Account Opening

Some assets should be sold prior to transferring to First Ascent.

Clients will incur trading costs for some securities, such as mutual funds and individual bonds, if they are transferred to the new account then sold by First Ascent. Clients may be better off liquidating those securities at the contra firm prior to transferring assets to their new account to be managed by First Ascent.

First Ascent fully invests all new accounts according to our models.

When a new account is funded First Ascent will fully liquidate all securities in the account and invest them in the First Ascent model selected by the client/advisor. If you would like any legacy assets to continue to be held in the account, those must be specifically identified in the new account application’s special instructions.

Additionally, if accounts should be handled any other way such as dollar cost averaging or a tax review prior to selling securities, those requests must be approved by First Ascent prior to submitting the new account application. Those requests must also be specifically noted in the new account application’s special instructions.

For questions or more information on any of these topics, please reach out to your First Ascent representative or

Treatment of Cash

By default, our models have a 1% cash buffer. On a daily basis, we are alerted to, and act upon, cash (or security) contributions to a managed account. Assuming a client does not have recurring distributions set up and there is not a cash restriction on the account, if cash exceeds 2%, we will bring that amount back down to 1% by investing the excess cash into the model portfolio assigned to the account.

We also run a monthly review process that catches cash greater than 2% that developed for a reason other than a contribution. Those reasons could include:

  • If or when non-model positions in the account pay out income/dividends
  • In a sub-advisory relationship: 1) if the advisor did not set the account to reinvest income/dividends, and/or 2) If trades occurred that we did not initiate, and the advisor forgot to alert us

When an account is sleeved into a managed and non-model portion, we do not monitor or act on the non-model portion and would only invest cash from that sleeve when directed by the advisor to transfer it over to the managed account.

Treatment of Dividends

For Full Service / Direct Investment Management arrangements, our default is to NOT reinvest dividends. The exception to that is for accounts with recurring distributions set up. In that case, we don’t automatically reinvest dividends in an effort to maintain the appropriate level of cash needed for the recurring distributions with as little trading as possible.

For positions that are not managed by First Ascent, it is up to the advisor to notify us how they wish to handle reinvested dividends on those non-model assets.

For Investment Only / Sub-Advisory arrangements, we ask that the advisor set up the accounts to NOT reinvest dividends at the custodian.

First Ascent bills quarterly and in advance.

Please make sure that this process is consistent with your ADV and client agreements.

Fees For Large Households

Households over $3M require custom pricing.

Our standard flat fee schedule applies to households up to $3M. There are additional costs and risks associated with larger households, and First Ascent applies a fee adjustment in those cases. Contact First Ascent to discuss pricing prior to submitting an application for a household over $3M.