Frequently Asked Questions

Who are your clients?

Anyone in the US (with at least $50,000 to invest) who wants to simplify, consolidate, and delegate the management of their investment portfolio.

Why is the culmination of Karen Ramsey's dream of serving a broad audience of investors. We are perhaps the only financial service company in the marketplace to provide all of the following benefits to those with $50,000 or more to invest:

  • Very low portfolio minimum and management fee
  • Wide range of risk levels and investment style choices
  • No conflict of interest
  • 24/7 access to portfolio performance reports
  • Regular rebalancing and tactical reallocations
  • Annual portfolio reviews and ongoing support

Some companies may allow low portfolio minimums but restrict clients to expensive proprietary investment products. Others may have low fees but often require much higher portfolio minimums.

Our goal is to provide clients of the same respect and quality of investment advice given to multi-million dollar clients.

How do I become a client of

Becoming a client is easy! Learn more on our Become a Client page, and let us show you how simple investing can be!

When will I speak with a financial advisor?

You will have the opportunity to speak with an Investment Advisor Representative during the Sign Up process. Once you’re a client, you may schedule a time every year to speak with an Investment Advisor Representative. We are also available to you, if you should have questions or concerns, during our office hours of 8 AM to 5 PM, Pacific Standard Time (PST), Monday through Friday, where we can be reached at (888) 979-4455.

What are your minimum investment requirements?

Please click here to see a description of our minimum investment requirements.

Where will my Investment Account be located?

Your investments will be managed from one or more custodial accounts located at Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (Schwab).

What does it mean to be a "fee-only" Investment Advisor?

A fee-only Investment Advisor is compensated solely by the client. Fees can be asset-based, hourly, or an annual retainer. The advisor is not paid based on the brand or type of product the advisor uses or the frequency in which the advisor buys or sells. Because the fee-only advisor is free to use the most suitable and cost-effective products, the advisor's interests are aligned with the client's interests.

What does it mean to be a "fiduciary"?

A Registered Investment Advisor is a fiduciary by law. The United States Supreme Court and the SEC made it clear that an advisor has an undivided duty of loyalty to act solely in the best interests of the client, including the obligation to make full and fair disclosure of all material facts, especially where the advisor’s interests may conflict with those of the client.

What are your fees and when do you collect them?

Please click here to see a detailed description of our fees.

Does offer services on an hourly or yearly retainer basis?

No, does not charge for services on an hourly basis, nor does it charge a yearly retainer fee. For those with portfolios above one million dollars in the Greater Seattle area, we offer comprehensive fee-only financial planning and asset management. Please visit us at Ramsey & Associates.

How should I choose my Investment Style?

We cannot tell you in which investment style to invest—this one’s up to you! However, please click here to read some helpful information about our three investment styles—Active, Socially Responsible, and Passive. We will be happy to answer your questions in one of your Sign Up process phone calls.

What is a Mutual Fund?

A mutual fund is an investment that gives individuals access to a well-diversified portfolio of equities, bonds, and other securities. Shares are issued and each shareholder participates in the gain or loss of the fund.

  • Mutual funds allow for greater diversification and reduced risk.
  • Mutual funds are managed by professional money managers who have access to detailed company research and economic data and an understanding about how world events will affect investments.
  • Mutual fund transactions are handled directly by the company that issues the fund, rather than in an exchange, allowing an investor to buy or sell shares without the need for a liquid market.
  • Mutual funds allow investors fixed dollar investments, unlike equity purchases. This allows you to be fully invested at all times.
  • Any distribution payments issued by the fund can be automatically reinvested into additional units of the same fund at no cost. This helps to ensure that you are fully invested, thus maximizing your returns through compounding.

What is an Index Fund?

An index fund is a fund that tracks a particular index, such as the S&P 500. Investment managers who take this approach buy groups of securities in the same proportion as they appear in the related index, striving to match the index’s performance.

  • Index funds typically carry lower expense ratios than mutual funds.
  • There is less turnover and, therefore, lower transaction costs.
  • Index funds are always fully invested and do not miss out on bull market opportunities for growth.
  • Any distribution payments issued by the fund can be automatically reinvested into additional units of the same fund at no cost. This helps to ensure that you are fully invested, thus maximizing your returns through compounding.

What is an Exchanged Traded Fund?

An exchange traded fund (ETF) is a security that tracks an index, or basket of assets like those held in an index that is traded like a stock on an exchange.

  • ETFs track a variety of indexes and allow for greater diversification and reduced risk.
  • Usually, ETFs have lower expenses than the index funds that they track.
  • ETFs are often more tax efficient than similarly-classed mutual funds.

What mutual fund families do you use?

The mutual funds we recommend are drawn from a variety of different fund families including, but not limited to, Ariel, Artisan, Calvert, Deutsche, Fidelity, Harbor, Oakmark, Osterweis, Pax, PIMCO, Vanguard, et cetera. However, we evaluate funds based on their individual merit, rather than the esteem of the fund family of which they are a part. Our recommendations are reviewed on an ongoing basis and are subject to change over time.

How do you select the no-load mutual funds you recommend?

The no-load mutual funds we recommend are initially screened through the Morningstar Database and/or Litman/Gregory’s Advisor Intelligence. Funds that pass initial screening are submitted to the Investment Committee for in-depth review and analysis. On a quarterly basis and as the market dictates, we analyze the performance of all recommended funds against similar mutual funds and relevant indices and determine which funds will be added to or removed from the model portfolios.