Frequently asked questions

Do you have a “minimum”?

No, we don’t believe in the $500,000 minimum that most other firms promote.  Most other financial advisors do have a minimum because they are paid only by managing portfolio assets.  Because we offer three main ways to work with clients (financial planning, investment planning, and insurance planning) we can work with clients even if they don’t have a minimum size of assets.  In fact, we believe it is a shame that the financial services industry has embraced this concept of a minimum. Can you imagine if you went to a doctor, and the doctor said “sorry, we can’t take you as a patient because we require that you have six pack abs in order to be our patient”.   This is embarrassingly how most of the financial services industry operates and it is not fair.

Are you a fiduciary?

Yes.  Because Ben is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, which is held to a Fiduciary standard and also when serving clients on a fee for service basis, either through financial planning fees or investment advisory fees, he must operate as a fiduciary.  

What licenses and designations do you have?

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation (CFP®)

Series 6 (Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative)

Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam)

Series 65 (Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam)

Series 7 (General Securities Representative)

Life and Health Insurance

Property and Casualty Insurance

Real Estate License

How are you paid?

We are paid predominantly in three ways.  First, if we work together in helping you create your financial plan and monitor this plan on an ongoing basis, we will be paid for being your financial planner, just like you would pay your attorney or CPA.  Secondly, if we work together in helping you manage your portfolio of investments, we will be paid for that service based on a fee of assets under management (on average we charge a 1% fee for this service). Lastly, we can help clients with insurance planning, in which we are paid a commission from whatever insurance company we utilize.  This is not a separate fee, the commission is baked into the insurance product itself. We are not paid anymore or any less from any investment company or insurance company – we are independent and do not favor one carrier over another. We will only recommend whatever company is most appropriate for your needs.

(see Services and Fee Schedule PDF)

What makes you different?

We focus on financial planning first and develop a deep relationship with our clients.  We don’t just focus on selling insurance or selling investment products, we focus on you and your plan first.  Also, we have an innovative process to work with our clients on an ongoing basis as we believe planning is dynamic and not static.  Finally, we also are great connectors and we are always looking for ways to impact our clients through consistent referrals and introductions to relationships that will impact you and your business.

(see advantages of working together pdf)

(see goal tracker document)
(see structured financial planning process pdf)

What investment companies do you use?

We have almost 10,000 options to choose from.  One of the beauties of being an independent advisor is the open architecture.  We are not limited or restricted to a certain menu.

What insurance companies do you use?

We have access to nearly all of them.  We do not favor any one company over another and legally do not represent one specific provider.

How long will we work together?

That is entirely up to you.   However, we would hope to work together for a lifetime as all of our relationships and processes are geared toward the long term.  We would not recommend working together unless you feel like you could commit to at least of a year of working together to see results.

Do you have a niche?

We have a wide range of clients from different ages, diverse backgrounds, industries, etc.  However, if you were to look at a scatter plot of our clients, the sweet spot would be entrepreneurs and business owners between the ages of 30-45 that have a company with revenues of at least $1M.

What areas can you help us with during our financial planning process?

(see attached financial planning checklist)

(see attached business planning checklist)