SMI Private Client: Professional Management of Your Personal Portfolio Is Now Available

Feb 23, 2018
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Have you ever wished you could keep up with the SMI strategies without having to devote as much time to it? Despite the newsletter’s best efforts to keep the SMI strategies as simple as possible, the reality is that, if you desire to manage a portfolio of multiple strategies, as many SMI readers do these days, it takes considerable time and effort.

If you’ve ever thought it would be nice to have your portfolio managed for you, the new “Private Client” offering from SMI Advisory may be of interest. (SMI Advisory Services is an affiliated, but separate, company from the SMI newsletter and website.)

One of the most important aspects of investing is knowing yourself. This applies in numerous ways — we often discuss it in terms of not exceeding your true emotional risk tolerance. But it can also apply in terms of realizing that managing your investments isn’t what you want to spend your time on! Many readers would find it liberating to be free of the ongoing duties and responsibility of implementing their portfolio strategies. That option has just become available.

Introducing SMI Private Client

Private Client is the latest evolution of implementing SMI’s investing strategies in investor portfolios. For the first 15 years of SMI’s existence, the only way to follow SMI’s strategies was to implement them on your own via the SMI newsletter. Then, in 2005, SMI Advisory launched their mutual funds which gave investors the ability to outsource the management of certain SMI strategies for the first time. But those funds were, by necessity, one-size-fits-all solutions.

Private Client takes the next step, providing professional management of each investor’s unique account. SMI Advisory has designed a system that helps each investor determine his or her ideal portfolio, then implements that portfolio on the investor’s behalf.

Traveling on the date the next DAA recommendations will be released? That’s no longer a problem — the trades will be executed automatically. Want exactly 13% of your portfolio allocated to Sector Rotation? Private Client can handle that too.

Consider the following benefits Private Client provides:

  1. Freedom
    Simplify your investing life. Everyone faces limitations on their time and emotional energy — there’s only so much to go around. If you love handling your own investing process, great! But if you don’t, save that time and energy for the things you do enjoy by turning over the implementation of your portfolio to the pros.

  2. Confidence
    There’s tremendous peace of mind in knowing your portfolio is customized to your personal situation, and that it is under the watchful eye of SMI Advisory’s investment team every single day regardless of what’s going on in your busy life.

    Many SMI readers wonder what mix of strategies they should use. With Private Client, you’ll work with a knowledgeable Stewardship Advisor to construct a portfolio that’s tailored to your needs, free of the complexity that often restrains individuals from using the full complement of strategies best suited to their situation.

    Your Stewardship Advisor gives you an ongoing, personal contact to interact with regarding your portfolio. This can be especially helpful in ensuring the continuity of your investment plan over time. For example, the advisor can help in the transition process to a surviving spouse, making sure your investing plan continues uninterrupted. This has been a long-standing concern expressed by SMI newsletter readers through the years.

    While the Stewardship Advisor you’ll be introduced to at the beginning of the Private Client process may be new to you, the SMI Advisory management team is headed by a very familiar face: Mark Biller, who has served as the SMI newsletter’s Executive Editor for nearly two decades. He is joined by Eric Collier, CFA and Anthony Ayers, CFA, his co-managers at the SMI Funds since 2005. This management team directly oversees your portfolio and implements all of the trading on your behalf.

  3. Flexibility
    The Private Client process will guide you to what SMI Advisory believes is an optimal portfolio, but you’re ultimately in control of which strategies are used and in what amounts. Want Upgrading and no indexing? More Sector Rotation and less DAA? You’re in control.

    This means the full range of SMI strategies is available to you: stock and bond indexing, stock and bond Upgrading, Dynamic Asset Allocation, and Sector Rotation — in the combination designed to meet your specific individual needs — without having to compromise for simplicity’s sake, as many SMI readers do when managing their own portfolios.

  4. Value
    In addition to the benefits of professional management already discussed, Private Client provides 100% free trades/commissions (as well as no TDA short-term trading fees) , regardless of how many strategies are utilized in your portfolio. SMI Advisory also will cover the cost of the MoneyGuidePro® financial planning software for any client not already using it. You’ll also get any transfer fees reimbursed if your current broker charges you to transfer your account(s).

    Fees for Private Client are as follows: 1% annually for total household accounts up to $250,000, 0.95% for households between $250,000-$1 million, and only 0.85% for households over $1 million (additional fee discounts are available at higher asset levels).

What to expect from the Private Client process

Private Client offers three tiers of service, based on total household assets invested. Private Client Select ($250,000 to $1 million) and Premier ($1 million+) are described in this article. Private Client Classic, for accounts under $250,000, follows a different process described here. (Note that the descriptions of Private Client in this article apply to the Premier and Select tiers debuting this month. The Classic tier is limited in its portfolio customization abilities and interaction with SMI Advisory’s Stewardship Advisors.)

Here’s what the process will look like for Private Client Select and Premier members.

  1. Upon visiting and clicking “Get Started” for the appropriate service tier, you’ll be prompted to begin the risk assessment. This process will pinpoint your specific risk tolerance, designated as a risk score. This risk score and your data will be sent to SMI Advisory Services to review as they construct your recommended portfolio.

  2. Within 1-2 business days you will receive an email linking to a couple of brief suitability questions. After answering those, you’ll be able to view your recommended portfolio of SMI strategies.

  3. You’ll then have the option to either continue the new client process online (if you’re comfortable continuing with the portfolio that has been recommended for you), or schedule an appointment with a Stewardship Advisor. Scheduling an appointment will provide you the opportunity to discuss the recommended portfolio and potentially refine it, based on your preferences for certain strategies or other factors unique to your situation.

Note that using SMI Private Client involves transferring your accounts to TD Ameritrade. If your account is already at TDA, or is being transferred there from Scottrade, the setup process is a breeze. If your account is elsewhere, your Stewardship Advisor will coordinate the brief account transition process for you.


There are any number of reasons why individuals turn to professional management of their investments: time restrictions, lack of interest, desire for professional input and oversight, desire to provide an easy continuation path for their spouse, and many more. Whatever the reason, if you feel it would be worthwhile to at least explore the option of professional management for your portfolio, contact SMI Advisory Services via and have a conversation about it. There’s no longer any reason to go it alone with your portfolio now that Private Client is available.

Written by

Austin Pryor

Austin Pryor

Austin Pryor has 40 years of experience advising investors and is the founder of the Sound Mind Investing newsletter and website. He's the author of The Sound Mind Investing Handbook which enjoys the endorsements of respected Christian teachers with more than 100,000 copies sold. Austin lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife Susie. They have three grown sons and many grandchildren.

Mark Biller

Mark Biller

Mark Biller is Sound Mind Investing's Executive Editor. His writings on a broad range of financial topics have been featured in a variety of national print and electronic media, and he has appeared as a financial commentator for various national and local radio programs. Mark also serves as Senior Portfolio Manager to SMI Advisory Service’s Private Client managed-account program and the SMI Funds.

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