Here are a list of questions that you should ask a potential financial planner. These questions come from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and you can learn more at their website www.letsmakeaplan.org:
Brandon, the principal of Ridgeview Financial Planning, has over ten years experience working with clients in the brokerage industry. He has managed investment portfolios and built financial plans for clients. Financial planning and investment management are Brandon's passions and he specializes in bringing this expertise and passion to clients. As part of his CFP® credential, Brandon participates in mandatory continuing education to stay current.
Financial planning should produce a plan that is clear, understandable, and actionable. I believe in partnering with clients to help them achieve their goals. A financial plan that a client doesn't understand or cannot implement is useless. I accomplish this through collaboration and open communication with clients (and their tax advisor, estate attorney, etc).
Ridgeview Financial Planning is a fee-only planning and investment management firm. As such, I don't receive compensation from anyone other than clients. No commissions or product kick-backs. I receive compensation from clients in one of two ways: ongoing percentage-based fees or hourly fees.
The short answer to this question is no, nobody stands to gain from the advice I provide except you. You receive the advice, recommendations, ongoing portfolio management support, and the firm receives the fee you pay. There are no other sources of revenue for the firm. My loyalty to you is undivided.
Registered Investment Advisors are fiduciaries. This requires me to act in your best interests and disclose issues that could get in the way of my obligation to you. Additionally, CFP® professionals agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct and have an ethical obligation to put your needs above their own.
Financial planning is a critical component to Ridgeview Financial Planning's service offering. And I mean real financial planning, not just a sales pitch. I follow the CFP Board's financial planning process and am licensed to talk about all aspects of your financial plan, including life, health, disability and long-term care insurance. My primary goal with financial planning is to organize your financial goals and to help get you where you want to go, wether that's a sustainable retirement, debt-free by "X" age, get the kids through college, whatever you need.
Typical clients are saving for their future, nearing retirement, or are actively living in retirement. They want an ongoing relationship with a financial planner and typically prefer this person or firm to handle planning and investment management. These clients pay an ongoing management fee because their service needs are ongoing.
Some clients want to manage their own investments but leverage my guidance on an as-needed basis. These clients pay an hourly fee and receive advice and recommendations on a variety of financial planning and investment management topics.
Ridgeview Financial Planning does not have a minimum asset level for new clients. One of my goals is to remain flexible and help as many people as possible. We can talk more about this during our Get Acquainted meeting.
For clients who need ongoing planning and portfolio management support, the fee structure works as follows:
1% per year on assets up to $1mil and .5% per year on assets above $1mil, billed quarterly in arrears, based on the assets under management at the end of each quarter. These fees will be deducted from client accounts by TD Ameritrade (the custodian). If the accounts are held at another brokerage firm, the clients will be billed direct.
For clients who want to manage their own portfolio and who prefer an hourly fee arrangement, the fee structure works as follows:
$200 per hour, billed in 30 minute increments, quoted in advance.
*** Clients have the option to pay all hourly or direct fees via credit card or check, just no cash