1. FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
What is Family Investment Center? We build and manage investment portfolios for our clients, who
tend to invest $100,000 or more.
Is Family Investment Center a brokerage firm? No. Family Investment Center is an independent,
fully-regulated Registered Investment Advisor. We are a discretionary investment manager and
currently manage over 500 portfolios for families, companies, or nonprofit organizations in eleven
states. Family Investment Center is not related to any other banking, trust, or investment firm. The
United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) regulates us, where our file number is
Are you a “financial planning” firm? We focus on investing. We offer comprehensive financial
planning services for clients who want them. We don’t insist, however, that every client needs
extensive financial planning. We often work with clients to provide specific solutions for their unique
Are you an insurance agency? No. Dan Danford is a Missouri-licensed insurance producer, but we
do not sell insurance products. Sometimes we help clients buy needed insurance or annuity products,
but only as an adjunct to their investment business. If so, we charge a modest placement fee, and fully
disclose all other costs and fees.
How long have you been in business? Dan Danford founded Family Investment Center in 1998. For
fifteen years prior to that, he was a senior officer for local banks, trust companies, and investment
firms. Two of these – The Trust Company of St. Joseph and Family Investment Center – garnered
national recognition as successful start-ups.
Where are investment accounts held? Family Investment Center supervises client accounts at
several institutional custodians. In the past, various clients have held portfolios at Schwab
Institutional, E*Trade, Fidelity Institutional, Vanguard, United Missouri Bank, Commerce Bank, and T.
Rowe Price. Since we are completely independent, clients may select any bank or brokerage firm.
What are safety precautions for my accounts? Deposit insurance depends on where the portfolio is
actually held. Cash in a brokerage account (at Schwab or other institutions) is protected by the
Securities Insurance Protection Corporation (SIPC) up to $500,000. Deposits in banks are protected to
$100,000 by FDIC insurance.
Institutional brokerage firms typically offer protection that exceeds the SIPC coverage – in
Schwab’s case, this private insurance is up to $100 million per account. Additionally, Family
Investment Center buys separate coverage against employee dishonesty and a sizable ERISA bond,
required for managers who work with qualified pension and employee benefit portfolios.
Of course, the investment security of a specific portfolio depends on the type of investments,
objectives, time horizons, and special needs of each client. We help clients balance investment risks
2. How are you paid? Do you earn commissions for selling investment products? We are a
“commission-free” advisory firm, and we do not earn commissions. All revenue comes directly from
client fees, and we do not accept management income from other sources. The firm does not
manufacture or distribute proprietary investment products.
How do you reach investment decisions? Who decides on the specific investments in my
account? Investment decisions are made locally at Family Investment Center. The firm maintains a
third-party database with monthly performance, pricing, and risk information on over 26,700 mutual
funds, 1,600 exchange traded funds (ETFs), 10,600 common stocks, 1,200 closed-end mutual funds,
100,000 annuity sub-accounts, and 8,500 separate account managers. Objective research is a key
component of our process.
What sets you apart from other investment firms? The first thing is our local ownership and
commission-free fee structure. Traditional investment firms sell investment products and earn either
sales or transaction commissions. We think that a sales orientation can distort good advice, and that
remote ownership often creates divided loyalties.
Second, and we can’t stress this enough, is our internal professional team:
Dan Danford, CFP® has written two investment books and is featured in a number of national
newspapers and magazines, including Kiplinger’s, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune,
BusinessWeek Online, MSN Money, and The Kansas City Star. He’s also an industry consultant, where
his comments or work have been published in Research, Investment Advisor, Financial Planning, the
Advisor, Trust & Estates, and MorningstarAdvisor Online. He is a recognized authority on the
Missouri and Kansas Uniform Prudent Investor Act statutes. He is a frequent speaker on these and
other financial topics.
Jason T. White, MBA, Ph.D. has been an investment professional for almost 20 years. During
his business career, he has held positions in both the public and private sector, focusing primarily on
financial analysis, business valuations and financial advisory services. For the past 10 years, he has
also been teaching at the college level, currently as Associate Professor of Economics at Northwest
Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri. Jason writes extensively for both academic and
consumer publications and is a columnist for his local newspaper, the Maryville Daily Forum. Invited
as a guest expert on Social Security Privatization, he was heard on KXCV 90.5 FM. He has also been a
weekly commentator on For Your Wealth on KQTV television in St. Joseph. Jason has received
numerous awards for teaching excellence.
J. Elaine Coder graduated from South Harrison High School, Platt Business College, and took
a variety of business and banking courses at Missouri Western State University. She spent 13 years
with American National/Mercantile banks, and then as Retail Operations Officer for USbank. She was
Office Manager for Lipira Pharmacy, a Long Term Care Pharmacy, for 12 years before joining Family
Investment Center in 2005. She passed the NASD Series 65 Uniform Investment Adviser Law
Examination in October 2009.
Laura Price graduated from Missouri Western State University in 2007 with Bachelor of
Science degrees in Business Administration and Economics. In May of 2012, she earned a graduate
certificate in Personal Financial Planning from the University of Missouri in Columbia. From 2001
until October 2008, she served as a medical secretary at St. Joseph Oncology. In October 2008, she
joined Family Investment Center as Office Manager/Receptionist. She passed the NASD Series 65
Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination in June 2010.
Our official Disclosure form and additional explanatory materials are available on our website
www.FamilyInvestmentCenter.com or in our offices.