Q

What should I expect?

As a new client, you can expect to have a series of meetings in the first months. During these meetings we will follow the financial planning process as described in the Financial Planning section. On an on-going basis, we will meet with you as often as needed to review your situation and assess your progress to reaching your goals.

Q

Is there a cost for the first meeting at FAM?

The first meeting is an introductory session with no cost. You have an opportunity to evaluate us and we have a chance to determine how you can best benefit from our services.

Q

What does it mean to be fee only?

Our compensation comes solely from our clients. We do not earn commissions, rebates, finder’s fees, bonuses, or any other form of compensation outside of what our clients pay us.

Q

Aren’t all financial planning professionals fiduciaries?

No. Many financial advisors earn commissions from the sale of various investment and insurance products. Often these products may be suitable, but not necessarily the best for you.

Q

What does it mean to be a “fiduciary”?

All investors should have access to advice that is in their best interests. The authentic fiduciary standard legally requires an investment adviser to act, under the Investment Adviser Act of 1940, completely in their clients’ best interest.

Those financial planners acting in a fiduciary capacity should adhere to the following standards:

Put the client’s best interests first
Act with prudence; that is, with skill, care diligence and good judgment of a professional
Do not mislead clients; provide conspicuous, full and fair disclosure of all important facts
Avoid conflicts of interest; and
Fully disclose and fairly manage, in the client’s favor, unavoidable conflicts.

Source: The Committee for The Fiduciary Standard; www.thefiduciarystandard.org.

Q

What is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA)?

Depending on their size, investment advisors have to register with either the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) or the state securities agency where they have their principal place of business. For the most part, investment advisers who manage $100 million or more in client assets must register with the SEC. If they manage less than $100 million, they must register with the state securities agency in the state where they have their principal place of business. FAM is a SEC registered advisor.

Source: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; www.SEC.gov

Q

How does the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics Benefit me?

Through the Code of Ethics, CFP® professionals agree to act fairly and diligently when providing you with financial planning advice and services, putting your interests first. The Code of Ethics states that CFP® professionals are to act with integrity, offering you professional services that are objective and based on your needs. They are required to provide you with information about their sources of compensation and conflicts of interest in writing.

Source: CFP Board of Standards, Inc.; www.cfp.net

Q

Why use a CFP® Professional?

Individuals certified by the CFP Board have taken the extra step to demonstrate their professionalism by voluntarily submitting to the rigorous CFP® certification process that includes demanding education, examination, experience and ethical requirements. These standards are called “the four Es,” and they are four important reasons why the financial planning practitioner you select should display the CFP® certification marks.

Source: CFP Board of Standards, Inc.; www.cfp.net

Q

What is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP®

These are all certification marks owned by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board), which can help you identify financial planners who are committed to competent and ethical behavior when providing financial planning. All the advisors at FAM are CFP® Professionals.

Source: CFP Board of Standards, Inc.; www.cfp.net