FAQ

Not sure if a financial planner is right for you? Have some questions but don’t want to deal with the hassle of asking us? Take a look at some of our FAQs and see if they resolve any of your questions.

I am a Prospective Client:

I am curious about your services:

I want to know more about your fees:

Other:

Who is your ideal client?

We serve two demographics very well:

  1. People 1-5 years away from retirement
  2. Small business owners or people with highly complex tax situations

This is not to say we CANNOT help you if you don’t fall within these categories, but our expertise centers around tax and intensive planning phases of your life.

Who isn’t your ideal client?

People who aren’t looking for a comprehensive and intensive planning relationship. We offer one service model – all-inclusive planning. We do not do hourly work and we do not do project based work. We never want to limit the scope of our advice or make this a transactional relationship.

People who are investment return-oriented. 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 always operated your financial life. We want you to work with people who are open to change and ready to receive feedback that there is 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.

Think of how a business has a CEO and a CFO. The CFO does all the financial work, crunches all the numbers, has all the ideas, and then goes to the CEO with a plan. The CEO approves or denies the recommendations within the plan based on their grand vision. That is the exact same dynamic as working with us. Our goal is to take away the worry and stress of financial matters because you trust that the we are doing everything you need to be doing.

We want your role in your finances to be isolated to decision-maker instead of doer and researcher.

Do I have to live close to you?

id=”what-is-your-financial-planning-philosophy”Absolutely not! Right now Garrett is in Kansas City, MO and Jill is working from Fort Myers, FL and we help people 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 (week nights and weekends) and we do not have a centralized office for that reason.

What is your financial planning philosophy?

We are a planning first practice. This means that financial planning is the bulk of the value that we provide. Our philosophy is to learn as much as we can about you so that we can help you create the financial life that will achieve your goals.

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 over the long-term by picking individual stocks. We do NOT seek to beat the market. If we do our jobs 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. Written within our 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. We act as a fiduciary for all of our clients.

What certifications do you have?

Garrett has two certifications currently. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder and he is an Enrolled Agent with the IRS. Please click on the links to learn more.

What will we work on together?

Wow, what a broad question. Can I give a broad answer and say everything?

We help people transform their financial lives by working on every individual piece of it. Goals, spending, saving, investments, insurance, estate transfer, retirement, lifestyle, taxes, net worth, online security, and everything else related to your financial life. We will help provide guidance and support on all of it.

We want to be your go-to resource for all things financial and guide you through the transition to retirement. A one-stop-shop.

How are you compensated?

The only form of compensation that we receive is through a monthly or quarterly payment made directly by you. 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?

We are glad you asked this. Luckily, we don’t hide our fees. Please check out our pricing page for more details.

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 definitely still have the potential to give you advice that benefits us at the detriment of you.

Is this something you should be worried about? We do not think so. Is this something you should be aware of? Absolutely.

What matters most is that we disclose when a recommendation could benefit us compared to the alternative and that we show you how the 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 really important, so let me give a very practical example. Let’s say you have the ability to save $1,500/mo and the two places you could allocate that money are to pay down your mortgage or to increase your investment accounts. Increasing your investments 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 take the fee into consideration when proving to you which strategy makes sense.

Is having a financial planner really worth the annual fee?

Financial costs are important to consider, but choosing a good financial planner should make it absolutely worth it. There can be tangible benefits such as lifetime tax reduction, increased long-term investment performance, and optimized cash flow. However, the intangible benefits of accountability, planning, goal setting, avoidance of financial mistakes, and most importantly – peace of mind – makes up a majority of the value that a financial planner provides.

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.

I have friends 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 that you believe could benefit from working with us, be a good friend and let them know about us!

Can I receive any references about your work from current clients?

Unfortunately, we do not provide references to protect our clients’ privacy and to not run afoul of governmental testimonial regulations (we are not allowed to post or solicit testimonials of our performance anywhere).

Plus, we would only connect you with our happiest clients anyways – so it wouldn’t be a fair.

I have read through every answer and still have a question. Can I ask it in a no-pressure zone?

Of course! None of us at Halyard have ever taken a sales training courses – so we are always very low pressure. If your want to get on the phone with us, feel free to schedule an in-formal chat on my calendar. Otherwise, just shoot us an email at info@halyardfinancial.com.