Here at Willow Planning Group, we value communication and transparency. We wanted to write this blog post to explain a little bit more about the process and fees when you decide to begin to work together, as well as explain our fiduciary and fee only model. The financial advisor model has changed over the last several decades. From the investor perspective, these changes provide more options and transparency. We are a fiduciary, fee only firm, which means we don’t sell any financial products in exchange for money or compensation. Instead, we work for a fee our clients pay and they can feel comfortable that we will keep their best interests in mind, always. The fiduciary standard is a key piece of this. To act to the fiduciary standard, we must always put a client’s interest above our own. Trust is at the heart of all financial advisory relationships.

The first step in the process is scheduling an initial consultation. This is a phone call that generally lasts 30 minutes. The purpose of this complementary call is to get to know each other, and ask any questions about the process, background, and fees. If we decide to work together, we initiate a financial planning agreement and ask you to complete a data gathering form. The initial onboarding fee is charged one time and is $1,250 for a single person and $1,875 for a couple. This goes towards the work it takes to onboard a new client to our system and the preparations for the first two Kickoff Meetings. It is important that we receive your documents before these meetings.

The first meeting is a 90-minute zoom call where we go over the information provided and talk about goals and your current situation. The second meeting is a 60-minute zoom call to follow up and talk about other topics we may have left to discuss. Everyone’s situation is different but some of the topics we usually discuss include cash flow, investment, taxes, insurance, benefits, future goals, and what you want your life to look like. The second part of the fee arrangement is a monthly fee of $135 per month for a single person and $165 per month for a couple. These fees can increase depending on the complexity of a client’s situation. After the first two Kickoff Meetings, we will meet with you on a quarterly basis (four times) in the first year, and then twice a year. You are encouraged to have check in calls as needed in between the scheduled calls.

Financial advice is more than asset selection and portfolio management. Holistic financial advice is designed to help investors increase their financial wellness across their entire financial journey. One of the biggest benefits of working with a fee-only fiduciary is the lack of conflicts of interest. The definition of fiduciary is “a person who holds a legal or ethical relationship of trust with one or more other parties.” While it may be surprising, not all financial advisors are fiduciaries. When advisors earn their income from recommending certain products over others, there’s an inherent conflict of interest. The concern is that it’s tough to know as an investor if the product is truly in your best interest or if it generates the most commission for the advisor. Fee-only helps remove this conflict of interest. Creating a successful financial plan is complex and should be rooted in your situation, goals, and risk tolerance. Fee-only, fiduciary financial advisors can help you build your wealth at any stage, for any goal – and you’ll always know they are acting in your best interest.

Katerina Logrono is a Paraplanner at Willow Planning Group, LLC. She is primarily responsible for supporting you in reaching your personal financial goals. Katerina loves exploring new places while helping you live your adventure too!