What is Financial Planning?
Financial planning is a multi-step process that provides you with two important things: An in-depth review of your current financial situation, and a blueprint that shows you how to achieve your goals and future objectives. See Our Process for more details on our financial planning process. Remember, financial planning is a process, not an event.
How do you create this blueprint?
First we focus on your goals, objectives, priorities and values. For instance: the reduction of current and future income taxes may be an immediate goal, funding a quality education for your children and/or grandchildren may be an intermediate goal, and enjoying a secure financial future in your retirement years is likely to be one of your most important long-term goals. Another great goal in life for some people is creating wealth and/or leaving a legacy for your chosen beneficiaries or charities. You may already be on the road to meeting these objectives and simply need a new strategy, professional insight, or to fine-tune your plan. You may just be starting out, or you may be somewhere in between. Whatever your unique situation may be, everyone needs a periodic assessment of where they are on the road to meeting their financial goals. That's why we do an in-depth review of your current financial situation. Next, you need to know how you can set about achieving (or continue working toward) your financial goals. By focusing on cash flow, investments, taxes, pensions and retirement plans, estate planning, insurance issues, savings opportunities and other general financial matters, we design a customized financial plan for you. Finally, to achieve the intended results, you must implement and monitor your plan.
Sounds like a lot of work!
It may seem like that at first, but the good news is, if you follow your plan and maintain a disciplined approach, you can rest well knowing you can reach your stated goals. At Good Financial Advisors, we try to make the process as easy as possible for you. In addition to offering professional advice, we can also help with implementation, if appropriate for your needs.
Who can benefit most from our services?
Any individual seeking financial peace of mind can benefit from our services. While most financial planners target high-net-worth clients, we serve middle income people as well. That's why we have no account minimum. Clients have the flexibility to work with us on either a one-time, as-needed basis or an ongoing basis. We welcome clients who simply need a one-time financial consultation or a second opinion, as well as those who need more comprehensive financial planning.
What is ''Fee-Only'' financial planning and why should that be important to me?
Because we are Fee-Only financial planners, all conflicts of interest regarding compensation are removed. We do not accept sales commissions; we work solely for our clients. Because we do not sell financial products such as investments and insurance, there are no third-party relationships or outside influences to color our thinking and financial recommendations. For more information on Fee-Only financial planning, including our Code of Ethics, Fiduciary Code and member requirements, please visit https://www.napfa.org
In addition, our firm is a Registered Investment Advisor. As such, we must comply with a host of regulations designed to protect the consumer. One important question you should always ask when considering a financial planner's services: ''May I please have a copy of your ADV Part II?'' This document contains important information about the planner's qualifications, fiduciary duties, history of any past violations, etc. We would be happy to send you a copy of our ADV Part II. Please contact us
to request your copy.
I understand the benefits of working with a Fee-Only financial planner, but I might need to obtain financial products. How do I do that?
While we do not sell financial products, we will offer specific recommendations and opinions on various products and services that may be appropriate for you. In turn, we can help direct you to the resources you need and/or help you obtain those products or services. If appropriate and at your request, we can also help with plan implementation.
Does Good Financial Advisors provide only comprehensive financial planning?
No. Although a comprehensive financial plan yields the greatest benefits, Good Financial Advisors can tailor our services to individual, specific needs like cash management and budgeting, investment analysis or college education funding - whatever is critical to you right now.
My spouse and I are just beginning to build our financial future. We need help and guidance to get started. Will you accept us as clients?
Yes. Unlike many firms, Good Financial Advisors has no minimum income levels or net worth requirements. We realize that everyone has financial needs. We are proud to work with people from all income levels and all walks of life. Remember, 'You don't have to have a fortune to start building one'.
I already have substantial assets and think I am doing quite well. But as I progress and build for the future, things seem to be getting more complicated. I want to be sure I am on track. Can you help me?
People who need more sophisticated financial planning or advice will find our services beneficial. If you are looking for a professional review or a second opinion to ensure you are on track, we can provide that.
I'm in charge of the retirement plans and employee benefits at my company and would like to get more employees to participate. How can you help us?
Education is key in increasing employee participation and appreciation. Good Financial Advisors can tailor a program for a company's employees to help them understand the benefits of various programs.
What types of investments do you provide advice for?
We provide advice on a wide range of securities, including mutual funds, stocks (as they relate to your portfolio holdings), bonds, bank deposits, variable and fixed annuities. We also provide advice on mortgages, budgeting and cash flow issues, 401(k), 403(b) and other retirement programs, life and disability insurance, and more.
If I use Good Financial Advisors to develop a financial plan, am I obligated to purchase the recommended products?
Absolutely not! We offer recommendations to meet your needs and objectives, but you are under no obligation to purchase anything. We also recognize the importance of shopping around for the best available product or service. If you need life or disability insurance, for example, we may suggest the type of policy, various riders or additions, and the amounts that best fit your situation, then direct you to one or several different providers with quality products at competitive prices.
The extent of your advisor's involvement in helping with your purchase of a product or investment also is up to you. If you would like, we can help you purchase investments and/or set up your accounts with a third-party custodian like a discount broker. Since we are not compensated by commissions, you can be assured that our recommendations are based on we truly believe is in your best interests. We take their fiduciary role seriously.
What is your investment philosophy?
As financial advisors and investment consultants, we believe in the following fundamental principles when it comes to designing an investment portfolio and making specific recommendations:
- The purpose of a client's investment portfolio is to fund current and/or future financial objectives.
- The design of the portfolio must take into account the client's financial objectives, tolerance for risk, needs for current income or liquidity, and special considerations such as income and estate taxes.
- The important thing to remember is that no one can predict the future. Difference of opinion makes a market. Investment and economic "experts" provided with the same information often come to different conclusions. We do not suggest that we, or that any of the money or mutual fund managers that we may recommend, will make the correct decision every time. We do believe, however, that studying the historic trends and relationships of investment classes and the philosophies and approaches of successful investment managers can provide valuable insight.
- The appropriate allocation of investment assets for your goals and risk tolerance is the most important component in developing an investment portfolio.
- We believe that a diversified, well-balanced portfolio, combined with long-term buy-and-hold strategies, affordability and patience, increases the likelihood that one will achieve his or her long-term financial objectives.
How do you select investments for a client?
Before recommending any investment, we consider current economic conditions, the outlook for a particular asset class or type of security, and how the investment fits within a client's portfolio given his or her objectives and tolerance for risk.
With equities, the focus is primarily on the philosophies, experience, and track record of the management team. With fixed income investments, we look for the best yield available for a given quality of security.
As fiduciaries for our clients, we strive to obtain the most appropriate investment vehicles to meet a client's objectives, while being very conscious of total expenses and risk exposure.
How do you charge for financial advisory services?
Fees are based on the actual time involved in meeting with a client in person or via the phone, researching and analyzing that client's current situation, and providing specific recommendations and implementation assistance (if appropriate). Good Financial Advisors provide prospective clients with firm quotes of their estimated fees at the end of an initial no-cost, no-obligation Get Acquainted session.
Are Financial Advisor fees tax deductible?
Yes, with certain limitations. Section 212 of the Internal Revenue Code permits an itemized deduction for tax and/or investment advice in the miscellaneous section of Schedule A. However, miscellaneous expenses are subject to a 2 percent floor of the adjusted gross income on a personal tax return.
Once my financial plan is completed, will our relationship end?
The specific engagement may cease, but you may contact us again as the need arises. Because financial planning is a process, not an event, Good Financial Advisors encourages periodic reviews (perhaps annually), or whenever life events change your financial circumstances.
How do I get started?
The first step is an initial inquiry. You may call us at 309-661-1375 or E-mail us at Garry@GoodFinancialAdvisors.com to set up your FREE no-obligation Get Acquainted Meeting.