Our Advice is radically different than the Average Industry Financial Advisor.
We get ongoing training in areas of Financial Consulting, Coaching, and Counseling to compliment our financial planning technical expertise.
We do not sell any products, primary financial services, or charge AUM fees.
We sell advice and guidance. That is the only things we sell.
Traditional Types of Financial Advisors
Accountant, EA, or CPA
CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant, so these two terms are somewhat interchangeable, although someone can refer to themselves as an accountant without being a CPA. The public generally thinks that CPAs are all tax preparers, which isn’t the case at all. Most of the CPAs I know work in the finance department of businesses or other organizations, and may not prepare even their own taxes, let alone other people’s.
A CPA at a public accounting firm is often a great resource for a small business owner, who needs guidance in how to structure their business, and other tax-related advice. And if you don’t want to prepare your own taxes, a CPA in public practice can be a valuable resource. Besides preparing your annual tax return, they should be able to give you helpful advice about tax planning and help you throughout the year if you’re going through a situation that will have tax consequences.
If you’re not sure whether a money coach is right for you, please reach out to me and we can have a chat. If someone calls me who really needs the services of a different financial professional, I am happy to recommend someone who can help them better than I can.
Tax advisers specialise in future tax planning, and will spend considerable amounts of time ensuring their knowledge is current and that they are up to speed with the latest legislation. As such, they are uniquely placed to offer strategic advice on even the most complex areas of tax.
The most reputable tax advisers will have taken a professional qualification that enables them to practice. There are two main qualifications: Association of Technical Taxations (ATT) and Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA).
With a complex, challenging syllabus covering several subject areas (ranging from Advanced Corporation Tax to VAT on Cross-Border Transactions), it is widely held that the CTA certification is the most prestigious professional qualification in the industry. Those that successfully qualify are experts in all aspects of taxation.
Financial Advisor / Investment Advisor
Financial planner or investment advisor
These two terms are not entirely synonymous, but these folks are in the investment arena, and often focus on how to invest for long-term goals, such as for retirement. They can provide valuable guidance on both how to invest, as well as what your cash flow might look like in retirement. They make reports with lots of graphs that should help you visualize how your financial future will look, if you continue on the path that you’re on. There may be some overlap with the types of things that a financial coach will do, particularly in the area of understanding your financial goals, although their focus is to make investment recommendations and often manage your investments for you. There are a variety of designations that folks in this business have, such as CFP, RIA, ChFC. There are dozens more.
One important thing to understand about your financial advisor is how they get paid. You have every right to know how your advisor gets paid. The two most common ways are commissions (from selling you products) or fee-based, which means they take a percentage of the assets that they’re managing for you as the fee (1% per year might be a typical fee). I think either method of compensation is fine, as long as you – the client – understand it. I personally would rather have a fee-based advisor, because then I know their best interests are in line with my own.
So who needs a financial advisor? Some people are perfectly capable of investing their own money. Others believe that it’s wiser to pay an expert in the field for their expertise. I typically advise that if you want to be able to call someone if you have questions or concerns, then a financial advisor might be a good fit for you. They will sit down with you annually (or more often, if you wish) to review your long-term goals and progress towards those goals. It can be a very valuable service to have someone take such a close look at your long-term financial health.
Other Types Financial Advisors
Normal fee structures: hourly or project.
We are consultants, just like most Advice -Only Comprehensive Financial Planners, consulting on their specific areas of expertise.
Exit Planning, College Funding, and Family Business are our specialities.
Normal fee structures: hourly, or monthly subscription.
Financial coaching is about educating, empowering, and being an accountability partner to clients that in the earlier stages of building their wealth.
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If I have an advisor, why would I need a money coach? The answer is that you might not need both. However, not everyone is a good fit for a financial advisor. You need to have investable assets (meaning money!) in order for a financial planner to take you on as a client. If you’re busy paying off debt, or your net worth is mostly in real estate or tied up in your employer 401(k), most financial planners can’t work with you. And some advisors have very high minimums as far as amount of assets they require for you to come on board as a client. Some will work with someone who is just starting to save and invest – they might have a minimum of just $5,000, but I’ve seen minimums as high as $2,000,000.
Normal fee structures: hourly.
Counseling around money can be very counseling on basic subjects, like budgeting or debt. And we are glad that people are doing that. What we are talking about here is "Financial Counseling"; it involves helping client through transitions and experiences of grief & loss.
This is an middle area between the worlds Financial Planning and Financial Therapy.
We are not Financial Therapist; but do take education, training, and relevant tools from Financial Therapy. Someday, we hope to find a partner who can offer this service.
Normal fee structures: hourly.
Financial therapy is a process informed by therapeutic and financial competencies that helps people think, feel, behave differently with money to improve overall well-being through evidence- based practices and interventions.
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