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 personalized financial advice.
Can I schedule a quick call prior to scheduling a Portfolio Review?
Yes, despite our detailed website we recognize that sometimes you want to put a voice to the screen. Please click the red tab or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time for an introductory call.
Can Using GCFP be a Permanent Low Cost Solution For My Investment Future?
Absolutely, don’t let the one-off Portfolio Review option throw you off, I hope to be your advisor for the long-run, whether that be every 6, 12, 24, 48 months. You choose depending on your needs.
Is there anyone who would not benefit from GCFP?
Those who are looking to get rich quickly via the stock market. Nevertheless I’m not averse to a client’s taking shots in start-ups or businesses (although I would prefer it be your own), I just won’t make specific recommendations on these. Or for that matter on single company stocks. I’m happy to help vet them and give you questions to ask and things to look for.
Those whose primary concern is an inability to keep up with the payments on credit cards, expenses, or other debts are better off getting in touch with a credit counselor. The National Foundation on Credit Counseling is a non-profit and good resource to find a qualified counselor.
Are there minimum account sizes?
No. We believe our practice model is a great fit for individuals and families who do not meet the income or net worth requirements imposed by some advisors but would benefit from professional financial guidance.
Are there account sizes that are too large for GCFP?
Absolutely not. Don’t let sophistication fool you, we believe our investment philosophy is scalable to all asset levels.
Do I need to share all my information or answer all the questions in the questionnaire for a Portfolio Review?
Not at all, I’m more than happy to look at a portion of your portfolio, or answer specific financial planning questions you may have. You decide.
Why do I need a human in the 21st century?
Because people/investors have idiosyncrasies – it’s not always “here’s half a million, how do I invest it?” You might find yourself in a financial situation, either personal or market-related, where you want to turn to someone for advice. If you wait until that moment of crisis, you may be unsure if any given person is “the right one.” Better to know in advance and keep it in your contacts for safekeeping.
Why an advisor and not just a robo-advisor?
Taxes for one, most people don’t just have a pile of cash, they frequently have multiple legacy accounts with holdings in stocks, mutual funds, and other investments. Financial planning for another, clients come to GCFP for help wading through non-portfolio related issues. Finally, keep in mind that there were no robo-advisors back in 2008.
How is your firm able to keep prices so affordable?
Wall Street and the financial industry came up with the idea of compensation as a percent of client assets rather than hourly or fixed retainer fees because it’s a lot more profitable. For them, not for you. This is a false construct, so I created a stripped down offering in the form of a Portfolio Review that I believe will serve the purpose of many of today’s investors, 80/20 if you will. Though I don’t expect to personally become wealthy practicing in this manner, my hope is that I will be able to use my expertise and experience to really help hundreds of non-professional investors over the course of my career and their lifetimes while doing something that I enjoy.
Why do you need me?
Take advantage of the knowledge I’ve accumulated over 30 years in the investment business. While I don’t have every answer, I frequently pick up new information while interacting with clients, something that is tough to do if one is not doing this full-time. That goes for industry knowledge as well: my job requires me to continually educate myself to benefit all my clients. If you spent your time doing that you wouldn’t have time to do your job. Remember, even Roger Federer has a tennis coach.
Do you require that prior investment holdings be sold?
No, we are never dogmatic about portfolio design but always look at portfolio risks and diversification and are candid in our recommendations. For various reasons, including embedded capital gains, many clients hold previously acquired stocks, bonds, and funds that are outside the models we recommend.
We will review all your holdings and if it makes sense (or you simply desire) to retain some current holdings we will classify them in appropriate asset classes and incorporate them in constructing your portfolio plan.
Does GCFP receive commissions or any other type of compensation from brokerage firms or fund companies?
No, GCFP is a fee-only advisor solely compensated by our clients. This assures complete objectivity in our planning and financial advice.
By charging a flat fee do you have no skin in the game?
Absolutely not. First of all, if you’re a believer in passive management there is no way to outperform, or underperform. More importantly, I want you to come back and be a client for decades, and make referrals.
Can someone who has yet to implement any kind of investment plan do a portfolio review?
Yes, we’ll answer your questions and focus on financial planning.
Will the advice be worth $1,750 in first day/week/month or even year?
Quite possibly, but the hope is you will save enough over the ensuing years by not paying excessive fees and/or commissions and understanding why doing so is not necessary.
I work for myself, can you help me find the best retirement savings option(s)?
Yes we can. There are a multitude of tax deferred retirement options available to self-employed people in the U.S. We can help you wade through the rules and restrictions for each of them to find those that are optimal for your circumstances and income levels.
I just want investment advice and/or asset allocation assistance, is the financial planning aspect required?
No, it is not required. BUT, we believe that for many people financial planning is one of the the primary value propositions for using a financial advisor today. Nevertheless we recognize that for various reasons, including privacy, some people don’t desire the financial planning component.
Do we have to meet in person? Is it possible for me to be a client and not live in NYC or New York State?
We do not have to meet in person, and you do not have to be a New York City or NY State resident. While a video conference is perfectly acceptable, I highly recommend you do meet me in person the first time, in the same way it would be advisable to see a doctor in person. Use it as an excuse to visit NYC.
If I like where I currently have my accounts, will I have to change custodians?
No, you can leave them where they are. I will tell you if there might be a disadvantage to doing that.
Are you adamant about using passive investments? What if I own an active fund, will I have to part with it?
No, I am aware that there are some active managers who may add value, especially in niches, and am always on the lookout for them. Were I to find something interesting I would share it with applicable clients, educate them as to why, and let them make their own decision in the same manner I would do for my own portfolio. And I would in no way be compensated by any fund for sharing this idea.
More significantly, were a client to have an active fund in their existing portfolio, I would look at it objectively, incorporate the tax consequences of removing it, and share my opinion.
What’s the difference between flat-fee and fee-only?
Fee-Only advisors are compensated solely by what he or she charges directly to clients, and not from the commissions earned from the sale of financial products or financial transactions. BUT most fee-only advisors charge clients a percent of their assets under management (AuM), for example 1% of the account value on an annual basis. Flat-fee advisors only charge an hourly or a flat fee for the investment advice or planning services they provide. Depending on the engagement they may provide limited or comprehensive advice. Engagements may be one-time or ongoing.