Investment Accounts Decision Steps

  • Step 1 – Determine most appropriate account taxability type(s) and amounts to use in each (see account taxability type chart below).

  • Step 2 - Determine most appropriate account structure type (e.g. "advisory" vs. "brokerage"). See the chart and attachment below for more explanation.

  • Step 3 – Determine most appropriate asset classes and percentages to use within each account

  • Step 4 – Recommend competitive investments within each asset class for each account

  • Step 5 – Repeat the above at least annually (more frequently, if desired or warranted by circumstances within or outside of your control)

Account Taxability Types (based on current federal tax law in most, but not all situations)

Account Structure Types (based on current regulation)



Fiduciary obligation to client by advisor

“Suitability” requirement to client by advisor

Ongoing advice to client required by advisor

Advice given on a transaction basis

Fees based on a % of assets under management (AUM), commissions waived

Fees are commissions paid on a transaction-by-transaction basis