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“Seldom asked questions – frequently wondered things”

What is financial planning?

Financial planning is the process of wisely managing your financial resources to achieve your goals while at the same time navigating the barriers that arise in every stage of life.

There are 6 steps to this process:

1. Create and define the relationship

2. Gather data

3. Evaluate & analyze data, research solutions

4. Create & present recommendation

5. Implement recommendations

6. Monitor progress

What do financial planners do?

Great question.

Most financial planners provide advice on investment and/or insurance products and some manage investments. Some may sell financial products. Most typically take into consideration your goals as well as your financial situation (such as your tax bracket, marital status, risk tolerance).They may or may not create a written financial plan, and it may be comprehensive or address one or two areas of your finances.

Those with the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM designation have been educated and tested on all areas of personal finance including cash flow, debt, all forms of insurance, economics, investments, taxes, retirement planning, education planning, charitable giving, and estate planning.

Some financial planners may be paid by commission from products they sell, others may be paid a fee (hourly, flat-fee, retainer or percentage) for advice and/or for managing investments, and some receive both kinds of compensation.

If you’d like to learn more, I invite you to read my blog post about this.

Why should I pay you for advice?

Very often, my clients find that they’ve been sold the wrong products for the wrong reason at the wrong time; they’ve wasted money. I like to believe that other advisers act on their best judgment but even mistakes out of ignorance can cost you. Trying to make sound, beneficial decisions, especially now, can be a daunting task. Most people don’t know enough about finance to know when they’re being taken advantage of.

I am a fidiciary (as both a CFP R professional and a Registered Investment Advisor) which means that what I recommend to you must be deemed in your best interest. I believe that by providing advice and not products, that I am acting similarly to a physician or counselor; I will tell you what you need to do to improve your situation. Whether or not you take my advice is always your choice.

What are you like as a person?

I am an open and honest person and work well with people who are the same. The more you share with me, the better equipped I am to help you.

One of the seven principles in the Certified Financial Planner Code of Professional Standards is confidentiality, and I take it very seriously. I have no desire or need to tell anybody anything about anyone.

I am not here to judge you, I am here to help you assess your situation and develop strategies to get you where you want to go. Sometimes that includes bringing in other professionals.

That being said, it is not uncommon to feel anxious and overwhelmed when seeking financial advice and I encourage you to foster a healthy sense of skepticism when dealing with any business person. Please ask around about me; I have clients that are anxious to share what they learned as a result of working together and are more than happy to recommend me; I will be happy to provide their contact information.

How can I work with you?

You can work with me on an hourly, flat-fee, and a retainer basis.

Hourly consultations work well if you desire coaching or answers to questions or something else that is limited in scope. Holistic financial consulting is at my hourly rate (currently $250). I also offer spending plan coaching sessions on a sliding scale fee schedule.

A comprehensive financial plan is available for a flat, one-time fee that ranges from $1000-$6000, depending on complexity and scope. This option provides you with a printed, bound guide to your financial goals and includes graphs, illustrations, my recommendations and your action plan. It also includes all follow up consultations within one year.

The plan is meant to consider all areas of your life that affect your financial picture and it will create pathways for you to take, financially, to improve your situation. These could include investment, tax, insurance, cash flow, debt, saving or charitable giving strategies. The plan should provide your financial framework for a few years, unless something major changes your financial picture. I encourage you to review it with me every year or so (this would be at a reduced rate).

An annual retainer is available if you desire an ongoing, active communication with me, especially if you are going through a particularly challenging year financially (such as divorce, death of family member, retirement, career change, major geographic move).

Who do you work with?

I work with people of all income and net worth levels who want to get in control of their finances and help them develop a sense of peace and abundance. The people who hire me value advice and are willing to embark on this journey to improve their relationship with money.