About to celebrate our first anniversary at Financial Freedom Planners™, we are frequently asked “why did you launch the firm,” “how are you different,” and “what is your why?”
As a veteran in financial services for over thirty years, I always questioned how could we better serve client needs? A self-described financial-solutions professional, it seemed to me the client was frequently getting lost in the haze of conflicts of interest, fees (hidden or not), product sales, ever-increasing financial complexity, asset minimums, Wall Street Mumbo Jumbo, etc.
In many ways the deck is stacked against the consumer and on the side of the Financial Advisor. My “Why” is to provide an alternative to those needing it most. Looking for Financial Advice can be confusing and many times intimidating . Frankly the industry likes it that way, and many people may not be getting a fair shake. That isn’t to criticize the financial services industry, there are many excellent people in it. I’m just looking at it from the consumer’s viewpoint.
The beginning seed that answers the other two questions germinated from reading Sheryl Garrett’s book Garrett’s Guide To Financial Planning a number of years ago. This was a brand new way of looking at how financial services are delivered to consumers. The principles discussed throughout the book were the foundation to starting the Garrett Planning Network. After reading it my immediate reaction was “Wow…this model is the wave of the future in financial services!”
The Garrett principles were so compelling and aligned to my “Why,” we immediately became members of the network as we formed our new firm. Financial Freedom Planners is part of a like-minded & supportive group of professionals around our country (and beyond), truly dedicated to our clients. Furthermore we intend to disrupt the status quo of the financial services industry in favor of the client!
There’s a reason the Garrett Planning Network was named the “Best a la Carte Financial Planning” organization by Kiplinger in November of last year! We’re proud to be members of GPN.
Unlike most Financial Advisors & Wealth Managers, we are focused on what some may call the middle market. We feel this is where the greatest need is, and where we can add the most value. Let’s face it, the 1% have all the help they need!
Financial Freedom Planners has a very different business model, one you may not be familiar with. Why we use the word disruptive:
- Commissions – None!
- Fees to manage your money – None!
- Asset Minimums – None!
- Net Worth Minimums – None!
- Conflicts of interest – None!
- Products – None!
We help people on an as-needed basis, and that can be hourly, project based, or a program called “Real-Time Planning” designed for those just starting out. Generally we can help clients in just about any budget bracket. We try to keep the cost as low as possible through targeted services and efficiency such as providing clients their own Client Website. They can link their investments, checking, savings, loans, etc. all in one place.
In addition to fees as low as possible, many times we can save our clients money, sometimes significant money. Because we are your advocate, we champion the many top quality, low-cost opportunities available, such as Vanguard, Scottrade, etc. This also makes us an attractive option for “Do-It-Yourselfers” who are comfortable implementing, but need a second opinion from time to time. We also offer sophisticated Retirement Planning, with detailed Cash Flow Analysis, etc. Generally this is well beyond the tools Do-It-Yourself providers offer.
Everything we do is outlined in black & white, and agreed to in writing before we begin an assignment. For those “kicking the tires,” we offer what we call a “Getting to Know You” one-hour session at no charge, and with no obligation. This is an an opportunity to show our Seven-Step Process, find out your needs, and show you some sample plans. We’re very low-key.
It is our belief average Americans need someone to be their financial advocate in the challenging times we live in. How do we achieve all this you fairly ask? The answers, while simple, are not necessarily easy.
- Expertise – we are Board-Certified Financial Planners as CFP®s.
- Experience – I have over 35 years of experience in Financial Services, and am uniquely qualified to guide our clients in the proper direction.
- Fiduciaries – As CFP®s, members of the Garrett Planning Network, and Registered Investment Advisors, we are duty-bound to follow the Fiduciary Oath. Simply put, that means always putting our client’s best interests FIRST.
- No conflicts of interest.
- Accessibility – Because of our model, we are making competent, objective financial advice accessible to all people.
- Tools – Financial Freedom Planners has some of the most sophisticated and technologically advanced planning tools available. We can interface with our clients on their computers, smart phones, and smart pads.
Hopefully you can tell how excited and passionate we are about helping people deal with the financial complexities of life. We help you determine what you want your future to look like, and provide advice on how to achieve it. Please let us know how we can help you!