Frequently Asked Questions
We think you should have a full understanding of our background, services, fees, philosophy and methodology so that you can make an informed decision. You can find the answers to most of your questions regarding our firm on this web site, but the following are some frequently asked questions.
I’m not experienced with investments so don’t I need someone to handle my portfolio for me?
No. The great majority of people can and should handle their own investments. We provide all the support you need to construct and maintain your portfolio. Click the link to read more about Self-Directed Portfolio Managment.
For the few people who might be better served by delegating to a money manager, we can help define the investment policy and recommend the best investment advisor for your situation.
Why should I pay for a financial plan when some companies provide them for free?
The free financial plan has been used for years by brokers as a ploy to sell high-cost propriety products. These companies have an inherent conflict of interest and do not hold to a fiduciary standard. Some reputable companies like Vanguard offer low-cost plans which are pretty good, but they are often limited to investmens and don’t offer the level of customization that you get from a personal financial advisor. More importantly, they are not independent because they also sell their own products. If you want unbiased financial advice crafted to your unique circumstances, we think that our services offer a better solution.
How can you provide a financial plan at a lower cost than other fee-only planners who charge between $1,500 and $5,000?
Simple. We only do the amount of work necessary. Our written reports are strategic plans rather than number crunching exercises. We focus on the key issues that will determine the success of your plan. We don’t spend time trying to predict unforeseeable events and we don’t produce a voluminous document with graphs and charts. Instead, we present you with a clear and concise action plan to address your most pressing needs. Our experience also allows us to be very efficient with our time, and yours. We think financial planning should be fun rather than a chore. We make it as painless as possible so that you want to take the key steps to improve your financial future. Clients rarely ask for more time immediately after an intial project, but our flexible service model allows us to accommodate any reasonable requests.
What is your Open Line Policy?
We invite our clients to call if they have a question between formal review meetings. It’s like the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire where contestants have a lifeline to Phone a Friend. We don’t want our clients stewing over questions when we might be able to address their concerns with just a few minutes on the telephone. Questions like “should I add to the same fund in my Roth IRA this year” are easy to answer and we don’t charge for them.
How do I get started?