- Exactly what financial services will you provide me with?
Budgeting, retirement planning, financing children's education, tax saving concepts, financial aspects of business or work, fringe benefits provided by work, wealth protection and transfer, gray market, investments, minimization of taxes, understanding current tax laws, estate planning, a thorough review of insurance, and charitable giving.
- Is your use of financial products and services limited at all?
There are certain limitations that we place upon ourselves. For example, we are not experts in investments of precious gems, nor are we practitioners of the legal profession or accounting.
- How are you qualified to provide those services?
Through education, the information about education will be answered in the next question. However, personal and practical experience in the areas of providing knowledge and service have been completed as actually implementing personally the advice given, as well as the ownership and investment of financial products. For example, I began investing in the equity market at age 18, and purchased my first investment real estate at age 26 with other and various investments taking place over the past 40 years or so.
- What are your educational qualifications and specific areas of study?
Received Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Kentucky University with graduate studies at the University of Tennessee Law School. Have received two advanced degrees from the American College as well as the Certified Financial Planner designation from the College of Financial Planning. In addition, have taught a financial course at Transylvania College in Lexington, KY, as well as courses at Midway College, in Midway Ky, and at one time was adjunct faculty for the College of Financial Planning. Attend conferences and seminars annually, and am required to obtain many hours of continuing education to keep specific licenses.
- How will I pay for financial products or services?
In the reverse order, specific fees pay for our services. With regards to products, we always try to find the best products for no cost, or least expensive cost. We begin by looking at products without a commission, but sometimes a commissionable product would be less expensive than a non-commissionable one. However, State Law prevents us from charging a fee if we would make a commission off of a product.
- What professional licenses do you hold?
Certified Financial Planner[CFP] , Chartered Financial Consultant[ChFC], Certified Investment Consultant[CIC], Chartered Life Underwriter[CLU].
- Have you ever had any disciplinary problems in the field?
In the 39 years of practice, I have never had a disciplinary problem.
- What is your work history and experience with clients?
Clients come from many different backgrounds to those who simply need a budget, and others who need a sophisticated financial plan. First during the meeting with a potential client, many times the financial problem can be solved, so there is no cost. Typically, we charge $150 per hour, or can talk to a client about a specific cost for whatever financial planning work that they may require.
- What hours do you work and when are you not available?
Typically we are available 24/7. Of course there may be some holidays that we might not be available. Also, I am out of the office approximately every 3 or 4 months to attend a seminar, investigate investment potentials in different areas, and to visit clients; typically, this period is from one week to ten days. However, the staff in our office can locate me, no matter where we may be on a trip.
- How often will you contact me?
At the conclusion of presenting a financial plan, the need of contacting an individual depends upon the plan. Sometimes it is monthly, and others will be quarterly. Some clients require a meeting once every six months or a year. It all depends on the client, financial planning, and what we are trying to accomplish.
- How do I know which investments are right for me?
There are no set investments that are correct for each individual. The type of investment purchased depends upon risk factors, a time period, liquidity needs, existing investments, and how a new investment would fit in, and an internal fortitude factor, which is the "gut" feeling of owning this type of investment.
- Can you help me with debt management?
The first thing that I look at with a client is their budget, which is required for those that have debt problems, as well as a requirement for those who wish to establish a plan to work towards their financial goals.
- How much money do I need to get started?
There is no clear and concise answer for this question. For people just getting started in their financial career, we accept those with very little capital, but they must have an adequate salary from work. For those who have been working for a period of time, the need of roughly $100,000 of assets is usually required before we can be of assistance. For the age group of 50 and above, one of the most common problems typically is planning for retirement, and children's education, and assets required are at least $100,000, but more importantly a total family salary of over $100,000, or somewhere in that range. We try not to exclude any class, and will work with those who just need help in budgeting, usually on a no charge basis. At the opposite end of the spectrum are those individuals or families with a great deal of wealth, which require extensive estate planning, tax shelter, and wealth transfer help.
- When should we start planning for retirement? Our children's education?
Retirement planning should begin the first day of work. Unfortunately, it has been our experience that most people do not take this requirement seriously until a later age. But there are methods to make up for lost time. On children's education, once again this should begin the date of birth, but help can be provided through various scholarships, tax planning and investments to the day this capital is required.
- Why do we need a financial planner for this?
Financial Planning is a profession with guidance being provided. In the medical profession the saying is "a doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient." This is somewhat true of financial planning. It has been our experience that individuals lack the discipline, knowledge, and the psychology to accomplish their financial plans. A financial planner should be a "Jiminy Cricket", who will encourage you to work in your financial strategies.
- How do I choose a financial planner?
Choose a financial planner who puts your interests before everything else in the beginning, and who has the integrity that you seek.