What are your qualifications and designations as a financial advisor?
Navigating complex financial decisions at your level requires specialized expertise and a trusted partner. As a fee-only, independent Certified Financial Planner Professional (CFP®), I offer tailored guidance for high-net-worth individuals like you.
Are you a fiduciary?
Yes, I am a fiduciary, which means I have a legal and ethical obligation to act in your best interests, always prioritizing your financial goals above my own. This commitment is further reinforced by my status as a Certified Financial Planner Professional (CFP®), bound by the strict CFP code of ethics.
For greater transparency, you can access the detailed code of ethics here: https://www.cfp.net/ethics/code-of-ethics-and-standards-of-conduct.
What comprehensive services do you offer to help me navigate my complex financial landscape?
As a dedicated fee-only advisor, I’m passionate about providing holistic wealth management solutions tailored to your unique needs and aspirations. Here’s how I can empower you to achieve your financial goals:
Transitioning into retirement is one of the most significant changes in your lifetime. We work with clients to build a retirement plan that provides confidence that you won’t run out of money. That analysis includes things like:
Proper investing is critical to long-term financial success. We use an index-based approach to client portfolios. A few of the considerations include:
We gather tax returns from our clients on an annual basis. We use these returns for scenario modeling to identify opportunities such as:
We also collaborate with your CPA for improved communication and comprehensive planning.
For certain clients, we even provide tax return filing services through our partnership with Retirement Tax Services.
As a fee-only firm, we do not sell insurance for a commission. Instead, we provide unbiased consulting around your insurance needs and analysis of existing insurance products. Insurance is critical to the success (or avoidance of failure) in a financial plan, but we do not believe that it should mean a significant difference in our pay. We work with partners to provide insurance solutions when appropriate.
Review and assessment: Evaluating current documents and family goals.
Estate document creation: Utilizing software or collaborating with your chosen attorney.
Implementation and optimization: Ensuring proper titling and beneficiary designations.
Expert guidance: Maximizing your company benefits like 401k, equity compensation, HSAs, etc.
Minimizing costs and taxes: Strategizing to optimize your financial well-being over time.
Beyond these core services, I pride myself on building collaborative partnerships with clients. I encourage ongoing communication, transparency, and regular reviews to ensure your financial plan evolves alongside your life and goals.
I understand this information may appear extensive, but it reflects the multifaceted nature of wealth management at my firm. We strive to address all aspects of your financial life, providing peace of mind and a clear roadmap for success.
What is your fee structure?
As a fee-only advisor, I offer transparent and flexible compensation options tailored to your needs:
Percentage-based fee: This fee typically starts at 1% of your managed assets and may decrease for larger accounts, ensuring a clear alignment of my interests with yours.
Hourly rate: For specific project-based work or ongoing consulting, I offer a transparent hourly rate.
Important note: When choosing the percentage-based fee, there are no additional charges for ongoing investment management, phone calls, or consultations. This ensures you receive comprehensive guidance without worrying about unexpected fees.
I believe in open communication and clear pricing, and I’m happy to discuss which fee structure would best suit your individual circumstances.
Do you invest client funds in commissioned products or proprietary products, participate in any revenue-sharing arrangements, or engage in principal trading (taking the other side of the trade with an investor)?
Regarding the initial question, I relinquished my Series 7 license, which authorizes the sale of financial products for commissions. As an independent advisor, I can utilize various clearing houses such as Charles Schwab and/or Interactive Brokers, and in the future, I may also consider using the Fidelity platform. Additionally, I have the freedom to employ any investment manager or fund available through any of these clearing firms, which means that I have access to thousands of non-proprietary investment managers. I do not engage in any revenue-sharing agreements or accept solicitor/referral fees. I am only compensated through the asset-based fee or fixed fee that I charge, which is displayed as a separate line item in your transactions. In contrast, commissionable mutual funds include the advisor fee in the fund fee, making it difficult for you to discern the actual amount you are paying.
I want to share something regarding a conflict of interest. When I started my business, I received an offer of a considerable amount of money (in the five-figure range) from LPL Financial. However, I declined the offer as it came with certain conditions that could have affected my loyalty to my clients. I value my clients’ trust, and I would never want to tell them that their money was invested in a particular institution just because I received a monetary benefit from them. Instead, I prefer Schwab’s services, which provide my clients with commission-free bonds, ETFs, and stocks, as well as access to any third-party manager that we may need, among many other benefits.
What investments do you focus on—individual stocks, bonds, or investment funds? Within funds, do you favor active or passive funds, exchange-traded funds, or mutual funds, and what is the range of their fees?
Depending on the client, I can use a variety of solutions. Such as:
Generally, though, I like to use low-cost index ETFs (Blackrock and Vanguard funds are a good example). The costs of these range from 0.03% to 0.1%, depending on the fund. Occasionally, we may use funds with slightly higher expenses, but we actively seek to find funds with reasonable expenses.
I do have some select situations where we use actively managed funds. This is not as frequent but can be appropriate at times. Generally, I’ll avoid mutual funds for several reasons. They are expensive, not tax-efficient, have complex internal expenses and rules, and promise liquidity without always being able to generate sufficient liquidity.
What would be my all-in costs for your services? And do those costs mean you will actively manage my investments throughout the year? (The latter is especially important for those advisors who charge a percentage of assets.)
The only other fee that we have not discussed is the potential to hire a 3rd party manager to manage the money.
Here’s an example:
These changes are designed to be strategic moves and not “trades.”
If we were to outsource (say you wanted to have another company manage the assets because you like their investment strategy), they would have some % that they charge in addition to my planning fee (typically between 0.1-0.25% depending on how much assets) in addition to the expenses of the funds they use.
Another related note, we strategically bill accounts to create optimal outcomes.
What is the minimum asset level required, if any?
I do not have a minimum asset level. For clients with assets under 300k, I do charge an additional “planning fee” of $250/month
Have you or your firm been subject to any disciplinary actions by regulators or others, and if so, what are they?
How long have you been an advisor?
I started at Fidelity in 2013 after having been investing my own money since I was 19 years old. I generally say that I’ve got 10 years of experience. What I feel is unique about my background is that at Fidelity, I was fielding phone calls from Fidelity clients looking for planning help. Because of the size and scale of Fidelity, I was talking to 15-20 individuals/families daily. I did that for almost 7 years, so I talked to roughly 20k people. Any time a young person asks me, I tell them that they should seriously consider Fidelity as a place to start because there is really nowhere else that you can get that level of experience and amount of conversations.
During my time at Fidelity, I got involved with the local chapter of the Financial Planning Association and became the Director of NexGen (they have a young-professional group for 37 and under). As the director, I worked with the other Ohio chapters to create an “All-Ohio NexGen Conference”, which we hosted for a handful of years, and I got to meet some of the more forward-thinking individuals in my space, which is part of what has lead me to this move.
Will you be my primary contact or who will serve that role?
I would plan to be your primary contact. I feel that going independent allows me to focus more on the families that I serve rather than focus on growing and being as big as possible. For example, when I was at UBS, I may have been expected to handle up to 200 or so relationships. Independently, that number can be closer to 50-70. Going back to the services, I believe that this allows me to dedicate the kind of time and attention that is needed for true financial planning.