Frequently Asked Questions
As a financial planner who has been involved in corporate finance, and government service for almost 20 years, we are familiar with the questions prospective clients have about retirement planning process.
If after reading these FAQs you still have questions, or if you'd like to discuss creating a plan for you, please feel free to contact us for more information.
- What Does Your Firm Do?
- What Exactly Is "Comprehensive Financial Planning And Wealth Management"?
- How Do I Know If I Need A Financial Plan?
- I Just Have A Few Questions – I Don’t Think I Need A Comprehensive Plan Done, And I Don’t Consider Myself To Be Wealthy.
- Couldn’t I Just Complete A Plan On My Own?
- How About Investing On My Own?
- Okay, I Don’t Want To Do This On My Own, But Why Should I Work With Your Firm?
- What Would The Next Step Be If I/We Were Interested In Working With You?
The Planning Process
What Does Your Firm Do?
We provide comprehensive financial planning and wealth management, using a target-based approach centered around helping clients meet their financial goals. Our services range from comprehensive financial planning to customized portfolio design and legacy planning. We have what we believe is a unique strategy, centered around utilizing the best parts of the TSP during retirement.
What Exactly Is "Comprehensive Financial Planning And Wealth Management"
For us, comprehensive financial planning starts with clarifying your goals. Once this is done, we develop a cash flow projection based on your financial goals, investment strategy and resources. There is a great deal that goes into a plan – from tax considerations to variable investment returns to inflation impacts – so it’s a good deal more complex than a straight-line projection.
Wealth management is an extension of the comprehensive financial plan. We implement the plan and provide ongoing investment management and planning advice.
How Do I Know If I Need A Financial Plan?
If you don’t have a financial plan in place, you likely need one. While that may seem like a standard answer, simply put - a plan will be able to quantify the financial gap you potentially face and provide some channels you might use to close that gap.
I Just Have A Few Questions – I Don’t Think I Need A Comprehensive Plan Done, And I Don’t Consider Myself To Be Wealthy.
Many firms have a minimum account size, or go so far as to “score” clients based on assets under management. We have a different philosophy - we work with clients with all sizes of portfolios. One of the core tenets why PVF was founded was because of this practice. Steve believes that everyone, regardless of account value, should receive quality, unbiased retirement advice.
Couldn’t I Just Complete A Plan On My Own?
If you’re handy with a spreadsheet, you could probably come up with a rudimentary plan. However, unless you’re extremely adept, it would be difficult to model the tax impacts or the effect of uncertain investment returns on the probability of success for your plan. You might also overlook critical issues, such as areas of possible tax efficiency, gaps in insurance coverage or potential estate concerns.
How About Investing On My Own?
Honestly, we think you can do reasonably well investing on your own if you have a decent amount of knowledge regarding investments, follow a few simple rules and don’t mind spending the time tending to your investments. The biggest problem most DIY’ers run into is, they allow emotion to affect their judgement. The best way to achieve superior returns over time is to stay true to your own strategy.
Okay, I Don’t Want To Do This On My Own, But Why Should I Work With Your Firm?
There are a couple of things that set us apart. We are not just another financial services provider looking for a new niche to find clients. Steve is also a government employee that will one day exit federal service, entitled to the same benefits as other government employees, while facing many of the same challenges. He particularly understands the demands and benefits that the air traffic profession bestows upon those in the proverbial “hot seat.” The professionals that are guiding our loved ones through the skies, don’t need the unnecessary stress of wondering if they are receiving the best financial advice available.
Our experience and education also set us apart. While PVF, the company, is a relatively newer entrant into the industry, Steve has almost 20 years of professional experience, combining corporate finance and government service. Steve has deep knowledge of government benefits exemplified by the attainment of the ChFEBC℠ designation.
Lastly, another characteristic that sets us apart is our focus on client education and input. Unlike many planners and money managers, we take the time to educate our clients about our approach to planning, investment management and strategic philosophy. It’s your money and your financial well-being, and you deserve to have your questions answered about the advice you receive - after all, it’s your plan!
What Would The Next Step Be If I/We Were Interested In Working With You?
Just give us a call, and we can take it from there. If you would like additional information about the planning process before calling us, please see the FAQs on the planning process below.
THE PLANNING PROCESS
Why Do You Refer To Creating A Plan As "The Planning Process"?
We use the phrase ‘planning process’ because a plan is not static, but rather a dynamic document which is updated as your circumstances and goals change. These changes are expected, and therefore one of the reasons why multiple client meetings are scheduled every year.
What Sort Of Changes Might Impact The Plan?
Any material changes to your financial circumstances or your goals will likely lead to a change in your plan. Receiving an inheritance, going through a divorce or a substantial change in income are all changes in one’s financial circumstance that often lead plan changes. Changes in goals requiring a plan update include the desire to retire later or earlier.
What Is The Planning Process?
Discipline – one of Warren Buffett’s better-known quotes is as follows: “Success in investing doesn’t correlate with I.Q. once you’re above the level of 25. Once you have ordinary intelligence, what you need is the temperament to control the urges that get other people into trouble in investing. ”We follow a disciplined, proven long-term approach in investing, which is difficult to maintain for an investor managing his or her own portfolio.
Monitoring – although our investment strategy does not typically involve frequent trading, we do actively monitor client portfolios. If changes are needed to client portfolios, we will proactively recommend those changes.
Investment availability – a number of funds we use are institutional funds that are available only through investment advisors. We use these funds as they have demonstrated in our opinion, superior performance over the long-term.
As my RIA, how do you get paid?
As is the case with most RIAs, you as the client are charged an annual percentage fee, usually based on the amount you are investing. Most of these annual fees range from 1% to 2%. All services are included in this, so there’s no hidden fees. There may, however, be some fees associated with custodians and vendors. We encourage all our clients to closely monitor these fees. PVF has a lower than industry average fee of 0.9% of assets under management.
Do you really work for me? (No, REALLY?)
Yes! But let us tell you how: We use a well-known, independent third party (Interactive Brokers) as our custodian. We are not a broker-dealer, instead we are held to a fiduciary standard, meaning we are legally obligated to act in your best interest. Additionally, being held to a fiduciary standard means we are required to provide you with any potential conflicts of interest that might exist in our relationship with you. We are registered and regulated by the State of Michigan, and in doing so, are considered to be a fiduciary.
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