Frequently Asked Questions


What is an independent financial advisor?
Independent Registered Investment Advisers are professional independent advisory firms that provide personalized financial advice to their clients, many of whom have complex financial needs. Because these advisors are independent, they are not tied to any particular family of funds or investment products. As fiduciaries, they are held to the highest standard of care—and are required to act in the best interests of their clients at all times. They are registered with either the Securities and Exchange Commission or state securities regulators.
What does being a Fiduciary mean?
A fiduciary is a professional entrusted to manage assets or wealth while putting the client’s best interests first at all times. Financial advisors who follow a fiduciary standard must disclose any conflict, or potential conflict, to their clients prior to and throughout the advisory engagement. Fiduciaries will also adopt a code of ethics and will fully disclose how they are compensated.
What separates us from other financial advisors?
A combination of independence, comprehensive service, and client focus sets us apart. As an independent Registered Investment Advisor, we provide the best advice for each client’s specific situation and needs without concerning ourselves with the agenda of a parent company. Our services range from financial planning to investment management to estate planning—we can meet a wide range of needs under one roof. Finally, we are oriented toward providing each client the attention and service they deserve. We treat our clients as individuals and not numbers.
How can I see my money?
If you haven't received an invitation to Schwab Alliance or Black Diamond, let us know and will resend it to you. You will complete the registration process for each system.
Why are we using Black Diamond and not the Schwab online portal?

Black Diamond is our data aggregator - we can use this platform to show you more than just the accounts held at Schwab and give you customized portfolio view. You can still use the Schwab portal to see Schwab-held accounts if you want.

Note: Clients with smaller portfolios may only need a Schwab log-in and will not have accounts listed in Black Diamond.

How do I send you the documents you’re asking for?
Black Diamond's “Vault” feature allows for secure document transfer. Once logged in, click on "VAULT" on the top center of the page. Accept the terms and conditions, and you will then see three folders. You can click on "Requested Documents" and either drag and drop into the center of the page or select a file using the "NEW" button to send us your documents. If you are a financial planning client, you may also use the eMoney vault to securely send us your information.
How do I get registered on Schwab Alliance?
If you receive an email invitation to Schwab Alliance, use the registration link and follow the instructions. You can also start this process on and select "New User?". Please contact us if you have any difficulties with this process.
What happens if I need money out of my old account while at Ameriprise?

So long as the transfer is not in progress already, we can call the Ameriprise service line with you and walk you through any transfers that need to be made.

We can also help you initiate transfers through the Ameriprise app.

Can I still get my regular deposit/take money out after the transfer?
Of course! We will work with you to make sure any bank instructions are in good order as needed and you will continue to receive your deposits and on-request transactions as usual.
Why does Schwab want my trust documents and/or a voided check?
Every firm is different with what they require - Schwab's requirements differ from Ameriprise.
Have I given you everything?
Ask us! We will reach out if we need anything as well. Sending your most recent Ameriprise statement or a screenshot of your Ameriprise overview page is helpful.
What is the difference between Schwab vs Black Diamond?

Schwab only shows managed accounts held with them. Electronic authorizations to service your Schwab accounts are most easily done through the Schwab portal. Black Diamond is our data aggregator - the intent is to aggregate as much information on your Schwab and non-Schwab accounts and be able to customize your view.

Why do I need Schwab online access if I have Black Diamond? Schwab Alliance is the easiest way for us to change your information on file such as phone numbers, email addresses, and mailing addresses via electronic authorizations, as well as account maintenance and certain transactions. Tax documents will also be available on Schwab Alliance.

Why do I need Black Diamond if I have Schwab? Black Diamond provides custom views for managed and other accounts, including non-Schwab accounts - this will give you a more complete picture of your investments once fully functional. Secure document sharing is available through Black Diamond's “Vault” feature.

Why do you need _____ document?
Schwab has different documentation requirements from some other firms - every firm is different in what they require to open and service accounts.
How do I begin?
Typically, we only need a copy of your most recent account statement and your signatures on a few forms. We will take care of setting up your new account and transferring your assets.
How do I access my money?

The same way as you have in the past, you can call our office or email us, and our staff will be happy to assist with any funds transfer.

Schwab Alliance mobile app (or online access) also allows you to move money from your account(s). However, the best practice is to reach out to our team to ensure the funds are available.

How do I view different investments (annuities, insurance, alternative investments)?

Annuities: These are not visible at Schwab. We will handle annuity visibility case by case depending on your specific accounts.

Insurance: These are still viewable on the Ameriprise platform; however, we are currently working on an alternative solution to potentially make these visible on the Black Diamond portal.

Alternative Investments: Some alternative investments are visible through Schwab; we are looking at an alternative solution to make these visible on the Black Diamond portal. However, they will still be held in an Ameriprise account until they are liquidated, and we are able to transfer the cash.

How do I view my spouse’s account?

Black Diamond is going to be the best place to view all accounts by household.

You also can grant spouse access via your individual Schwab alliance portal. Alternatively, we can send you paperwork to authorize this through Schwab.

How do we share documents (uploading, downloading)?

Documents can be shared securely via the Black Diamond portal through the Vault. There are three folders pre-populated in the Vault:

From your advisor: This is where we will share documents with you. You will receive a notification once we upload something.

Onboarding & new accounts: This is where you can upload any new account documents such as trusts, voided checks and signed paperwork. We will also be able to share disclosures and other pertinent information with you.

Requested data: If you are engaged in the financial planning/consulting relationship, this is where you will be able to upload your supporting documentation as requested.

When is my next appointment?

Our scheduling assistant will send you an email with our Calendly information when you are due for your appointment. You can use Calendly to schedule at your convenience. You can also give us a call to confirm if you are scheduled or make changes to your appointment.

How do I access my financial advice and consultation services?

Our new financial planning software is called eMoney, which will provide a more collaborative, interactive experience. We will be inviting you to join eMoney in the near future and will be requesting documents prior to your next consultation, similarly to how we have done in the past.!

How can I make changes to my address or phone number?

This can be updated via Schwab Alliance app (or online access).

Once you log in, click profile.

Then select contact information.

Then select Edit next to the information you want to update.

We can send you a form through DocuSign or E-Authorization to make necessary changes/updates.

Please also notify us if/when you make any updates to your address, phone number, email, or other personal information.

How can I update my beneficiary?

This can be updated via Schwab Alliance app (or online access).

Once you login click profile

Then Beneficiaries

Then Edit account under the account(s) you want to update.

We can send you a form through DocuSign to make necessary changes/updates.

Where will my statements come from?

Wealth Management Only

Black Diamond – We will be able to provide online customized statements showing you the data you want to see about your accounts.

Schwab – We recommend signing up for paperless since you will be receiving statements through Black Diamond. If you prefer paper statements this will be the only platform these are available on.

Ameriprise – You will still be receiving these for anything that we have not or were unable to bring over with us.

Ex: Annuities, REIT’s, Insurance

PKS – If we had you sign a form to move your annuities over these statements will be coming from your annuity company.

Ex: AIG, RiverSource, Lincoln, Jackson, Prudential and so on.

Financial Planning Clients

Advice Pay – If you are paying for consulting services by credit card or ACH from your bank, your invoices will come through Advice Pay.

How can I reach you?

New Phone Numbers

Bellefontaine – 937-345-0556

San Diego – 858-326-0046

Pasadena – 626-655-2556

New Emails

Jessica Simmons – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Cristina Jackson – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Ryan O’Connor – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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