Feature Comparisons

Steadyhand is a great fit for many investors. Some individuals, however, may be better served by a full service advisor, investment counsellor, or by taking an indexing approach. Decide for yourself.

Compare and contrast our firm to other common investment providers and vehicles, including: full service advisors (brokers), ETFs (via discount brokers), investment counsellors, and no-load mutual fund companies (with a focus on the largest of the group).


Steadyhand vs.
Firm Independent, right-sized Each advisor is running his/her own business Do-it-yourself investing Focus on high-net-worth investors Canada's largest no-load fund company

Steadyhand:

Independent, right-sized

  • Independent, employee-owned
  • Right-sized (small and agile)
  • Recognized for industry-leading Stewardship
  • Co-investment (80% of employees assets are invested alongside our clients)
  • Experienced team, led by Tom Bradley (30 years)
  • Low employee turnover since inception
  • Third-party validation from Morningstar, Gordon Pape, Rob Carrick and others
  • Not "in your pocket" (not commission-based; not constantly launching new products)
  • Unique personality

Full Service Advisors:

Set 1 Each advisor is running his/her own business.

  • Advisor is running their own business
  • Experience varies by individual
  • Many brokerages are bank-owned

ETFs (Discount Broker)

Do-it-yourself investing

  • Many discount brokers are bank-owned, although independents do exist
  • Cater to do-it-yourself investors
  • Most discount brokers have an online ETF resource centre
  • ETFs are gaining advocates in the media and investment circles and third-party validation in the academic community

Investment Counsellors

Focus on high-net-worth investors

  • Focus on high-net-worth investors (high minimum investment requirements, typically $1-2 million or higher)
  • May be independent and employee owned, or may be owned by a bank or other financial institution
  • Typically some level of co-investment for independent firms
  • Reputation and third-party validation varies by firm

No Load Funds (PH&N)

Canada's largest no-load fund company

    • There are a handful of no-load fund companies in Canada (including Steadyhand), but our comparison focuses on the firm that has the vast majority of assets in the category, PH&N Investment Services
    • Part of RBC Global Asset Management (bought in 2008)
    • Was independent for over 40 years prior to RBC acquisition
    • Several billion dollars in assets under management
    • Recognized for low fees
    • Third-party validation from Lipper, Morningstar and others
    • Strong track record in bonds
    • Not commission-based
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Investment Philosophy Explicit philosophy, veteran oversight Choice of philosophy
specific to broker
Indexing Area of expertise specific to counsellor Range of approaches

Steadyhand:

Explicit philosophy, veteran oversight

  • Well defined philosophy, Undexing, based on 4 key principles:
    1. Non-benchmark oriented
    2. Concentrated portfolios
    3. Unconstrained managers
    4. Low turnover
  • Tom Bradley, your Chief Investment Officer (respected industry veteran), designed mandates for the funds and oversees/monitors the managers

Full Service Advisors:

Set 1 Each advisor is running his/her own business.

  • Philosophy will vary by individual advisor
  • Investors can seek advisors who focus on a certain investing style, such as value, growth, income-oriented, indexing, etc.

ETFs (Discount Broker)

Indexing

  • Objective of ETFs is to replicate the composition and performance of an index, sub sector of an index, or basket of securities (minus fees)
  • Most indices are capitalization weighted, meaning a security's weighting in the index is proportional to its size or market capitalization
  • No human judgment in constructing or rebalancing the portfolio

Investment Counsellors

Area of expertise specific to counsellor

  • philosophy will vary by firm
  • Counsellors often focus on a certain investing style, such as value or growth, or have expertise in a specific asset class

No Load Funds (PH&N)

Range of approaches

    • Investment teams employ a wide variety of investment styles, including value, growth and growth at a reasonable price (GARP)
    • Investment teams are under the guidance of Chief Investment Officer Dan Chornous
    • Style of management specific to investment team and fund
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Product Offering Simple lineup Wide selection Wide selection Tight offering, higher minimums Wide variety of mutual funds

Steadyhand:

Simple lineup

  • Simple lineup that covers the waterfront (6 funds)
  • Access to managers not available to most investors
  • Founders Fund captures all of what we do
  • Most account types offered (RESP is the exception)
  • $10,000 minimum investment requirement per fund

Full Service Advisors:

Set 1 Each advisor is running his/her own business.

  • Access to thousands of investment products (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, wraps, ETFs, etc.)
  • All types of accounts offered
  • Steady flow of new products
  • Minimum account size varies, but typically $100,000+

ETFs (Discount Broker)

Wide selection

  • Hundreds of ETFs to choose from
  • Range from broad-market to niche products
  • Steady flow of new products
  • No minimum investment requirement

Investment Counsellors

Tight offering, higher minimums

  • Typically have a focused lineup with expertise in a specific asset class or two
  • Many firms offer pooled funds or segregated accounts (clients own individual securities)
  • Most account types offered
  • High minimum investment requirement ($1-2 million)

No Load Funds (PH&N)

Wide variety of mutual funds

    • Wide variety of funds (nearly 200) offered by PH&N and RBC Funds
    • All account types offered
    • $25,000 minimum investment requirement
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Service Offering Clear-cut advice and reporting Full service offering, reporting varies No advice, reporting varies Discretionary management Tiered levels of advice

Steadyhand:

Clear-cut advice and reporting

  • Clear-cut investment advice and portfolio reviews (focused on Strategic Asset Mix and better investing practices)
  • Access to online tools
  • Online account access
  • Access to videos, podcasts and periodic investment sessions with fund managers
  • Easy to deal with (most transactions/requests can be taken care of with a phone call)
  • Comprehensive quarterly reporting (detailed information on portfolio returns, fees, asset mix, funds, and company updates)

Full Service Advisors:

Set 1 Each advisor is running his/her own business.

  • Advice and planning services will vary by advisor
  • Discretionary management option for large accounts (all investment decisions and portfolio adjustments are made on client's behalf)
  • Dedicated contact person, often with team back-up
  • Online account access
  • Introduction to ancillary financial services (banking, insurance, tax, lending, estate, etc.)
  • Can hold all investments/financial products in one place
  • Quality of reporting varies by firm

ETFs (Discount Broker)

No advice, reporting varies

  • Low trading commissions
  • Access to call center for account-related and administrative questions
  • Investing tools and features will vary by firm, but often include educational tools, model portfolios and trading tips
  • Some discount brokers offer commission-free dividend re-investment programs (DRIPs)
  • Online account access
  • No investment advice provided
  • Monthly account statements
  • Quality of reporting and client service varies by firm

Investment Counsellors

Discretionary management

  • Discretionary management (all investment decisions and portfolio adjustments are made on client's behalf)
  • Typically high level of client service
  • Dedicated contact person, often with team back-up
  • Advice and planning services will vary by counsellor
  • Annual or semi-annual portfolio reviews
  • Quality of reporting varies by firm

No Load Funds (PH&N)

Tiered levels of advice

    • Investment Funds Centre - available to all clients and offers consultation on portfolio structure and periodic portfolio reviews
    • Investment Funds Advisory Service (higher investment requirement) - helps clients design a personalized investment strategy through a dedicated advisor
    • Discretionary management offered for portfolios over $1 million
    • Online account access
    • Easy to deal with
    • Access to online tools
    • Comprehensive quarterly reporting and communications (detailed information on fees, asset mix, funds)
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Cost Low cost, declining fees Choice of fee structure; typically higher cost Lowest cost Low cost, tapered fees Low cost

Steadyhand:

Low cost, declining fees

  • Low base fees: 0.65% to 1.78% all-in
  • Fee rebates on portfolios over $100,000
  • Additional fee rebates after 5 years as a client
  • Total fee for a balanced portfolio ranges from approx. 1.24% to 1.40% before rebates
  • Show fees paid in dollar terms and as a percentage of total assets
  • No commissions, admin fees or transaction fees
  • No middleman

Full Service Advisors:

Set 1 Each advisor is running his/her own business.

  • Fees: commission-based or fee-based option
  • Can expect to pay approx. 1% to 1.5% for full service advice plus the cost of investment products
  • Possible fee breaks for larger accounts

ETFs (Discount Broker)

Lowest cost

  • MERs as low as 0.1% for some broad-market ETFs
  • Trading commissions range from $10-30 per transaction depending on firm and account size. Some firms offer select ETFs with no trading commissions
  • Annual account administration fees may apply depending on firm and account size
  • Total annual cost of a balanced portfolio estimated to be 0.4% - 0.7% (includes MERs, trading commissions, admin charges and tracking error)

Investment Counsellors

Low cost, tapered fees

  • Low fees
  • Can expect to pay approx. 1% to 1.5% for a balanced portfolio
  • Tapered fee schedules for larger accounts
  • Custodian fees may be charged to client
  • No commissions

No Load Funds (PH&N)

Low cost

    • Low fees: MERs range from 0.55% to 1.50%
    • No commissions, admin fees or transaction fees
    • No middleman
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Performance Reporting Clear track record No audited track record Returns will track indices; reporting varies Reporting varies by firm Clear track record

Steadyhand:

Clear track record

  • Audited returns for all funds (post-fee)
  • Returns calculated for hypothetical balanced portfolios (record of how clients have done)
  • Show clients their performance at the account and portfolio level

Full Service Advisors:

Set 1 Each advisor is running his/her own business.

  • No composite or audited track record of client portfolios
  • Reporting to client varies by firm

ETFs (Discount Broker)

Returns will track indices; reporting varies

  • Returns will track performance of underlying index or basket of securities, minus fees (MERs) and tracking error (a measure of how closely the portfolio follows the index)
  • Reporting to clients varies by firm

Investment Counsellors

Reporting varies by firm

  • Pre-fee audited record of composite portfolios available for prospective investors
  • Reporting to clients varies by firm, but will typically include performance at the account level

No Load Funds (PH&N)

Clear track record

    • Audited returns for all funds (post-fee)
    • Show clients their performance at the account and portfolio level
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Other Non-conforming, brutally honest, unusually simple The individual is the key Passive investing Benefits and intangibles vary by firm Wide array of products and services

Steadyhand:

Non-conforming, brutally honest, unusually simple

  • Access to white papers and internal articles on better investing practices
  • Annual client presentation in five cities
  • Focus on simplicity and transparency
  • Steadyhand Blog (opinions, advice to investors, stance on industry issues, and the odd piece of wit)

Full Service Advisors:

Set 1 Each advisor is running his/her own business.

  • Access to research reports on stocks, funds, other
  • Access to views of market strategists, economists
  • Advisor and/or company presentations

ETFs (Discount Broker)

Passive investing

  • Access to research reports on ETFs and stocks
  • Educational tools on passive investing

Investment Counsellors

Benefits and intangibles vary by firm

  • Potential access to white papers and internal articles
  • Typically hold annual or bi-annual client presentations
  • Other features/benefits will vary by firm

No Load Funds (PH&N)

Wide array of products and services

    • Access to research papers and internal articles
    • Annual client presentations in a number of cities
    • Focus is on offering a full range of investment products and services
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