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Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  My perception is that the financial planning process is cumbersome, difficult or time consuming.  What do I get out of it?

  • A:  We help you focus on the basics of what you want and/or need financially and help you establish a realistic and achievable goal with milestones and a target end date. We start by discussing your values and expectations, and then collaborate to decide how your money can help you achieve your goals. Working with a financial advisor isn’t just about monetary concerns, it’s about security, confidence, and figuring out how you can live your best life. We’re here to help you determine what financial success means—and how to get there.

Q:  Do I have to disclose personal/private information?  That makes me uncomfortable.

  • A:  We take our clients’ privacy seriously and don’t pass judgement. We are invested in your long-term success, not where you have been or what mistakes you may have made. We help you focus on the future.

Q:  Financial Advisors are out for themselves.  Are you going to try to sell me something I don’t really need to get a commission?

  • A:  No. We are an independent group that strives to create an accepting atmosphere where our clients feel valued. We do not have set quotas or goals to meet, which gives us the freedom to focus on your needs. Whenever possible, we’ll present multiple solutions to whatever problems you face and help you work through the potential consequences to ensure you feel confident moving forward with your choice. We do not promote any specific product until we know that it may be a good solution but ultimately, we know the choice is up to you and we respect it.

Q:   I’m now reading about the “Fiduciary Standard” and how advisors have to put their client’s interest first.  What is different than before (the suitability standard)?

  • A:  The best way to answer this is with a story.  Let’s say you want to buy a new car.  You can picture what you want in your mind, but you don’t know what it’s called.  For purposes of this story, let’s say it’s a Toyota Highlander.  You go to the first car dealer you find – it happens to be a Ford Dealer.  The salesperson listens to what you want and shows you a Ford Explorer.  He knows you described a Toyota Highlander, but he can’t offer you one.  However since he is subject to the suitability standard, he can offer a product that he sells that will meet your needs.  The Explorer will do just that – maybe it doesn’t get as good a gas mileage or have as much technology – but it will meet your needs.  Now, let’s say instead of going to a car dealer, you go to a fiduciary (I don’t know if there is such a thing in the car world, but work with me here).  The fiduciary would say; what you’ve described is a Toyota Highlander.  I don’t sell those myself, but you can go see my buddy at the Toyota dealer down the road and he will fix you up.

Q:  Will you push products and solutions for only certain companies or can you give me options for consideration?

  • A:  We are fiduciary advisors and part of an independent financial group.  We don’t have to make a quota/goal, so we are driven to ensure we give you all the options so that you make the best choice for you and your family. One of the advantages of working with Financial Planning Partners is that we are not committed to or limited by what any specific company can offer.  You know that the advice we offer is truly based on our experience and all the options in the market place not on what the company we represent offers to clients.

Q:  There are tons of financial advisors out there.  Aren’t they all the same?

  • A:  In a word, NO!  We:
    • Are approachable
    • Are collaborative
    • Are solutions driven
    • Are Fiduciary
    • Cut through the complexity
    • Are milestone/goal driven
    • Create solutions based on your values
    • Are an independent group and not beholden to one company
  • 100% of our business is referral based, a testament to the quality of work we do for our clients.

Q:  Why do Financial Advisors try to make things complicated so I am co-dependent on them and pay them more to manage the process?

  • A:  We want to make sure that you always understand us. It’s important that your questions are answered and you feel confident about your decisions. We cut through the complexity and make the process easy to understand by doing things such as:
    • Removing acronyms and jargon
    • Taking the time to help people understand the decisions being made (i.e. reading the fine print)
    • Listening to your story, concerns and history
    • Making sure explanations are clear and understandable so you feel comfortable

Q:  I can do my own financial planning.  There is software and calculators all over the place.  Right?

  • A:  Yes, if you have the interest, aptitude and the ability to hang in there over the long haul.  There are huge advantages to working with a financial advisor. For example, at Financial Planning Partners we offer concierge services as part of our affordable prices that include:
    • Tracking your required minimum distributions and making sure you take them.
    • Sending your account directly to your mortgage company, if you need a mortgage.
    • Sending tax statements to your CPA.
    • Solving your unique financial headaches, like how to manage your money after a divorce or how to save wisely as a business owner.
    • Helping you work smarter, not harder, by making sure that you’re taking advantage of everything your money can do.

There are so many things that working with a financial advisor can do for you. Besides giving you peace of mind and confidence, we’re experts at knowing how to stretch your pennies and turn them into dimes.

There is only so much Google can teach you about financial planning, and you don't know what you don't know.   Contact us so we can help you plan a bright, successful future.

You talk – We listen – and together, we collaborate.