Broker Check

Investment Approval Process

At Sherpa Financial Advisors, in conjunction with our broker dealer, The Strategic Financial Alliance, you can be certain that before an investment opportunity ever reaches our clients, it has first gone through a thorough evaluation process. 

Because we sometimes will recommend alternative investments - those that aren't the traditional stocks and bonds that most people are familiar with - below is an outline of the approval process to help you understand the various layers of review before we recommend any of these investments. 

The Strategic Financial Alliance's Due Diligence Team

  • When reviewing an alternative product for possible inclusion on our platform, the first step this team takes is a high level screening that reviews the audited financial statements (when available) of the proposed investment, 3rd-party due diligence reports, current capital raise and traction, and track record of previous offerings by the sponsor and management team.  They also look at which other broker-dealers or selling groups have approved the investment and possible exit strategies of the fund.  The team will either reject the investment, hold and request more information or move it forward into a deep analysis ("looking-under-the-hood").
  • If the team chooses to move forward and do a deep analysis, they will have detailed conversations with the investment sponsor to get more information, ask for clarifications, and make suggestions.  Once satisfied with the information received, a detailed report of up to 30-pages of information will be compiled and passed along to the Investment Team.

 The Strategic Financial Alliance's Investment Team

  • The team consists of 8-members - two from the Due Diligence Team and the remaining six are executives within our broker dealer.
  • This team will review the Due Diligence Team's report and will either reject the investment, ask for more information or approve.

 Sherpa Financial Advisors (Mike Spieler)

  • First, Mike will review the investment offering documents.
  • Mike will meet with the investment firm's local wholesaler to discuss the offering and, at times, attend a more detailed 1-2 day due diligence meeting at their headquarters.
  • Mike also takes an education course of the specific investment through one of our industry's resource services for alternative investment research, training and compliance support.
  • Depending on his familiarity and history with the investment firm, he may talk with other advisors to find out if they're using the investment and/or have used other offerings from the investment company. 
  • Finally, he reviews the suitability of the investment for a specific client based on factors such as the client's financial situation, objectives, risk level, liquidity needs, current portfolio, and tax situation.  It is at this point that he will discuss with a client if he is satisfied that an investment could be beneficial to them.

To provide a scope, the Due Diligence Team receives around 200-250 requests per year to review new investments.  Of these, around 80 will go through the initial screening and 50 will move into a deeper dive.  Of the 50, about half will be approved by the Investment Team.  The process lasts 2-months on average, but can last up to six-eight months.

While these steps don't imply nor guarantee the success of any investment, we believe it helps to show a deep and thoughtful examination before we suggest an investment to any of our clients.