Below are answers to some frequently asked questions. If you have a question not answered below, please feel free to contact us.
If you are local to the Charleston South Carolina area, and would like to meet in person, we can discuss options to support your request. Most people prefer to engage in financial planning sessions from the privacy and comfort of their own homes – with the meetings taking place via easy-to-use online video conferencing. This allows the most flexibility and convenience for you since there isn’t any travel, potential babysitting, or gathering and transporting your financial information.
We practice fee-only financial planning. That means the only way we get paid is from fees that are clearly communicated and covered by you. We don’t receive commissions from any financial products – not insurance, mutual funds, or anything else.
Having incentives to sell specific products for additional compensation creates a conflict of interest that we feel is best avoided. We feel one of the first questions you should ask of your financial professionals is whether or not they get paid for recommending certain products. This doesn’t always create a problem, but it is important to understand.
Financial Planning is more affordable than most people realize. In fact, services often cost less than the average cable TV bill; and isn’t your financial fitness worth at least as much as your TV time?
Cost should never be a barrier to you benefiting from professional financial planning services. We’re here to serve you and we’ll do whatever we can to help. Even if you think financial planning might be out of reach for you, contact us and let’s discuss it.
We don’t just hand over a financial plan then leave you on your own. Financial planning is an on-going process, not a one-time event.
To help assure maximum benefit from your plan, we not only help develop it, but also execute the plan. There are going to be tasks that only you can do, but we’ll be there to answer questions and help along the way. We will walk with you every step through the journey.
Additionally there might be times when external professionals are needed – like CPAs, attorneys, or insurance brokers. We’ll work with you to interface with these other professionals to smooth the process and assure all the parts of your plan line up as needed.
Our financial planning services can include investment management – but it isn’t required. If you have an existing investment advisor relationship that you would like to keep, that’s perfectly fine with us.
If you prefer, we can also manage your investments for you as an add-on feature to your financial planning services.
Whether we manage your investments or not, we’ll review your portfolio to make sure you understand it and that it aligns with your overall plan to achieve your goals.
We are a fee-only (a.k.a. commission-free) financial planning firm. Our fees depend on the complexity and needs of the client and are a transparent line item on every statement.
Some financial advisors are commission-based, which may cause fees to be hidden or create conflicts of interest. Not us. Being fiduciary, fee-only, and independent advisors, we work to minimize conflicts of interest and assure solutions are built for your best interests.
Our goal is to lower your taxes, reduce risk, and make sure you can achieve your personal goals without worry.
Scheduling your first call with us through the Start Here page will help you make an educated and informed decision about working with our firm and others you may be considering.
Good fee-only financial planning is comprehensive. It considers all parts of life that are impacted by your money – which is almost everything.
A few of the more common financial planning topics are:
- Financial statement preparation and analysis
- (including cash flow analysis/ planning and budgeting)
- Insurance planning and risk management
- Employee benefits planning
- Debt management
- Cash flow (budget) planning
- College education planning
- Investment education and planning
- Planning for goals (travel, buying a home, a wedding, etc.)
- Planning for a comfortable retirement at your preferred age
Financial plans are very specific to you – your needs, priorities, goals, and dreams.
No, financial planning is not just investment management. How you handle your investments is only one part of a much larger plan for your finances. In fact, “just investing” without first clarifying your goals and developing a specific plan to achieve them could potentially work against you.
Great question! But first, let us explain why you shouldn’t hire us.
If you’re looking for an advisor who will trade stocks to “beat the market,” you’re in the wrong place. Why? Because we only focus on what you can control. Predicting if the stock market will go up or down, or guessing what interest rates will do next, are not things you can control.
But if you’re interested in things like lowering your tax bill, investing smarter, and creating a retirement income stream, or integrating your business into your overall financial plan, you’re in the right place.