Why did you become a fee-only financial advisor?

First, I’ll address the  “financial advisor” part of the question.  I feel I have gained insight through the years of personal investing and education. I have made some good choices and learned from mistakes in my own investing.  I have benefitted greatly from working with different types of advisors.  This has been excellent preparation for becoming a financial advisor myself. Now I can help others get the most out of their investments, and at the same time do something I enjoy.
Second, I’ll answer the “fee-only” part of the question.  I, like many consumer advocates, feel that the fee-only business model is the only way consumers can know for sure that they are getting objective advice.  This type of advice has always been available to the very wealthy, but now through the Garrett business model, objective advice is available to everyone

What does fiduciary duty mean?

A fiduciary is required by law to act in the best interest of the client, to put the clients interest above their own, and to limit and disclose any potential conflicts of interest to the client.  Fee only advisors, such as Stanhouse Financial Planning, take this duty to the maximum by only accepting fees from our clients, eliminating any actual or perceived conflicts of interest with third parties.

Don’t all financial advisors have a fiduciary duty?

That is a common misconception made by the general public. Actually most people who the general public thinks of as “financial advisors” such as registered representatives of big financial services companies or stock brokers from brokerage companies are not held to a fiduciary standard.   Any financial advice they deliver has been legally ruled as being incidental to their main role of selling securities or other financial products.

Only a small percentage of advisors, Registered Investment Advisors, are held to a fiduciary standard.

What is financial planning?

Done right, financial planning is a process that helps you figure out where you are financially today and where you want to be in the future, and then helps you determine the best way to get there.  It involves an in-depth review of a client’s current financial situation and then the creation of a blueprint on how to achieve future goals and objectives.

What is a financial planner or advisor?

Anyone can say that he or she is a financial planner or advisor.  That’s why it’s essential to be sure of the qualifications and credentials of any “planner” or “advisor” before you pay anything or entrust them with your finances.  
A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional has taken extensive training, adheres to a rigorous code of ethics, and is independently registered as an investment advisor with either the state or federal government.

How can a financial planner help me?

Anyone, any age looking for financial peace of mind can benefit from working with a good financial advisor either periodically or on a regular basis.   
Each individual’s situation is unique.  Someone just starting out may need a detailed, long-term plan or action while someone else already on the road to achieving their goals simply may need a new strategy, professional insight, fine-tuning or a second opinion of an existing plan. By focusing on cash flow, investments, taxes, pensions and retirement plans, estate planning, insurance issues, savings opportunities, and other general financial matters, we work to custom tailor our services designing a financial plan for you.

Are planning fees tax deductible?

Yes, with certain limitations.  Section 212 of the Internal Revenue Code permits an itemized deduction for tax and/or investment advice in the miscellaneous section of Schedule A.  It is subject to a 2% floor of the adjusted gross income on a personal tax return.

How do you charge for periodic financial advice?

We are fee based on the actual time involved in meeting with a client in person or via the phone, researching and analyzing that client’s current situation, and providing specific recommendations and implementation assistance (if appropriate).  Our hourly rate is $250, however, we provide prospective clients with a firm quote of their estimated fees at the end of an initial no-obligation, no charge Get Acquainted session.

If I have a financial plan developed, am I obligated to purchase the recommended products?

Absolutely not!  We offer recommendations to meet your needs and objectives, but you are under no obligation to purchase anything.  We also recognize the importance of shopping around for the best available product or services.  If you need life or long-term care insurance, for example, we will suggest the type of policy, various riders or additions, and the amounts that best fit your situation, then direct you to one or several different providers with quality products at competitive prices.

The extent of our involvement in helping with your purchase of a product or investment also is up to you.  If you would like, we can help you purchase investments and/or set up your accounts with a third-party custodian like a discount broker.  Since we are not compensated by commissions on products, you can be assured that our recommendations are based on what we truly believe is in your best interest.  We take our fiduciary role seriously.

What if I need to buy investment or insurance products?

We do not sell products, only our time and expertise.  We offer specific recommendations and opinions on various products and services that may be appropriate for a client’s situation, and in turn can advise a client where to obtain those products or services.  If appropriate and at the client’s request, we can also help you with plan implementation.

Once my financial plan or project is finished, will our relationship end?

No, only that engagement will cease.  It’s up to you to contact us as your needs arise.   Financial planners are ongoing advisors.  Just as someone thinks of a doctor or dentist as an ongoing provider with regular check-ups to maintain good health, good fiscal health requires periodic reviews of your personal finances by a qualified financial advisor.

How do I get started?

Call (404) 538 0307 to schedule your no-obligation Get Acquainted Meeting.