Transition FAQ

Why did you create Intelligent Design Advisors?

After 17 years of working for Morgan Stanley and its predecessors the decision to leave didn't come easy, but it was the right decision.  Beth and I felt that the limited options we had available to serve clients no longer fully fit our client's needs.  We wanted to be able to offer clients exactly what they want.  When we were building Intelligent Design Advisors, we were focused on maintaining the highest quality service for clients who join us.  We also wanted to become more flexible in how we work with clients.  No two client relationships are the same and we wanted to build a business that reflects that truth.


Who is on your team?

You will still be working with the same core team that you were working with at Morgan Stanley.  Beth and I are still working together to serve our clients.  We will have the help of the team at Wealth Advisory Services, a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm that is dedicated to helping advisor teams like ours to successfully launch independent advisory practices. 


How will the service you provide change?

We plan to offer the same core services that clients have come to expect and value.  One thing that should improve is our ability to be in contact with you.  With the technology that can now be utilized, will be able to work more efficiently and be more responsive than ever before.  Another aspect that will be different is that we can be more flexible in how we work with clients. 


What happens to my accounts in the meantime?

Unless you have directed someone to do something different your account should be positioned as I left it at Morgan Stanley.


Will my fees change?

In most cases the fees will not change or will be less than what clients were paying while at Morgan Stanley when considering all costs.  We wanted to be able to tailor our fees to meet our client's needs more specifically and is one of the reasons we decided to start our company.  Some clients may opt to pay more and add additional features, but that would only be because we and the client agree that the extra cost is beneficial.

Where would my money go if I decide to move to Intelligent Design Advisors?

TD Ameritrade is the firm we chose to be the main custodian for our firm.  We compared their offering to the other major firms.  The one thing we liked most about TD Ameritrade is that their platform seemed to be the most technologically advanced in the areas that mattered to us.  We also found their team to be the best fit.  A benefit of our decision to establish Intelligent Design Advisors is that we can work with you regardless of where you would like to custody your assets.  The two primary advantages to moving your assets to TD Ameritrade are that you can take advantage of the lower fees we've negotiated on your behalf, and should any questions arise we would be working with a familiar team to obtain answers.


How much will it cost me to move?

I know that Morgan Stanley generally charges people when they want to move their account.  They call this the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service fee.  We plan to cover the cost of these fees for any clients moving their account to TD Ameritrade through a relationship with Intelligent Design Advisors during our transition period. 


Will Morgan Stanley cancel my checkbook/credit card/ATM card?

Generally, Morgan Stanley won't change anything about your relationship with them except who you are working with. 


Why did you wait so long?

You may have sensed my frustration over the last year or so.  I can't get into too much detail, but the bottom line is that I knew I needed to leave maybe as early as last fall.  We wanted to carefully consider the options available and after significant research we decided that the best approach was to build a company.  This took a lot of time.  Each decision had a lot of choices available each with their own strengths and weaknesses.  Despite knowing we needed to leave, the most important thing to Beth and I was that we got it right.