Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Aesop Advisor LLC?
Aesop Advisor LLC is a registered investment advisor (RIA). An RIA provides advice about investments in securities. 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 does Aesop Advisor LLC do?
Aesop Advisor LLC provides financial advice to individuals and households. We provide a written financial plan that includes recommendations for management of savings, debt, spending, and investments. Aesop Advisor LLC focuses on long-term investing for retirement purposes.
What if I have no retirement account?
For most people with earned income, regardless of age, income or net worth; contributing some amount to a retirement account may be a good option. Individual retirement accounts can be opened by anyone, and may be a good option for those without a workplace sponsored retirement account, or those who wish to invest in an individual account outside of a work plan.
What type of investment account may be best for me?
Investment accounts hold investments such as stocks, bonds or annuities. Accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs are not investments themselves, but accounts that store investments, similar to how bank accounts hold cash. There are several different types of investment accounts that are taxed differently. Some common account types are listed below.
IRA stands for Individual Retirement Arrangement, and is commonly referred to as an individual retirement account. The main feature of a traditional IRA is that taxes on any contributions or withdrawals are deferred until you begin withdrawing from the account in retirement.
Roth IRAs were introduced by Congress in 1997. A main feature of a Roth is that though you will pay tax on all contributions, you will pay no taxes on withdrawals once you begin withdrawing from the account in retirement. Both Roth and traditional IRAs can be opened by individuals in addition to, or in place of employer plans.
Employer-sponsored retirement plans may offer account types such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s. Though similar in tax treatment, employer-sponsored plans may have a more limited selection of investment products available than individual IRAs. Also, employees are typically responsible for choosing their own investments in an employer-sponsored account.
An employee pension is a form of an annuity, which makes a guaranteed continuing payment. The payment amount can be based on several factors such as length of employment and salary. Pensions pay during the life of the payee or their eligible surviving spouse, and can not be passed on to any other beneficiaries. It may be a good idea for employees with pensions to additionally contribute to an investment retirement account through either an individual IRA or an employer-sponsored account.
Individual investment accounts are often called taxable accounts, as all contributions and capital gains will be taxed in the year they occur. For some, an individual investment account in addition to a tax-advantaged retirement account may be a good option.
What if I have a retirement account at work?
Because investment product selections can be limited in employer-sponsored plans such as 401(k)s and 403)b)s, financial advisors commonly recommend contributing to employer accounts only if the employer offers a match, or if the contribution limits of an individual IRA are lower than the amount you want to invest. Contributing up to the amount that is matched in a work account, and then investing any remaining retirement contributions in an individual account may be a good option for some.
What if I have a pension at work?
For those who have a pension at work, advisors commonly recommend contributing to a retirement investment account in addition to paycheck deductions made to a pension plan. Using the commonly recommended contribution amount of 15% of income, if 10% of your income is deducted to fund a pension, you may want to contribute an additional 5% or more of your income to a retirement account.
What if I have debt?
Having debt and making investments are both financial activities that involve risk. Having exposure to both debt and investment risks at the same time can be an excessive amount of financial risk for many individuals and households. However, if it will take you a while to reduce debt to a desired level, it may be a good option to begin investing at least something now to get in the habit and to allow annual compounding to start working for you.
Do I have to open an investment account with Aesop Advisor to receive services?
No. Our Aesop Compass service is a financial planning service that does not include asset management services. Financial advice provided through Aesop Compass can be used when managing self-directed accounts, work retirement accounts, or to supplement existing financial recommendations.
Is Aesop Advisor LLC required to act in my best interests?
As a registered investment advisor, we are required to act as a fiduciary to our advisory clients. This means we have a fundamental obligation to act in the best interests of our clients and to provide investment advice in our clients’ best interests. We owe our clients a duty of undivided loyalty and utmost good faith, and should take every reasonable step necessary to avoid any activity in conflict with the interest of any client. Ask your financial professional if they are a fiduciary. If so, ask them if they are fiduciary some of the time, or all of the time, and ask them to clarify when they are acting as a fiduciary and when they are not. Regulations for investment advisors can differ from broker/dealers, although similar services may be provided. Aesop Advisor, LLC is a registered investment advisor, and is not registered as a broker/dealer. More information about investment advisors and broker/dealers is available from the SEC.
How does Aesop Advisor LLC 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. Aesop Advisor LLC earns fees from providing financial planning advice, and does not provide brokerage services or earn fees from brokerage services. As a registered investment advisor, Aesop Advisor LLC is required to act as a fiduciary. This means the firm has a fundamental obligation to act in the best interests of clients and to provide investment advice in clients’ best interests.
How does Aesop Advisor LLC differ from tax professionals?
Accountants need to also be registered as an investment advisor to provide investment advisement services. Aesop Advisor LLC does not provide accounting or tax services.
How does Aesop Advisor LLC differ from hedge funds?
Aesop Advisor LLC may differ from hedge funds in investment strategy. Hedge funds may use a variety of active management strategies, including frequent selling, short-selling, or the use of derivatives. Aesop Advisor LLC focuses on a passive investing approach that does not typically include the use of frequent selling, short-selling, or derivatives as part of a retirement-focused investment strategy.
How does Aesop Advisor LLC differ from robo-advisors?
Stand-alone robo-advisor services may not include communication with a person.
Where does Aesop Advisor LLC’s name come from?
Aesop (commonly pronounced EE-sop) Advisor LLC is named after the perhaps legendary ancient Greek author of Aesop’s Fables, including “The Tortoise and the Hare".
Aesop Advisor seeks to enhance access, trust, and effectiveness of financial services.
Aesop Advisor provides accessible financial services with the highest ethical standards.
Jonathon Ray Oden founded Aesop Advisor LLC in 2019 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 since 2005, 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).
The financial profile of an individual or household can influence what investing option(s) may be best suited. Aesop Advisor LLC can make account type recommendations after reviewing a client's information.