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Frequently Asked Questions


What are your services? | Broadly described, Cardiff Park is a full service investment advisory firm specializing in the management of portfolios using passive and index Investment strategies. Our portfolio design takes into account each client’s personal financial structure, investment horizon, and risk capacity. To implement an investment strategy we reposition client assets according to an agreed-upon plan, then personally oversee portfolio rebalancing as opportunities arise. Comprehensive reports on portfolio performance are issued monthly. More specifically, financial planning, risk tolerance assessment, portfolio design, implementation support, as well as tax-loss harvesting, monthly reporting and administrative assistance are all included client services. Our low monthly fee includes continuous investment advice, rebalancing support, and uninterrupted portfolio supervision.


Do you have an account minimum? | Yes. Cardiff Park account minimum is $1 million.


How are you compensated? | Our compensation comes exclusively from fixed annual retainer fees from our clients, billed quarterly and paid in arrears. We receive no commissions from fund companies or brokerage firms. We operate only on our clients’ behalf.  


What are your fees? | Our fixed fees are well below the industry average and do not rise as account values increase. They are based solely on the estimated number of hours required to service individual portfolios. Fees vary depending on the complexity of individual financial structure and needs, and how our clients leverage our services. Fees range from $3,000 to $12,000 per year, or $750 to $3,000 per quarter. For details, please see the “Our Fixed Low Fees” section of our site.


How do you collect fees? | Unlike most advisors, Cardiff Park does not withdraw advisory fees directly from client accounts. Rather, we send quarterly invoices to our clients who may pay us electronically or via check.


Can you help me with my IRA, 401(k) and annuities? | We will incorporate your IRA, 401(k) and related accounts into the design of your overall investment strategy. As part of the process we provide guidance on opening new accounts or investment direction for existing accounts. For details, see the “Assessing Your Needs” section of our site. Should you or your family members own annuities, we can provide access to Dimensional Fund offerings through no-load annuity providers such as Vanguard and Aegon/People’s Life. For details, see “Getting Started with Cardiff Park”.


Do your financial planning services include estate planning, insurance and tax planning? | Cardiff Park integrates personalized Investment management with ongoing financial planning. To best complement our services, we recommend that estate planning be carried out by specialized attorneys, tax issues be discussed with CPAs, real estate matters discussed with appropriate brokers and attorneys, and insurance matters with no-load insurance companies. Keeping these services separate ensures that there is no conflict of interest with respect to the services that these professionals deliver.


Does Cardiff Park accept trading discretion? | We manage accounts on our clients’ behalf, but do not accept discretion to buy or sell securities without obtaining prior client consent. We place trades for clients under a limited power of attorney agreement.


Do you accept custody of client funds or securities? | We do not accept custody of client funds or securities. Securities are held by brokerage firms that carry SIPC and other private insurance, including TDAmeritrade, Schwab, Fidelity, Pershing and Jefferson.


How do you decide when to rebalance? | We continuously review stock/bond ratios and individual equity asset allocations for each client. We suggest rebalancing when asset classes have significantly diverged from the client’s individual investment model. For details, please see the “Managing Your Portfolio” section of our site.


When do you report to clients, and what is included? | Our client reporting is available on a monthly basis. These reports include asset allocation analysis, performance analysis and a statement of unrealized gains and losses.


What other reports will I receive? | In addition to Cardiff Park’s reports, clients receive monthly reports and tax lot accounting from the custodians of their assets, who also offer 24-hour online access to account information. Clients can also access account information online via the secure websites provided by the account custodian, with instant access to current account value, cash balances, cost basis, trade confirmations, monthly statements and tax forms. Monthly or quarterly statements are also sent to clients directly from the correspondent brokers, banks, and/or insurance companies that hold client investments. We encourage clients to compare the account statements received from Cardiff Park with those received directly from their custodian in a timely manner.


Who is your optimal client? | Our optimal client understands the principles of passive and index investing and is committed to following these principles for the long term. We can recommend several popular books on the subject, and additional information can be obtained elsewhere on this site and from the Dimensional Fund Advisors website.


What background and experience does Cardiff Park bring to my investments? | John Gorlow, Cardiff Park's Principal, brings more than 25 years of experience working in and consulting with the financial services Industry. John managed investment advisory engagements for Ernst & Young in San Francisco and spent 14 years delivering personal investment management services for the private client groups of leading Wall Street brokerage firms including Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Oppenheimer. John holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Fordham University in New York. He has held the CIMA certification, obtained at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. CIMA stands for Certified Investment Management Analyst, an industry sponsored designation awarded by the Investment Management Consulting Association (IMCA).


Why should I choose Cardiff Park? | Our investment policy is proven. Our service is personalized, comprehensive and low-cost. And we have the experience, work ethic, and objectivity to guide you to long-term investment success.


Is your Investment model personalized, or is it pre-defined? | Cardiff Park delivers customized strategies tailored to individual portfolio goals, objectives, risk tolerance, time horizon, liquidity requirements, tax considerations, specific terms, and other pertinent circumstances. Each portfolio reflects the appropriate ratio of equities to fixed income based on specific client needs and objectives. Information about client IRA, 401(k) and related accounts is also reflected as part of the overall investment strategy.


How does Cardiff Park deliver competitive value at a low cost? | We keep our costs low by running an independent and operationally efficient business. We manage most key business processes in-house and focus new investment on technology, research and services that directly benefit our customers.


How do I get started? | Many of our clients are referred to us by other satisfied clients. The process of working together typically begins with emails and a telephone meeting. If you choose us as your advisor, we will agree upon a fee structure, then proceed with review of your financial situation and portfolio design. Cardiff Park will oversee the process of opening new accounts and transferring funds.