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Gerber Financial Advisors


October 5th, 2020
I hope you and your family are staying healthy, finding peace and doing well in this strange year of transformation, uncertainty and innovation. 2020 will certainly go down in the history books as an exceptional year in several ways. As with many things in life, there's good that comes with the bad. I'll be curious to see, long-term, all the good to come from living through a pandemic and tremendous social unrest in such a short period of time.
In the midst of all this change, I'd like to announce some important changes happening here at Gerber that impact you. In the end, these changes are positive for you, our team, the firm in general and for me, personally.
Brace yourself, this is lengthy! There is lots of important information to follow and I encourage you to take the time to read through and familiarize yourself with these changes. Know that we'll continue to communicate regularly (and more briefly!) through these changes as they become imminent.
The BIGGEST change to announce is that, after 21 years, I've decided to leave Raymond James Financial Services (RJFS). RJFS is a tremendous firm and has been a great partner to me since 1999. Tom James himself was an instrumental and entrepreneurial leader at Raymond James from his initial board member seat (at the ripe age of 20) to his part in taking the company public in 1983. The culture of Raymond James throughout Tom's leadership was very entrepreneurial and full of innovation and firsts; a terrific fit for me personally and the entire Gerber, LLC organization serving our core market of First Generation Entrepreneurs.
Since Tom's resignation, RJFS has evolved and is simply not a great fit anymore. The primary reasons are rooted in RJFS's ownership of information and the overall client experience.
As you know I've built my firm on independence, innovation, thought leadership and most importantly, representing you, in a way that's in your best interest, all the time, in every way. As my frustration with RJFS escalated around issues of independence, we began to investigate the many alternatives. After thorough due diligence and hours of conversations, we have decided to partner with Fidelity as our new custodian. Fidelity partners with firms of a certain scale, a demonstrated ability to grow organically (versus through acquisition) and a certain degree of sophistication; we feel fortunate to fit this profile!
Fidelity remains privately held by the Johnson family + employees and I believe they will remain privately held and entrepreneurial for a long time to come. Fidelity is one of the largest, most innovative financial service firms in the world. They are a world leader in their commitment to low fees, innovation and technology. We have been impressed at every step of the way so far and cannot wait to experience everything Fidelity has to offer once we are officially on the platform.
Aside from the administrative process to change, in the end this is an all-around positive transition for you. It's important to note I did not sell the business and have no intentions of doing so; this is simply a custodianship change.
  • Lower costs. Your costs at Fidelity are lower than RJFS and are among the least expensive in the industry. In many instances, there are not transaction fees
  • Better technology. Your on-line and mobile experience are terrific and constantly improving
  • Enhanced security and privacy
  • More, and substantially less expensive lending programs than RJFS
  • Abundant third party technology resources to provide more tools, information and options to you
  • This transition insures Gerber's low fee structure (we are not changing our fee structure) and independence
We've been working diligently the last several weeks to prepare and help ensure this transition is simple and easy for you. Around October 12th, you will receive an email from Agreement Express with a link to all the paperwork needed to transfer your accounts. Agreement Express will allow you to complete and sign all the necessary documents electronically.
Once all of the forms are completed, your money will transfer via Automated Customer Account Transfer (ACAT) from RJFS to Fidelity, except 529 Plans and Annuities where there will simply be an Advisor of Record change (more on this below). Note this is a standardized industry transfer process that is highly regulated. There is no buying and selling of your current investment positions throughout this process; what you own now you will own in the exact same form after the transfer is complete, therefore no tax costs will be incurred. In addition, any closing fees or account transfer fees charged by RJFS will be reimbursed dollar for dollar by Fidelity once the money resides in Fidelity's custodianship.
If you would like to set up a time to have one of our team members go through the process and electronic paperwork with you over the phone, via conference call, or in person, please let us know by emailing Sally at Of course, you may always contact our office directly at 614-431-4343 and we'll be here to answer any questions you have.
Here's where we get a little technical; these registrations need to be held in a FINRA environment, versus an SEC environment. Perhaps unbeknownst to you, at RJFS we had both a FINRA and SEC relationship. Fidelity will only hold our SEC assets (the vast majority of our business). The FINRA assets will be held at PKS, which clears through National Financial Services (NFS), also owned by Fidelity. What does this mean for clients who have these accounts/assets? The paperwork and transition process will all be the same. Similar to RJFS, Annuities will be held at the insurance company and 529 Plans will be held at the Investment Management Firm. We're in the process of setting-up an account aggregation tool, Advyson, where you'll be able to login and view ALL of your accounts in one place.
One of the best benefits of joining Fidelity is their commitment to an open architecture and integrated technological environment (we did not have this kind of freedom with RJFS). You will have logins directly through Fidelity for all of your investments that sit directly on the Fidelity or NFS platforms.
Via Fidelity, we are now using a data management tool called Advyzon. We have been using Advyzon since May 1st for performance reporting and asset allocation monitoring. Consolidated reporting including statements you choose to create and print will be available within Advyzon. Note we are working to have your statements configured similar to what you've become accustomed to at Raymond James by December 31st, 2020. By April 1st, 2021 it is our goal to use Advyzon for Performance Reporting, Document Vault (moving your existing Vault to the new Vault at Advyzon) and Account Aggregation and other cool initiatives.
In the beginning, all accounts will be set up for electronic statements. If you want paper statements, please let us know.
We have made a decision to change the format of our tax reviews this year as a result of the potential significant changes to tax laws and regulations with the upcoming election. Should Biden win and we see a change in control of the Senate - and based upon Biden's published tax platform - substantial tax changes could occur, including:
  • Increased Capital Gains tax rates
  • Increased Earned Income tax rates for those making more than $400,000 per year
  • Step Up Cost Basis

There are additional items to consider with Biden's proposed tax platform but the above changes may require action in 2020 and we want to be positioned to address and execute those changes if necessary.
At this point, it is too close to call what will happen in the election. Most importantly, we want to make sure we are giving you the best advise possible to close out 2020. Furthermore, we continue to await guidance on various components of the CARES Act passed earlier this year and other regulatory changes that have happened as a result of COVID-19.
We will address the following matters, at a minimum, in your 2020 tax review:
  • 2020 capital gains, dividends and interest information
  • Tax driven buying / selling opportunities
  • Income assessment (accelerate or decelerate income)
  • CARES Act related changes and adjustments
  • Any other relevant information
The format and delivery method of the tax review is yet to be determined and we'll be reaching out to you in November - or earlier - with more information here. Rest assured our advice will be customized to you and your specific situation and what to do in 2020, if anything, based on the facts as we understand them. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, we're here for you. Please do not hesitate to contact our office directly at 614-431-4343 or email our team at
Lastly, like many of our clients, we have experienced some personnel changes this year. Two of our terrific Team members made lifestyle changes in 2020. Lori Fellows, our Retirement Plan Specialist has decided to stay home with her two boys and be a full-time mother. Kyle McGrath has decided to execute his dream to move out of to Denver, Colorado; a dream Kyle disclosed to us in the interview process four years ago. We wish them both health, happiness and success and certainly understand these decisions in a year of change.
We have begun the interview process and are confident we'll be able to enhance the Gerber Team with some great new A Player talent. Know that we have built our systems and processes around our entire Team and we will continue to provide the exceptional level of service you expect from us, leveraging Gerber's standard of excellence and Fidelity's strength and stability as an industry-leading financial services firm.
Thank you for entrusting us with your business, we are grateful to be a part of your life journey. We are excited to continue our relationship with you - and a new relationship with Fidelity - to continue to offer the highest level of service possible for many years to come.
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