Fee Only Financial Planner
What is a fee only financial planner? Or a fiduciary registered investment advisor? And for that matter, what is the difference between a financial advisor, a financial planner, financial planning and financial wealth management?
It’s no wonder people get confused about these terms – there are many, and they’re sometimes used interchangeably. But there are differences between the terms, and we want you to understand them and be clear how Chicory Wealth uses them.
Let’s start with the basics: A financial advisor is a more general term than financial planner. A financial advisor offers people or organizations a variety of money-related services and financial guidance. A financial advisor may have a particular focus, such as investing, brokering funds, selling products, helping with taxes, financial planning, or a combination of some of these and more. Different financial advisors offer different financial services.
A financial planner is a type of financial advisor specifically trained to help clients with their long-term financial goals. While they might have a focus on retirement, estate planning, investments, or a combination of several areas, the goal is an overall financial plan for the client. Financial planners usually hold licenses or designations. For instance, Chicory Wealth’s CEO, Maggie Kulyk, is a CRPC® or Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, and Financial Planner Mary Shaltis is a CFP® (Certified Financial Planner), as well as an APMA® (Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor) and a CPA (Certified Public Accountant).
Chicory Wealth’s basic service is financial planning – helping clients with their overall financial goals. We like to call it holistic Financial Life Planning because we know that finances can’t be divorced from the other elements of a person’s life. Family, work, play, hobbies, emotions, health – all are affected by finances and vice versa. Part of this financial planning includes financial wealth management, or helping clients decide the best way to invest and protect their wealth or assets, as part of their overall plan. Sometimes we use the term sustainable wealth management, meaning working toward sustaining and managing wealth over the long-term, as well as using and investing money in a way that supports the long term sustainability of our families, communities and the planet.
Now to the “fee only” part. Chicory Wealth is a fee only financial planner because our compensation is not tied to commissions. Clients pay a flat fee for our financial planning services, depending on the complexity of their financial situation, and a separate asset management fee. But that’s it – again, we are not compensated by commissions; thus, fee only. (See specifics below.)
Finally, Chicory Wealth is a fiduciary registered investment advisor. We are an independent company, and as a fiduciary, we are legally required to act in our clients’ best interests. We must avoid conflicts of interest, operate with full transparency, and put our clients first. We have always operated as a fiduciary and welcome and embrace this requirement.
We understand that life throws curve balls and that uncertainty and change are part of the human experience. Because of this, we focus first on your most cherished dreams and values in order to develop an initial holistic Financial Life Plan. Then, we provide you with the necessary ongoing support to implement that plan and adapt it over time. Our process is agile, responsive, continuous, and most importantly, heart-centered.
The base price for the initial four-stage Financial Life Planning process is $3500. The cost of ongoing support and implementation is dependent on your situation and complexity and is determined after the initial planning stages are complete. This support includes (but is not limited to) asset management, detailed cash flow planning and coaching, charitable gift planning and implementation, coordination and planning with other outside advisors such as estate planners and insurance professionals, and detailed tax analysis. Tax preparation is also available upon request.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A RELATIONSHIP WITH US
We begin by gathering information from you and learning about each other. We discuss the past, the present, and the future, determine goals and priorities, and clarify resources – both quantifiable and those that are more intangible. Next, we develop the initial Financial Life Plan tailored to you and make recommendations with specific suggestions as to how best to bring these recommendations to your life.
After this initial life planning process, we move into the implementation phase and work with you to accomplish the specifics of your plan, based on your priorities. In addition to regularly scheduled sessions, we are always available to hold impromptu conversations as questions, concerns, or changes arise. We are available to interact with you face-to-face, virtually through video conferencing, via phone, or by email – whichever best fits your situation.