The financial advice industry is made up of differing viewpoints, strategies, and fee structures. I want to give you an inside perspective on how I view financial planning, investment management, and fees paid for advice.
Is one way better than the other? That could be debated ad nauseam. What I believe is that you should find a financial planner that you trust, works with clients like you and shares the same set of core values.
Start with the big picture in mind. We start our work with you with an Initial Financial Plan. Providing advice to you on your investments, insurance, or retirement individually is a mistake. Your financial life is broad and each individual component affects the entire picture. Your initial plan will help guide the recommendations we provide to set you on the right path going forward.
Systems lead to success. Human beings have a difficult time making the correct decision time after time. This is why I believe that automating every piece of your financial plan is critical in building good financial habits. After completing your initial financial plan, having the right systems in place will help you help yourself.
Simplicity is better than complexity. I believe the simpler the strategy, the more likely you are to stick to the plan. There are times when a complex strategy may be necessary, but this is a rare instance. Most individuals would benefit from an investment plan that is straightforward and easy to implement. Traditional financial advisors might use complexity to justify their fees or to portray an expert level of knowledge. I believe simplicity is beautiful and you deserve it.
Fees should be in line with services provided. Financial advisors charge in a number of different ways--assets under management percentage, commissions, hourly, flat-fee, and more. Since I am a financial planner that advises on all areas of your financial life, I believe in charging based on your net worth. This allows me to advise you on how best to increase your net worth, whether that means paying down debt, increasing retirement contributions, or transitioning from home-renter to homeowner. Furthermore, I believe in a fee-only model, which means I never accept commissions and am only paid directly by my clients.