CRYSTAL L. RAU, CFP®, MBA
I started Beyond Balanced Financial, a firm created to help young professionals and families, because I wanted a safe place for my clients to come and ask questions, learn, collaborate, and build a financial future for themselves and their families. It’s important for me to make financial advice accessible for others who are in the same life stage as myself and when good financial habits matter the most. I focus on helping others become good stewards of their wealth and providing education to improve financial confidence.
Having spent over a decade in the wealth management industry, and experiencing it from a woman’s point of view, it can be intimidating and overwhelming for the average investor who just wants to do well and wants someone looking out for their best interests. I believe that regardless of your income, assets or circumstances, we all deserve a partner in our corner to provide unbiased financial advice.
In addition to having a BBA from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, I earned my MBA in finance from The University of Texas at El Paso and hold the designations of CFP®, AAMS®, and CRPC®. You can find me in Midland, Texas where I live with my husband Seth, our twin boys, and our sassy little girl. In my free time, I volunteer through several organizations in my community and I’m currently working on my private pilot’s license. You can find more about me on LinkedIn.
WE ARE FIDUCIARIES
We took an oath to always act in the best interest of our clients. We base our recommendations and use products that will benefit you the most, not just what is suitable for you.
WE ARE FEE-ONLY
We don’t hide the cost of financial advice within your investments or get paid by third-parties to push their products. Fee-only means that we are compensated by our clients in a clear, transparent manner.
WE PERSONALIZE PLANS
We handle every client individually so you never feel like you’re just another number. Planning is centered around your money beliefs, goals, and expectations. Your dreams are important to us.
Do you have additional questions? Let me see if I can answer them!
WHAT IS THE CFP® DESIGNATION?
- An undergraduate degree
- Three years of client experience in financial planning
- Completed a financial planning education program
- Passed a rigorous comprehensive exam (~60% pass rate)
- Completes 30 hours of continuing education bi-annually
- Adheres to strict ethical standards
Read more about this designation from the CFP Board.
WHY DO I NEED A FINANCIAL PLANNER?
The value of a financial planner adds a real economic benefit in ways that can be easily measured such as the added value of portfolio construction, asset allocation, and rebalancing to other ways that cannot be easily measured such as assistance with implementation and behavioral coaching that will not only add to your available time but to your emotional well-being.
We all want to be smarter with our money, sometimes there just isn’t enough time or energy to take action on making a plan. Why wait to get started?
WHO WOULD NOT BE A GOOD FIT FOR YOUR SERVICES?
- We believe chasing market returns and buying what’s “hot” can be costly to your portfolio and taking on more risk than necessary. We choose low-cost investments, diversification, and long holding periods that aligns with your goals and tolerance for risk. As for the other stuff, we want our clients to be comfortable and confident. No intimidation or high-pressure sales here.
If you are not willing to put in the effort to better your finances … this would not be a good fit for you.
- Financial planning requires well … a lot of planning, and in order for us to plan effectively, we need the data. In the beginning of the relationship, your role will consist of gathering the information we need in order to gain a holistic view of your financial picture. Next comes the implementation part. A plan without action is of no value to you which is why we assist you with the implementation part. And finally, we ask that you inform us of any changes in your situation. The benefit of a subscription-based model is that we want you to stay engaged and we encourage you to call us anytime you have a question or an idea you want to bounce off us. We’re here to serve as your accountability partner, coach, and advisor.
If you are not comfortable with technology … this would not be a good fit for you.
- We have set up our business to run virtually. While we do offer in-person meetings to our nearby clients in the Midland-Odessa area, the majority of our business processes are set up to be completed online. From opening your account, viewing your financial plan, billing, and even our meetings, it can all be done from your personal computer. We use the latest tools all the while focusing on keeping costs low and saving our clients time.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT ADVISOR FOR ME?
Anyone can hang out a shingle as a financial planner, but that doesn’t make that person an expert. They may tack on an alphabet soup of letters after their names, but CFP® is the most significant credential. A CFP® has passed a rigorous comprehensive exam to demonstrate their knowledge on financial planning topics but it is still important to interview at least a couple of advisors to ensure they specialize in helping people like you and that they are a good fit for you.
Financial planners are compensated either by commissions, a fee-based model, or a fee-only model. Commissions are paid to the advisor when an investment product is sold, where a fee-only advisor charges an hourly rate or a flat rate for their services. A fee-based advisor will typically use a combination of the two methods.
Depending on your preferences, ask a potential advisor about their process, their investment philosophy and how they’re compensated. A good advisor will take the time to explain things to you.
Here is a checklist from The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) that can assist when choosing the right advisor for you.
DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR MY FIRST MEETING?
DO I NEED TO HAVE A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF MONEY TO WORK WITH YOU?
CAN I CANCEL MY FINANCIAL PLANNING PACKAGE?
Yes of course! It’s a pain to be locked into a contract and we want to ensure that we’re always adding value. If you need to cancel, we only need 30 days notice. I bill my clients in arrears (meaning for work already completed) so when you cancel the engagement, you will only be billed for work completed and will have no other ongoing charges.