Frequently Asked Questions
What is your experience in financial planning?
I have been in the Financial Services Industry for over 25 years, and unlike many other individuals, this is what I studied in college and is the only career I have had. One of the things that I feel that has helped me better as a planner is that I spent 10 years as a manager and trained over 50 individuals. As they say, if you want to learn how to do something, teach others how to do it.
What differentiates you from the other advisers/companies out there?
As an Independent Registered Investment Adviser (RIA), your interests come first. If you were to read the account agreement from most brokerage firms, there is likely a statement saying that their interests may conflict with yours. As an RIA, I have a fiduciary and legal responsibility to put your interests first.
How do you get paid for your various services?
I am paid directly by you, not some investment house, so there is no conflict of interest. For those needing asset management services, I am paid a percentage of the assets that are managed. For those using financial planning and other services, I charge flat rates fees that are listed throughout this website.
Do you offer a free initial consultation?
Yes. I understand that ultimately this industry is a business of trust and that I have to earn your trust before I earn your business. You might even say that the initial meeting is my job interview with you. You don’t pay someone until after you’ve decided you want to hire them.
I've dabbled in the stock and bond markets a few times. Is it really necessary to get a professional's help?
Yes. I have read studies by Berkley and Stanford that studied the returns for those who invested on their own and compared them to those who used the services of a professional. The differences in returns amazed even me. Perhaps to further emphasize the need to get professional help, I quote Abraham Lincoln-“The lawyer who hires himself has a fool for a client.” Also, the IRS is constantly issuing updates and clarifications. Most likely your biggest asset will be your retirement account-these have very complex rules on how & what is taxed-a mistake with this can cost yourself and your heirs hundreds of thousands of dollars, and perhaps even millions.
What precautions do I need to take in today's uncertain economy?
It’s important to do several things. On the investment side of things, have your portfolio structured to maximize upside opportunities and minimize risk. As far as insurance is concerned, get your insurance today. So many people rely solely on the benefits they get through work. Life time jobs are no longer certain, so if you lose (or are lucky to find a better) job, you lose those benefits from the old job & the new one may not have equal benefits (or perhaps none at all). The cost of insurance is based on 2 things-your health and your age. Get it now while you still have the health to qualify and the age before it becomes too expensive.