VISION: WHAT IF THERE WAS A FIRM…
…that took the best strategy/vehicle for your approach to financial independence, and didn’t force you into a box?
…where the founders were planning on early financial independence themselves, and living with that goal in mind?
So, what is the best version of your life worth? And, how fast can we help you get there?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Pricing and Relationship
Are you a fiduciary, what does that even mean? Should I care?
First, we only get paid by you. Period. Other advisors earn hidden commissions, or fees on related business, or products. We don’t. Second, we belong to the Fee-Only Network and NAPFA as well. We adhere to their strict detentions of what a fiduciary is as well. Finally, we take this a step further, and do not charge asset-based fees. This removes the conflict of interest on whether one dollar should go into your rentals, business, or portfolio. We want our compensation to be aligned with what’s best for you. Always.
Isn't all this information free on the internet, why do I need you?
Yes, “information” about anything is on the internet. Results are not. One, our clients have nuanced situations that are not answered in forums, or blog posts. Two, how much is your time really worth versus focusing on making more money, or doing something you love? Three, as your net worth grows, each mistake usually costs you more, in both time and money. Are you okay with that?
How long do I have to be a client for? Can I leave at any time?
We require clients to work with us for one-year, but at this time, we work with clients that want an on-going relationship. In the event, you lose your job, or go through financial hardship, we reserve the right to make exceptions.
We only accept clients we feel we can confidently demonstrate our value too over the long-term.
I have a real easy situation, right? It's not that complex, or expensive, right?
Without meeting, we don’t really understand where we can add value, and what work needs to be done. It would be like looking at a picture of the outside of your home, and then asking for a quote on what work needs to be done inside your walls. Let’s talk first.
How many times will I meet with you?
We start off with two kick-off meetings after reviewing your data. Then, we meet with all clients annually for end-of year tax planning, and check in before taxes are due in the spring. Depending on your complexity level and scope of services, we may need to meet more.
What if I just have a quick question, can I text you? Do you have weekend hours?
Usually there are few financial emergencies, but life happens. We can usually accommodate things quickly over written communication. But, we are human beings too. Texting works for easy requests or confirmations, not detailed questions. We offer weekend meetings on a first-come-first serve basis for year-end tax-planning meetings.
Are you going to have enough time for me?
Yes! We are not a call center with 200 to 300+ clients per person, and this isn’t a huge firm where we only know you based on what’s in our CRM. We are not designed to be a Wal-Mart of financial planning either. Even though we have been growing rapidly, we prioritize service and great relationships with our current clients over rapid growth.
How do I know when there is a complexity increase that will result in an increased fee?
We specifically list what is included in our scope of work in our detailed engagement letter, and what is not. Some examples of increased complexity are, additional tax returns, starting a business, and/or doing more real estate or private investment due diligence.
What if I disagree with your recommendation, and don't want to move forward with it?
No problem. You live with the decision, for better or worse. We can’t see the future perfectly either. If you feel more comfortable going another route that’s truly okay with us. We are happy to support your decision, as long as it’s not unethical, criminal, or puts you in financial danger. When possible, we’ll provide you multiple scenarios and trade-offs to choose.
I've had a bad experience with another advisor, why should I trust you?
That stinks. We believe in easy quick wins first, and building trust over time before moving any assets over. You can ask us anything. Really. We want you to feel comfortable and confident, or else we can’t make a difference. Finally, not everyone is suited to partner with someone else on their finances, and that’s okay.
I'm embarrassed, I’ve never handed over my finances to someone before, I should know this stuff right?
You’re an expert in what you do, right? You’ve come this far. We most certainly can’t do what you do. Everyone can constantly get better. It all starts with One. Small. Step. Don’t worry, we aren’t perfect in our own finances, either.
Can't I just take all your recommendations and do this myself?
No, there will be some implementation only we can do. Some only you can do. It’s collaberative. We will help as much as scoped, and where we can. But, our clients want to save time, and realize that TIME is their most important asset.
Can I just have my taxes prepared by you? Do I need to do investments and financial planning too?
We are designed and structured to best serve clients with combined services in tax, financial planning, and investments.
What's the difference between what you do, and the person who prepares my taxes?
Most tax preparers focus on completing your taxes quickly and compliantly. Sorry…Many are overworked, and underpaid. So, they do not have time to proactively guide you on saving taxes over the long-term. We feel this is how you earn the highest return-on-investment of our services.
I use TurboTax, or I’m just looking for the cheapest tax prep, what's the problem with that?
Putting historical numbers in a box is not planning. Think about your biggest expense as a family? It’s probably taxes. Why would you not invest in lowering your biggest expense as a family as much as possible? This is one of the largest areas we can deliver a return on your investment.
How are you different from other advisors saying they do tax planning?
Many financial advisors say they do “tax-planning,” but there is a large difference in knowing things conceptually, and actually executing them on a tax return. Our competitive advantage is making sure you never translate complex tax topics, or coordinate communication between your CPA and advisor where things could “fall through the cracks.”
Why is reviewing my taxes so important every year? Are tax estimates really that important?
Are you okay with giving the IRS a tax-free loan? What about paying them penalties? Donations to the IRS are not tax deductible. There are so many other great organizations you could make charitable donations to. Time and time again, entrepreneurs or higher-income earners make this mistake, unknowingly, because there is no planning.
I've got a letter from the IRS can you help?
Yes, depending on the severity we can include this in the scope of your engagement.
What if you review my prior taxes and find an error, or opportunity, what happens next?
In most engagements we review prior tax returns: looking for opportunities or mistakes. Sometimes we can amend, and sometimes the statute of limitations has passed.
How do I know you won't run off with my money?
A few things that protect you: First, you do not have to transfer assets over to us on day one. We’d prefer to build trust over time. Also, we do not have direct access to accounts that are owned by you and custodied at TD Ameritrade, our firm’s third-party custodian. Lastly, TD Ameritrade Institutional says, “If you lose cash or securities from your account due to unauthorized activity, we’ll reimburse you for the cash or shares of securities you lost.“
Where will my assets be held?
All assets are held at a third-party custodian: TD Ameritrade.
Do I have to move all my assets over day one?
No, we want our clients to trust us. We will build that over time with small wins together.
Is there a minimum amount of assets required for you to take a client?
No, we think it’s silly that if you need help, you need a certain amount of “investable assets.”
I need financial planning and investments, but already have a CPA, can I keep working with them?
There are some great CPAs, and we understand many clients build get comfortable with someone over time. Our value proposition to clients is saving them time. And, ensuring recommendations are completed in a timely manner. So, we do not offer the ability to use an outside CPA at this time.
What about capital gain harvesting? How much value can tax-loss harvesting really provide?
We are vvery sensitive to taxes, and harvest both losses and gains when prudent to do so, based on your specific situation. Your return on investment with tax-loss harvesting is dependant on the volatility of your portfolio, your current and forecasted tax bracket, and how much money you have in taxable accounts. Sometimes it’s huge, and sometimes it’s not.
What if I have large unrealized long-term gains from prior investments, do you sell all my holdings?
Absolutely not, we pay special attention if you have large unrealized gains. We will give you options, and talk through our strategy together.
What steps do you proactively take in a market downturn?
In March 2020, every client got a call. We talked through how they were feeling and their options. We also added a lot of value tax-loss harvesting for clients.
How often do you review my investments?
We review all client portfolios at a minimum quarterly, and actively during times of significant volatility.
How do you determine what I should be invested in?
We gauge risk based on your ability, willingness, and need for return. Taxes, and lower cost invesments pay a large role as well. Finally, we take into account your business, and real estate.
Can't you just give me the investment recommendations to implement?
If it’s in your best interest to keep an account where it is, we do. We advise on those outside assets, if that is scoped in your engagement. For example, a 401(k) at your current workplace. However, if assets can transfer, we are not designed to give you investment choices to implement on an ongoing basis.
Isn't investing just buying low-cost Vanguard ETFs, asset allocation funds, or target-date funds?
Low-cost ETFs might be a great start. But, taxes also play a part in how you should invest. Most importantly, trade-offs in real estate, and a business play a large role into what happens with our clients.
Do you have access to private investments, and do you get paid to recommend them in ANY way? What if my friend has a private investment, will you help me review it?
We do not get paid to recommend any private investment. Depending on the scope of the engagement, we will assist you with due diligence. If/when we feel private investments will help you reach your goals, we will pass along those deals.
Will I get performance reporting? How will I know how I am doing?
We provide performance reporting quarterly, on assets that are custodied through TD Ameritrade.
Do you advise on cryptocurrency, or help me invest into it?
Currently, there is not a way for us to invest for you. If it makes sense for your situation, we can provide options for you to invest.
Even though your pricing is flat, can I just pay the fee from my assets?
Of course, whatever you are comfortable with, and is most convenient for you. You can switch between paying for our services with your portfolio, and a debit account.
What if I just want to invest in real estate can you help me?
Currently, we do not work with clients who just invest in real estate. We truly believe that owning a business, and investing in traditional investments as well, is the most stable way to grow wealth, and we do this in our own life.
6-STEP MUTUAL FIT PROCESS
ANSWER A FEW QUESTIONS
And get on our calendar, don’t worry, If we aren’t the right fit after reading about what you need, we’ll be respectful of your time, and let you know we are not the best fit.
We’d also be happy to introduce you to another fee-only firm we feel might be better suited to fit your needs.
COMPLETE OUR QUESTIONNAIRE
Standby for a questionnaire, this will take you about 10 to 20 minutes to complete.
This helps us understand your challenges, vision, and where we can specifically add value.
FIRST VIRTUAL MEETING
We will both be mutually interviewing each other to ensure we both believe it is going to be a great working relationship.
You can ask us whatever you’d like. We’ll have clarification questions from your questionnaire, in addition to other areas where we believe we can add value.
During this meeting, we will map out each section of your financial life we reviewed. We’ll review what we need to do together to get you to work optional faster.
We’ll also provide a quote for our services.
TAKE A DAY
Having been in this profession for over 10 years, we are in no rush for potential clients to make a quick decision.
*At this point, If you decide that it’s not a good fit, we will wish you all the best and every success. In other words, there is never a hard-sell or pressure to say yes.
We will send an online on-boarding package that includes an engagement letter, invoice, and information we need to get started. Then, we’ll schedule another call with you to ensure you have all your questions answered.
Finally, we will have your targeted financial independence date, and both be working together to go after it.
How We Go Above and Beyond For Our Clients
The most sought after and used credential in the world of tax with the highest standard of knowledge and ethics. Minimum 150 credit hours from an accredited institution with a concentration in accounting, or five years of study.
Completion of 40 hours of continuing professional education (CPE), on average, each year. Only 23% of financial advisors have a CPA.
The gold standard for financial planning expertise.
An 18 month comprehensive college-level program of study reinforced with mandatory 30 hours of continuing education every 2 years. Only 28% of all financial advisors have a CFP.
The highest distinction in the investment management profession that is recognized globally.
A 3 year self-study graduate level program that is the most competitive financial designation to attain. Only 5% of all financial advisors have a CFA designation.