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Patton's Mission: to dramatically improve the financial lives of every investor we encounter.

Getting Started

Getting started is easy

Our goal is to make doing business with us easy and efficient. As paperwork is being processed and money is being moved, we communicate frequently so that you always know the status.

Still considering our services?

Here are some steps to help you in the process of considering our services:

  • Analysis of your existing portfolio – You simply provide us with statement(s) on your existing investment and we’ll do the rest.
    • Our comprehensive analysis of your portfolio will allow you to understand exactly how your money is invested today, the costs in your portfolio, and its existing risk profile.
    • Provide the link to Request a Portfolio Analysis
  • We schedule a meeting – at this meeting we will do the following:
    • Review your current portfolio
    • Discuss your risk tolerance, needs, and investment goals
    • Provide our portfolio recommendations
    • Demonstrate the impact we can have on your portfolio and investment goals
    • Prepare planning to outline how you can best meet your investment goals
    • Answer all your questions
  • We’ll provide references – if you are interested in our services and would like to speak to existing clients, we’ll be glad to facilitate that.
  • You decide! You will now be prepared to make a fully-informed decision about what is best for you and how to best reach your investment goals.

Ready to do business?

  • Gather Information – we will either schedule a short call or send you an email so that we may gather the needed information from you to prepare the necessary paperwork and facilitate your intentions.
  • Prepare Paperwork – we will prepare all of the necessary paperwork. It will be provided to you for your review. You will simply have to sign and return it.
  • Fund Your Accounts – if you will be wiring money or sending a check, we will provide simple instructions to do so. If we are transferring accounts, we will do this on your behalf.
  • See our Service Model for information about the ongoing services you can expect from us

Still considering our services?

Here are some steps to help you in the process of considering our services:

  • Analysis of your current plan – You simply provide us with the following:
    • Plan investments and balances in each
    • Plan fees
  • We will then do the rest.
  • We schedule a meeting – at this meeting we will do the following:
    • Review our analysis of your current plan
    • Provide our recommendations about the fund lineup and service providers
    • Demonstrate the impact our recommendations can have on your participants and their ability to achieve a successful retirement
    • Answer all your questions
  • We’ll provide references – if you are interested in our services and would like to speak to existing clients, we’ll be glad to facilitate that.
  • You decide! You will now be prepared to make a fully-informed decision about what is best for your plan’s participants.

Ready to do business?

  • Gather plan documents – you will need to provide us with copies of all of the existing plan documents to complete all of the necessary paperwork.
  • Review plan provisions – we will discuss all of your existing plan provisions and we will make recommendations for any needed changes.
  • Provide notices to participants – (only if the plan is transitioning to a new record keeper) notices for participants will be fully prepared for you to distribute.
  • Schedule employee meeting – this meeting will be conducted by us. We will inform your plan participants about the exciting changes being made to the plan for their benefit.
  • Assets transfer and plan goes live – (only if the plan is transitioning to a new record keeper) asset will transfer to the new service provider and the plan will go live.
  • See our Service Model for information about the ongoing services you can expect from us..

frequently asked questions

Q. Does a 401(k) plan have to have an investment advisor?

No. There is not a legal requirement that 401(k) plans have an investment advisory. Regardless, the vast majority of plans do have an investment advisor.

An investment advisor can often provide services that other plan service providers cannot. A 401(k) plan is an investment vehicle for its participants. There are typically 1,000’s of investment options to choose from to make available to participants in the plan. The plan needs an advisor with extensive experience to help select the appropriate 15-25 funds.

Q. What services do you provide to the plan sponsor / employer?

As an advisor to the plan, Patton provides a wide range of services including:

  • Plan design
  • Fund selection
  • Recordkeeper and administrator searches
  • Annual plan reviews
  • Named fiduciary

Other service providers, such as the recordkeeper and administrator, can provide advice to the plan but typically they have NO legal fiduciary responsibility to provide advice that is only in the best interest of the plan participants. Patton, often as the only service provider serving as a fiduciary to the plan, MUST provide only advice that’s in the best interest of its participants otherwise Patton could face legal consequences.

Q. What services do you provide to participants?

Patton’s goal is to help every participant accumulate as much money as possible for their retirement with as little effort and anxiety as possible. To help accomplish this goal, we do the following:

  • Initial Participant Education Meeting
  • Ongoing education via newsletters and videos
  • One-on-One Participant Consultations

In addition to the above services, Patton is glad to assist participants in any way possible to help them meet their retirement goals.

Q. Does Patton serve as a fiduciary to our plan?

Yes. We serve as a fiduciary to the plan requiring us to provide advice that is only in the best interest of the plan’s participants. We state this in writing in our agreement.

Note that most other service providers, such as recordkeepers and administrators, as well as most stock brokers, insurance companies and agents, and mutual fund companies do NOT serve as a fiduciary.

Q. How time consuming is a transition from one recordkeeper to another?

Transition from one recordkeeper to another can be very beneficial to the plan and its participants but it does require some effort on everybody’s behalf.

A transition typically takes about 60 days. Patton manages the entire process so that it is always clear what is need from whom and what needs to happen next. During this time, the point of contact for the plan sponsor (employer) will invest roughly 8 hours in the process. This will include a handful of conference calls, gathering information from the existing recordkeeper, scheduling participant education meetings, and communicating with participants.

Q. What is an open architecture platform and what are its benefits?

Open architecture means that the plan recordkeeper allows nearly any investment fund to be selected and made available in the plan to its participants. This is important so that the best funds can be selected for the benefit of participants.

Some recordkeepers limit the list of funds that can be selected from. Often these are higher cost funds and/or proprietary funds that often do not serve the best interest of participants.

Q. What are the benefits of an independent advisor?

An independent advisor is one who is employed by a firm that is NOT a broker firm, insurance company, mutual fund company, recordkeeper, or similar firm. Employees of these other firms most often are very limited in what they can offer to a plan and its participants (they can only offer their company as the recordkeeper, they are compensated more to have their firms funds available in the plan, etc.).

An independent advisor can instead offer the services of any recordkeeper and recommend any investment funds for the plan with no limitations or alternative motives. This positions the independent advisor to provide the best advice possible to the plan and its participants.

Q. What are the benefits of index funds?

Low costs. Index funds tend to be the lowest cost funds available. There is an index fund available for nearly every asset class (type of investment). Furthermore, extensive research has demonstrated that low costs funds simply produce higher returns that higher cost funds.

It is important to note that not all index funds are created equally. For example, some index funds are higher cost than other index funds that follow the exact same index. There are 1,000’s of index funds today to choose from and careful analysis must be done to select those that are best for a plan.

Still have a question? Ask Patton

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