Frequently Asked Questions
We are a fee-only registered Investment Advisory firm that acts as a fiduciary for our clients. We pride ourselves on providing an easy-to-understand business model, fee transparency, and excellent client service.
We provide five investment strategies for our clients, ranging from Conservative to Aggressive. In an effort to provide our clients with long-term portfolio success, we created an investment philosophy that focuses on three central principals: low-cost/passive management, risk management, and behavioral economics. The firm’s investment strategy is the result of a graduate research project at UCLA.
We approach financial planning in a very scientific, data-driven way. We use a cash-flow based financial planning process to determine the best course of action you should take. When determining the different possible outcomes, we rely heavily on comparing different possible scenarios.
The firm’s name origin came as a suggestion from a fellow UCLA classmate (and now current Ph.D student). The bull oak (or buloke) is an ironwood tree native to the semi-arid regions of Australia. It is the hardest wood in the world with a Janka hardness of 5060 lbf.
Our account minimum is $750,000. This minimum can be met through several different account types, including IRAs, Roth IRAs, Individual Accounts, Trusts, Joint Tenant, and others.
Assets We Manage
$750K – $1MM 0.99% $1MM – $3MM 0.89% $3MM – $5MM 0.79% $5MM – $10MM 0.69% $10MM – $20MM 0.59% $20M and above 0.49%
Our account minimum is $750,000. We calculate our fees using a linear schedule and not a tiered/progressive fee schedule. There are no additional cost for the financial planning process or ongoing advice. Our fee schedule is based off of the clients AUM (Assets Under Management) and we bill our clients monthly.
For all of our clients, fees are automatically deducted from their investment account. A statement is regularly sent to our clients on a monthly basis, including fees, holdings, performance, etc.
We strive to be completely transparent with our clients and that includes how much they pay us. We believe that this is a differentiator for us in an industry that is often opaque and misleading. As a fiduciary Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), the only revenue we receive is directly from our clients. We do not receive compensation via commissions, product fees, etc. This means that your incentives are aligned with our incentives. The better you do, the better we do. All with transparency.
All of our client’s assets are held at TD Ameritrade via brokerage accounts (IRA, Roth IRA, Trust, Jt Ten, etc.). We do not directly custody our client’s assets. Your account(s) is held at a large, well-known firm where you will have 24/7 access to your account. Learn more about TD Ameritrade’s client portal here.
We primarily work with working professionals in the southern California region (San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles), though we also work with others, including near/at retirees. Typically, our clients engage in a relationship with us when they are facing an important transitory period in their life. This can be, “We are starting to really grow our net worth and we want to ensure that we are managing it properly.” Or, “We want to make sure that we do not outlive our money.” Nonetheless, our clients are facing a life milestone and they are looking for professional guidance. This is where we shine.
Most of our clients are located within the southern California region (San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles). However, we have quite a number of clients located throughout the continental U.S., including Seattle, New York City, San Francisco, Denver, Cincinnati, and others. We are a tech-savvy firm and we are able to do business with our clients anywhere via phone and webchats.
Perhaps we are a bit biased, but we believe that we create outstanding financial plans. If you are interested in putting together a financial plan, the most important fact that we want you to know about our firm is this: we designed the planning process to be engaging, not agonizing. This is, after all, all about you! We want you to be excited about your financial future.
We begin with a Fact-Finding Session, where we use the mind mapping technique to learn all about you and your goals. Trust us, this method is great! After mapping your financial life, we end by going over your budget.
After we have gone through the Fact-Finding Session, it takes us roughly 30 days to create a financial plan. Once we are done, we invite you back to our office for our presentation! After presenting, we will send you a client portal invite so you can track your goals real-time on your desktop and/or your cell phone.
To learn more about the financial planning process, click here.
For more on this topic, please read here. According to the Oxford dictionary, a fiduciary is “Involving trust, especially with regard to the relationship between a trustee and a beneficiary. ‘The company has a fiduciary duty to shareholders’” Bull Oak Capital, LLC is a registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and RIAs are held to the fiduciary standard.
According to the SEC, “an investment adviser owes its clients undivided loyalty, and may not engage in activity that conflicts with a client’s interest without the client’s consent.” This is important because not all of those that provide financial advice are held to the same standard. They could be giving you advice (e.g. selling you a product) that may go against your interests. By working with a fiduciary, that conflict of interest and concern goes away.
No, we do not build custom portfolios as there is rarely a good reason to do so. All of our clients are allocated to one of the five investment models. We believe that most investors should be allocated to one of the five as our investment strategy is built on economic research and proven strategies. The findings of this research do not change from client to client and therefore should not change one’s investment approach. The two primary factors influencing one’s investment strategy is usually their time horizon and risk tolerance. From this, we can determine which of the five is suitable. Of course there are exceptions to which the models do not make sense (e.g. those with a significant tax liability due to a low basis, the client has too low of risk tolerance, etc.), but these exceptions are rare.
There are many financial advisors that will promise to build a customized investment portfolio based on the clients needs. The pitch is that they will put together a financial plan first, then build an investment portfolio based on the client’s cash flow needs. At first, this sounds logical as the investment portfolio will be built around the client’s life. However, it is not feasible nor is it often suitable. The stock market, the bond market, and the economy is completely and definitively agnostic when it comes to investor needs. Put simply, it does not care if you are saving for a home or if you need income during your retirement. If the economy is going to contract or if the market is going to correct, it will without mercy. You can still create cash-flow needs with our five investment portfolios, but the “invested” portion should not change.
Furthermore, for those financial advisors that build customized portfolios for each and every one of their clients, they will soon have a major problem on their hands. How will they effectively manage so many different portfolios? If an advisor has 300 clients, then they have 300 portfolios to manage. We believe it is near impossible to do so effectively. We have only five portfolios to manage, making our firm not only more efficient for us, but more suitable and logical for our clients.
You can read more about the investment strategy here.