We create a personalized portfolio for each client based on your account balance, risk tolerance, and time horizon. Because every client is different, average returns vary by client.

For an example of the types of portfolios we build and their historical returns, you can click on the links below for a preview.

SFM’s Low-Cost Conservative Income Model Portfolio

SFM’s Low-Cost Aggressive Growth Model Portfolio

We use many passive index-based funds and ETFs when building our client portfolios, so our returns are very similar to market returns holding similar asset classes in similar percentages.

*Past results are not indicative of future returns, and Sommers Financial Management does not guarantee the investment performance or results of any recommendation or advice.

Sommers Financial Management trusts the research that out-performance by an active manager does not persist over time. We like to look at “risk-adjusted” returns while building portfolios, and most often use low-cost, tax-efficient index funds as the basis for an all-weather, diversified portfolio.

The value added by an investment advisor is not exclusively based on investment performance, but also includes the anxiety lessened by a well-constructed, diversified portfolio built by a seasoned professional. One of our proudest value-adds is what we call “Asset Location”. We determine in which account we want to hold particular assets in your portfolio based upon the tax-consequences of the returns from each asset class. For example, we often hold corporate bonds in our clients’ IRAs, to avoid paying taxes on interest taxed at the maximum rate.

We also add value by helping you create a tax-efficient, goal-driven financial plan to achieve your life goals, and then guiding you through implementation of that plan.

Sommers Financial Management oversees more than $60 million of client assets; including over $12 million on our Advisor-Guided Investment Management platform. Our client list is close to 250 individuals, families, corporate 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, small business retirement plans (SEP, SIMPLE), and trusts.

For our Wealth Management clients, Sommers Financial charges an advisory fee ranging from 0.2% to 1.0% of your annual account balance, depending on your financial situation. This fee covers all the work we do for you, including answering financial questions and managing your portfolio. It does not include transaction fees levied by your custodial brokerage, but we always inform you of the added cost of those items.

We calculate your advisory fee each quarter, which gives us maximum incentive to increase your portfolio all year long. We prefer to deduct your advisory fee directly from your account so you can calculate the after-fee performance when reviewing account statements.

For our Investment Management clients, we charge 0.03% per month, or approximately 0.36% per year. This includes investing in one of our optimally designed model portfolios that fit your return objectives and tolerance for volatility.

While we initially considered basing our fees on performance, federal and state regulators surmise that if advisors based their fees on investment performance, they would be prone to take big risks to earn big rewards. Hence, regulators do not allow performance-based fees for non-accredited investors (just ask us), as they may not end up being in your best interest.

For those who prefer to manage their own investments but would like assistance preparing a long-term financial plan, we offer a dynamic, interactive suite of financial tools for free, which includes basic retirement planning, cash flow tracking, a secure document vault, investment analysis, and an estate planning checklist. For a monthly retainer fee, we offer upgraded financial planning interaction with one or more of our financial planners. This allows for unlimited money-related discussions via email, phone – or for the Premium service, in person. With the retainer fee, our interactive software upgrades include social security optimization, life insurance needs analysis, tax optimization, debt freedom analysis, and college planning.

Our goal is to be available to everyone who takes the initiative to begin getting their financial house in order. Sommers Financial Management imposes no minimum balance requirement for financial planning or investment management. To qualify for our Wealth Management services – which include custom investment selection, investment management, and financial planning – we request a minimum investment of $250,000.

Sommers Financial utilizes many different investment vehicles, but we normally start with a short questionnaire to pinpoint your time horizon, risk tolerance, and objectives. Each question acts as a filter. We begin with a universe of over 100 investment ideas that we like best. As you answer each question, that universe is whittled down to the best investments for your particular situation. Once we have our recommended asset allocation and underlying suggestions, we discuss other options with you, so that you may further customize our recommendations to fit your goals and allow you to pass “the pillow test” by sleeping soundly at night, knowing we’ve selected the best mix for you.

Two words: personalized service. When you call Sommers Financial, a person — not a machine — will answer. When you have questions, a licensed advisor, not an office clerk, will answer them. Our flat fee is straightforward, and includes prompt, personal responses to all your investment-related questions.

Large investment firms often charge higher fees, and yet they rely on a cookie-cutter approach that does not allow for individualization. At Sommers Financial, we know every client’s name, and we stay in touch with you so we can create and update a completely personalized portfolio uniquely suited to your needs and desires.

To be sure, at Sommers Financial you won’t be dazzled by a fancy high-rise office suite or Armani suits, but you also won’t be charged higher fees to maintain that glittering façade. Our hometown, homegrown approach to investment planning and management reflects our approach to business: honest, direct, and personalized.

Sommers Financial Management is an Independent, Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisor, a title that means we are paid only by our clients — never through commissions or hidden fees. Registered Investment Advisors must act in accordance with the Investment Advisor Act of 1940, which holds such advisors to a “fiduciary” standard, meaning they must act in the best interest of their clients at all times.

Stockbrokers are different. Although they often masquerade as advisors, stockbrokers are exempt from the Investment Advisor Act, which means they do not have to act in your best interests, and they can recommend investments that are held to a lower suitability standard. The investments they recommend to their clients as “suitable” often include conflicts of interest:

  • Mutual funds managed by the stockbroker’s company
  • Mutual funds from companies that pay the stockbroker an incentive fee to steer more clients their way
  • “Principal transactions” in which the brokerage firm sells you investments from their own account (Why are they selling, but recommending you buy? Hmm …)

Stockbrokers and other sales-driven “advisors” earn commissions on the investment and insurance products they sell to you, while Independent, Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisors are compensated by advisory fees only. Unfortunately stockbrokers have historically been able to print “Financial Advisor” on their business cards, leading investors to believe their advice is objective. Only Registered Investment Advisors are legally obligated and financially incentivized to act objectively on your behalf.

If you want investments that are made in your best interests, ask for an Independent, Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisor, not a stockbroker or “financial advisor.”

Adam Sommers gained experience at two large firms in Portland and worked at the SEC in Washington, D.C., before deciding to found Sommers Financial in his hometown. Adam has a personal stake in the St. Helens community, though the company’s client base has expanded to Portland and other cities.

Because today’s technology allows for multiple channels of communication, Sommers Financial Management welcomes clients in any location.

(In other words: Do I have any protection that you won’t disappear to South America with my money?)

Sommers Financial has no access to your funds, other than the limited power of attorney you grant us to transact on your behalf, and to deduct our agreed-upon advisory fee. Your money is also protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which ensures delivery of your investments to you even if your custodial brokerage becomes insolvent.

As an Independent, Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisor, Sommers Financial partners with a custodial broker to handle your account statements and transactions. You always have direct access to this broker, so if Sommers Financial is suddenly unable to manage your account, you can work with the broker directly. You could then contract with a new investment advisor who could assist you with the management of your investments and financial plan.

(In other words: Do you invest in socially responsible investments?)
Sommers Financial asks clients about their interest in socially responsible investing, and for those who indicate an interest, we incorporate environmental, social, and governance factors into our investment selection criteria.

Socially responsible investing is becoming more popular and is integrated into an increasing number of investment plans. However, socially responsible investing limits the menu of investment choices, and it means we cannot be certain that the investment returns of these more selective portfolios will perform similarly to less restrictive portfolios. Also, due to changes in business activity, as well as mergers and acquisitions, we cannot guarantee that selections will be honored at all times.

We understand and support the desire to feel good about where you invest your money. We will do our best to take into consideration requests for socially responsible investing when building and managing your portfolio.

Until a Registered Investment Advisor oversees more than $100 million, they are required to register with the state in which they are based, rather than nationally. Hence, Sommers Financial is registered with the state of Oregon, and our registration can be found here www4.cbs.state.or.us/ex/dfcs/dfcslic/adviser/.

The SEC also has an online database with Investment Advisor Registration information. All public disclosures can be found at the IARD website located here http://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/

It is important to note that our state registration does not mean we are not the same as federally registered RIAs. We have the same background, education, and licensing requirements as advisors that are registered with the SEC.

We do not have any conflicts of interest. Our fees are solely based on your account balance, so our primary interest is in increasing that balance. As an Independent, Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisor, we are also legally and ethically bound to act in the best interest of our clients – AT ALL TIMES. Period.

If it is best for you to withdraw funds from your account, we advise you to do so. If it is deemed appropriate for you to pay off debt rather than invest in an IRA, we will recommend that you do so. Sommers Financial will always provide data and reasoning to back up recommendations — to demonstrate what is truly in the best interest of the client.