About FMS

Background and Services

FMS was founded in 1990 and is currently registered as an investment adviser with the SEC. At the end of 2023, FMS's family and client accounts had more than $280 million in assets under management. FMS focuses exclusively on fee-based separate account management for taxable and non-exempt clients. The firm does not engage in other related or unrelated businesses.

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Financial Management Services client base consists primarily of high net worth individuals, trusts and retirement plans (corporate and individual) with investable assets in excess of $1,000,000.

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Clients deserve the comfort of knowing that their name and personal financial matters are held in the strictist of confidence. Please click on the Privacy Notice tab to the left for a complete discussion.

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Our equity style employs a conservative, disciplined value approach to portfolio construction and stock selection seeking high quality, undervalued stocks that can be held for long periods of time. Occasionally convertible securities, such as convertible preferred stocks and convertible bonds, are held where appropriate to the investment objectives and risk tolerances of the portfolio. Schwab's Money Market and Value Advantage Funds are often used for cash equivalent needs, while CDs of financial institutions and U.S. Government fixed income securities of varied maturities may be included in the non-equity portion of portfolios.

All portfolios are customized to meet the investment goals, risk tolerances and any other constraints that are specific to each client. Our conservative equity and fixed income style is consistent with the needs of investors concerned with capital preservation.

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FMS's client base consists primarily of high net worth individuals, trusts and retirement plans (corporate and individual). Clients are served through a customized portfolio construction approach (rather than a "black box" or computer-generated model portfolio approach) and a high level of dedicated personalized service that has become and continues to be the cornerstone of FMS's philosophy.

One distinction of our high level of service is our availability to receive communications and willingness to respond all-day every day with rare exception.

All portfolios are managed by the owner of the firm. Usually investments for clients are made in the same manner and at the same time as for FMS's principal and family related accounts. Procedures are in place to assure that clients receive a price equal to or better than those of the principal and his family accounts when trades are executed on the same day.

Further, portfolio turnover has been historically very low, a characteristic important to clients sensitive to capital gains taxes and transaction costs. We have no incentive to create transactions for the broker and are not sensitive to short-term performance measurements. Our only financial incentive is to maximize the value of our clients' portfolios upon which our fees are based.

We believe that managing our clients' expectations and portfolio risk while providing superior service are important parts of the foundation for developing long-term relationships with our clients.

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After obtaining his BBA degree in accounting from Adelphi University (Garden City, New York, 1964) Ben worked for a small CPA/law office in Forest Hills, New York. His career on Wall Street began in 1967 when he became a securities and portfolio analyst at Walston & Co., Inc., one of the larger retail stock brokerage firms at the time, becoming a vice-president with a specialty in the natural gas, electric and telephone utility industry. While working on Wall Street, Ben obtained his MBA degree in Finance & Investments from the Bernard M. Baruch School of Business (City University of New York) in 1971.

Ben and his wife, Elinore, moved to Dallas in 1974 when Lone Star Gas Company offered him a career opportunity as Vice President Finance and Treasurer. While with the Lone Star Gas, ENSERCH Corporation and Enserch Exploration organizations, Ben was the primary officer responsible for financial community relations, dealing on a daily basis with stockbrokers, institutional shareholders, research analysts, pension fund managers, investment and commercial bankers, the major credit rating agencies and the media.

Ben & Elinore have two grown children. Adam, an information technology consultant, is married and lives in Long Beach, CA while his sister, Dina, also married, worked for a healthcare information systems company, based in Kansas City, MO prior to becoming a full-time mother.

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Through Schwab as custodian, clients are provided clear, concise reporting and easy access to funds. With a high degree of liquidity in your portfolio, FMS will help manage any distribution of your funds including wire transfers, if necessary. All inquiries are handled in a prompt, efficient and strictly confidential manner. FMS has no authority to access client funds and Schwab will only transfer or remit funds as authorized by the client.

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Our fee structure is the same for all fee-based accounts.

1%(per annum rate)...on the first $500,000
3/4%..................on the next $500,000
1/2%......................above $1,000,000

Minimum new account size $1,000,000

At the end of each calendar quarter, a statement is sent to each client showing the total assets under management for the client at the end of the quarter and the end of the previous quarter, the arithmetic average (mean) of those amounts and the applicable fee, calculated as 1/4 of the annual rates above. Only upon written approval by the client are fees deducted from the client's account at Schwab. In the alternative, client may pay FMS by check.

The FMS/client relationship may be terminated by the client at any time. FMS does not impose any termination fees, and the quarterly fee, which is always payable in arrears, is prorated for any partial period. FMS will not assign the responsibility to manage your account without your express written permission.

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FMS's equity and balanced portfolios employ a conservative, disciplined value approach to security selection. We seek to invest in high quality, undervalued companies at low prices relative to earnings power, net assets, or other benchmarks of value. In other words, we seek value with a growth overlay. We will occasionally seek growth stocks, but only at what we consider a significant discount to long-term value.

Our investment approach is focused on generating excellent long-term investment returns while incurring lower than market risk. We are risk averse and strive to provide superior returns through market cycles with better than market results during negative and flat periods, and near market returns during strong advances.

We seek to achieve long-term rates of return consistent with the risk tolerance of our clients and to minimize the impact of adverse market conditions on portfolio values through proper allocation of assets.

Over extended periods of time equities have consistently outperformed fixed income investments, a relationship we believe will continue through future market cycles. Therefore, we expect the equity portion of most client portfolios to provide long-term growth of capital, while our fixed income style focuses on capital preservation and a quality income stream intended to provide balance and stability to portfolios.

Of course, although we try our best, we cannot guarantee that any particular return or result will be achieved from our management of client portfolios.

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FMS employs disciplined, bottom-up fundamental analysis, focusing on both investment quality and valuation. Our equity style employs a conservative value approach to stock selection seeking high quality, undervalued stocks that can be held for long periods of time. Generally we screen out any investment opportunity that does not have what we believe is an upside potential of at least 100% within a 3-5 year period.

Utilizing both internal and external resources, we search for companies that meet our value and quality constraints. At times our perception of inherent risk in a company or our inability to be comfortable with the fundamentals of the industry will cause us to summarily reject an opportunity.

Our value criteria include, though are not limited to, relative and absolute price/earnings and price/cash flow ratios, historical P/E and dividend yield levels, financial quality ratings and often personal contact with company management. In addition, technical analysis is often used to support the fundamental analysis.

FMS does not generally recommend margin accounts, will rarely participate in initial public offerings ("IPO"s), does not buy or sell options or other synthetic securities and will not short stocks. We do not participate in bitcoin or other crypto currencies, or non-fungible token (NFT) markets.

Fixed Income

The fixed income portion of a client portfolio is conservatively managed for capital preservation and current income. Fixed income securities may include U.S. Treasury securities, high-grade corporate bonds and municipal bonds. Our emphasis on high grade, short and intermediate maturity bonds rated "A" or better is important to the process of managing credit and price risk. A government money market securities fund is utilized for cash reserves.

Sell Discipline

A stock may be sold when we observe deterioration in fundamentals, a technical price breakdown without qualitative justification, or extreme overvaluation relative to historical parameters. Additionally, tax considerations, where appropriate, are evaluated with respect to the capital gains impact of the sale.

Occasionally a stock that has performed extremely well may become such a large portion of an individual portfolio that it becomes prudent to reduce the holding. While a portfolio may contain 20-30 different investments comprising positions of 3%-5% each, should any one issue grow to become greater than 10%, a sale may be undertaken in order to maintain proper overall risk tolerance for the portfolio.

Portfolio review

Portfolios are thoroughly reviewed at least once a month, usually twice per month and sometimes weekly. When a new investment is being undertaken, all FMS client accounts are reviewed to ascertain the suitability of the investment for each account.

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The information contained herein is designed to supplement and not substitute for the disclosure document FMS is required by law to provide to clients. Please carefully review these documents which are provided to all clients prior to engaging our services:

Form CRS
FMS Brochure (Part 2A of our Form ADV)

Please also note that FMS may provide investment advice in your state of residence only if it first files a notice or is exempted from filing a notice in that state. Nothing in this website should be construed as providing personalized investment advice in the absence of compliance with applicable state requirements.