G.E. RATTE Asset Management


Frequently Asked Questions

You state that G.E. Ratté Asset Management is a fiduciary and as such is required to always act in the client’s best interest. Isn’t this true with ALL investment managers? If not, what is the difference between G.E. Ratté Asset Management and other investment managers?

No, not all investment managers are fiduciaries.

G.E. Ratté Asset Management is a Registered Investment Advisor (“RIA”). As such, it has a legal and ethical status as your fiduciary. We are required to put your needs first always.

A fiduciary must always put the best interests of his client first. As an example, when we select a security for your portfolio, we are obligated to consider any number of criteria, including volatility and expected return characteristics, correlation with other portfolio assets, cost, expenses, suitability, etc. On the other hand, a broker has only one criteria that he is obligated to meet—whether the security is “suitable” for his client. The security doesn’t have to be the best option for his client, or even a good option. It just has to be “suitable.” Additionally, a broker is under no obligation to disclose to his client any commission or other compensation paid to the broker for using that security. In contrast, a fiduciary must by law disclose any compensation received. The only compensation that G.E. Ratté Asset Management receives is paid by our clients.


You refer to the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. What is that? Does it matter to me, a retail investor?

The CFA designation is considered the “gold standard” of credentials in the field of investment management and security analysis. It assures you of wide-ranging expertise and the highest ethics and professional standards. We are the only independent RIA in Hawaii with two CFA Charter holders. Learn more about CFA Designation


Why can’t G.E. Ratté Asset Management hold my assets? Why do I need a separate custodian?

It is never a good idea to have your investment manager also be the custodian of those assets. The choice of custodian is yours and that custodian reports to you, not the investment manager. If Bernie Madoff had not acted as both investment manager and custodian for his clients, he never could have generated the fabricated statements that were the cornerstone of his massive fraud scheme. We work with qualified custodians around the world.

I don’t know how to find a qualified custodian. Can you help?

Absolutely. We can recommend a qualified custodian to you. Our considerations in the recommendation would include price (it should be minimal to no-cost to you), reliability, quality of client service, capabilities and “best execution” of trades for you.


Are my assets insured? What if the custodian gets into trouble?

Most qualified custodians are classified as what are called “broker-dealers.” All assets held at a broker-dealer are covered by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”), which will pay claims made by clients against the broker-dealer for loss of property. SIPC coverage is limited and many custodians provide additional insurance to their clients.

If the assets are held by a trust company, those assets are segregated from the assets of the trust company and so are not subject to bankruptcy proceedings.


What do I pay for your services? How do I pay it?

G.E. Ratté Asset Management is a fee-only investment advisor. Fees are calculated based on the amount of your assets under our management. Generally, fees are billed quarterly in advance and are paid automatically out of your account. However, clients can make other arrangements to pay our fees if they don’t want their fees deducted from their accounts.


What does “fee-only” investment advisor mean?

It means our compensation is paid only by you, our client. We are not paid commissions on any of the external investment strategies we employ on your behalf. We do not share in the revenue of any of the investment managers or financial products that we recommend. This removes all potential conflicts of interest. Our only incentive is to do the very best we can for our client.


What sets G.E. Ratté Asset Management apart from other investment management firms?
Why should I choose you?

Our wealth management services are highly customized to meet each of our clients’ individual goals and objectives.

Our independence and our world-class expertise sets us apart from any other investment management firm in Hawaii, while our island location gives us value-added perspective over our peers on Wall Street.