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Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Jason Zweig writes for the Wall Street Journal about intelligent investing and other financial topics.  He wrote a quick piece about questions you should ask an advisor.  I wish I’d had this list when I was engaging an advisor several years ago.  To save you a little time, I’m answering them ahead of time.  If you’re shopping for advisors, I strongly recommend you ask them all these questions.  If you’d like some help with the meaning of any of the questions (or my answers), please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Yes. However, I avoid short-term engagements because it hinders your success.

I believe in simple, transparent costs. I am a fee-only planner. I do not receive commissions from products, nor do I accept monetary or other compensation for referrals.

I offer financial planning services alone, or with investment management added. Plans are typically implemented more successfully when I am helping the client invest according to their plan.

Financial Planning is a fixed, flat, annual cost – billed quarterly – based on the complexity of your situation and the value received. What do I mean by complexity? See the calculator on this page.

Investment Management is 0.50% of the first $1,000,000 of your assets under management (AUM) per year, calculated and billed quarterly. There is no additional cost for AUM over $1,000,000; i.e. the Investment Management cost is capped at $5,000 per year.

I believe in Passive Investing strategies and use experienced third party portfolio managers in most cases.

I focus primarily on the financial planning topics, I prefer to use sub-advisors for the hands-on investment management.

Based on my research as an MBA student, I believe passive, index-based investing is the right approach for the vast majority of people and circumstances for their core investment portfolio.  If you prefer a primarily active investment policy, you should seek a different advisor.

No, and particularly not over a period of more than 2-3 years

As a passive investor, I recommend rebalancing once a year, perhaps twice a year.  Rebalancing may also be needed to adjust for a life event, such as a windfall.

After all expenses, compared to an average of highly similar assets that includes dividends or interest income, over the short and long term.  If you wish to see investment performance that is also net of any sub-advisor fees, please contact me.

I have an MBA.  I have held management accounting and auditing credentials in the past.  I am actively pursuing what I consider to be the benchmark financial planning credential.  I have completed the education and plan to take the exam in late 2021.  I anticipate completing the necessary experience hours in 2022.

Equities on average have historically returned between 9% and 10%.  Inflation consumes 2-3%, taxes perhaps 3%, and fees less than 1%, which leaves 3-4%.  This is why I believe strongly in lower cost investing philosophies and why I advocate for saving early, often, and preferably in accounts that grow tax-deferred.

I do.  I use the same methods I recommend to my clients.

Check each box that’s true for your household
Planning
Boxes Checked
Year 1
Year 2+
1-2
$2,400
$2,400
3-4
$3,600
$2,400
5-6
$4,800
$2,400
Planning + Investment
Planning
Boxes Checked
Year 1
Year 2+
1-2
$2,400 + 0.50% AUM
$1,200 + 0.50% AUM
3-4
$3,600 + 0.50% AUM
$1,200 + 0.50% AUM
5-6
$4,800 + 0.50% AUM
$1,200 + 0.50% AUM
Total
Enter Your AUM
Enter Your AUM