“We believe financial planning advice should be about you…not us."
We help you answer questions like "when can I retire?" or "can I help my kids with college expenses (without sacrificing my retirement)?".
We don't sell commissioned investment or insurance products.
We charge a reasonable hourly fee for our advice. We believe this is a better approach than sell you 'solutions.' If you prefer to gain knowledge about your financial situation rather than be sold someone else's 'solution', keep reading and let us know how we can help.
Remove conflicts of interest in your financial plan
If we sold commissioned “solutions” … the conversation might be geared towards selling (about us) rather than education (about you). Your financial plan should be about you!
If we charged a fee based on how much money you have (a percentage of assets) … we might help only those with a million dollars (or more). Your desire to better understand your financial plan shouldn't be based on your current account value. If we charged an Assets Under Management (AUM) Fee, we would seek high balances so we could collect more (for in many cases similar time commitment). That would be about us...not you!
Financial planning should be separate from investment management. If we demand “management” of your assets before reviewing your plan … you might be paying for a service, you don’t really need, want or qualify for (if we had an investment minimum). If you want to know if (and when) you are likely to retire or achieve other goals, your account balance should not keep you from gaining that knowledge. Basing advice on your account balance would be more about us and less about you.
Why you should consider an hourly based Fee-Only Financial Planner
We base our fees on hours served rather than a percentage of “assets under management (AUM)” and never sell commissioned products. We believe this is a better way to serve you for the following three reasons:
- You don’t want to be sold a “solution.” You would prefer to understand how today’s plan matches with tomorrow’s vision. Reviewing, understanding and adjusting (if needed) doesn't require the purchase of a 'product.'
- You don’t want to give up “control.” You recognize the benefit of experienced and unbiased advice. You don't want to hand over control. Instead, you want to work with an advisor to make jointly considered, informed decisions. An hourly based arrangement allows you to gain education and guidance without giving up control.
- You pay only for what you need and want. We believe a review of your financial plan should be done without the expectation or demand for ongoing management. If, after your plan creation, you decide you would prefer ongoing advice and/or investment management, we price services based on hours rather than a percentage of assets or commissions. An hourly based arrangement lets you decide what you need (and want) and allows you to pay for only those services.
- You want to work with a fiduciary. We base our fees on hours shared. We are paid by you...and only you. This ensures your interests are always first.
Why you should review your financial plan...even if you are currently working with a financial salesman.
If you decide to review your plan with Disciplined Money, we begin with a review of where you are today. Followed by arguably the most important portion of any plan…a discussion about where you want to be in the future (your goals). We measure the probability of reaching your goals based on what is known today with projections of the future. If your plan projects success, keep doing what you are doing. If not, we consider how various decisions impact your plan.
During the planning process, we focus on what is within your control. After addressing the decisions over which you have control (at least some), we discuss how variations in your portfolio impact your success. We believe your investments should be considered and discussed only after considering other inputs (creation of a plan). You likely have greater input in choices surrounding saving, spending and how long you remain in the workforce than what the market will do tomorrow.
Too many 'financial advisors' focus solely on investments. A well written financial plan provides the basis for your investment decisions.
Why you should review your plan today...even if you don't have a million dollars and plan to retire tomorrow.
If you are questioning whether you should be talking with a financial planner, you probably should be. The common theme across our client base is the desire to learn rather than be sold. We serve multiple market demographics without the conflicts listed above. Click the market segment you most closely relate to and learn more about how we help that market segment.
If you already have a plan (self created or working with an advisor), review the benefits of gaining a Second Opinion.
Understand the opportunities and challenges of each phase of your retirement journey
The first phase of your retirement plan. While getting started, you focus on how much to save and invest while managing the various changes in your daily life. Success in this phase creates opportunities when you are ready to answer the question..."Am I ready to retire?"
Am I Ready Retire?
You've spent years (decades) saving and investing so you could one day say..."Yes, I am ready to retire!" This can be an emotional phase. The transition from the known strategy of save, invest, repeat moves to the uncertainty of how to cover expenses after giving up a consistent paycheck.
This is the final phase of your retirement plan. You transitioned from saving for the future to enjoying the now. Your careful planning in the previous phases allows you to enjoy retirement. When you were Getting Started, you considered how much to save. In this phase, you ask..."how much can I spend?"
I created Disciplined Money after working for multiple larger financial advisory firms. They charged AUM fees (usually 1%) and sought clients with a million dollars (or more). I knew there was a market segment that sought the type of advice offered by these Fee-Only firms, but either didn't have the required account balance or simply didn't want to hand over investment management and pay $10,000 annually on a million dollars (assuming 1% AUM).
Disciplined Money provides a solution that differs from the typical "financial planning firm." I believe that is a good thing. If you want to learn more about our process and/or review your scenario, schedule a time by clicking the link below. Your request will come directly to me. I look forward to meeting you.
Founder, Disciplined Money