Financial Planning Frequently Asked QuestionsApr 18, 2020
by Glenn J. Downing, MBA, CFP®
Why do financial planning?
Short answer: because no one can hit a moving target. The financial plan informs all financial decisions: how to invest, what to save and where, and what insurance should I purchase or drop.
What should I expect when I come in to see you?
At the time you made your appointment you would have discussed your concerns with one of our associates. After determining if you would be a good fit to work with us, you have been given a list of documents to upload for the financial planners to view before your meeting.
When you come in we’ll meet in one of the conference rooms at our Miami office. We’ll give you a bit of personal introduction and will be interested to learn how you came to us. Zoom meetings are fine too.
From there, we listen and ask questions. We want a general snapshot of your financial position, and we’ll really want to understand your specific concerns and goals for our engagement.
Toward the end of this initial meeting we'll be able to give you some direction. If you decide that we're a good fit and you'd like to move forward, we’ll enter into a financial consulting arrangement and begin work in earnest.
How many visits will this take?
It depends upon what you want done – but normally two or three beyond the initial.
What’s parking like?
Easy. There is parking in the building. We will validate your parking for your visit.
¡Claro que si! At least Jonathan and Jose Diego do.
Do you make house visits?
Sure – for our older clients for whom getting around is an issue. We prefer office appointments because that’s where we have our computers and all the resources we need to serve you. Traveling to appointments takes time and is reflected in the fee we mutually agree upon. Zoom meetings are always an option.
Are Saturday appointments available? Evenings?
Yes, some Saturdays. You are most welcome to see our calendar and book an appointment here.
Can we communicate by text?
Yes at 305.564.3794. The office and text numbers are the same.
BTW, our email system encrypts both incoming and outgoing emails. This is for client data protection and confidentiality purposes.
Are you willing to work with my other advisors?
Yes of course. Our work frequently involves related professionals – typically the accountant or the attorney. We’re glad to work with those whom you already know. If you do not already have a relationship with an attorney or accountant, we will be glad to make recommendations. You should know that as a matter of business policy and ethics we neither pay nor accept referral fees from other professionals, nor do we accept any liability for their actions.
Why do you charge fees? Other advisers with whom I’ve worked don’t.
To quote St. Paul, the workman is worthy of his hire.
Advisers who do not charge fees may be working on commission. They hope that you’ll eventually purchase a product from them. We are paid from only one source: you. If nothing has been paid, there is no accountability. We offer a fully transparent process – you can rest assured that our fiduciary standard of customer care means that our recommendations are made to benefit you and you alone – and not to generate a commission for ourselves.
Can I see your fees online?
Yes – We are fully transparent. We offer financial planning by the package and then by subscription.
What’s wrong with working on commission?
Nothing at all, as long as the fact is fully disclosed to the client. If you’ve ever purchased tickets from a travel agent or ordered movie tickets online, that agent or vendor has been paid a commission. Insurance and annuity products are sold on a commission basis by the representative. We pride ourselves on a transparent process. If a commission is to be earned, that fact will be fully disclosed to you before you sign anything.
Where is your office?
Downtown Dadeland. We’re in the BMI building – the blue glass tower behind the Dadeland Publix.
Get in touch!
Check out Glenn's piece on What's it Like Working With a Financial Planner. Questions? Feel free to get in touch with us at [email protected] Also follow us LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube for more personal financial information relevant to you!
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