WHAT SETS US APART?
What Differentiates Financial Freedom From The Competition?
1. The owners will be your personal contacts. We don’t sign you up and then turn you over to someone else. All relationships will be with Al Sr. and/or Al Jr. Both of the Al’s have substantial educational qualifications and experience and both hold the CFP® professional designation. (Trust issues, experience, and education are critical factors to consider in making a decision. We encourage prospective clients to talk with our current clients to get a sense for these factors from people that we have been working with for years).
2. Fee Only method of being compensated. The only money that we receive is directly from our client. (No commissions, no kickbacks. We believe that this insures complete objectivity).
3. Prepare a detailed personalized comprehensive financial plan that normally takes 25-30 hours to prepare. (Generic plans may cost less, or be free).
4. Our on-going retainer relationship is unique and is based on a list of activities that we will perform on an annual basis. This list includes all of the financial planning activities and investment management activities that are included in the relationship. We assign hours to each activity which allows us to propose an annual fee. We changed from charging a percent of assets under management to the retainer approach because charging based on assets seemed to prioritize investment management at the expense of comprehensive financial planning. (Many financial firms are focused on asset management only and charge based on a percentage of assets managed. Many times, retainer fees are less expensive and include both investment management and comprehensive financial planning services).
5. We place a great deal of emphasis on the “softer side” of comprehensive financial planning. In other words, we want to understand your life goals and objectives and do a good job coordinating the use of the assets (investment management) with the achievement of your life goals and objectives.
6. Our relationship with Fidelity Investments – As custodian of each client’s assets, Fidelity Investments offers a wonderfully open platform that allows us to implement our Fee-Only approach with ease. Fidelity’s platform allows us to buy almost any investment available; not only Fidelity funds. Quite frankly, our client’s own more non-Fidelity funds than Fidelity funds. As examples: Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, Dodge & Cox, Janus, Third Avenue, etc. Additionally, Fidelity offers all of the latest and greatest internet access, electronic linking and transfer capabilities to your local checking accounts, free checkwriting privileges, etc.
7. Each client has their own individual Fidelity statement, and with your approval, Financial Freedom will receive a copy of your monthly statement. Additionally, as we manage your assets we will seek your approval prior to making any changes to your portfolio. (As opposed to companies that consolidate assets as a group and wish to manage the portfolio, without prior consent, and advise the client, after the fact, of the investment results).
8. We hold ourselves accountable. Our overall business strategy is to add value to the relationship and be considered an investment, as opposed to just another expense. On an annual basis we will provide each client with an annual performance package. This package will recap all of the comprehensive financial planning that we have provided during the year. Additionally, we will compare a client’s actual portfolio returns (after deduction for our fees) to appropriate industry benchmarks. This performance package allows the client to determine whether we have a win-win relationship that has added value to them and their lives.
9. We also work with our client's children as part of our ongoing retainer relationship.