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Yes. However, we caution you to be careful with that word. While we associate the word “fiduciary” with trustworthiness and ethics, being a fiduciary hardy eliminates conflicts of interest. In the financial services industry, being a fiduciary translates to charging fees directly to the client rather than accepting commissions through third parties. But financial advisors can call themselves fiduciaries while charging absurdly high percentage-based fees to manage your portfolio. And percentage-based fees can encourage advisors to gather assets under their management in scenarios where tax laws and investment expenses might favor leaving them where they are and/or rolling them into a current employer-sponsored retirement plan.
We chose an hourly-based pricing structure because it focuses our attention on the most meaningful components of financial planning. All the while, an hourly-based pricing structure minimizes the incentive to overcomplicate your investments. Decades of academic research has shown that simpler, lower-cost investing is superior to complex, higher-cost alternatives. Percentage-based pricing encourages overcomplicating a portfolio, which can translate to higher fees, more taxes, and a lot less wealth for you and your heirs.
Absolutely nothing! You would never expect a contractor or landscaper to charge you for coming out to give you a quote. In the same way, we will never charge you to learn about working with us.
We take safeguarding your personal identifiable information seriously. Any emails with sensitive documents are encrypted, and attached documents are password protected, with passwords shared securely. The portals for our financial planning software are also highly secure, with 256-bit encryption, the same as most large banks, as well as two-factor authentication for sign-in.
Exact timelines vary, but most projects are completed in 4-6 weeks. Typical financial plans involve 12-18 hours of work, and that time is spent on data entry, analysis, filming videos, and presenting your plan. Throughout this process, you will be kept involved and informed about our progress. Client engagement is a priority for us, and that, along with overall complexity, is a major determinant of a project’s length.
For simpler plans, we usually suggest a once a year check in with us, as a form of “preventative maintenance.” For more complex situations, such as clients nearing or recently retired, a semi-annual review may be recommended. These typically take 1-2 hours, and we charge an hourly rate. If a situation requires greater complexity than a semi-annual review, you may want to consider becoming a wealth management client.
If you come to us for a financial plan, and we recommend that you hire us on an ongoing basis, that is an inherent conflict. Before the suggestion is ever made, we need to convince ourselves that this is in your best interest. That said, a good candidate for wealth management services is one who requires frequent consultation or investment maintenance, beyond a semi-annual review. Click here to learn more about what you can expect as a wealth management client.