Our Philosophy

Emergent Financial Services is a SWaM-certified (meaning minority-owned) , fee-only, independent registered investment advisor (RIA). We believe in some fundamental principles:

  • Each client is unique and requires a special level of advising
  • Cash flows (interest and dividends) are integral parts of investing
  • Preservation of our clients’ principal is an important factor

What is a fee-only advisor?

We are compensated by our clients only on the basis of advisory fees as a percent of assets under management (AUM). As an example, if you were to invest $100,000 with an advisor, and that advisor charged you a 1% annual fee, you would compensate them $1000 a year. Being a fee-only advisor means we are never sales-compensated. That means we do not make commissions based on what investment we choose for you, or how many times we trade (buy/sell investments) on your behalf. Many financial advisors are fee-based, meaning they have management fees among other compensation, but a fee-only advisor is one that chooses never to be sales-compensated.

What is an independent advisor?

As an independent financial advisor, we are not owned by, are not the subsidiary of, and have no obligations to, a third-party company to buy or sell their financial products to our clients. Our company is 100% owned by the partners involved. This means we can look through the entire universe of possible investments and select those that we feel are best for our clients. Unlike many advisors working under a third-party company, we are not limited, for example, to only buying mutual funds from that company. This is valuable, because many mutual funds have either front-loaded fees (meaning a commission is paid to the advisor the moment the fund is purchased) or 12b-1 fees (meaning a fee that is added to pay the marketing expenses of the mutual fund) or both. As an independent advisor, we have the freedom to choose to avoid such funds for our clients.

Are you a fiduciary? What is a fiduciary?

Yes, we are a fiduciary. A fiduciary means someone who is obligated by the regulatory authorities to act in your best interests, as if the wealth you have entrusted to us to manage on your behalf were our own savings. This is important, because not all financial institutions are fiduciaries. Some are only obligated to choose investments that are “suitable” for you. You should always ask if your financial professional is a fiduciary if they are managing your assets.

What is a “registered investment advisor”?

A registered investment advisor (RIA) is a company (firm) that is registered with a regulatory authority, either their state or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). All registered investment advisors can be looked up on the SEC’s Investment Advisor Public Disclosure website. Our SEC number is 801-114160 and you can read our firm lookup at the IAPD: https://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/Firm/288434. We have never been sanctioned or reprimanded by any regulatory authority.

What kind of licenses do you have?

Our two portfolio managers each have multiple licenses. Both have passed the Series 65 or Uniform Investment Advisor Law exam. This exam tests knowledge of the laws, regulations, our responsibilities as a fiduciary, and code of ethics that governs our industry as well as important subjects like portfolio management, retirement planning, security types, and more. Xavier Urpi, our CIO, possesses the Series 65. You can see his registration on the SEC’s website here: https://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/Individual/1729302. Alexander Urpi, our CEO, possesses both the Chartered Financial Analyst charter and Series 65 license. You can see his registration on the SEC’s website at https://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/Individual/6196798 and his CFA charter digital badge at http://basno.com/mv5zukqa.

What is a SWaM-certified firm?

SWaM certification is the process by which a state determines that you are a Small, Women, or Minority company. We are a 100% Latino/Hispanic-owned firm, certified small and minority, and our certification number from the Virginia Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity is 806462. You can look us up on the SWaM directory: https://directory.sbsd.virginia.gov/#/.