We believe everyone should have a financial planner, but we are not always the best financial planner for you. Take a look at some of our FAQs and see if our services are a fit for you.
Who is your ideal client?
We serve two demographics very well:
People 1-5 years away from retirement who may be looking to bridge the gap between early retirement and eligibility for Medicare and Social Security
Small business owners or people with highly complex tax situations
This is not to say Halyard cannot or does not want to help you if you don’t fall within these categories, but our expertise centers around tax and intensive planning phases of your life and we can guarantee we can provide the most value to these demographics.
Who isn’t your ideal client?
People who aren’t looking for a comprehensive planning relationship. We believe the value of our planning is created through working together for many years and understanding you better than anyone else.
People who are overly investment return-oriented. At Halyard, we believe in empirical investing. The evidence shows that we cannot provide value through actively managing your portfolio. We create portfolios that are passive and tax-efficient. This is in your best interest, but it means your performance will never be exciting either (which is a good thing).
Lastly, we make recommendations, not requirements. However, we make recommendations that could be substantially different from the way you have operated your financial life in the past. We want to work with people who are open to change and ready to receive feedback or engage in dialogue that there may be a better way.
Why should I hire a financial planner?
A financial planner provides accountability, confirmation, and ideas. You should hire a planner if you would like to delegate the knowledge accrual and day-to-day worry of your long-term finances.
Our goal is to take away the worry and stress of financial matters because you trust that we are doing everything you need to be doing.
We want your role in your finances to be isolated to the decision-maker instead of doer and researcher.
Do I have to live close to you?
Absolutely not, Halyard services clients all over the United States. We primarily provide our services virtually through video conferencing and occasionally through in-person meetings. Our clients like the convenience to meet whenever (weeknights and weekends) and we do not have a centralized office for that reason.
What is your investment philosophy?
It is very important that we align on this. We believe in passive indexed investing that focuses on minimizing fees and taxes. We encourage asset class diversification and focusing on building a portfolio that you can understand and that is predictable.
We do not believe that you can add value by picking individual stocks. We do not seek to beat the market. Instead, we join it. If Halyard executes its strategy correctly, your investment performance will be neither exciting nor scary. We focus on building a strategy that will meet your needs.
Are you a fiduciary?
Yes, we act as a fiduciary for all of our clients with every decision we help them make. Written within our advisory agreements with clients is a fiduciary oath to always put your interest ahead of ours and to disclose when a potential conflict of interest could arise.
What certifications do you have?
How are you compensated?
The only form of compensation that we receive is through a monthly or quarterly fee billed to your investments or to your bank. We agree to an annual fee at the beginning of our engagement and we charge that fee until we agree to a new fee. We generally do fee renewals on an annual basis.
How can I calculate my fee before speaking with you? Do you have a minimum fee?
Yes, our current minimum annual fee is $6,000/yr or $500/mo for all new clients. Please check out our fee calculator on our fee page for more details – Halyard is very open with its fee structure.
What does it mean to be a fee-only firm?
A fee-only firm only makes money through a fee charged directly to the client – never through commissions or kickbacks. Our only form of compensation is the payment made directly from you. We even refuse to take part in paid referral programs with other service providers (insurance agents, attorneys, etc) because we want to send you to the best professional, not the highest paying one.
Does your compensation arrangement create any conflicts of interest?
Yes. All fee models have potential conflicts of interest. We believe our fee model strikes a balance between simplicity and conflict reduction, but that means we still have the potential to give you advice that benefits us at the detriment of you.
Is this something that should stop you from working with us? We do not think so. Is this something you should be aware of? Absolutely.
Halyard wants to be as transparent as possible so we will disclose when a recommendation could benefit us compared to the alternative and then we show you how our recommendation is still in your best interest. This also means that we will show you how a recommendation we are giving you may not benefit us, but we are still recommending it because it is in your best interest.
This is very important for establishing trust between a client and their financial planner, so let me give a very practical example. Let’s say you have the ability to save $1,500/month and the two places you could allocate that money are to pay down your mortgage faster or to increase the monthly savings into your investment accounts. Increasing your investment accounts will increase our fee faster. Paying down your mortgage does not increase our fee. Does that mean paying down the mortgage is absolutely the best option? No. However, we need to make sure the strategy is most beneficial to you and your financial goals with the fee impacts in mind.
Can you offer a growth-based fee instead of an asset-based fee?
Growth-based fee structures incentivize advisors to take inappropriate amounts of risk to maximize advisor fees. Accredited investors can enter into growth-based fee arrangements, but we do not offer them.
What happens if I no longer want to work with you after a few months?
We would be sorry to see you go but we understand we are not always a fit. All contracts are cancellable at any time. You pay all quarterly fees in advance and we will refund the full quarter’s fee if you request it. Even if we have provided you with 89/90 days worth of services. You are never locked in and you are never on the hook. We will even help you transition to a new advisor or move your accounts to a retail provider.
I have people I’m willing to refer. Do you have a referral incentive?
We encourage referrals as it is a large part of the way we expand our business, but we do not offer any referral incentives to avoid a conflict of interest. If you have a friend or family member that you believe could benefit from working with us, we encourage you to recommend Halyard based on your satisfaction with our services.
Can I receive any references of your work from current clients?
Unfortunately, Halyard does not provide references to protect our clients’ privacy and to maintain compliance of governmental testimonial regulations (we are not allowed to post or solicit testimonials of our performance anywhere).
You are a small firm – how do I know my money is safe with you?
All of your accounts are held directly with a custodian (TD Ameritrade) – never directly with us. We are only considered the advisor on record for your accounts. All of these accounts have SIPC and can have some level of FDIC coverage for certain cash balances as well.
Like all businesses, it is possible we could go out of business, but your money will always remain protected and we would work with you to transition to a new option if that became a reality.