Frequently Asked Questions
Who do you serve?
Most of our clients are in their late 20s to early 40s and starting to have some money to worry about. Many don't relate to the typical image of a finance person because they are queer, trans, people of color, or from a working class background. They want to be successful but don't want to sell their souls in the process.
What is a financial plan?
A financial plan is a written document that lays out your financial situation and makes recommendations for the future. It's a distillation of your story + a game plan for your future.
The full fee for initial plans is $5,000, with sliding scale down to $1,200. Use the fee calculator here.
What happens after the financial plan?
After the financial plan, we assess if you would benefit from having ongoing financial guidance. It may be to help you stay tuned into your finances at regular intervals, to provide a sounding board when questions come up, or because you need professional investing.
To make advisory services accessible to those without significant assets to manage, we charge as little as $100/month for post-plan ongoing services, with a sliding scale going up to $25,000/year based on assets and income. Use the fee calculator here.
Is a long-term commitment required?
Nope! We only want to do work that provides deep continuing value. After the financial plan is complete, you are welcome to take it from there. If you sign up for ongoing services, you may one day feel you have learned enough to be your own financial planner, and that's fine by us.
Can you just invest my money without doing a financial plan?
Not usually. We are committed to providing thorough and attentive holistic financial planning. We don't believe that we can ethically invest on your behalf without getting to know you and your complete financial situation. If you have time-sensitive investment needs, however, we may be able to adjust the timeline of the plan and open accounts first.
Do you provide socially responsible investing?
Yes, values-based investing is one of my interests as a financial advisor.
Socially responsible investing can align your money with you values in multiple ways. We can screen out companies involved for example in oil, weapons, or tobacco. We can select in for companies involved in green energy or workplace rights. We can use shareholder power to advocate for companies to make more ethical choices.
Will you beat the market or perform better than an index?
No, probably not. We do not try to pick hot stocks or even beat the market, although it’s nice when it happens. Our goal is to have you well diversified in sensible and suitable investments that minimize harm to people and the environment.
We will be there to notice your full financial situation, remind you to save, and suggest that you not raid your retirement accounts or make ill-advised changes in reaction to short-term shifts in the market.
Are you a fiduciary?
Yes. The fiduciary standard of care requires that a financial adviser act solely in the client’s best interest when offering financial advice. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals providing financial planning services must abide by the fiduciary standard, as defined by CFP Board.
Your financial life impacts you so intimately, and your financial stability impacts your loved ones and our whole community. We consider the relationship between us to be sacred.
What is a Certified Financial Planner?
A financial planner generally works with individuals and families to broadly review the issues that touch their financial life and provide strategies given their goals and values.
A CFP® professional is someone who has completed coursework in financial planning, gotten a bachelor’s degree, had three years of experience, passed a board exam, and subsequently submitted to continuing education and ethical standards of the CFP® Board. Learn more at letsmakeaplan.com.
Do you prepare taxes or make wills?
No. While we bring an awareness of legal and tax issues to financial planning, we cannot give legal advice or file taxes. We are always making an effort to meet other professionals in the community so that we can help you find the right person to answer all of your questions. With your consent, we partner with your other advisors to coordinate strategy and lower the time burden on you.
Have questions not answered here? Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or book an info session to ask it live.