I am a fee-only financial planner, which means my only compensation comes from the services I provide to you. I do not get paid any commissions, kicks backs, “trails”, or any other fees other than the fee I charge you. I believe this is the fairest form of compensation and aligns my interests with yours. My annual fee is deducted directly from your accounts at Schwab on a quarterly basis.
Fees are very important to your financial and retirement success. I work hard to manage my overhead expenses and pass the savings on to my clients. I can also save you money on the investments themselves; as my recommended investments have an average annual expense of less than .10%. Compare this to an average equity mutual fund expense of 1.3%!* You keep the savings to enjoy a comfortable retirement.
In addition to being a fee-only fiduciary advisor acting in your best interests; I think it is important that you have no doubts that my recommendations are conflict-free. Charging a flat-fee reinforces this approach. A flat fee also recognizes the value of financial planning combined with investment management. Many advisors provide investment management only.
You always have direct access to your accounts at Schwab and the services of their dedicated Schwab Alliance team. Beyond that, I have a continuity and contingency plan in place with a local advisor to step in to keep the business running and serve clients in the event of an emergency or unexpected event.
A lot!! Many advisors have a passing understanding of tax laws. Since I prepare your personal return as part of the Wealth Management Service, I thoroughly know your tax situation. I bring significant tax reduction strategies to my client situations that save them taxes over many years and through several generations.
A fiduciary has the highest ethical obligation to put your interests ahead of their compensation and any other considerations. I am a fiduciary – this is a fundamental value of mine and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Every client contract contains a fiduciary oath.
As humans, we face many psychological biases that prevent us from achieving financial success. According to Bloomberg*, from 1997-2016 the average investor returned a measly 2.3% while the S&P 500 averaged 7.7%. One of the primary reasons for this deficiency is the emotional aspect of managing our own money. As a fiduciary to you, I will help construct investment strategies that will maximize your returns given your comfort level with investment risk.
But beyond returns, there are many ways I can add value that do not show up on your performance reports. For example, we can look at ways to help you reduce your investment expenses, lower your tax liability, and reduce the risks you face in your life.
As an independent financial planning practice, I am set up to avoid conflicts of interest. You should hire me if you want someone to provide peace of mind around your money and reduce the financial stress you feel in your life.
* Supporting research papers available upon request.
Most consumers believe that all financial planners are “certified”, but this isn’t true. Anyone can call themselves a “financial planner”, however, only those who have fulfilled the certification requirements of the CFP board can display the CFP certification marks, which represent a high level of competency, ethics and professionalism.