That's the only way Mary Rinehart, founder and chief executive officer of Rinehart Wealth Management, will have it.
"I'm a big believer in fiduciary responsibility and that is what we are committed to," states Rinehart who is a registered investment advisor.
"When we invest your assets, you are the sole beneficiary."
Over the past 29 years, Rinehart
has built Rinehart Wealth Management
into a highly successful, fee-only financial advisors company.
"When I started out in 1985, I was the only fee-only company in Charlotte," remembers Rinehart
Still today, fee-only companies represent a tiny fraction of the financial industry that is mostly made up of companies who sell financial products on commission and charge performance-related fees.
Rinehart Wealth Management
is the largest fee-only financial advisors company in the region.
reasons: "I decided early on that I never wanted anyone to question my integrity; I can never be accused of having a conflict of interest.
"We offer very comprehensive wealth management solutions for a lifetime," says Rinehart
"We learn and evaluate the client's financial goals and needs and strategize how to allocate their assets to meet those goals and needs."
"Our work is individualized, customized," continues Rinehart
"Every portfolio is different.
Every client has different needs and capacity for risk-taking."
"A $1 to $10 million portfolio is really our niche, where we do our best work," says Rinehart
"We're not looking for the $50 to $100 million dollar client because we don't have the staff to take care of, say, ranches in Texas.
We work with families who need to set money aside for college expenses and retirement."
has gained the loyalty of scores of clients, many of whom have been with the company since its beginnings.
"We have very sophisticated asset management-unusual for a firm our size-made possible by state-of-the-art asset management tools and the people who know how to fully use them," says Rinehart
"We've invested significant money to obtain computer software programs and tools and to attract the brightest people in the field."
Daniele Donahoe joined Rinehart in 2009, following an impressive career in the financial industry, and now serves as president and chief investment officer.
Additionally, Donahoe co-managed a small cap equity mutual fund at Bank of America prior to joining Rinehart.
also points out that the advent of computers and computer software has also gone a long way to assure objectivity: "It used to be when you wanted to do some research on a company, you had to go to the company, talk with the managers, and look at their books-and you had to do it by yourself.
You could hire an analyst to do the research but you didn't know their allegiances; who was paying them.
"Being able to obtain raw information and data and cull that data was a huge breakthrough in decision-making," says Rinehart
"There's nothing magic about making decisions if you have good data and a good head on your shoulders."
explains that prior to the economic crash of 2008, everyone was counting on the rating agencies such as Standard & Poor's
, Moody's, and Fitch Group to give them the right kind of information about bonds.
"Turns out they were being paid by the companies that they rated.
When you can't trust somebody to give you the right information, you better go get it yourself," she
opinion, not enough financial reform has taken place in the wake of the financial scandals in recent years.
concerned about the reform that may take place.
Congress will likely take up legislation in the coming year that will decide what body-the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) or another-will have oversight of investment management companies.
"It's critical that they keep fiduciary standards at the highest level," insists Rinehart
Rinehart was born and raised in Charlotte, leaving to earn her degree from Sweetbriar College in Virginia.
began learning about financial planning and the investment industry at her
was in her
was in his
cared for her
parents in their final years.
father, a retired textiles broker, was heavily invested in New York City bonds that defaulted in the 1970s.
At the time there was nobody in Charlotte to turn to unless you had $25 to $50 million, says Rinehart
People went to New York to find a real investment advisor; one that did their own analytical work.
After taking on her
father's multi-faceted investment portfolio and settling her
parents' estates after their passing, Rinehart
believed that there were other people she
could help to manage their financial lives.
Rinehart took related courses at Queens University, embarked on studies to become a certified financial planner, and began to work with clients.
"In 1985, I got my first three clients.
I still have two of them," she
business quickly evolved into investments.
Circumstances around wealth have changed over time, according to Rinehart
who explains that wealth today usually comes from the sale of a business.
cites the increase in life expectancy as an additional financial problem.
"It was hard getting the word out," says Rinehart about the company.
"It's taken me 28 years for people to know what I do.
Plus, being a woman in the financial world
of the '90s caused many to question my ability.
Some men still question.
And, while Charlotte has been a good location for me, there were three large banks that dominated the financial world
Fear, in this business, is another challenge, according to Rinehart
"Keeping clients vested through all financial cycles is key.
Those who couldn't take it during the economic downturn and got out of investment are the ones that suffered greatly."
In 2003, Rinehart expanded her service offerings by partnering with 100 other registered investment advisors (RIAs) to establish the National Advisors Trust Company as a corporate trustee.
"I was the first to raise my hand because I had three huge banks in my backyard," notes Rinehart
"The trust company does all the filings and accounting work; the RIAs trade through them."
has always had a strong commitment to community and charitable causes.
Early on, she
made the decision to give 10 percent of the profits of Rinehart Wealth Management
to charity, and has accomplished that each year she's
been in business.
A strong advocate of childhood education, women in crisis, treatment for addiction and the environment, Rinehart
continues to have a significant impact in the Charlotte area.
With good reason, Rinehart
is confident of continued growth.
has no target date for retirement.
"I love what I do and I still think I can add something to the company," says Rinehart
, although she
admits that working two to three days per week and playing more golf sounds appealing.
"Besides, I have clients that I've had for years and they say I can't leave.
After all, I did promise them lifetime wealth solutions," she
affirms with a smile.