Client Stories

Our Broker Doesn't Really Do Planning

John and Mark have been working with a broker for years and have come to like him personally, but the relationship confuses them. He calls with investment ideas, and every time they talk with him, his trades on commission cost them money. He has put some of their portfolio in a managed account, but that has led to monthly account statements that are seventy pages long. They are not sure what their portfolio returns have been, nor are they sure what they are really paying for his services. They invest their retirement accounts independently at each of their jobs. When they mention financial planning to their broker, he said ‘we have tools for that kind of thing' but he has never really followed up. North Berkeley's comprehensive approach helps them:

  • Create a comprehensive financial plan for their long-term situation that their broker never got around to
  • Get clear and consistent explanations of investments in the portfolio that are all philosophically aligned as well as simple to track and understand.
  • Integrate their brokerage accounts with their retirement accounts at each of their employers, so they have a single investment portfolio that operates in concert across accounts
  • Set a specific numerical investment performance target that includes all fees, that is reported on quarterly across all their accounts, and eventually on a three-year trailing basis, as well as from the start date of portfolio management during the life of the entire North Berkeley relationship, every time they sit down with their advisor


The stories we tell here are broad examples shared after years of working with hundreds of clients. No person or name actually represents a unique client situation, as our client relationships are held in strictest confidence.