Ongoing Coaching & Accountability
Financial planning is a process, not a one-time event. As life changes, so will your financial plans, goals, and priorities. We work with you in a collaborative approach to create a financial strategy tailored to your specific needs. We provide clarity, ongoing advice, and an accountability partner to keep you on track as you tackle debt, reduce taxes, and make smart decisions to grow your wealth.
Your progress is something we continually monitor and we adjust your plan as needed. By working with a fee-only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional you can rest easy knowing you’re receiving unbiased and objective advice.
Access to a fee-only, fiduciary advisor
As a fee-only firm, we are not paid a commission for selling financial products. That means we are objective when it comes to providing recommendations for your particular situation.
This also allows us to provide the advice you wouldn’t typically receive from other financial advisors. Whether you need help just getting organized or you need someone to provide a stock option execution strategy, we’re here to help.
Financial plan progress reports
We track several pieces of a financial plan that we measure on an ongoing basis and send you updates.
After we complete our initial strategy, we’ll be checking in monthly to provide an update on a particular element. The goal is to improve each element over time.
This also gives your advisor a 360° view of your financial situation to continuously measure your financial health and provide accurate and precise advice when those unexpected life-events arise.
Quarterly net worth tracking
Along with a real-time net worth summary, which you can always view on your dashboard, we will deliver quarterly net worth progress reports to show a historical view of your progress. The report includes a detailed breakdown of your assets and debts so it’s clear which factors are contributing to growth (or decline).
Retirement plan optimization
A retirement plan is one of the most proactive ways to reduce and defer taxes. For business owners, this could mean designing a retirement plan that will help you maximize your savings or just a great way to increase employee loyalty.
It’s important to get advice from someone who is not incentivized to sell you a retirement plan. In many cases, the timing and type of plan you establish will either accelerate your growth or hold you back. We will provide an independent voice of reason to help you understand all the options available in the marketplace—not just the ones available through a single provider.
As technology and service models change, the best-of-class retirement plans also change. We can work with your existing provider to enhance the investment selection and design of your existing plan, or we can recommend a more optimal solution with a new servicing partner that might be a better fit for your situation. The optimal design is often different depending on your business. Every year, we’ll continually analyze your retirement plan to see if we can increase your tax deductions. This is important as your personal income reach new levels and higher tax brackets.
Coordination with your other professional contacts
Using a limited power of attorney, we will establish lines of communication with each of your professional contacts to request data and documents on a regular basis. In essence, we’ll be the quarterback of your service provider team and make sure your financial playbook includes the most up-to-date information from all the right sources.
This allows us to complete much of our analysis behind the scenes without disrupting your busy schedule.
You and your advisor will collaborate using real-time information. You’ll be able to view your account activity, assets, and debts in one place.
Instead of relying on assumptions, you and your advisor can make decisions much faster, using the most up to date information.
Insurance evaluation and recommendations
We don’t sell insurance, however, we will point you in the right direction if we think you have too little (or too much) insurance coverage.
We’ll take a look at your life insurance, personal disability, business insurance, and personal liability. Each of these policies will be reviewed on an annual schedule so we can make adjustments as your spending and net worth change.
Debt payoff strategy
Debt can be a major stressor. Between student loans, mortgages, and other things life can throw at you, the pile of debt can seem insurmountable.
Not only are we well-versed in student loan repayment strategies, we will show you how debt factors into your overall financial strategy and how to find the right balance between paying it down and saving for the future.
An investment advisor on your side
According to Vanguard, using the right kind of advisor can add 3% in net returns each year. We wish it were as easy as buying cheap index funds and putting things on autopilot, however, we believe in a combination of behavioral coaching, asset location, and proper rebalancing to ensure growth is maximized and taxes are minimized. Read Vanguard’s full report here.
We’ll be cautious as we analyze the tax impact of any changes, and start to position your portfolio with cost-effective investments and a highly disciplined approach that captures value across countries, companies, currencies, and real estate. Your tax rate, liquidity, cash flow, personality profile, time frames, and risk tolerance will all be factored into your investment strategy. As markets go through ups and downs, we’ll be your voice of reason to help you navigate adjustments and stay consistent when it’s difficult to do so.
Tax-advantaged charitable giving
Writing a check to your church or favorite charity is a great way to give, however, we can do an audit of your investment accounts to find specific lots of securities that have the most significant capital gains.
The significance in that is that we can then donate those shares to charities that accept in-kind contributions, and eliminate the capital gain taxes owed on those highly appreciated securities. If you are saving money on a regular basis, we can often make these donations with minimum impact to your portfolio diversification.
As with all tax matters, it’s important for us to collaborate with your CPA to have a discussion if we are contemplating a large donation and explore any unknown variables specific to each tax year.
Pricing for Financial Planning
Pricing reflects our comprehensive approach to financial planning and investing. Our fee is calculated on a percentage of your investments. Instead of requiring a minimum investment balance, we allow you to offset the cost of planning by paying a flat fee.
Annual Retainer: $2,400
One-Time Initial Strategy Fee: $500
*Initial strategy includes building dashboard, preparing your personal
net worth statement, gathering data from your other service
professionals, making upfront recommendations, and delivering a formalized plan.
A little bit of this, a little bit of that …
We believe that markets are largely efficient so rather than try to beat the markets we use the power of the markets to let the market work for you. We look to build well-diversified portfolios with mainly low-cost institutional mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. Before we invest funds on your behalf, we will review your goals, risk tolerance, time horizon, tax considerations, income needs, and any unique needs that you might have.
The goal defers from trying to beat the market to focus on the things we can control such as fees, taxes, liquidity, and exposures to risk. We do three things in the investment management process that our clients are not able to do.
- we are able to manage investments without involving emotion, avoiding the Behavior Gap below,
- we free up time for our clients by managing assets on their behalf,
- we use investment strategies that are backed by decades of academic research.
Cost: Fees begin at 0.95% of assets under management.
Retirement Plan Design & Employee Education
Small business owners are tasked with the confusing and burdensome responsibility to choose a retirement plan along with the myriad of other options that come along with the plan. Nobody can ever eliminate all of your fiduciary obligations as a plan sponsor, as you must demonstrate that you have conducted appropriate due diligence in your decision-making when choosing the right retirement plan as well as the right advisors. We hope to lessen the burden of doing it alone. We choose to work alongside a 3(38) fiduciary to provide fiduciary protection to the plan sponsor and fulfill the ERISA role of 3(21) fiduciary, serving as an investment advisor that is obligated to a plan sponsor and plan participants to provide investment advice in their best interests.
Our goal is to help you build a retirement plan that fits your needs as the business owner, gives you great investment options, and provides you with the ongoing advice from an advisor that is not only competitive but transparent on costs as well. We understand that a great benefits package is one of the best ways to attract and retain talented employees for your business however with increased retirement plan regulation and numerous options, we offer conflict-free open architecture investment options, flexibility in plan fees, as well as employee education.
We are proud to serve in this space where we hope to eliminate that lack of transparency, lack of service, and the excessive fees.