FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions Is Family Investment Center a brokerage firm? No. Family Investment Center is an independent, fully-regulated Registered Investment Advisor. We are a discretionary investment manager and currently manage over 500 portfolios for families, companies, or nonprofit organizations in eleven states. Family Investment Center is not related to any other banking, trust, or investment firm. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) regulates us, where our file number is 801-63744. Are you a “financial planning” firm? We focus on investing. We offer comprehensive financial planning services for clients who want them. We don’t insist, however, that every client needs extensive financial planning. We often work with clients to provide specific solutions for their unique circumstance. Are you an insurance agency? No. Dan Danford is a Missouri-licensed insurance producer, but we do not sell insurance products. Sometimes we help clients buy needed insurance or annuity products, but only as an adjunct to their investment business. If so, we charge a modest placement fee, and fully disclose all other costs and fees. How long have you been in business? Dan Danford founded Family Investment Center in 1998. For fifteen years prior to that, he was a senior officer for local banks, trust companies, and investment firms. Two of these – The Trust Company of St. Joseph and Family Investment Center – garnered national recognition as successful start-ups. Where are investment accounts held? Family Investment Center supervises client accounts at several institutional custodians. In the past, various clients have held portfolios at Schwab Institutional, E*Trade, Fidelity Institutional, Vanguard, United Missouri Bank, Commerce Bank, and T. Rowe Price. Since we are completely independent, clients may select any bank or brokerage firm. What are safety precautions for my accounts? Deposit insurance depends on where the portfolio is actually held. Cash in a brokerage account (at Schwab or other institutions) is protected by the Securities Insurance Protection Corporation (SIPC) up to $500,000. Deposits in banks are protected to $100,000 by FDIC insurance. Institutional brokerage firms typically offer protection that exceeds the SIPC coverage – in Schwab’s case, this private insurance is up to $100 million per account. Additionally, Family Investment Center buys separate coverage against employee dishonesty and a sizable ERISA bond, required for managers who work with qualified pension and employee benefit portfolios. Of course, the investment security of a specific portfolio depends on the type of investments, objectives, time horizons, and special needs of each client. We help clients balance investment risks and rewards. How are you paid? Do you earn commissions for selling investment products? We are a “commission-free” advisory firm, and we do not earn commissions. All revenue comes directly from client fees, and we do not accept management income from other sources. The firm does not manufacture or distribute proprietary investment products. How do you reach investment decisions? Who decides on the specific investments in my account? Investment decisions are made locally at Family Investment Center. The firm maintains a third-party database with monthly performance, pricing, and risk information on over 25,000 mutual funds, 225 Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), 8,000 common stocks, 800 Closed- end mutual funds, 45,000 Annuity Sub-accounts, and 5,000 Separate account managers. Objective research is a key component of our process. What sets you apart from other investment firms? The first thing is our local ownership and commission-free fee structure. Traditional investment firms sell investment products and earn either sales or transaction commissions. We think that a sales orientation can distort good advice, and that remote ownership often creates divided loyalties. Second, and we can’t stress this enough, is our internal professional team: Dan Danford, MBA, CRSP has written two investment books and is featured in a number of national newspapers and magazines, including Kiplinger’s, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, BusinessWeek Online, MSN Money, and The Kansas City Star. He’s also an industry consultant, where his comments or work have been published in Research, Investment Advisor, Financial Planning, the Advisor, Trust & Estates, and MorningstarAdvisor Online. He is a recognized authority on the Missouri and Kansas Uniform Prudent Investor Act statutes. He is a frequent speaker on these and other financial topics. Jason T. White, MBA, Ph.D. has been an investment professional for almost 15 years. During his business career, he has held positions in both the public and private sector, focusing primarily on financial analysis, business valuations and financial advisory services. For the past 10 years, he has also been teaching at the college level, currently as Assistant Professor of Finance at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri. Jason writes extensively for both academic and consumer publications and is a columnist for his local newspaper, the Maryville Daily Forum. Invited as a guest expert on Social Security Privatization, he was heard on KXCV 90.5 FM. He has also been a weekly commentator on For Your Wealth on KQTV television in St. Joseph. Jason has received numerous awards for teaching excellence. Gary L. Myers, JD, LLM, has been a practicing attorney for three decades, and has served as Corporate Counsel for several New York Stock Exchange listed companies. Before joining Family Investment Center, he was Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of St. Joseph Light & Power Company. In his position there, he was responsible for legal and regulatory matters (St. Joseph Light & Power was publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange). He is a member of the Missouri, Kansas, and Tennessee State Bar Associations. Our official Disclosure form and additional explanatory materials are available on our website www.FamilyInvestmentCenter.com or in our offices.