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We’re So Glad You’ve Hired Us – Now What’s Next?

Now it’s time to organize and restructure your financial future for the better. There are a few important steps to work through, but we promise to do the heavy lifting to make things as quick and easy as possible. Throughout this “onboarding process”, we will be sending you various documents, applications, and forms via email for you to fill out and/or sign. If there are ever any questions that arise, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Client Experience Team – we are here to help!

Your Client Experience Team

You will likely interact with multiple members of our client experience team throughout the onboarding process. Feel free to familiarize yourself with their individual roles.

What Does Onboarding Entail?

1 – Client Intake Forms

The client intake forms allow us to gather your personal information to begin drafting your DeicisionPoint agreements and account applications at Charles Schwab. The forms will be sent to you securely via DocuSign. If you prefer to provide the information verbally, we can arrange a phone call or in-person meeting in our office.

2 – DecisionPoint Agreements

Upon completion of the client intake form, you will receive a copy of your DecisionPoint agreements for signature. The agreements include our Investment Advisory Agreement (which outlines our fiduciary status, scope of our services, and our fees) and the Investment Policy Statement (which defines our investment philosophy and your specific allocation). If you have any questions about the contents of either document, please contact us and we will happily address them.

3 – Account Applications

Once your agreements are in place, you will begin receiving account applications via email. In most cases, these emails will come from “Your Independent Investment Advisor” (online.service@schwab.com). Please be aware that your account applications may arrive as one email packet, or in multiple individual emails, depending on your situation and the number/type of accounts being opened. You will receive more specific direction when this step arrives.

4 – Funding & Transfers

Once accounts have been established, one of our team members will provide guidance on the process of funding the new accounts and/or transferring existing accounts from outside institutions. Transfers are most often initiated via one of two methods:

1) Completing Charles Schwab transfer paperwork.
2) Contacting the financial institution currently acting as custodian of the account and requesting a transfer to Charles Schwab.

5 – Wrap-Up & Portal

After all transfers and funding have been completed, you will receive an email acknowledging that the onboarding process is complete. This email will also provide instructions on how to setup access to your DecisionPoint Performance Portal, where you can view your new accounts.


Why do you request banking information?

This information will be utilized to create an ACH link between your accounts at Schwab and your bank. This will simplify the process of transferring dollars into and out of the Schwab account. By default, we establish these links when the accounts are first opened in order to expedite any future requests for money movement. However, it is important to note that money can only be moved to and from the linked bank account after DecisionPoint has received your verbal instruction to do so.

Does my spouse have to sign any documents?

It depends. If your spouse will have any accounts opened in their name at Charles Schwab – including any joint accounts (i.e. Joint Taxable) – then their signatures will be required on the account applications. Additionally, if you would like your spouse to be able to gather information and/or provide instruction on accounts registered under your name, then they will need to sign the DecisionPoint agreements – even if they don’t have accounts in their own name being managed by DecisionPoint.

What is DocuSign?

DocuSign is a secure third-party software that both DecisionPoint and Charles Schwab utilize to collect your digital signature. DocuSign increases the speed and accuracy of document processing at Schwab and is appreciated by most of our clients for its convenience over physical paperwork. However, if you are opposed to providing your electronic signature, please reach out to the Client Experience team and we will find an alternative solution.

I received a DocuSign, why hasn’t my spouse?

There are generally two reasons why you have received a DocuSign and your spouse hasn’t. The most common reason is, if the documents in question are required to be signed by both of you, the second spouse will not receive the document until the first spouse has finished signing it. The second common reason that only one spouse receives documents to sign is because the accounts that are being opened are in their name only (i.e. an IRA or Roth IRA).

If you don’t believe that these situations apply, and you’re not receiving documents that have been sent to you, please contact any of our Client Experience Team members (above).

Why am I getting emails from Charles Schwab?

DecisionPoint utilizes Charles Schwab to custody our clients’ assets. This is an important security feature for our clients because it means that we could never take physical possession of your money or investments. Your accounts are opened directly with Charles Schwab and you are providing authorization for DecisionPoint to manage said accounts on your behalf.

Why did I receive multiple (identical) emails from Charles Schwab?

Charles Schwab breaks their forms and applications out into separate emails for each account. If you received multiple emails from Schwab during the onboarding process, please do not disregard them. Please follow the required steps for each individual email to ensure that critical steps do not get missed.

We are continually working with Schwab to reduce the quantity of emails that they require throughout this process. We appreciate your patience in the meantime.

Do I need to write DecisionPoint a check?

No. Any checks to fund your investment accounts (including transfers and rollovers) will be made out to Charles Schwab so that they can be deposited directly into your account. The only time you would ever write a check to DecisionPoint would be for project-based consulting engagements like stand-alone financial planning.

Do I have to pay taxes on my account transfer?

It depends. Most account transfers and rollovers that we facilitate do not have any tax implications whatsoever. However, there may be specific circumstances that could generate a taxable event. Your DecisionPoint advisor and the Client Experience Team will both keep you informed throughout the process and will notify you beforehand if any actions would potentially trigger a tax liability. Also, as always, we welcome any questions or concerns you have regarding potential taxation for your unique situation.

How long does it take to open an account?

That mostly depends on how quickly you can complete the documents sent to you via DocuSign and Schwab. Once you have completed your account application, accounts are usually opened at Schwab within 3 business days.

How long does the transfer process take?

The transfer process can vary quite substantially depending on what type of account you are transferring and who the current custodian is. In some cases, accounts can transfer within a day (i.e. accounts already held at Charles Schwab) and in other cases they can take over a month (i.e. annuities and other insurance products that are surrendered). While we will do everything within our power to expedite the process, we are unfortunately constrained by the processes of the transferring party. During the account transfer step of the onboarding process, our Client Experience team will provide you with an estimated timeline for your transfers.

I received a check for the account I was transferring – what should I do?

Call someone on the Client Experience team as soon as possible. While it is common for certain types of accounts to mail a check directly to you, there could be tax implications and penalties if the check is deposited into your personal bank account or is not deposited into the appropriate account in a timely manner.

Who is Tamarac?

Tamarac is a third-party software that DecisionPoint utilizes for performance reporting on our clients’ accounts. It is commonly referred to as the “DecisionPoint Portal”. Upon opening and funding accounts, you will be provided login instructions to setup your portal access. This will allow you to easily track the performance of your accounts. The portal is also utilized to securely upload documents to clients, including quarterly performance reports and the firm’s annual ADV.

What is the difference between the DecisionPoint portal and the Schwab portal?

While both portals allow you visibility on your accounts that are being managed by DecisionPoint, there are some key differences. The Schwab portal is more transaction-focused and can be utilized to see itemized buys, sells, transfers, etc. Any tax (or other) documents generated by Charles Schwab will also be accessible via their portal. The DecisionPoint portal’s main distinction is that it provides more digestible performance data. It will show cumulative and individual returns for your accounts and their holdings, as well as helpful summarial information (i.e. total account contributions, account performance vs net investment, and asset allocation).

Anita Spackman Photo Anita Spackman Hover Photo
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Anita Spackman

Client Services Specialist – Client Experience Coordinator

Anita Spackman

Client Services Specialist – Client Experience Coordinator

Anita@DPPlanners.com | 480.553.6249

Anita will likely be the first member of the client experience team that you’ll interact with. She is responsible for steps 1 & 2 of the onboarding process. If you have questions or issues when filling out your Client Intake form, banking information, or signing the DecisionPoint agreements, Anita is happy to help.

Aside from always having the biggest smile in the office, Anita’s daily responsibilities at the firm also include facilitating client requests for money movements, completing client account maintenance, scheduling client meetings, and ensuring that everyone has a great experience whether calling into the office or walking through the front door.

If you’d like to learn more about Anita and what she enjoys in her free time, you can read her bio here.

Kortney Bamrick Photo Kortney Bamrick Hover Photo
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Kortney Bamrick

Client Services Specialist – Accounts & Transfers Coordinator

Kortney Bamrick

Client Services Specialist – Accounts & Transfers Coordinator

Kortney@DPPlanners.com | 480.553.6249

Kortney is responsible for steps 3 through 5 of the onboarding process. She will be the one spearheading the efforts to open your investment accounts at Charles Schwab and facilitating transfers/funding into said accounts from wherever they currently reside.

Kortney has expertise in numerous types of retirement plans and investment accounts, and the unique hoops that many financial institutions require you to jump through when transferring accounts out. She will be singlehandedly initiating account transfers on your behalf whenever possible or working alongside you to initiate them yourself (when required by the institution).

Kortney’s daily responsibilities also include any account maintenance tasks or updates for our client’s accounts at Charles Schwab.

If you’d like to learn more about Kortney and what she enjoys in her free time, you can read her bio here.

Devin Miller, CFP®, AIF® Photo Devin Miller, CFP®, AIF® Hover Photo
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Devin Miller, CFP®, AIF®

Director of Planning & Operations

Devin Miller, CFP®, AIF®

Director of Planning and Operations

Devin@DPPlanners.com | 480.553.6249

Devin is responsible for overseeing the Client Experience team and the onboarding process. If your situation has unique complexities or requires special attention, Devin will be involved with your onboarding – either directly or indirectly.

Devin’s daily responsibilities include designing and implementing the firm’s internal operating procedures for the Client Experience Team and the Portfolio Management staff. As a CFP® professional, he is also well versed in the financial planning process and helps strategize with the other Financial Planners at the firm.

If you’d like to learn more about Devin and what he enjoys in his free time, you can read his bio here.