Frequently Asked Questions:
I’m not a fabulously wealthy gazillionaire, do you work with people like me?
Yes. Unlike many financial planners I do not require that you have a minimum amount of investable assets or income before I will work with you.
I’m still not a fabulously wealthy gazillionaire, are you sure that you work with people like me? I thought financial planners only worked with the fabulously wealthy…
Yes, I am sure. That’s one of the reasons I started my own firm, I wanted the freedom to help people who were more like me. For the record, I am also not a fabulously wealthy gazillionaire and I am not trying to become one.
Set up a free initial consultation so we can discuss what might make sense for you and your needs. That could be comprehensive planning or it might be seeing how much we can accomplish in just 1 or 2 hours of billable time (see my Services & Pricing page for my current rates). If we determine that working with me doesn't make sense for you, I will do my best to point you in a helpful direction.
Please note that if your adjusted gross income is below certain thresholds ($20k single/$40k married), you may be eligible to receive free financial financial planning services (generally limited in scope and duration) through the Minnesota Financial Planning Association chapter's Pro Bono Program. Their site also has an excellent resource list. The thresholds may also be waived if you are referred through Prepare + Prosper's programs, if a member of your household is deployed, or in certain other limited situation. If think you may qualify, I strongly urge you to look into those services and whether or not they can meet your needs before deciding to hire a financial planner or financial advisor. If you are not in Minnesota you can contact your local chapter of the Financial Planning Association to learn more about pro bono financial planning services in your area.
I actually am a fabulously wealthy gazillionaire, do you work with people like me?
Sometimes, but it’s not my primary focus. Let’s schedule a free initial consult and see if we hit it off. If not, I know some planners who primarily focus on working with gazillionaires (more or less…).
Your site focuses mainly on holistic, comprehensive planning, do you handle more limited planning engagements like just helping me figure out the options in my 401(k)/403(b)/457/TSP/etc. or how much I should save for my child’s education?
Absolutely! For planning that is more limited in scope, I charge an hourly rate of $250 per hour. Set up a free initial consultation and we can discuss what you would to work on and what the estimated cost of the work might be. If you only want to work on a single goal, we may consider my Thoughtful Steps - Tier 1 Package for $750. See my Services & Pricing page for more detail.
Why do you place an emphasis on holistic, comprehensive planning?
There are many reasons, here are just a few of them:
- Without an ongoing relationship that includes ongoing follow-up, I've seen countless people pay other planners good money for great advice that doesn't get implemented.
- I believe that the best advice comes from a planner understanding your entire financial life. This allows them to see connections, opportunities, and ripple effects that are often extremely difficult to see from the inside.
- Life doesn't stay still for long and the best planning evolves right along with it.
Are you a fiduciary to your clients at all times?
Yes, I believe in placing your best interests first. Therefore, I am proud to commit to the following five fiduciary principles:
- I will always put your best interests first.
- I will act with prudence; that is, with the skill, care, diligence, and good judgment of a professional.
- I will not mislead you, and I will provide conspicuous, full and fair disclosure of all important facts.
- I will avoid conflicts of interest.
- I will fully disclose and fairly manage, in your favor, any unavoidable conflicts.
How do you get paid?
I get paid directly and only by my clients (see my fees and services page for more detail).
How DON’T you get paid?
I DON’T get paid via commissions, kickbacks, "trails", 12b-1 fees, or referral fees for the work I do with my clients.
I am only here to provide you with my best, objective advice and to help you implement that advice. Although working on a partially or wholly commission-based sales model is the dominant approach in financial services, I believe that creates a deeply troubling conflict of interest and should be avoided.
What’s your investment philosophy?
Where possible, I tend to favor what is often called “passive” investing. In this approach one typically focuses on keeping investment expenses low, using a diversified asset allocation, and favoring investments that attempt to mimic markets instead of trying to outperform them. Although it sounds very appealing to imagine that a skilled mutual fund portfolio manager could consistently outsmart the market over the long-term through “active” management, evidence shows that, after expenses, the vast majority of them don’t.
Do you offer a free initial consultation?
Yes, the initial 60 minute meeting is free and there is no obligation of any kind. The goal of the first meeting is to learn more about you, your objectives/goals/values, and to determine if we will be a mutual good fit to work together. You will know the estimated cost for any paid work we are considering doing together in advance and you will agree to it in writing before we begin that work.
I’m neither a woman nor a member of the LGBT community, do you work with people like me?
Yes. I also enjoy working with people who are supportive allies of women and the LGBT community.
Do you meet with clients virtually?
Yes. Depending on what they prefer, I meet with clients virtually and/or face-to-face in my office near Loring Park in Minneapolis, MN.
Do I need to live near your office to work with you?
No. If you are located outside Minnesota but elsewhere in the US, please send me a quick email before scheduling your initial consultation to verify that I can work with clients in your state. I am currently able to work with clients in most states under de minimis exemptions.
I do not work with clients outside the USA at this time.
How do I get started?
Click the “Schedule An Appointment” button at the bottom of this page. This will take you to my calendar. Book some time on my calendar and check the box to indicate that it is a free initial consultation.