Aesop | Pronounced EE-sop
Aesop Advisor is named after the perhaps legendary ancient Greek author of Aesop’s Fables, including “The Tortoise and the Hare.”
What We Are:
Aesop Advisor is a registered investment advisor (RIA). An RIA provides advice about investments in securities (stocks and bonds). In addition to investment advice, some advisors provide financial advice, and some advisors manage investment portfolios on behalf of their clients. Advisors who manage investment portfolios for their clients are commonly called asset managers, investment managers, money managers, portfolio managers, or wealth managers. RIA firms are required to maintain registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and state securities authorities. More information about investment advisors is available from the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
What We Do:
Aesop provides managed investment account services and financial planning advice. We open investment accounts for individuals, such as IRAs and Roths, and manage investments by selecting and purchasing securities within the accounts. Client investment accounts are opened through our account custodians/brokers. In addition to investment management, Aesop also provides financial advice.
Third-parties, such as account custodians, may make their proprietary mobile applications available for use by Aesop clients, though Aesop does not offer its own application. Account custodian mobile applications may provide Aesop clients functionality such as viewing account(s) and making deposits to account(s).
How We Differ from 401(k)s & Other Work Plans:
Employer sponsored retirement accounts include 401(k)s and 403(b)s. 401(k)s and 403(b)s are not investments themselves, but are accounts that hold investments. Typically, workers who participate in a work retirement plan are responsible for selecting investments on their own. As contributions are deducted from paychecks, selected investments are purchased periodically. Investment options in work-place plans are typically limited to an investment product called “mutual funds”. Aesop is not limited to mutual funds and has access to a variety of investment products, including a wide range of low-cost exchange traded funds. Learn more about why having an individual retirement investment account in addition to your work plan can be a good idea.
How We Differ from Brokers:
Many investment advisors are also registered as brokers, though they are not the same. Brokerage services include clearing transactions such as the buying and selling of stocks. Brokerage firms can also act as custodians, providing investment accounts for holding client securities, similar to how a bank provides accounts for holding cash. Larger firms may act as both an advisor and a broker, providing investment advice through an RIA division that is carried out in an account opened by the firm’s brokerage division. Aesop earns fees from providing asset management services and financial planning advice, and does not provide brokerage services or earn fees from brokerage services.
How We Differ from Financial Planners:
Financial planners provide financial advice such as cash-flow planning. However, financial planners may or may not be licensed or registered as an investment advisor. Some financial planners that are registered as investment advisors may only provide investment guidance without providing asset management services. In addition to offering financial advice, Aesop offers managed investment account services.
How We Differ from Tax Professionals:
Accountants are not qualified to provide investment advice, unless they are also registered as an investment advisor. Aesop Advisor does not provide accounting or tax services.
How We Differ from Other Advisors:
Aesop does not have client account balance minimums, which means investment accounts can be opened with any amount.
Aesop is a fee-only advisor, which means we do not receive commission-based fees, and our only compensation is our fees for account management or financial advice paid by clients.
As an independent RIA, Aesop does not sell any in-house, proprietary investment products provided by our company, as larger firms that provide other financial services in addition to brokerage services may offer.
How We Differ from Hedge Funds:
Aesop is different from hedge funds in structure and investment strategy. While Aesop manages separate individual accounts for each client, a hedge fund maintains a single account. Participants contribute to the account that is managed by the hedge fund and are entitled to a portion of gains.
Aesop also differs from hedge funds in investment strategy. By definition, hedging strategies aim to make gains or prevent losses regardless of market conditions. Hedge funds may use a variety of active management strategies to achieve this goal, including frequent selling, short-selling, or the use of derivatives. Hedge funds typically charge higher fees than other asset managers or other types of funds such as mutual funds or ETFs. Aesop does not engage in hedging activities as described here when managing client accounts.
How We Differ from Robo-Advisors:
Robo-advisors are an automated investment service that periodically makes purchases in client accounts on a recurring schedule. While robo-advisors typically offer pre-selected portfolio options, Aesop constructs personalized portfolios based on individual client values and goals and does not limit investment options. Stand-alone robo-advisor services do not typically involve communication with a person.
How We Differ from Online Brokers:
Online brokers allow individuals to open self-directed investment accounts. In self-directed investment accounts, individuals make all investment decisions and carry out all transactions on their own. Aesop provides managed account services, making investment decisions and carrying out transactions on behalf of clients. Though many online brokers offer tax-advantaged retirement accounts, some only offer taxable individual accounts. Online brokers make money through fees for stock or derivatives transactions, selling client orders to other firms, or lending shares to short-sellers. Aesop is compensated from financial planning and investment management services fees only.
Aesop Advisor seeks to enhance access, trust, and effectiveness of financial services.
Aesop Advisor provides accessible financial services with the highest ethical standards.
Jonathon Oden founded Aesop Advisor with the view that financial services should be accessible to everyone. Jonathon has a FINRA Series 65 license and an MBA from Texas Woman’s University. Jonathon has also worked with persons with neurodiversities as a board-certified music therapist, and is the author of "A Descriptive Analysis of Music Therapy Employment from 2013 to 2019" (2020), and “The Use of Guitar in Music Therapy” (2013).