Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect to get in a phone meeting?
Let’s face it, 15 minutes to talk to you about how we are different and how we can actually help you isn’t much time. But it does help in breaking the ice. Our strength is in face-to-face meetings where we can have a more in depth conversation with you. We can show you charts, graphs, and actual examples of how we solve problems… but most important, we can build a level of trust with each other so you feel confident that we really are going to work for your best interests and provide practical solutions that positively impact your life/financial independence.
It sounds like you don't really like doing phone meetings?
While we can only discuss so much in a 15-minute phone conversation, we think it’s a good way for both of us to gauge if we’ve got a good fit. Without the initial phone conversation, some of our most satisfied clients would have never have sat down to talk with us. However, the statistics speak for themselves. One in every 10 phone calls results in someone coming into talk with us, whereas nine out of every 10 free one-hour consultations result in a Financial Review.
Why do you say that you are different?
The running joke is that our founder builds an Excel spreadsheet every day of the week. While Mike truly enjoys working with people to help them figure out what the “one thing” they need help with, he is equally passionate about “doing the math”, as he calls it, to actually answer the question. In short, we don’t believe in following the sheep in front of us, instead we would rather blaze a new trail that leads our clients to financial independence sooner.
Will I be bored in our first meeting?
We hope not! A typical meeting with us has a lot of laughter, mixed with serious in-depth conversations. It is this balance of asking tough questions, but keeping a light air throughout the meeting that allows clients to feel at ease with us. Meetings are anything but pretentious or stuffy.
What do you like about the Financial Review?
It is a great opportunity for a prospective client to get a lot of value out of a short meeting.
Do we have to become a full time client if we go through the Financial Review?
No, there is NO sales pressure to move on to a full retainer. About 60-70% of our clients move onto being full retainer clients. But it is completely up to each person/couple to decide if they want the value and assurance of using a full-time advisor. The first year of Wealth Management includes a complete diagnosis of your current and future financial situation. We work to find areas where money doesn’t need to be spent. We identify possible liabilities and establish short and long term goals based on your values, your wants and your needs. It is our goal to help clients build a lifestyle that is balanced between enjoying today with saving for tomorrow.
What is your retention rate after the first year?
The majority of our clients (95%+) stay with us the second year and beyond. This is largely based on the relationship that we establish, and because our clients see that we always put their best interests first.
What is unique about this retainer?
Even though this is our mid-tier retainer, clients aren’t treated like “mid-tier” clients. We devised this retainer to make our practice more affordable to the “average person.” It is great way for clients to partner with an advisor, but not pay the higher fee of the Wealth Management option.
Is this similar to what I would get with a broker (Wells Fargo, Merrill Lynch, etc.)?
No. Brokers typically deal with just portfolio management. Clients who come to us after working with a brokerage house tell us that we give a much higher level of service. They “hear from us” much more and feel that we are looking out for their best interests. Many brokers are good people, however, it is tough with the brokerage business model to give the same level of service that we do.
Why is it hard for brokers to give the same level of service as your firm?
For a broker to be successful, their “book of business” (the number of clients they have), needs to be over 250. Most brokers who have been in business for 10+ years will have 500 to a 1,000 clients in their book. Those that do have fewer do so by setting asset minimums of $500,000 – $1,000,000.
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