Frequently Asked Questions
What will I get out of working with you?
My main value is in bringing awareness to the financial decisions you make every day and in guiding you through those decisions. We all have questions such as: Should I put an extra $500 per month into my student loans, should I save for a house down payment, or should I go to Europe? And my answer is always: It depends. Working together, we will come up with a plan that can guide you through those decisions. And more importantly, I will be here, making sure that the plan is actually getting done.
Who is your typical client?
My typical client is an educator between 30 and 50 who does not have millions of dollars but who is committed to financial well-being.
In many instances, the person is looking to finally get to the “bottom” of those finances and figure out if that target retirement fund is the best option for the 403 (b). In others, it is the person who has always been on top of it and is looking for advice, investment management, or a second opinion. I have clients who don’t know much about money and are looking to learn and understand. For those clients, I act mainly as a teacher and coach. I also have clients who are very sophisticated and who are looking for a second opinion or advice because two people talking money is better than one.
Do I have to be an academic to work with you?
No, you don’t. Given my environment and the people around me, I work with a lot of professionals in an academic setting such as professors and administrators. I also have teachers as clients (my entire family consists of high school teachers, maybe that has something to do with it). However, if you are a young professional looking to get help with money related issues and we like each other, we can certainly work together regardless of your profession.
How do you get paid? I have heard horror storied about getting ripped off.
I adhere to the fiduciary (not the suitability) standard because I am a fee-only financial planner. For anyone who is not familiar with the differences: I only do what is in the best interest of my client. You are the only one who pays me and as such, I work for you.
Where do you live and what If I am somewhere else?
I split my time between Los Angeles and West Palm Beach, FL. However, I mostly work virtually with people from all over the US. Even if you are in Los Angeles or South Florida and do not feel like crawling through traffic for the next 3 hours, we can still have an online meeting. However, if you are in those areas and would like to meet in person, I would be more than happy to do so.
Do I have to pay you instead of doing it myself?
This is a personal choice. Think of this fee more like a cable bill (you really want that HBO) than car insurance ($750 more per year because you changed the zip code?). If you wake up every morning and check your IRA accounts before having coffee or if you read tax planning books for fun, like I do, you are probably ok. However, I also believe in doing what I do best and paying others for what they can do better than me. Financial planning, financial education, and investment management is what I do.
How do I know if I need a financial planner?
Planning is for everyone. You do not have to have “all your ducks in a row” before calling a planner. Actually, many of the people I work with are at the point I life where they are just starting to “get it together”. The good thing is that the faster you start, the easier and less stressful your life becomes. You usually have to do less work if you start at 30 than if you start at 50 to eventually accomplish your dreams.
What qualifications do you have?
- I am a CFP® (certified financial planner).
- I have a Ph.D. in Finance. I currently teach finance and financial planning.
- For over five years, I worked in the benefits administration business where I focused mainly on Health and Welfare benefit administration (like medical benefits, life insurance, and disability).
- I recently wrote a book about money. It is called Mastering Money: A Simple Guide to Achieving Financial Success
- And if you count it as a qualification, I really like to talk about money well-being and to help people get a better grasp on their finances.