Broker Check

Investor Process FAQs

Click any of the links below to learn more about a variety of investment related items



GCD Advisors subscribes to the industry standard that assessing a client’s risk tolerance should be done before providing clients with any investment proposal. This helps us learn our clients’ willingness to accept higher risk and volatility in exchange for higher possible returns and vice versa. We do this with a Discovery Questionnaire which contains a series of questions that, when answered, will result in a risk profile ranging from conservative to aggressive. We then may discuss this with the client to be sure all answers are consistent with each other and to learn any other nuances. This profile level drives the creation of a risk adjusted asset allocation which leads to a proposed custom portfolio.


After the risk profile has been calculated, a comprehensive proposal is prepared and includes the following:

  • Information about our Investment Management Team: GCD Advisors, Assetmark and the selected investment strategists
  • A description of our investment process outlining how we arrived at a client’s recommended portfolio and how we will manage this portfolio and make adjustments as market conditions and long-term investment goals change
  • Detailed descriptions of portfolio characteristics including fees, breakdown by asset class and historical and hypothetical performance.

Once the proposal has been approved by the client, GCD will prepare and email the client the account opening documents using the information from the Client Intake Form provided along with the Discovery Questionnaire.


All accounts custodied at AssetMark Trust have similar protections to other well known custodians like Fidelty and Pershing. Click here to learn more about all the protections.


Accounts can be funded by a transfer from a brokerage house, a transfer from a bank account or a 401k rollover. For security and speed purposes, we discourage funding by check. Below is the information on each of these methods:

Funding by transfer from a brokerage house
A complete statement, from a like-titled (same registration) account, less than 90 days old will be required. Transfers MUST be like-titled. For example, a trust account cannot transfer to a joint account.

Cost basis must be included for any non-tax-deferred accounts.

To avoid a client being charged trading fees at the exiting brokerage firm, after review of all holdings to confirm they can transfer, the allowed securities will be transferred in-kind and liquidated at Assetmark,. Assetmark does not charge a trading fee to do this. Occasionally, there are securities that cannot be transferred in-kind because they are worthless, alternative or proprietary holdings. These must be liquidated prior to transfer. Client must call to do this, but GCD can help if needed.

Funding by transfer from a bank account
A one-time ACH contribution will be initiated upon confirmation from client that funds are available. Bank information will have been recorded on the Client Intake Form or an alternative account may be used one time. 

Funding by 401k rollover
Client will need to contact the custodian of the 401k to rollover the funds. This can often be processed over the phone. Client must call to do this, but GCD can help if needed. In many cases, a check will be mailed to the client’s home address and must be made payable to Assetmark Trust Company. When the client receives the check, they must write the proper new Assetmark account number in the memo of the check to insure proper deposit, and can send to Assetmark one of two ways:

          By mail to: Assetmark Trust
          P.O. Box 40018
          Lynchburg, VA 24506-4018

          Send overnight to: Assetmark Trust
          1023 Commerce Street, Suite D
          Lynchburg VA 24504 
          Telephone number: 800-664-5345


Client accounts are viewable online 24/7 through EWealthManager, Assetmark’s Investor Portal. Once accounts are opened, client will receive instructions to set up online access and accept edelivery to avoid certain items from being mailed. Even with the acceptance of edelivery, certain documents are required to be mailed to clients. We continue to work with Assetmark to reduce the quantity of mail an investor receives. On this site is a Document Vault where clients can access Custody Statements, Quarterly Performance Reports (QPRs) and tax documents. In addition, GCD can produce custom reports as requested.


GCD takes digital security seriously using multi factor authentication whenever we connect to our server, Citrix Sharefiles for sharing client data, retain no data on personal laptops or computers, have cybersecurity insurance and execute many industry standard protocols when maintaining passwords.

For security purposes, GCD will never email client full account numbers, banking information or other sensitive client data. We may send the last few digits of an account number to verify an item but will use Citrix Sharefiles for sharing all sensitive client data. We discourage clients from sending us sensitive data and promote uploading documents to us containing such information.

See the section below about Withdrawals to learn more about our security required when requesting money from your account.

Clients are asked to sign a consent to allow GCD to use email to provide various communications such as information about their portfolio, Form ADV brochures; privacy policy statements; and any other notices or documentation that GCD chooses to provide on an ongoing or occasional basis. Without this consent, the client will be mailed such items.


Clients may want to transfer in individually owned securities that they don’t wish to sell just yet but want to have all their investments under GCD’s management. This can include stocks of their employer or other stocks, mutual funds, alternative investments that may have a large unrealized gain. This is all determined by GCD before transferring over any such securities, by reviewing the client’s statements. These would then go into a GSA account and would NOT be actively managed by GCD and therefore no fees would be charged on these securities. As a bonus though, these assets count toward a household value to reduce fees (see the Fees section below).

In a GSA, a client cannot purchase any additional shares of any of the securities and the dividends can only be either reinvested into other managed accounts, with the same registration, or paid out to the client. Securities are only to be sold by the client emailing or calling GCD to do so. Requests to sell will be executed the same day, if received by GCD before 1:00 pm CST. Note: These securities are NOT sold instantaneously.


GCD Advisors is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) charging fees, not commissions, as a percentage of managed assets invested. The actual percentage charged is stated before the accounts are funded and are based on a fee schedule dependent on the strategists selected to manage the client’s accounts. These percentages get lowered as the total amounts invested go up into a next tier and get increased as the total amounts invested go down into a lower tier. Assets from an entire family shall be considered to get the best rate possible. There are no costs for trading or statements. 


GCD expects to have a conversation with our clients at least once a year to review the portfolio, discuss reallocations and catch up on the events happening in our clients lives. But clients may request more frequent contact. This can be done by phone, virtually or meeting at any location. New clients should also expect a conversation after the first 90 days to review the onboarding process to identify and address any questions or concerns, confirm the client is properly set up with online access and review the strategies within the portfolio. As 2020 has proven, things can change quickly and GCD may suggest changes to a client’s portfolio based on market, economic or geo-political events.


All strategists on our platform make changes to their portfolios throughout the year to address current and anticipated economic and market issues. For client accounts that contain multiple strategists, Assetmark automatically rebalances when the strategists deviate from the target volatility anticipated. In addition, at least once a year, GCD rebalances each client's  portfolio based on our research of all strategists, the overall dollars in a portfolio and a client's risk level. If a client has multiple accounts within a given risk level portfolio, due to strategists minimums, all accounts may not have the same allocations. However, all accounts are taken into consideration to provide the overall allocation desired.  In addition, if a client has any accounts pledged to an active securities backed line of credit, these reallocations may trigger updates needed to the original lending agreements signed when the line was opened. These updated documents will be sent directly from lending source to the client for signature.


Beside reviews of client portfolios, GCD offers a variety of communications and events that allow our investors to stay as informed and engaged as each investor client would like to be. 

  • Virtual Events
    We began hosting virtual events through Zoom at the beginning of the pandemic and will continue to host these as they provide a great way for everyone to participate regardless of where they live. These events are typically one hour, feature an industry expert as the guest speaker and allow time for Q&A. Recent events have featured Kezia Samuel, Director of Client Portfolio Management at Assetmark and Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, an author and wealth psychology expert.
  • Dinners
    We host several dinners annually in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, that feature guest speakers and always illicit a lively question and answer segment. Speakers have included industry leaders from Assetmark, Clark Capital, Savos and City National Rochdale
  • Holiday Donation Pledge
    For the past 15 years, GCD is proud to host a holiday donation drive where we make donations to our investors’ charities of choice.
  • E-Newsletters
    Our clients are kept up to date with industry trends, market analysis, income tax information, estate planning, impact of new legislation and a variety of other relevant topics through our emails.
  • Charity Events
    We have held meaningful charity events with our clients, most recently at Feed My Starving Children in Libertyville, Illinois.
  • American Lifestyle Magazine
    Clients will receive our quarterly lifestyle magazine featuring fabulous articles about travel, food and home.


Deposits to existing accounts can be done in one of 3 ways:

1. Call or email your advisor to have money taken from your bank account, on file. WE CANNOT ACCEPT ANY INSTRUCTIONS BY TEXT. This can be setup as one time, monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually. If wanting to have this taken from a new bank account, GCD will need the account and routing number.

2. Scan the front and back of a check made payable to Assetmark Trust and either email or upload it to your advisor.

3. Mail a check made payable to Assetmark Trust Company with the proper account number written in the memo of the check to assure proper deposit. Do NOT mail to GCD Advisors.

By mail to:
Assetmark Trust
P.O. Box 40018
Lynchburg, VA 24506-4018

Send overnight to:
Assetmark Trust
1023 Commerce Street, Suite D
Lynchburg VA 24504 
Telephone number: 800-664-5345


Clients must email or call their advisor to have money withdrawn from their investment account and transferred to their bank account on file.  WE CANNOT ACCEPT ANY INSTRUCTIONS BY TEXT.  Withdrawals can be setup as one-time, monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually. GCD will email the client the day the request is received and transmitted to Assetmark. Since Assetmark is not a bank, GCD will use best efforts to execute all requests that same day, if received prior to 1:00 pm CST. Funds settle and typically become available for disbursement to the client's bank 2-3 business days after the trade date. This is sent by ACH (slower process) than a wire (immediate). Once disbursed, the client will need to contact their receiving bank to determine when those funds will be available. If funds are required more urgently, the client must call their advisor to coordinate a wire transfer, which will then require a signature.

To address possible email fraud, GCD will call a client to confirm any email received requesting withdrawals over $25,000 from any account. For tax-deferred accounts, this will also require client’s signature/e-signature to execute, unless we have a Standing Letter of Authorization on file. In addition, any payments sent to a 3rd party, regardless of the amount, will require a document to be signed.


If a client has changed their email or mailing address, they are to email their advisor at GCD in a timely manner. To avoid email fraud, GCD may call the client to verify this information. To change a bank account for future deposits or distributions, please call your advisor. For security purposes, do NOT email this information.


Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)

Involve screening stocks to exclude companies that conflict with an investor’s values. Examples may be omitting investments in companies that generate profits from alcohol, tobacco, weapons, or gambling.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG)

Involve screening stocks to include companies that make an effort to either limit their negative societal impact or deliver benefits to society (or both). An example might be a stock in a technology company that converts one of its data centers to use renewable energy, resulting in cost benefits as well as a positive effect on the environment. Social examples may include selecting companies that consider diversity, prioritize human rights, or participate in community development.

Although the returns of these portfolios may not compare to a broad based market portfolio, Assetmark (the investment platform for GCD Advisors) offers strategists that can provide these types of screens.


An SBLOC can be opened by collateralizing non-tax deferred accounts at Assetmark and can be a cost effective tool to unlock liquidity without having to sell investments at an inopportune time. For some, it can also be an effective strategy to reduce or avoid paying taxes on appreciating assets, which can then be passed on to heirs to build generational wealth:

  • There’s no cost to establish a line of credit through Assetmark’s Cash Advantage program and interest rates are competitive
  • The application process is easy, digital and approval typically takes 3 – 5 days
  • Lines can be canceled at any time at NO cost
  • Loans can be used for business investments, real estate purchases, home improvement, bridge loans, tax payments and more. Loans cannot be used to purchase or carry margin securities, debt securities that are convertible to margin stock or mutual funds.
  • Opening the line does NOT affect your credit score
  • Rates are based on one month Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) and reset each Monday
  • The maximum limit of the line of credit, and corresponding rate, are based on the size of your non-qualified account backing the line and the composition of the assets (equities vs. fixed income). Lines must be at least $25,000. The minimum amount that can be drawn is $1,000.
  • Interest and principle are due monthly but can be deferred and rolled into the overall line, provided there is enough collateral
  • Collateral cannot be a tax deferred account or trust accounts that are titled as Joint Tenants in Common (JTIC)
  • Loans are currently provided by Supernova Lending, LLC. Accessing funds and payback is managed directly by the client at this site. The username is the same email address used in the loan application.


GCD Advisors can also help in the areas of life insurance, long term care, annuities, income tax planning and preparation, retirement plans for small businesses, Security Backed Line of Credit (SBLOC), 529 plans, estate planning and more. Contact us to learn more about these products. Check out our full line of services.