Fiduciary Investment Management A Challenging Endeavor for even the Best Trustees For many Trustees, being the responsible party for the retirement assets of hundreds or even thousands of employees can feel like a never ending battle. From being versed in capital markets and economics, to the nuance of performance measurement, and it may not be your primary professional skill. At Garde Capital we understand the demands placed on Trustees and are sensitive to create high performing, efficient, and understandable, investment solutions. This gives trustees the fiduciary standards they require, while delivering to participants the investment vehicles needed. We aim to satisfy the most demanding sophisticated investor, and the novice new investor. Our Core Services ‐ Investment Management Garde Capital's investment philosophy is index based. We believe consistently finding funds or investment managers that outperform in the future is a challenging endeavor at best, and is a financial disaster at worst. For plan sponsors, we believe the decision to index couldn't be easier. For a Trustee specifically, we think of the decision this way: If a plan sponsor chooses investments that outperform their benchmarks, the plan sponsor isn't that much better off. If a plan sponsor chooses investments that underperform their benchmarks, there are fiduciary risks. It's statistically more likely that investments underperform than outperform. Therefore, if a solution eliminates the possibility of a bad outcome, at the expense of giving up a neutral outcome, and the bad outcome is unacceptable, why not choose an always acceptable solution ‐ Index Funds? Investment Services Retirement Plan Sponsors have special needs that not all investment advisors are prepared to satisfy. We believe it's critical to be sure that your advisor has the experience and resources needed, assuring that your fiduciary and investment needs are satisfied. Investment Policy Statement The beginning of all fiduciary strategies starts with an Investment Policy Statement (IPS). The IPS is your roadmap to financial success. Keep in mind that not all IPS's are created equal. A good IPS helps you satisfy your fiduciary obligation and creates a roadmap to keep the plan on track and minimize ad hoc decisions. A Fiduciary Obligation ‐ 3(38) Preferred As a Registered Investment Advisor Garde Capital shares your fiduciary obligation and is a named fiduciary and covered service provider of the plan. We are not a broker dealer or dual registrant. We believe being one would create a conflict of interest. The very nature of an RIA is that of a fiduciary with Fiduciary responsibility, not the less stringent broker "suitability" test. Learn more about the legal difference in these types of relationships. Garde also gives you the option to hire us as a 3(21) or 3(38) Advisor. Fund Selection ‐ Active vs Index The debate between index investing and active management is alive as ever. With index managers citing the empirical evidence, academic support, and the consistent debacles of active managers, and active managers arguing exceptions to the data, and that human thought should add some value to the investment equation. At Garde Capital, not only do we side with the index philosophy, but for Fiduciaries, we believe the decision is that much easier due to the asymmetric risk to Trustees. Bad investments can come with significant legal implications, while market beating investments have little career payoff to the trustees, with exception to possibly a small pat on the back. Model Building ‐ Lifestyle versus Target Date Garde designs and delivers model portfolios to all participant directed retirement plans to help participants easily build portfolios that meet their needs. The process behind building these models is not based on tactical asset allocation strategies but built upon sound academic data for strategic long‐term investing covering all major asset classes. Performance Reporting and Monitoring Performance monitoring is a specialized business within the investment business. Garde's service model incorporates state of the art performance monitoring with daily performance and index data available on demand. DIA ‐ Designated Investment Alternatives Garde's approach to the participant's investment selections is to be exhaustive and mutually exclusive in the options delivered. This allows investors to have all of the tools to build efficient portfolios. QDIA ‐ Qualified Default Investment Alternative Over the years, many participants have blindly contributed to their retirement only to find out that contributions were sitting in cash uninvested. Garde's approach is to create a fully invested, diversified, QDIA that gives the employer and employee peace of mind that something is being done, even if they aren't engaged with their investments. Brokerage Window, PCRA, or Brokereage Link For the demanding participant that wants more than what the plan sponsor provides (optional for the plan sponsor), Garde often offers a linked brokerage account solution. This is not a DIA and the employer and Garde do not endorse investments in these accounts, but for experienced participants, their needs can always be satisfied through an unlimited choice of investments in this option. Employee Education The best retirement plan can be all for not if participants don't participate. Garde takes this significant issue of all plans seriously. We recommend that with the internal cost savings of the indexing approach, for plan sponsors to redirect those resources to create thoughtful, engaging, and behavioral altering education programs. With Morningstar's Retirement Manager, participants can get the tools they need with the support of Garde to create successful retirement outcomes for them and their family. At Garde Capital, the participants' success is the plan sponsor's success, and the plan sponsor's success is our success. Talk to us today.