This page provides a succinct disclosure of answers to essential questions about our business model -- questions anyone might want to ask about a prospective financial adviser.
Education, Licensing, and Professional Designations
Education. Stephen Mallery earned his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon in 1986 and worked for 17 years as a professional writer, editor, and publisher in technical and niche magazine markets. He was owner and publisher at New Wine Press Inc., a successful niche magazine publishing company, from 1992 to 1999.
Licensing, registrations. Stephen Mallery has multiple licenses and registrations:
- Series 65 - Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam
- Series 6 - Investment Company Products and Variable Contracts Exam
- Insurance licensing for brokering health, life, disability, and long-term care insurance with the states of Oregon, California, and Pennsylvania
- Licensed insurance consultant in the state of Oregon.
- See our Fiduciary Standard of Care page for information about how we approach commissionable financial products.
Designations. Mallery holds the following designations:
- AIF (Accredited Investment Fiduciary)
- CFIS (Certified Fee Insurance Specialist)
- LUTCF (Licensed Underwriting Training Fellow)
Professional experience. Stephen Mallery entered the financial services industry in 2004. After seven years in the commission-based world (and witnessing firsthand its limitations), he transitioned in 2010 to a primarily fee-based practice.
For more information about Stephen Mallery's background, see his bio page or visit www.finrabrokercheck.com.
Stephen Mallery is licensed to offer securities and advisory services through KMS Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC and an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Mallery Financial, LLC, and KMS Financial Services, Inc., are not affiliated entities.
Stephen Mallery has a clean regulatory record. To see his Investment Adviser Representative report, go to the Investment Advisor Representative Public Disclosure search page (FINRA’s BrokerCheck report is available here).
It’s a good idea to check the background of any investment adviser or financial planner you might be considering working with (see SEC’s search page and FINRA’s search page).
Professional Memberships, Associations
Mallery is a member of FPA (Financial Planning Association), and since 2009 has been a board member and is past president of the Mid-Oregon Chapter. He is a past board member of NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors). Mallery is also a member of GreenLane Sustainable Business Network and a member of the Eugene Lunch Bunch Toastmasters club.
No Referral Fees
We pay no fees or other compensation or perks to other professionals who refer clients to us, nor do we receive fees, compensation, or perks from other professionals to whom we refer clients.
No Investment Minimums
At this time we have no minimum investment requirement, thanks in large part to our innovative small account solutions, which give smaller investors access to professional portfolio management services at competitive costs.
Planning and Implementation
We offer comprehensive, holistic, documented financial planning spanning the range of planning sub-specialities (college planning, retirement planning, estate planning, investments, insurance and risk management, taxes, advanced-age planning, etc).
Clients typically want us to implement our plan recommendations, and we are happy to do so. It is part of what we do. It is possible to hire us for financial planning and do the implementation yourself or with someone else if you prefer. Our ability to work with clients under an agreed-upon fee arrangement provides a great deal of flexibility in how we structure our relationship.
Tools of the Trade
Financial planning. Mallery Financial uses sophisticated financial planning software. It can be used for simple goal-based planning, but its real strength is in detailed cash-flow planning. It includes broad functionality, from college planning to estate planning, insurance planning to Social Security planning, and planning for major future events (sale of real estate, sale of a business, college funding, a wedding, acquisition of a vacation home, etc.). Because it contains all U.S. and state tax codes, it includes the cost of taxes in all projections.
Investments. We retain access to a variety of investment platforms. These platforms give us access to separate accounts, unified managed accounts, stocks, bonds, EFTs, and lowest-available-cost mutual funds. For smaller accounts, we typically use a fee-only mutual funds platform that has no minimum investment requirement. We sometimes recommend annuities based on the specific needs of the client (although much maligned, often for good reason, annuities are sometimes a good fit for a client’s situation). We use fee-based annuities when available (to avoid the complications often associated with commissions), but fee-based products are few and not always the best fit for the client’s situation. We strive always to put the client’s needs and best interests first in all our recommendations.
Insurance. We make use of a variety of analytical tools and methodologies when evaluating insurance products, proposals, and in-force policies. Objective analysis in paramount.
Your own personal website. Each client gets a personal wealth management website that can bring otherwise fragmented elements from across your financial world into one place, integrated with your financial plan. All account values and plan projections are automatically updated daily. It shows your net worth and all the details behind it – your assets (investment accounts, cash and cash equivalents, real estate, business interests, etc.) and liabilities (mortgage, loans, other debt instruments). Your financial plan reports are available within the website, updated daily with current information and showing your progress toward your long-term goals. This tool integrates all the current data of your financial world with your financial plan to provide a snapshot of the present and a projection of the future, to help you keep informed and on track.
Electronic communication and document sharing. For the tech-friendly, we offer the ability to exchange documents through the secure Vault that is part of your personal financial website. The system’s high security assures protection of sensitive personal information, conveniently.
For information about the system’s security, see the two-minute video.
We are a full-service firm -- your one-stop service team for needs involving your plan, investment accounts, insurance policies, etc. Holistic planning doesn’t get any more holistic than having your financial plan, investments, and insurance in one place. We communicate regularly and keep track of important special milestones. We are committed to returning your calls timely.
Summary of Practice
Stephen Mallery provides financial planning, investment advice and insurance consulting and maintains dual registration to provide a holistic suite of services, but with a clear leaning toward cost-effective fee-based services. We invest heavily in state-of-the-art tools for investment research, financial planning, insurance evaluation, and client services (including providing clients with their own personal financial website). We use no proprietary products and neither pay nor receive any compensation for referrals. We have a clean compliance history.
Most important, we care about our clients. All our discussion about the fiduciary standard of care, our focus on personalization, our breadth of services, and our technical capabilities is a reflection of our commitment to doing the best job we can to serve you. We are passionate about helping people, and we pursue the highest standards in service to our clients.