FAQ

Please review the FAQs below.

If you do not see an answer to your question, please contact me.

Our ideal clients have goals and need our help and guidance to achieve them.  Everyone needs a financial plan.  It doesn’t matter what stage of life you are in, whether you just started your first job after graduation or are approaching retirement.  Each person’s goals are unique, and we partner with you to achieve them over your lifetime.

We assess investment recommendations based on several factors.  Risk tolerance is critical in ensuring you are comfortable with your assets and the associated risk.  Your time frame for needing your assets to supplement your living needs or accomplish specific goals is equally important.  We work with you to design a program that meets your needs, constantly review it with you, and make changes as necessary.

We are a fee-based Registered Investment Advisor and charge an asset-based charge on the investments we manage for you.  We do not participate in any commission-based investment products.  The fees you pay our firm are deducted directly from your portfolio every quarter, and we use a schedule based on the size of your portfolio to determine the exact annualized percentage rate. 

Three things I focus on give me a tremendous sense of purpose.  First and foremost is my family.  They are the backbone of everything I do and inspire me to be the best version of myself daily.  Being a wife and mother are the most important roles I play in my life.  A close second to them is my clients and the people who hire me to help them.  I have built many great relationships over the 20 years I have been practicing, and many people have become my second family.  The cool thing about my work is that I get to help people all day long.  That drives me, and I never feel like I am “working.”  Lastly, I genuinely believe you cannot get ahead in life unless you give back, and I live my life with this philosophy at the forefront of everything I do.  That doesn’t necessarily mean only giving money – I give my time and talent.  If we are in a position to help others in need, then we are obligated to do so.

Yes, we work with other professionals on your behalf and are fortunate that many professionals also hire our firm for their own needs.  We have several strong relationships with attorneys and accountants in particular, but we work with all of your outside counsel to ensure that your plan is working for you.

We are a niche practice that focuses on special needs planning.  This became an everyday part of my life when my oldest child was diagnosed with autism, and I immersed myself in planning for her to have the highest quality of life possible.  We are well versed in all components that can impact a person’s life with an intellectual, developmental, or physical disability.  This planning is critical to ensure your loved one can receive benefits they may be entitled to while simultaneously allowing you to supplement their needs throughout their lifetime.

All relationships are two-way streets and must be suitable for both parties, or they are no good at all.  When you partner with our firm, you can access us when you need to.  We formally meet on a scheduled basis to review your plan and make sure you are on track to meet your goals, but you also can contact us in between to address anything you need to discuss that has an impact on your plan.  We serve as a resource for any questions you may have, and if we don’t have the answers, we work on your behalf to find them.

Yes, we are fiduciaries.  We act on your behalf and do not make recommendations we would not impart to ourselves.  As we are a fee-based only firm, we participate in the growth of the assets we manage as equally as we experience a decline when the markets are not returning positive performance.  Our priority is ensuring you are successful.

Our investment philosophy is simple.  We strive to give our clients a high-quality and well-diversified investment portfolio on the lowest-cost platforms possible.  We can achieve excellent results for our clients without expensive or complicated investment products, although performance is never guaranteed.  We want to ensure that you understand what you own, how it works, and what that means for you over the long term.

We can serve all kinds of clients, but we specialize in those needing advanced wealth management planning services.  We spend significant time with clients on estate and contingency planning.  A specific specialty area in our practice is serving families requiring special needs planning.  Special needs planning becomes essential when you have a loved one with a disability. Several factors influence financial planning because of the array of ways this can impact your finances and how you protect your loved one from being disqualified from benefits they may be entitled to.

Your costs are very straightforward.  Your all-in costs include the fee you pay us to manage your portfolio, which is assessed on a sliding scale based on the value of your accounts.  In addition, some funds we invest in have an internal operating expense reflected in your net investment performance.  We always strive to use funds with very low internal operational costs.  That is your total cost structure.  The custodians we work with do not charge feed to our clients.

We primarily use TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab as our clients’ custodians.  We work with businesses on employer-sponsored retirement plans, and those custodians are selected on a customized basis depending on the needs and demographics of the plans we manage.  

When we onboard new clients, we transfer assets in-kind so as not to incur any taxable events at the time of transfer.  Once your accounts are entirely funded with our custodian, we then work with you to determine what transactions would be completed that may trigger a taxable event.  As an ongoing part of our relationship, you may receive 1099’s for dividends and interest income that are paid to your accounts along the way, and these amounts are subject to capital gains taxes.

We use specific financial reporting software to track your performance internally and externally.  We can generate performance reports for you that quantify your performance on a percentage basis.  You will also receive monthly statements directly from your custodian every month. 

We are in regular communication with our clients via newsletters and publications.  We formally meet with our clients 2 – 4 times a year, depending on their preferences.  We can meet in person, by telephone, or through Zoom – whatever is most comfortable for our clients.  

We must have a complete inventory of your overall financial picture to adequately advise you on how to meet your long-term goals.  We use aggregation software to keep track of this information and update it with you regularly.

We have an extensive network of outside professionals we work with to meet all of your planning needs.  In addition, we offer technological platforms to you, such as mobile applications, for you to track your investment portfolio.  We maintain access to all industry-leading research and tools to make investment recommendations to our clients.  Our software also provides secure email and document storage for sharing essential and sensitive information.  We are constantly evaluating our offerings to ensure we have the latest technology and resources and that our clients have the most up-to-date tools.

A core value I have continuously operated under is that you cannot get ahead in life without giving back.  I spend much time working with outside agencies on a volunteer basis to further causes near and dear to me.  I also make it a point to give financially. Business should be conducted with complete transparency, and no two clients are alike.  I founded this firm on the premise that everyone needs a financial plan, and we are indiscriminate about who we are willing to work with.  

Special Needs Planning FAQs:

Special needs planning focuses on an array of services that a person may need to have to allow them to live happy and healthy lives.  In particular, this planning allows a person to receive assets for their lifetime use without compromising state or government benefits, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) that they may be entitled to.

We partner with you and your outside counsel, such as your attorney, to ensure that your assets are properly structured to meet the needs of your loved one for their lifetime.  In addition, we can guide you in other areas that may arise, such as educational advocacy or other social service resources that may enhance the quality of life for the person you are completing the planning for.

You should start discussing special needs planning with your advisor as soon as you know that your loved one has a disability that may entitle them to state or government benefits and services. 

Disabled individuals are often eligible for needs-based government benefits such as SSI, Medicaid, and food and housing assistance. However, these benefits require the disabled individual to meet an asset/resource limit to qualify. Disabled individuals who exceed this asset/resource limit (which varies depending on the benefit and the state) are generally not eligible to receive these benefits. Disabled individuals under this asset/resource limit must remain to continue receiving these benefits.

No, special needs trusts require an attorney to have them properly drafted and executed.  As part of the planning process, we work with you to outline your goals for your loved one and ensure they are implemented in a way that does not disqualify them from receiving other benefits they may be entitled to.

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