FAQ about Hewins/Wipfli Hewins

What is the fiduciary standard of care?

Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) are governed by the SEC and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.  An RIA is legally held to the fiduciary standard, which means it must act in the best interest of its clients and is held to the highest standard of care the law allows.

Is Hewins/Wipfli Hewins a fiduciary?

Yes, we are a registered investment advisor.

What’s the difference between an RIA and a broker-dealer?

Yes, there is a difference. A broker-dealer is not held to the standards of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Therefore, it is not required that the broker disclose any conflicts of interest with your account. You should be aware that a broker is typically limited to selling investment products approved for use by the firm and is compensated more for selling those products.

In contrast, an RIA is legally required to act as a fiduciary to their client and is regulated by the SEC and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. This means that they must put their clients' best interests first and if conflicts are present, then they are legally obligated to disclose them.

Do you take custody of, or have access to, your clients’ assets?

No, we do not take custody of clients’ assets. We enlist a qualified, unaffiliated custodian to maintain physical custody of your assets and to provide you separate reporting as to the value of your assets. This is a requirement of our fiduciary duty.

Will you provide a written agreement outlining services and the fees?


How do I determine my risk tolerance?

Generally determine how long you will keep your assets invested, the purpose of your investment account and your level of comfort with taking on risk in the form of equity, which is subject to fluctuations in the market, often called market volatility.

How do I access my account?

Go to our secure client portal. A guide to the portal is provided.

How often should I meet with my advisor?

As often as needed, but at least once per quarter.

Does Hewins/Wipfli Hewins offer stand-alone financial planning services?