THE COGENT WAY

Our Credo

Five client-oriented principles comprise "The Cogent Way". Every Cogent advisor must adhere to them in order to remain with the firm. These principles allow our clients to feel confident they are receiving bonafide advice, not sales presentations, from an expert in both investments and financial planning

 
No. 1
No Commissions
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No Commissions

Our Advisors operate exclusively on a fee-for-service system called "fee-only". They have given up their Series 7 license that allows them to receive commissions as a broker. For investments, they are compensated on a percentage basis relative to the value of the accounts they manage. Therefore, their incentive is to recommend the best investments possible to help grow their client's accounts and to monitor them closely. Not a "one and done" commission model whereby they receive a big up-front commission regardless of how the investment performs. Commission-based business models incentivize the sales process, not the nurturing process necessary for long term success.  For financial plans, a one-time planning fee or hourly fees apply and are disclosed before the client signs a planning agreement.

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No. 2
No Proprietary Investments or Research
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No Proprietary Investments or Research

COGENT doesn't manufacture investment products nor does it have an investment bank. And, not only are our Advisors commission-free, COGENT as a firm doesn't receive compensation from investment or insurance companies. Therefore, there is no management driven incentive for our Advisors to recommend one investment over another based on revenue another part of the firm may be receiving. COGENT is a truly independent, "open architecture" wealth management firm.

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No. 3
Reject Sales Culture
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Reject Sales Culture

Unfortunately, financial "advice" has been distributed through a sales-based culture for decades.  Whether it be a financial advisor with a a Wall St firm or a local insurance agent, "Advisors" have been trained to view their clients as an obstacle in "closing the deal". An obstacle whose "objections" must be overcome by a savvy, silver-tongued, and often charming salesperson on their way to achieving a sales goal. If they meet that goal, there will be accolades during the weekly sales meeting and may even be a bonus awaiting them, like a fancy dinner or decadent vacation. COGENT Advisors do not view their clients as a way to earn a trip or praise from a sales manager.  That's because COGENT does not offer such things. It doesn't even have sales managers yet alone sales goals. No one is pressuring our Advisors to take time away from managing their client's wealth so they can grow revenue for their company. COGENT advisors grow their practices organically from having satisfied clients. Additionally, COGENT is a privately owned company that doesn't answer to Wall Street for its performance.

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No. 4
Adhere to Code of Ethics
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Adhere to Code of Ethics

Every COGENT advisor must adhere to the following ethical standards:

 

Integrity

Advisors shall provide professional services with integrity. They shall place the client's needs above their own and serve them honestly.

Objectivity

Advisors shall be objective in providing professional services to clients. They shall not allow outside influences to distract them from making the most appropriate recommendations to the client.

Competence

Advisors shall provide professional services to the client competently and maintain the necessary knowledge and skill to continue to do so in delivering both financial planning and investment advice.

Confidentiality
Advisors shall not disclose any confidential client information without the specific consent of the client unless in response to proper legal process, to defend against charges of wrongdoing or in connection with a civil dispute between Advisor and client.

Professionalism
Advisors shall conduct themselves in a way that reflects credit upon the profession of financial planning and honors the client's right to unbiased, ethical advice.

Diligence
Advisors shall act diligently in providing financial planning and investment advisory services. Diligence is the provision of services in a reasonably prompt and thorough manner. Diligence also includes proper planning for and supervision of the rendering of professional services.

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No. 5
Expertise in Both Investments & Planning
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Maintain Expertise in Both Investments & Planning

We have observed that too many Financial Planners lack the investment expertise to manage sophisticated investment portfolios. Conversely, too many Financial Advisors lack the planning expertise and/or business model necessary to properly analyze their client's overall situation. We believe financial planning and investment advice go hand-in-hand, and a client should not have to sacrifice investment expertise to gain the planning relationship. Put simply, a COGENT advisor does both.

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