How many employees do you have?
Our team consists of four full time employees. We have a combined total of 52 years of experience.
Where are you located?
We are physically located in the Medical Arts Building on the 14th floor, at 324 West Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802.
Why do you claim you are different?
We are different in many ways, including: a) the fact that we do our own research and make our own investment selections, b) we invest in a classical style utilizing primarily individual securities, c) we are active fund managers willing to make tactical adjustments as the market and economy warrants.
Find out Why we are different ».
I can do this myself, why would I hire you to help me?
People utilize us for many reasons. Some we have heard lately include: a) I am so tired of trying to do this myself and need some help, b) I understand most of this but my spouse does not – I need a trusted advisor to be there if I am gone, c) I do not understand the intricacies, under current conditions, of investment management and I need some guidance, d) I would prefer to have professionals handle the risk management function for my portfolio.
How much does it cost to work with Blue Water?
At Blue Water we have an hourly rate fee structure in place for consulting work in balancing for example your 401k plan, helping with financial planning, and working on trust and other more advanced estate planning issues if necessary, but the most common way we are paid is based on a flat rate on the assets under management. The fee schedule is a sliding scale based on the total assets under management and is actually about what the average retail mutual fund today charges. Please see form ADV Part II for a fee schedule.
Why can’t you just charge me if I make a profit?
As an advisor we are regulated as to the fees we can charge. A hedge fund typically has a 2% management/20% share of return over benchmark fee structure. We are not a hedge fund, but rather a registered investment advisor, so we simply charge a static fee based on assets under management.
We tend to use no load mutual funds so why should we pay you?
Only if you need advice. Many people aspire to money management - we are in the business full time watching portfolios every day. That is why people willingly come to us for advice.
Where do my statements come from?
Statements for active accounts are sent by the custodian (Fidelity) monthly. Statements for inactive accounts are sent quarterly. Performance reports are sent by BWCA quarterly.
I don’t trust brokers or insurance agents. What makes you different?
It is understandable that there is public mistrust of this industry, given its track record over the last fifteen years. In our opinion transaction based brokers and insurance agents, under the conditions prevailing in the current market environment, are seeing clients flee and revenues drop. This may place some of them in a terrible position in terms of ethics: do they feed their families or serve the interests of their clients? When commission differences loom large because of underlying insurance or product commission enhancements, the tendency is to move toward the higher commissioned product. As a fee based advisory firm we cannot be tempted with commissions or insurance product sales.
Do you sell insurance or annuities?
No. When one’s financial plan calls for an insurance solution we bring a specialist in to provide options like life or long term care insurance.
Are you a broker or a consultant?
We are advisors or financial consultants, not brokers. We do not sell products like the traditional broker or insurance agent, but we do provide investment management and financial planning services. On rare occasions we charge an hourly rate for asset management or planning services, but generally we are compensated based on a percentage of the assets under management.
Is there a benefit to going with a smaller private advisory (like Blue Water) instead of a large wire house (national brokerage), bank based broker, or insurance based broker?
What you might notice nationally is that the most experienced and competent advisors tend to leave the larger wire houses and organize as an advisory firm in order to: 1) maintain more control of their own destiny , 2) advise a select group of individuals and help them grow and manage their wealth, 3) eliminate the persistent pressure to offer different products and services and march to the company tune.