Are you a Fiduciary?
Yes! As an independent Registered Investment Advisor, we have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of the client. This applies to everything we do including financial planning recommendations, investment strategies, referrals we provide, responsible and transparent disclosure of conflicts of interest, services that would be best performed by another professional, and many others topics. All CFP® professionals providing financial planning services are subject to a fiduciary standard of care.
What are your fees?
As a fee-based firm, our fees are no higher than 1.25% annually on investment assets under our management. There are no hidden fees or kickbacks from investment providers. For financial planning, we charge $250 an hour. For private placements (investments in non-publicly traded securities) that we identify & facilitate, we either charge a flat fee or we include it in our annual management fee… not both.
How often will we be in touch?
We typically recommend at least an annual meeting to review investment performance and to stay in the loop regarding any changes in life and/or financial circumstances. Between scheduled appointments, we encourage clients to call and email with questions as they arise. When you work with us, we want to be the first stop for questions in your financial team. Life is complex, particularly involving financial decisions. We are here to make dealing with these complexities more convenient and less stressful for you. For clients who live in different locations or have trouble making it to our office for appointments, we also have the technology that allows us to serve clients via effective remote meetings.
How do you differ from big brokerages and banks?
We serve the best interest of our client, always. This means we don't sell commission based investment products and only employ investment strategies and financial advice that aligns with your risk profile and goals. Big brokerages and banks often sell propriety products, for which they can receive a commission. Inherently, there is a conflict of interest as some investments pay larger commissions than others. Also, commissions incentivize trading activity, even when it might not be appropriate. We avoid that altogether.
With our smaller size, we have the flexibility and credentials to provide more in-depth advice and outside the box solutions. Big brokerages and banks can often be tied down with paralyzing compliance and crippling bureaucracy that force their advisers to put square pegs in round holes...trust us, we know this limitation from our past experience working at these types of firms. Our flexibility is the key to our success in attracting steady referrals from tax professionals. Our experience suggests they appreciate a partner who is able to collaborate on true strategies, not just selling cookie cutter or one-size-fits-all investment programs.
Why should I hire a financial advisor?
There are many reasons to work with us:
- You have never had your financial pulse checked.
- You don't have a financial plan or know what one looks like.
- You don't have the time to manage your own investments.
- You have been unsuccessful investing in the past.
- You want a teammate with whom you can collaborate on investment and financial decisions.
- You want a financial guardian in your corner to screen the merit of financial offerings from other parties.
- You don't know how much to save or when or where.
- You are unsure which funds to select for your 401(k).
- You don't have any concrete or well-defined financial goals.
- You don't know how much you will need to retire or when you might be able to retire.
- You don't really care about the market but want a trained specialist to look after it for you.
- You need someone to provide objectivity, to take out the emotional part of investing & other financial analysis.
- You need someone to help guide you back on the path towards your goals when you have strayed.
What is the typical process for a new client?
- Discovery & initial consultation to get to know one another (a two-way interview.)
- Establish a service agreement and go over expectations.
- Gather financial data and create financial goals to understand and gauge your goals along with reasonable alternatives to our recommendations.
- Build and present a financial plan of our findings with action items toward your financial goals.
- Implement investment strategies and complete action items.
- Ongoing monitoring of financial plan and investment strategy.
- Call us when you have questions! Yes, anytime!
When should I switch financial advisors?
If you are seeing any of the following with your current advisor, it may be time to look around
- Lack of communication.
- Lack of trust.
- Your advisor continually pushes products (you hired an advisor, not a salesperson).
- Financial planning is a low priority (or not offered at all).
- You feel uncomfortable calling your advisor or feel like you might be bugging him or her.
- You don't know how much you are paying.
- You have never received a performance report.
- You have called your advisor multiple times and you are still waiting to hear back...
- Your fees are high and/or are not completely and clearly disclosed. The fees you pay are part of the value. Too high of fees over time can have a drastic effect on your accounts. That said, low fees have become the be-all-end-all in financial services. We feel the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of focusing on price when the complete focus should be on ensuring there is a reasonable price for high value. There are many "cheap" offerings which provide poor and/or incomplete solutoins for clients who eventually end up with us after realizing the cheapest solution usually isn't the right one. We don't strive to be the cheapest. We strive to be the best value. Period.