Below are 13 ways Red Hook is redefining the standard in working with wealthy families
Red Hook’s roots began more than 40 years ago when its founders, Bill and Nancy Conger, began developing their own family’s multi-generational wealth management plan. Over time, Nancy began offering financial counseling to women while Bill attracted the wealth management of more and more friends and family. Together, they recognized the opportunity to start an investment management business, asked their son, Ezra, to join them and created Red Hook Management in 2008.
Red Hook prides itself on maintaining its status as a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), the SEC’s highest regulatory standard. By law, Red Hook takes responsibility for its results and advice and is required to put its clients’ interest above its own.
Clients receive unbiased and conflict-free advice from Red Hook because the only compensation we receive is directly from the client. Red Hook receives no outside payments from mutual funds and receives no commissions from client purchases of insurance policies.
Determining client fit is crucial to beginning a fruitful relationship with the team at Red Hook. Before taking on a new client, we conduct a Discovery Meeting where, through a series of purposefully designed questions, we determine the family’s values, goals, relationships and intended legacy. We use this information to construct a personalized wealth management plan tailored to the family’s needs. (We have clients who say that this meeting was the starting point to creating the overall plan to take them into the next 20-30 years.)
After the Discovery Meeting, we present our findings in a second meeting where we discuss how we might work together. These two initial meetings are low stress – they are a mutual vetting period, with both Red Hook and the client deciding if there is a fit – the only decision that is made is whether we agree to meet again. At that next meeting, it makes sense to work together, we sign paperwork and outline an implementation process. After the initial set up period, we meet quarterly in person or by phone to review and assess investments, evaluate planning goals, and generally catch up.
Not all assets need to be transferred to Charles Schwab, Red Hook’s custodian, for us to create an comprehensive family Investment Policy Statement. In this statement, we describe the client’s risk profile and define parameters for how the assets will be reviewed and managed (i.e. how cash is managed, on what basis we rebalance, which accounts pay fees, how to reinvest dividends and interest, etc.). With that document in place, we craft an overarching investment plan based on Red Hook’s globally diversified core strategy and coordinate with assets held elsewhere.
We ensure that all assets are organized tax-efficiently, including trusts, special investments like Qualified Opportunity Zone investments, self-directed 401Ks, 529s, and anything else. We analyze low basis assets and put a plan in place for stock options, RSUs or founders stock. We work with a client’s accountant—or can introduce the client to a vetted accountant—to develop a tax plan. Annually, we consider harvesting any losses, maximize tax-deferred contributions, evaluate Roth conversions, consider gifting to children, and assess charitable giving opportunities.
Every Red Hook family has a well-considered estate plan based on family values, goals, relationships and intended legacy. We ensure that it is coordinated with tax and insurance planning as well as charitable giving.
Life insurance typically plays an important role in a family’s financial plan. We always recommend a review of any existing life insurance because circumstances have often changed since its original purchase. Like any asset in a client’s portfolio, Life Insurance should be monitored for potential issues, such as lower credit rates and the declining creditworthiness of insurers.
Often overlooked, Property & Casualty Insurance requires regular review. Over years typically, asset levels may increase, creating a need for more umbrella insurance, or children may have started driving and liability needs to be reconsidered. With our clients, we always recommend an assessment of Property & Casualty Insurance.
Charitable giving is often an important part of a family’s financial plan. Red Hook has broad experience with the benefits of charitable giving both to satisfy charitable interests and as a tax and estate planning tool. Annual charitable giving is also a great way to establish and pass on family values. We make sure that our families are familiar with all venues and aspects of charitable giving.
Families can also benefit from non-traditional wealth management services. Red Hook works closely with advisors specializing in Social Security and Medicare Planning, Concierge Medical Care, Private Aviation, Eldercare, Private Secondary Education, College Application Counseling, Bill Paying and more.
In addition to Red Hook’s core executives, our clients have access to a team of expert professionals and best-in-class advisors who offer specialized advice and insights. The principal team includes an Estate Attorney, a Certified Public Accountant, a Life Insurance Agent, and a Property & Casualty Agent. For business owners, Red Hook has consultants in captive insurance, 401K plans, health insurance, and more. These vetted, best-in-class professionals can review a client’s plan to make sure there are no missing opportunities.