What Are Your Fees?
We believe in full fee disclosure, so click here to see our fee schedule.
Do You Work On Commission?
We do not receive any sort of commission from the investments that we manage and provide for our clients. Our fees are not embedded mysteriously into some product. Instead, they are based on a percentage of the money that we invest for you. The fees comes directly out of your account, in many cases are tax deductible, and are disclosed on your monthly statements. Commissions generally are not tax deductible. Check our our Pricing page to learn more. From time to time we do provide insurance (life, disability, or long term care) to our clients generally as a part of our financial planning process. For these products, the insurance company will pay us a commission.
Are You An Accountant?
No. We are not here to replace your accountant. Instead, we prefer to work closely with them if needed since they are the experts in tax law. This approach allows us to help you to properly plan. If you don’t have an accountant (which we generally recommend) then we can refer one to you.
Do You Prepare Tax Returns?
Although we don’t prepare tax returns, we feel it’s important to review your tax return. There is a lot of great information on your tax return that can help us to (1) determine if you are eligible for certain investments, (2) determine your tax bracket for planning purposes, and (3) be a second set of eyes to determine if you’re missing out on certain tax deductions.
What Is Financial Planning?
Check out our blog titled What Is Comprehensive Financial Planning to learn how financial planning is different from being sold a product.
What Are ETFs And Why Do You Use Them When Building Investment Portfolios For Clients?
ETFs are short for Exchange Traded Funds. They are similar to mutual funds in that each ETF is generally a bucket of stocks or bonds. We prefer ETFs over mutual funds as they are generally lower priced and are more tax efficient. In addition, ETFs generally invest in what they say they are going to invest into. Mutual funds on the other hand will deviate. For example, a mutual fund may claim to invest in Large Company U.S. stocks, but it would not be uncommon to see them deviate toward International Stocks or even Bonds. See our Investment Strategy section to learn more as well as our blog Stop Using Mutual Funds.
B.E.S.T. Wealth Is An "Independent" Firm, But What Exactly Does That Mean?
This means that we are not affiliated with any bank, insurance company, or investment company. We are essentially, “independent” from them. This allows us to provide you with any investment in the universe of investments. Contrast this against a firm that is affiliated with a bank, insurance company, or investment company. These types of firms are generally required to sell company products in order to meet sales and product quotas. Additionally, the advisors at these types of firms generally do not have to legally do what’s in the best interest of the client; only what’s in the best interest of the company. Our firm is legally required to do what’s in your best interest and we never impose any sales or product quotas. To learn more, see our blog titled, Is Your Advisor Required To Act In Your Best Interest.
How Are You Different From Other Firms?
First, we are an Independent Firm (see above question). Second, we spend a great deal of time getting to know our clients’ personal financial situations, which allows us to help them to properly plan (see “What is Financial Planning?” question above). Many other firms claim to have a financial planning focus, but in reality they are just investing your money (or selling you a product). Investing is just one component of your financial life. In addition to managing your investments our job is to help you prepare for the future, minimize any risks that could jeopardize your future, and put plans in place to protect you, your family, and all of your assets. Lastly, we place a tremendous focus on Technology. This allows us to work with clients in an efficient and safe manner.
I Don't Have Much Money, Why Do I Need A Financial Planner?
Our firm was founded on the principle that everybody deserves financial planning advice (if they want it). We have clients that have less than $5,000 and we have those with more than $1,000,000. You don’t need to be ultra wealthy to hire a financial planner; you just have to be willing to start. It never hurts to talk to a financial planner to see if they can help.
How Can I Be Sure Someone Isn't Taking My Money?
Our clients’ investments are held at a 3rd party custodian – TD Ameritrade. TD Ameritrade participates in the SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) insurance program. Although this insurance does not protect against market losses, it does protect your account(s) against theft or fraud. SIPC coverage provides protection up to $500,000 per account. Additionally, TD Ameritrade has supplemental coverage through London insurers that provides an additional level of protection up to $149,500,000 for each client.
Isn't It Difficult Or Time Consuming To Change Everything Over To A New Advisor?
We pride ourselves on our efficiency. We fill out all paperwork for our clients and have them sign most docs electronically. The whole process takes just a few seconds for clients to sign our docs. Once docs are signed, investments will transfer over to us automatically.
I'm A Hands On Person With My Money; What Kind Of Access Will I Have To My Account?
As far as managing the investments within your account, we maintain full responsibility for that. However, you can always view your account(s) through the TD Ameritrade log in, download statements, download tax forms, and review transaction history. If at any point you ever wish to stop working with us and take over control of your account, you can simply contact TD Ameritrade at 1-800-431-3500 and have your account(s) moved from TD Ameritrade’s Institutional Side to the Retail Side.
What Do You Do Besides Just Managing Money?
We help Individuals, Families, and Small Business Owners with their personal financial planning. Managing money is just one aspect of the financial planning that we do. Financial planning also entails helping you (1) plan for retirement, (2) protect your money, (3) get your Wills and Trusts in order, etc… To learn more, review our blog titled What is Comprehensive Financial Planning as well as our Services page. In addition to financial planning, we help Small Business Owners manage their existing Company Sponsored Retirement Plans (i.e. 401k plan) or help them to implement one.
Why Should I Pay Someone To Manage My Money When I Can Save Money By Doing It Myself?
If someone has the time, desire, and knowledge to handle their own financial planning and investments, then they can feel free to take care of it themselves. But if any one of those components is missing, then perhaps hiring a professional is the right solution. Even if people have a little bit of knowledge, they still “don’t know what they don’t know” and one misstep could end up costing more money in the long run. Just because you save money by avoiding a fee doesn’t mean you make more money. There is a study in our industry known as the DALBAR Study. This study shows that over the last 20 years (ending 2013) the Stock Market (as measured by the S&P 500) returned 9% per year; however, the Average Investor only returned 5%. This is a huge differential that could potentially result in tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars less in retirement. The reason that the Average Investor didn’t do as well is simply because they moved their money around too much. They are generally driven by emotions. When times are bad they become fearful and pull their money out of the market (i.e. sell low). When times are good they jump on the bandwagon and get back into the market (i.e. buy high). This is not an investment strategy. It is just decision making based on emotions. And that is usually a recipe for disaster. A person needs to have a disciplined approach.
What's The Difference Between An "Investment Only Client" And A "Planning Client"?
An Investment Only Client is someone who just wants us to manage their investments. A Planning Client is someone who wants us to not only manage their investments but also wants us to give them advice about retirement, protecting loved ones, protecting assets, increasing cash flow, minimizing taxes, receiving income from investments, and many other things.
Are The Fees Different For An "Investment Only Client" Versus A "Planning Client"?
No; the fees are identical. Many other investment firms will charge a fee similar to what we charge to manage investments and then also charge a separate fee for the financial planning. We do not do that because we feel that would be overcharging our clients. Our fees are all encompassing fees that include investment management and financial planning advice. This allows any of our clients to contact us with any financial planning or investment questions without fear of being charged more or being on the clock.