To schedule an introductory conversation with one of our advisors, or to ask a specific question, please call or contact us through the forms below.
What would a practice custom-built for technology professionals look like?
We believe it would look precisely like this.
Advice from personal stock option experience
Industry norm: The majority of advisors have a background in brokerage or insurance sales.1 Very few have first-hand experience with concentrated stock option wealth.
Schmidt Financial: We have over 20 years of collective experience in VC, start-ups and tech stalwarts. You won’t have to explain 83b elections or 10b5-1 plans – we have lived it.
Proven experience in IPO wealth preservation
Industry Norm: Despite being extremely beneficial for investors, Cerulli Associates has determined that only 15% of US-based financial advisors concentrate on a unique niche.
Schmidt Financial: For over two decades, we’ve focused exclusively on helping our clients navigate sudden wealth events (IPOs, private liquidity events and acquisitions). Over that period of time we’ve developed proprietary insights.
Reporting that tracks progress to documented goals
Industry norm: Despite the volatility of 2008, performance reports typically do not reference risk or track the probability of reaching your goals.
Schmidt Financial: Our reports show your risk-adjusted return versus multiple benchmarks and track how portfolio results impact the odds of reaching your goals.
Transparent fees and independent advice
Industry norm: According to an SEC study, 90% of broker-dealers have “preferred” relationships, where an advisor’s pay varies based on what he/she recommends to clients.
Schmidt Financial: We work for an asset-based fee that is below the industry average.1 That fee is agnostic to the investments we recommend to clients. No pushing of products or services – our only concern is what’s in your best interest.
1 The NAPFA Benchmarking Survey, Moss Adams LLP, 2006
Advisors with meaningful education and credentials
Industry norm: Only 10% of advisors hold an MBA and less than a third have an advanced degree, CFP or CIMA credential.1
Schmidt Financial: Each of our advisors has an MBA or has completed a CFP or CIMA program. Your advisor isn’t a salesperson. They have the professional background and knowledge necessary to translate macro-economic headlines into actionable impacts on your portfolio.
1 Cerulli Associates
Want to talk it over?
Glenda Schmidt established Schmidt Financial in 1993, after more than a decade at a Silicon Valley high tech company. Realizing that most of the family wealth was linked to the equity of her and her husband’s employers, she knew they had to manage that risk and better plan for the future.
She also knew scores of young professionals in this same circumstance. Out of this dilemma, Schmidt Financial Group was born – an independent Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) firm geared toward high net-worth individuals and families looking for technology expertise, objective advice and customer service.
Schmidt Financial group was created to help provide:
- A background in managing concentrated equity positions effectively.
- Experience and expertise across a broad range of planning areas – not just investments, but also proactive tax planning, insurance planning and estate planning.
- An analytical, scientific approach to building a financial plan that would be their own playbook to financial freedom.
- An advisor that made clients feel as though they and their goals were important.
- Periodic, face-to-face meetings that weren’t rushed or hurried, but took as much time as necessary to answer questions.
- Objective advice that wasn’t biased towards specific funds or products.
Now with over two decades of experience and clients throughout the technology sector - e.g. Snapchat, Amazon, Google, etc. - Schmidt Financial Group is a recognized leader in providing comprehensive financial planning advice and wealth preservation strategies to technology professionals with concentrated equity positions.
Led by Evan Schmidt, Glenda’s son and Vice President, the team at Schmidt Financial Group works with clients in Los Angeles (the Silicon Beach), San Francisco (the Silicon Valley), Seattle, and more.
Having experienced concentration risk in our own portfolios, our advisors are well-versed in strategies to hedge this risk. Our goal is not to maximize expected return (which brings with it higher volatility), but rather to maximize the clients’ odds of reaching their goals. This focus on correlations, variability and outcomes stands in contrast to more product-oriented philosophies that fixate on backward-looking returns.
Effectively implementing this philosophy requires a unique skill-set, process and service offering:
- An understanding of stock-option/RSU plans and the analytical skill to adequately account for their impact on portfolios.
- A view across all client assets, not simply the portfolio we are managing, to ensure overall client risk levels are managed.
- A statistically rigorous long-term planning model so we can adequately project the impact that various choices will have on the clients’ odds of reaching their goals.
- An ability to incorporate tax and estate planning into the portfolio construction and monitoring process.
At Schmidt Financial Group, we believe our services should be defined not by what is easy or scalable – but by what is necessary in order to fully implement our philosophy for our clients. After all, that is why we built the business in the first place.
A Tech-Fluent Client Experience
Our clients are tech-savvy. The financial world is not. We bridge this gap by posting digital performance reports to your encrypted client portal (iPad optimized) – where you can also view your 401k or upload an RSU grant for review at our next meeting. Paperwork can all be signed digitally and securely. A Schmidt Financial client could choose to never touch a physical piece of paper again (at least, when it comes to your finances).
Long-Term Financial Planning
How would a house purchase in two years impact your investment allocation today? How would working at a start-up for five years impact your timing for retirement? Clients have questions that extend far beyond selecting investments. We help define and test these various scenarios, so clients have a plan and a portfolio that reinforce each other.
Stock Option / Real Estate Analysis
An otherwise well-allocated portfolio can easily be undermined by a poor diversification plan or real estate decision. Given the size of technology clients’ exposure to their employer-based stock, and the cost of real estate, it is especially critical that these decisions be vetted and incorporated into the clients’ overall plan.
Tax Strategies & Optimization
With an ever-shifting tax code, the value of proactive tax strategies is continuing to rise. In addition to making tax-efficient decisions related to stock option divesture and implementing intelligent year-end tax harvesting, we also provide clients with a tax-overlay option, which continuously searches the portfolio for opportunities to offset gains and losses throughout the year.
Portfolio Research, Construction & Monitoring
For many firms, an advisor has little visibility into research or portfolio construction. Based on your age and risk tolerance, they have a pre-determined portfolio that applies to you.
At Schmidt Financial Group, our advisors have full visibility into the award-winning, independent research. We then determine the best fit for each client based on their unique equity exposure and goals.
Unified, Consolidated Reporting
Our clients have the ability to see all of their investment assets and track performance in one centralized view. From 401k to IRAs to 529 plans, we plan based on your entire financial picture – so it only makes sense to report your entire financial picture as well.