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Our Core Values, Code of Ethics and the Fiduciary Standard


Sweetwater’s Core Values
1.     The most important service an asset management advisor provides is to be constantly mindful of what is  important to the client. We take our fiduciary and advisory capacities very seriously and we realize that our reputation is enhanced by our adherence and attention to your needs.
2.     As our client, you can be assured that all Sweetwater advisors are held to a fiduciary standard demanding that your financial best interests are always first in mind.
3.     Your investment in a financial plan reduces many of the risks inherent in managing wealth. A simple plan for your future investments and financial goals can often overcome uncertainty and, in the long run, will prove to be your best investment.
4.     A good investment plan provides discipline and a focus on goals when determining the types and  magnitudes of investments. Investment planning is an ongoing task and every asset investment plan should be reviewed annually.
5.     In today’s world of instantaneous communication from a variety of sources, investors are often overwhelmed with investment information. It is often difficult to discern what is valuable information and what is unimportant — signal vs. noise. When you hire Sweetwater you get fee-only, time-tested, real-world professionals. All of  Sweetwater's professionals come from academic backgrounds and possess philosophical filters. When you combine that with honesty and down-to-earth common sense, you can be confident you have found a secure method of separating signal from noise that will benefit you.
 
6.     The world of investment is dynamic, not static.  Successful investments depend on flexibility and a willingness to change as the environment and facts dictate. The willing ness to make the necessary changes comes from you. The knowledge of when to change to achieve success comes from Sweetwater’s asset management advisors. Together they spell long-term, solid and secure success. 
 
7.     A successful outcome to your investment strategy involves blending the experience of Sweetwater’s investment advisors with your perspective and your financial goals in an atmosphere of mutual trust.

Sweetwater's Code of Ethics

Trust and Confidentiality
Trust and confidentiality come first in all services we provide. All data provided to Sweetwater is safeguarded and secure.

All information submitted through our website or by email is protected under the highest encryption available. Your contact information and documentation are never given, sold or traded to any third party without your  explicit permission. 
 
Integrity
We believe that the ultimate source of this trust in client relationships is personal integrity. Integrity is based on honesty, truth and fairness. We believe that integrity cannot co-exist with conflicts of interest. All Sweetwater employees and advisors are hired, first and foremost, for their integrity and must subscribe to and agree with this
statement of honesty.

Fiduciary Responsibility
We act in a fiduciary capacity in offering conflict-free services to our clients (
read about Fiduciary here). As such, we assume and welcome the heavy responsibility to provide services grounded on trust and fairness. In every transaction we will: 
  • Avoid any conflict of interest
  • At all times act for your benefit and solely in your interest 
  • Guarantee that all transactions are completed legally 
  • Make decisions based on the protection and  enhancement of your assets and funds

Objectivity
As your fiduciary advisors, we believe that an objective approach to management of your investments is the best road to an honest performance of our fiduciary duties. Intellectual honesty and impartially are the key to our objectivity. The Sweetwater foundation is built on the belief that it is essential for us, as your asset investment advisers, to provide you with honest, objective advice and information, no matter the service provided.

Competence
Sweetwater’s team members have achieved a high level of competence through a combination of lifetime  active learning and relevant professional education. Professional certifications are maintained via mandated continuing education with monitored compliance. We know that you are searching for honest, competent advisors and that is why we insist that our asset management advice is always relevant, intelligent, informed and  up-to-date.

Fairness
Fairness is treating others as we would want to be treated. We believe that fairness involves putting aside one’s own feelings, prejudices and desires to achieve an unbiased and honest success for you. We promise to disclose any actual, apparent and possible conflict(s) of interest(s) when providing asset management and fiduciary
services to you.


Professionalism and Diligence
As professionals in their field, our advisers have obtained the necessary financial knowledge and skills required to perform their fiduciary advisory services. Sweetwater believes that professionalism also includes diligence in all aspects of behavior with the ultimate goal of providing exceptional service and stability for your assets. 

The Fiduciary Standard

As a federally-registered Investment Advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Sweetwater Investments, Inc. is subject to a Fiduciary Standard in all of its interactions with clients. 
 
What is The Fiduciary Standard?

Investment advisors are bound to a fiduciary standard that was established as part of the Investment Advisors Act  of 1940. They can be regulated by the SEC or state securities regulators, both of which hold advisors to a fiduciary standard that requires them to put their client's interests above their own. The Act is specific in defining what a  fiduciary means, and it stipulates that an advisor must place his or her interests below that of the client. It consists of a duty of loyalty and care, and means that the advisor must act in the best interest of his or her client. For example, the advisor cannot buy securities for his or her account prior to buying them for a client, and is prohibited from making trades that may result in higher commissions for the advisor or his or her investment firm. It also means that the advisor must do his or her best to make sure investment advice is made using accurate and complete information, that the analysis is thorough and as accurate as possible. Avoiding conflicts of interest is important when acting as a fiduciary, and it means that an advisor must disclose any potential conflicts to placing the client's interests ahead of the advisor's. Additionally, the advisor needs to place trades under a "best execution" standard, meaning he or she must strive to trade securities with the best combination of low cost and efficient execution. 

Fiduciary Oath

The advisor shall exercise his/her best efforts to act in good faith and in the best interests of the clients.  The advisor shall provide written disclosure to the client prior to the engagement of the adviser, and thereafter throughout the term of the engagement, of any conflicts of interest which will or reasonably may compromise the impartiality or independence of the advisor. The advisor, or any party in which the advisor has a financial interest, does not receive any compensation or other remuneration that is contingent on any client’s purchase or sale of a financial product.  The advisor does not receive a fee or other compensation from another party based on the referral of a client for the client’s business.

What the Fiduciary Oath means to you as a Sweetwater client:

  • Sweetwater Investments, Inc. shall always act in good faith and with candor.
  • Sweetwater Investments, Inc. shall be proactive in our disclosure of any conflicts of interest that may impact you.
  • Sweetwater Investments, Inc. shall not accept any referral fees or compensation that is contingent upon the purchase or sale of a financial product.