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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. What is an index fund ?

We must first understand what is an index. An index is something that measures the value and performance of a particular type of investment. For example, the Dow Jones Industrial Index is an index of 30 stocks that tends to be used to measure the performance of the U.S. stocks market (in particular large U.S. stocks).

There are hundreds of indexes to measure the performance of nearly any type of investment. Some of the more popular indexes are the following:

  • S&P 500 (U.S. large stocks)
  • Russell 2000 (U.S. small stocks)
  • MSCI EAFE (International developed country stocks)
  • Barclays Aggregate Bond Index (U.S. bond market)

Again, there are hundreds of indexes for all types of investments. These indexes are only mathematical calculations and not actual money. For example, the S&P 500 is an index of 500 U.S. stocks. The price of each of the 500 stocks is used to calculate the value and performance of the index.



An index FUND is simply a fund that is designed to replicate a given index with real money. For example, an S&P 500 index fund typically owns all 500 stocks in the S&P 500 index. Therefore, its performance is going to be virtually identical to the performance of the mathematically calculated S&P 500 index. These funds are considered to be passively managed meaning that they simply are designed to replicate the index and there is no manage actively trying to buy and sell securities.

Today there are 100’s of index funds…funds that are designed to replicate the performance of nearly every type of investment.

Not all indexes funds are created equally. As one example, there are many S&P 500 index funds and some will have very low fees and some will not.

Q. What is an ETF or Exchange Traded Fund ?

An Exchange Traded Fund, or ETF, is a fund similar to a mutual fund. The primary difference is that an ETF is traded on an exchange like a stock while a mutual fund is only bought and sold at the close of trading once a day.

The majority of ETFs are also index funds (addressed in a separate FAQ). The advantage of ETFs over mutual funds is that ETFs are sometimes a little less expensive than a like-typed mutual fund and ETFs sometimes offer access to more types of investments.

Q. What is an actively managed fund ?

There are generally two types of funds, passively managed (index funds) and actively managed. A passively managed index fund (addressed in a separate FAQ), such as an S&P 500 index fund, simply owns all 500 stocks in the S&P 500 and intends to replicate the performance of the S&P 500 index. An actively managed fund is own where there is a manager or team of managers whose job it is to try to buy and sell the right securities and the right time in an effort to perform better than an index.

The fact is that actively managed funds on average underperform like-type index funds. Higher costs, both higher expense ratios and other additional costs associated with operating the fund, are generally to blame for this poorer performance.

Q. What is a custodian?

A custodian is the entity that holds your money or investments (your account). Brokerage firms and banks are typically the custodian of investors’ accounts. The custodian is responsible for the safekeeping and reporting on your account.

One way to dramatically reduce the risk of fraud is to separate the role of custodian and manager. This provides investors with a good checks and balances and makes it nearly impossible for a manager to fraudulently take your money.

Q. What is risk tolerance?

Determining your risk tolerance is one of the very most important things you can do. Your risk tolerances is simply determining how much risk you are willing to take with your investments. Most often risk tolerance is determined by completing a questionnaire. These questionnaires are often very good tools.

Risk tolerance is both a combination of financial risk and emotional or psychological risk. Many investors can financial afford higher risk but emotionally they cannot handle the ups and downs that come with that higher risk.

Once an investor knows his risk tolerance, a portfolio then needs to be designed that is expected to deliver the desired level of risk.

Q. What is an INDEPENDENT investment advisor?

An independent investment advisor, often a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), is one who does not work for a brokerage firm. Independent advisors tend to be less motivated to sell products and instead focus on giving the best advice to their clients.

Still have a question? Ask Patton

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