Frequently Asked Questions
How long have you been practicing?
I have been working in the financial services industry since 2014.
Do I have to be in your area or can you work with me remotely?
You’re in luck! I typically work remotely. I work with clients anywhere in the U.S. through video conferencing and other internet-based systems. This allows us to be as efficient as possible and avoid unnecessary travel time.
Is there a minimum amount of money I have to have to work with you?
Nope! We will start with where you are.
What if I decide to stop working with you? How do I transfer my money?
While I certainly want to invest in long-term relationships with my clients, you are always in control of your money. Your money is held with TD Ameritrade which is a mainstream "open architecture" custodian. You have the option to stop working with me any time and you can continue to access your money through TD Ameritrade or move it wherever you want.
What is your stance on Socially Responsible Investing (SRI or ESG)?
My practice is built with a focus on socially responsible investing, also called ESG (environmental, social and governance). While other factors may outweigh SRI in some cases, it is an important consideration to me when building portfolios for my clients. I favor funds that have mandates that include fossil free, tobacco free, weapons free, gender diversity and or deforestation free.
How much does it cost to work with you?
I charge a one-time planning fee of $300 (waived for those with a household income under $50,000) and then a percentage of Assets Under Management (AUM). It starts at 1% annually and then goes down from there as your investment balance hits certain breakpoints.
Am I going to have to spend a lot of time and effort giving you a bunch of documents? That sounds annoying and not-fun.
No. Well, maybe. Here's the thing. Yes, I will need some information from you. I will even need some documents. However, I make it really easy to upload them electronically and most of the information is gathered by linking up your accounts into the planning software directly so that we avoid a lot of back and forth.
It is a little bit of work up front but we'll make it as easy as possible.
Am I going to be depressed about my finances after giving you all my information?
No! Well, I don't know but I don't think so. Here's why. Many people who I work with come to me because they have this nagging feeling that they don't really have a complete picture of their finances. They may feel a little bit lost. They feel stressed and avoid looking at their financial situation because they aren't sure what to do.
The very first milestone in our relationship is that you will (maybe for the first time) have a complete view of your financial situation. You will see your net worth, all your accounts in one place, and a confidence number. Whether it's where you want it to be or not, just about everyone gains some peace of mind from facing their situation head-on and knowing where they are. Even better, we get to talk over your situation and focus on how to get better — together.
It seems like financial advisors are all about investing but I am not even at that point yet. I just need help figuring out how to budget and manage my money! Can you help?
Absolutely. This question touches on one of my pet peeves with the industry which is that most financial advisors don't dig into the practical mechanics of managing money. I work with many (perhaps most) of my clients on specific cash flow and money management tactics like budgeting, bank account structure, and financial habits.
Dave Ramsey is quoted as saying "The thing I have discovered about working with personal finance is that the good news is that it is not rocket science. Personal finance is about 80 percent behavior. It is only about 20 percent head knowledge."
The math and head knowledge is important, but it's the implementation of that knowledge that makes the difference. I'm unique in that I provide coaching and guidance on putting the knowledge into practice.
I'm still apprehensive about working with a financial advisor and I'm not ready to talk.
Ok! You may want to read more on my article titled "13 Myths About Working With a Financial Advisor." Check it out and see if your concerns are addressed there.