By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Professional Services | Issue: July 2010
Ken Grant and Melanie Hasty-Grant of Waterstone Private Wealth Management in front of the NYC Stock Exchange.
Waterstone Private Wealth Management is owned by principal Melanie Hasty-Grant and wealth manager Ken Grant, who offer securities and advisory services through LPL Financial and provide tailored solutions to preferred clients that include small businesses, couples and individuals.
“Clients and prospective clients tell us they appreciate that Waterstone is not trying to ‘sell’ them anything,” says Melanie. “We are their advocates, not salespersons.” The difference is that a salesperson only tells you the positives about their products. An advocate will tell you both the positives and negatives so that you can make a well-informed decision.
Melanie says the consumer can’t afford cheap advice. Although most people aren’t necessarily looking for the cheapest product available, they want to know the truth about what they’re getting for the amount they pay.
According to Melanie, big brand “no-load” mutual fund carriers often promote their products as free when, in fact, they are not. Today, investments can fluctuate more in ten minutes time than what you’ll pay for sound advice for a full year from Waterstone.
The following are the questions most commonly asked by new clients of Waterstone:
How much do your services cost? Waterstone always discusses full disclosure of costs with new clients. They work closely together to minimize the impact of costs on investment goals. There is, unfortunately, no simple answer to this question. Each client’s needs and portfolio are different and will vary the cost. But, Waterstone will make certain that you are advised of and fully understand all costs relating to managing your account. "When new clients come to us, they are often unaware of what they have been paying at their previous firm," says Melanie. "We can run a full cost analysis and tell them exactly what they paid last year on any mutual fund."
Are you insured? “Yes,” says Melanie, “SIPC insurance provides protection up to a maximum of $500,000 per customer; $100,000 may be in cash.” There is additional insurance coverage from Lloyd’s of London, and LPL Financial accounts have coverage of $99.5 million per customer, subject to an $500 million aggregate firm limit. These protections apply when an SIPC member firm fails financially and is unable to meet obligations to securities clients. SIPC does not protect against losses from the rise and fall in market value of investments.
Are you good at what you do? Waterstone is ranked in the top ten percent by LPL out of 14,000 offices nationwide. Ken and Melanie’s combined 20-plus years experience works to assist clients in achieving financial goals. Waterstone has been a national resource for the media, including CNBC, Fox Business News, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal.com, and Market Watch Radio. Their Midwest common-sense approach to the markets and their unwavering commitment to clients drive their business. Waterstone was honored with the Owasso Reporter Readers’ Choice Award for 2010.
How often do you look at my accounts? The entire Waterstone portfolio of client investments is monitored on a daily basis through innovative investment radar, which looks at over 600 factors that influence markets. If individual investments are highlighted, they are reviewed by account. Additional house-wide analysis takes place monthly, quarterly and annually. Clients’ accounts are reviewed quarterly for managed money accounts, and each client receives an analysis every six months. At minimum, an annual review meeting is provided with each client.
Is there a minimum investment requirement? “Yes and no,” says Melanie. There is a minimum starting balance of $100,000 for managed money platforms, where the tactical approach of grow-preserve-protect can best be implemented. Although there is not a minimum balance for brokerage accounts, many mutual fund companies do hold initial investment minimums.
Who is LPL? Both Ken and Melanie privately own Waterstone Private Wealth Management; however, they hire LPL to provide clearing services, investment platforms and oversight. LPL is the largest independent broker in the country. This means that Waterstone does not have any “downward pressure” to sell their clients anything. Waterstone sits on the same side of the table as clients and helps choose what is in the client’s best interest.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.