Frequently Asked Questions
We follow the financial planning process set forth by the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards. The process includes:
- Establish the client—planner engagement
- Gather client data and determine your goals and expectations
- Clarify your present financial status and identify any problem areas and opportunities
- Develop and present the financial plan
- Implement your financial plan
- Monitor the financial plan
Yes, we supervise portfolios consisting of no-load actively managed mutual funds, exchange traded funds and individual taxable or tax-free bonds. Each client has an investment objective that we follow. We structure a strategic asset allocation plan and diversify your investments over many different asset classes for diversification purposes. We accept a limited power of attorney over client accounts that allow us to make trades in and out of the account as well as facilitate distributions directly to the client.
Here are some events or concerns that might prompt you to seek the services of a financial planner:
- Making sure your money will last during retirement of rolling over a retirement plan
- Handling the inheritance of a large sum of money or other unexpected financial windfall
- Preparing for a marriage or divorce
- Planning for the birth or adoption of a child
- Facing a financial crisis such as a serious illness, layoff or natural disaster
- Caring for aging parents or a disabled child
- Coping financially with the death of a spouse or close family member
- Funding education
- Buying, selling or passing on a family business
No! Be wary of people who call themselves financial planners but who appear more interested in pushing specific financial products at the expense of your real needs and goals. A genuine financial planner can help you address a variety of financial needs, not just investments, insurance or taxes. Moreover, not every financial planner is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional. CFP professionals have an ethical obligation to act in your best interest. There are a multitude of other designations but no of them carry the weight of the CFP designation for true financial planners.
To earn the prestigious CFP certification and remain certified as a CFP professional, individuals must meet four main requirements.
Examination. They must successfully complete the CFP Board and comprehensive certification examination, which tests the individual's knowledge on various key aspects of financial planning.
Experience. They must acquire three years of financial planning-related experience before receiving the right to use the CFP marks.
Ethics. They must voluntarily ascribe to the CFP Board's Code of Ethics and additional requirements as mandated. CFP practitioners who violate the code can be disciplined, including the permanent loss of the right to use the CFP marks.
Education. They must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years to stay current in financial planning knowledge, including ethics.
At the heart of any working relationship with a financial planner is trust. Trust is built on two factors: the planner acting in your best interests, and full disclosure of the planner's background, business practices and other issues.
Full disclosure means the planner is forthright in providing answers about the planner's work experience, compensation, methods of planning and so on. For example, what business relationships does the planner have? These might be relationships with companies whose products the planner sells, or referral fees the planner earns by referring you to certain professionals. If you do not receive full disclosure from a financial planner, that is a sign you should take your financial planning needs elsewhere.
The planner is compensated entirely from fees for purposes of consultation, plan development or investment management. These fees may be charged on an hourly or project basis depending on your needs, or on a percentage of assets under management.