A question of trust
We chose to explain a lot about ourselves by providing answers to the most common questions we were asked
We have listed these questions below:
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How do I know if Meridian financial advisors are right for me?
There are always two key aspects: The personal aspect and the technical aspect.
We take the time to listen and understand your life, personal objectives and financial goals.
We choose the instruments that best suit your objectives, bypassing the usual bank and financial services related charges since we are not a bank.
We want to do our job well: if you are not satisfied, we won’t be.
We respect your time and energy and we want to help direct them effectively and efficiently towards objectives and investments suitable for you. Only to you.
Above all, we help you with:
- wealth and estate planning for your family,
- select investments that are suitable for you and your family,
- building a pension sufficient to fund your standard of living,
- avoiding bank and financial service charges that have no value.
You are not a bank, how can I invest with you?
It is important to understand that your money and investments remain with your current bank or broker.
The bank is the custodian of your money: We provide the advise tools that will help you invest your money efficiently.
We make sure that your bank or broker is offering the right platform, easy to deal with and has reasonable charges.
Our clients are always in control of their accounts.
Our clients will instruct and authorize the buying and selling transactions on the banks or brokers platform.
We at Meridian will provide regular reporting on the performance of your portfolio (although you will always be able to check the performance yourself via your bank account).
If you are interested, we can advise you which banks will offer the services that are best suited to your needs and offer a simple current account management.
We at Meridian are not a bank and have no commercial agreements with any intermediaries, but we have deep knowledge and understanding of the industry and are well equipped to advise you in the best possible way.
How do your advisory services actually work? in practice?
PHASE 1: We will create your “statement of financial purpose”, i.e. your personalized investment plan with all the information that will guide us through the time in which we will be providing investment advice.
In this document we will clearly explain:
- “Why” we are investing: i.e., we will get to specific objectives – your objectives. We will be specific about a Euro (or Dollar) amount and the necessary time horizon to reach that goal.
- “How” we are investing: i.e., how much we will be investing in stocks or bonds, in which strategies or themes, in mutual funds or ETFs and/or in single names (stocks or bonds). This is the asset allocation of your portfolio.
- “What” we are investing in: i.e., the specifics of each instrument we are going to buy and that will be part of your portfolio, including the ISIN codes, quantities and on which Stock Exchanges they trade.
PHASE 2: Once we are aligned on the Why, How and What of your personalized investment plan, we will handhold you each step of the way to implement our recommendations into actual investments on your banking or broker platform. If your online banking account is not equipped with a trading function, we will show you how to set it up.
Usually, we do not invest everything in one lump sum, but we will ‘dollar cost’ average our entry into the markets in different tranches, depending on the amount of cash available for investments.
This is how it works:
We will send you a personalized email from our position keeping software with the details of the trade to be implemented, including the name of the instrument, its ISIN number, the quantity to buy and on which stock exchange to buy it.
For the first couple of times, we will handhold you through the process (either in person or via Zoom, Skype, MSTeams etc.) on your banking platform: It’s quite straightforward, although at first it might look daunting. Once you get used to it, you will be able to do it on your own.
PHASE 3: The monitoring and rebalancing phase starts. We need to make sure your portfolio stays balanced and the asset allocation in line with your objectives, hence:
We will monitor your portfolio through our position keeping software
To be consistent with our objectives, as per Phase 1, we might need to send you some “rebalancing trades” to maintain the asset allocation. We will then send the emails as per Phase 2.
Do not expect the rebalancing to happen very frequently, it’s actually quite the opposite. It all depends on how the financial markets behave. Many months can go by without having to rebalance the portfolio or we might need to rebalance more frequently in shorter time horizons if there are corrections or significant deviations from our desired asset allocation.
A golden principle is: The less we operate on your portfolio, the better – we build it, in the first place, to grow over a long-term horizon and we need to allow it to grow without unnecessarily interrupting its growth trajectory. We weed out and navigate the noise of financial markets in the short term and we will not do knee-jerk reactions because of this noise: We act continuously on the plan, and we strive to remain adherent to your financial “purpose” for investing.
In all 3 phases, we will hand-hold you, as your financial coach. We simplify the processes and help you reach your financial goals.
How often do we have to meet to get the most out of your advice?
Whenever our clients deem it necessary.
In any case, we will meet at least once a year to jointly review the personalized investment plan and reflect on the objectives we have set at the start of our journey.
We are pleased to meet our clients in our Milan, London or Frankfurt offices or at your residence – or virtually via Zoom.
We know that time is precious, and we all want to dedicate it to our most important things like family, friends and other pursuits.
That is why Meridian services have been designed to be entirely digital. All the necessary information can be shared and exchanged via smartphone, tablet, or computer. This enables us to easily talk to each other remotely without the need to meet in person (unless you prefer to meet in person).
Video calls can be arranged easily (via Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp video, Microsoft Teams and other tools).
Are you authorized to provide financial advice? What guarantees do I have as a customer?
Meridian operates in full compliance with Italian and European law and we are covered by professional indemnity insurance.
Meridian SCF received authorization to provide personalized financial advice from the Supervisory Body with resolution no.1226 of 11/28/2019
OCF has received its supervisory powers from Consob (the Italian financial markets regulator) and OCF supervises all financial institutions that provide financial advisory in Italy and abroad.
Meridian SCF adheres to the Arbitrator of Financial Disputes (ACF) as well as SIM and SGR banks.
Our registered office is: 20122 MILAN (MI) Corso Europa, 15 – C / O Spaces
REAMI number: 2557688 Tax code and registration number to the Business Register: 10791940967
Do I need to pay for the first meeting?
Definitely not. The first meeting is free and without any obligation. And if the need arises, so are a second or third meeting. Our remuneration is not based on the number of meetings, it is purely related to our investment management services.
We use the time to get to know each other. We will talk about your finances and your broad personal and family goals to find out if we can help you and how. Please take a look at the ‘how we work’ section to better understand how we operate.
Who is meridian's ideal customer?
We talked a lot about Meridian and everything we can do for you. We want to be upfront and honest: Our service is not for everyone and, at the risk of losing someone before we even start the process of working together, we would like to describe our typical client in a few words.
We particularly like clients who are positive about the future and who appreciate life and are good-natured: We think we are, and we are committed to showing it every day. We believe this is a prerequisite for working well together.
It may seem obvious, but our typical client knows how to save and understands the concept of long-term investment.
Our clients appreciate the work we do by taking care of their finances. They understand its value and consistency, and they have no difficulty to remunerate us.
We don’t believe in unnecessarily trading and we don’t push you to make short-term profits. We don’t go in and out of the market, in order to try to make a quick buck. We are in for the long haul.
We want to help you become better financial market participants. We want to help you develop your portfolio over the long term.
We hope you can recognize yourself in these qualities.
What happens if I don’t have enough capital? How much money do I need to have access to Meridian’s services?
We do not select our clients based on their available capital, but on the desire to grow and embrace a goal based financial path.
We have a minimum annual fee of € 1,500, which we are happy to significantly reduce for young clients (below up to 25 years), who only have a small initial capital. We believe in developing good financial awareness and habits from a young age and we would like to help those who have just entered the world of work.
How do you get to know and frame /segment the clients?
We do not have pre-packaged models: Each client is a unique case. From experience, we know that any client falls into one of the three categories of financial advisory needs depending on the phase of life we are at:
- A phase of accumulation of wealth,
- A spending and preparation phase, and finally
- A phase of drawing from your wealth
We will help you to identify your “financial stage of life” and guide you in defining objectives and building of the portfolio.
How do you get paid? How much does the investment advice service cost?
Meridian is a financial planning and consulting company. Our fees come directly from the clients we serve in the form of a percentage of the capital invested or consulted.
We do not and will never receive commissions from selling financial products.
- For investment advisory services we apply:
- – 1% for investments up to EUR 2m
- – 0.8% for investments from EUR 2m to EUR 5m
- – 0.6% for investments over EUR 5m
- Tax loss harvesting: +0.50%
- Single stock investing: +0.50%
- Multi-bank service (account aggregation): +0.20%
This is only applicable for a bank that is not equipped with the appropriate technological tools.
We have a minimum annual fee of € 1,500, regardless of the value invested. For young clients (up to 25 years) who only have a small initial capital, we will reduce the fee significantly: we believe in developing good financial awareness and habits from a young age and we would like to help those who have just entered the world of work
Note: All commissions are subject to additional tax charges (eg VAT) as applicable.
How do I "get out" if I am not happy with your service?
Nothing could be easier: There are no penalties, just a simple email or letter clearly instructing us to terminate the consultancy contract. We require this as evidence that it is indeed the client’s will.
Contractually we have decided to ask for three months’ notice period to provide for a smooth handover. During this time, we will focus on securing your portfolio and / or helping you liquidate it in a proper manner. From experience, we know that things done in a hurry rarely turn out well.
Do you also work with people who live in a city outside of your home base?
Yes, our services and systems have been designed so that clients can easily work with us from anywhere with an internet connection.
We have clients residing abroad (e.g. in the Americas and Asia) with foreign bank accounts.
We have clients in several European (EU and non-EU) and non-European countries and we support them with the services and platforms of their local banks.