Item 1: Introduction
Northwest Investment Counselors, LLC is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We are not a broker-dealer. Brokerage and investment advisory services, as well as the fees associated with each, differ and it is important you understand the differences. There are free and simple tools available to research firms and financial professionals at investor.gov/CRS, which also provides educational materials about broker-dealers, investment advisers, and investing. This document will give you a summary of the types of services and fees we offer.
Item 2: Relationships and Services
Questions to ask us: Given my financial situation, should I choose an investment advisory service? Why or why not? How will you choose investments to recommend to me? What is your relevant experience, including your licenses, education and other qualifications? What do these qualifications mean?
What investment services and advice can you provide me? Our firm primarily offers investment management (we review your portfolio, investment strategy, and investments), financial & retirement planning (we assess your financial situation and provide advice to meet your goals), and trust services (we manage your trusts and serve as point of contract for your family) to our retail clients. As part of our standard services, we typically monitor your account on a monthly basis. Our firm has discretionary management, but you may impose reasonable restrictions on our management. We limit the types of investments we add to your account to those approved by our Chartered Financial Analysts (CFAs). Our firm has a minimum relationship size of $500,000. Please also see our Form ADV Part 2A (“Brochure”), specifically Items 4 & 7.
Item 3: Fees, Costs, Conflicts, and Standard of Conduct
Questions to ask us: Help me understand how these fees and costs might affect my investments. If I give you $10,000 to invest, how much will go to fees and costs, and how much will be invested for me? What are your legal obligations to me when acting as my investment adviser? How else does your firm make money and what conflicts of interest do you have? How might your conflicts of interest affect me, and how will you address them?
What fees will I pay? Our fees vary depending on the services you receive. Additionally, the amount of assets in your portfolio affects our advisory fee. The more assets you have in your portfolio, you may pay a lower marginal rate, but you will pay us more in fees. Thus, we have an incentive to increase the assets you have with us to increase our fee. Our advisory fees are charged quarterly in advance. You pay our fees even if you do not have any transactions and the advisory fee can vary based on the type of investments selected. You will pay a lower rate for an all fixed income portfolio and higher for an all stock portfolio. Please also see Items 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 of our Brochure.
Third Party Costs: Some investments (e.g., mutual funds or exchange traded funds, etc.) impose additional fees (e.g., management fees and/or have transactional fees associated with trading) that reduce the value of your investments over time. You will pay fees and costs whether you make or lose money on your investments. Fees and costs will reduce any amount of money you make on your investments over time. Please make sure you understand what fees and costs you are paying. Please also see our Brochure for additional details.
Conflicts of interest: Potential conflicts of interest include, but are not limited, to the situations described below. For further discussion on conflicts of interest regarding the Schwab Advisor Network (SAN) and personal trading procedures, please reference our ADV Part 2A and 2B.
In some cases, we, or our financial professionals, may buy or sell securities for reasons not related to the strategies adopted by our clients. We maintain a Pre-Authorization policy to prevent conflicts of interests, such as front-running of trades.
We have an incentive to recommend our highest fee-paying strategies to clients since conservative or all bond strategies are subject to lower fees. We have numerous safeguards in place to ensure clients receive an investment strategy in their best interest.
Our participation in SAN presents a similar conflict of interest. We pay Schwab a Participation Fee on all referred client accounts. The fee, which is typically 0.25% per annum, creates the incentive to recommend SAN referrals invest in our highest fee-paying strategies.
The firm earns fees as a percentage of assets but the compensation of individual employees may be tied in part to outperforming a benchmark, creating the incentive to deviate from client strategies.
Trading in the 401k accounts of our financial professionals and employees by our portfolio managers may occur at the same time or separately from trading in client accounts.
How do your financial professionals make money? Primarily, we and our financial professionals benefit from the advisory services we provide to you because of the advisory fees we receive from you. We and our financial professionals receive no other fees from any third party related to the advisory services we offer you. Our financial professionals do earn quarterly bonuses related to the amount of client assets they service. They are not compensated based on the time and complexity of meeting your needs, products sold, product sales commissions, or the revenue we earn. Our financial professionals can also earn annual bonuses based on new client assets and exceeding their primary benchmarks.
Item 4: Disciplinary History
Questions to ask us: As a financial professional, do you have any disciplinary history? For what type of conduct?
Do you or your financial professionals have legal or disciplinary history? We do not have legal and disciplinary events. Visit https://www.investor.gov/ for a free, simple search tool to research us and our financial professionals.
Item 5: Additional Information
Questions to ask us: Who is my primary contact person? Is he or she a representative of an investment adviser or a broker-dealer? Who can I talk to if I have concerns about how this person is treating me?
For additional information on our advisory services, see our Brochure available at https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/firm/summary/107953 or please call us at 800-685-7884 if you would like a copy of our Brochure or another copy of this Client Relationship Summary.
Exhibit A – Material Changes to Client Relationship Summary
There are no material changes since the prior Client Relationship Summary since this is the first one.