will receive up to $500,000 from SIPC to make up any difference that may still exist. SIPC funds are used to make investors whole after all customer assets held at the brokerage firm have been recovered.