1. What is a registered investment adviser?

    Capital Counsel and other investment advisers who manage assets above $110 million must register with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to comply with the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Registered investment advisers (RIAs) provide advice about purchasing and selling securities to their clients and have a fiduciary duty to their clients to always act in their best interest.

  2. What is the difference between a broker and a registered investment adviser?

    Broker-Dealers (BDs) must register with the SEC and are regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). BDs buy and sell securities for their clients or their own account. BDs are required to make “suitable” recommendations based on their clients’ risk tolerance and investment experience. Unlike Capital Counsel, they often hold client assets in brokerage accounts which are not necessarily segregated from the BDs’ other assets. Capital Counsel’s client assets are held by independent custody banks.

  3. Is your firm registered with the SEC?

    Yes.  Capital Counsel is a registered investment adviser and is regulated by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

  4. How long has your firm been in business?

    Capital Counsel LLC was founded in 1999 by F Randall Smith, Terence Greene, James Magid, and Lauren Blum, who have worked together since the inception of the firm. This continuity in leadership has strengthened our intellectual rigor and investment discipline.

  5. What is your firm’s mission?

    Capital Counsel’s mission is to help our clients achieve their financial goals by carefully investing in equities that will preserve and grow their wealth. We explain to our clients the risks and benefits of investing in stocks and recognize their aversion to having to remake the money entrusted to us.

    We use our knowledge, experience, and fundamental valuation-based investment process to identify exceptional businesses that are led by experienced managers of good character. These are managers who execute realistic business plans that deliver sustained, long-term profitable growth for their owners. We invest our clients’ money with these managers, all of whom know how to manage through difficult times.

  6. Do you follow your own advice?

    Yes.  We invest our assets, including the firm’s profit sharing plan, alongside those of our clients.

  7. Does your firm receive sales commissions from brokerage firms or mutual fund companies?

    No, Capital Counsel is a fee‐only Registered Investment Adviser. Our interests and incentives are aligned with our clients and we receive fees based on the market value of the assets we manage for our clients.

  8. Does Capital Counsel hold client assets in its own account?

    No. Our clients primarily hold their assets at independent custody banks such as Bank of New York Mellon, an industry leader in custody and securities processing. We help clients open accounts at the custodial firm(s) by providing clients with the necessary paperwork and then working with the custodian to ensure a complete and efficient transfer of the assets.  The account is established under the client’s name, who maintains full ownership of the assets at these institutions.

  9. Can Capital Counsel send my assets to a third party without my authorization?

    No.  Capital Counsel, the custodian firm, or any other parties cannot access or distribute funds from your accounts without your knowledge, direction, and expressed permission.  We maintain strict funds-handling policies and procedures that ensure proper internal controls and adequate safeguards of client assets.  Your security is a primary concern.

  10. What type of clients do you work with?

    Our clients come from a variety of backgrounds, are at different stages in their lives, and have unique financial priorities. All of our clients, however, want to work with an experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable adviser who can help them achieve their financial goals.

    Capital Counsel works with clients to clarify financial objectives, to design and implement an investment plan, and to monitor and adjust the plan over time.

  11. Do you have an account size minimum?

    Our account minimum is $1 million, although we manage smaller accounts for the children, grandchildren, and friends of our clients.

  12. Can you help me organize my investments which are currently in accounts at several firms?

    Yes. We will help you streamline and consolidate your investment accounts so they are managed more efficiently.

  13. How often do you meet with your clients to review their accounts?

    We encourage clients to meet with us regularly to review their accounts. We often meet two or three times during the first year as we implement the investment plan. Thereafter, we usually meet once a year and communicate with our clients frequently.

    Our responsive client service distinguishes Capital Counsel from larger firms.  We are available to speak or meet with our clients whenever they want, and encourage them to contact us with questions about their investments or other financial concerns.

  14. How can I monitor my investments?

    Capital Counsel provides clients with secure online access to their accounts through our web portal.  We update the investment data in all accounts daily to provide a current snapshot of clients’ investments.  You will also receive monthly statements electronically or by mail.  If you have questions, we encourage you to contact us. We can be reached by email or by phone at (212) 350-9333.

  15. I have a question about something other than my portfolio. Can your firm help?

    We encourage our clients to contact us whenever they have questions about anything that may affect their financial well-being.  We are here to help.

  16. Can you help me manage my company retirement plan?

    Yes. We can assist you with the management of your company retirement plan.

  17. How do we begin working together?

    Call us at (212) 350-9333, or email us at info@capcounsel.com to schedule an appointment.