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+ Are you a fiduciary?
Yes. You can read more about this in my Code of Ethics, but I am obligated to always act in your best interests. I’m happy to discuss what being a fiduciary means for both of us, and why I’d act that way even if the standard didn’t exist.
+ Who are your typical clients?
My typical client is a young professional or a growing family.
You’re smart, driven, and enjoy living life (not just accumulating stuff). You may be able to manage your own finances effectively but one or more factors – the time required, unfamiliarity with a particular topic, or desire for more structure – makes you interested in delegating the financial stressors in your life to a professional. Or, you may be unsure where to start but are still eager to take control of your financial life.
+ What is your investment philosophy?
I focus on establishing an asset allocation (across stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.) that fits an investor’s risk profile, and then implementing that allocation at low cost using index funds. The goal is not to beat the market, but rather to establish a portfolio that aligns with your goals, and that you are comfortable holding for the long run, through market volatility. More broadly, my view is that I have no idea what the market will do in the short term. As a result, utilizing a range of assets that perform differently – but have reasonable long-term return expectations – is the most reasonable approach when coupled with periodic rebalancing between the asset classes. Since I don’t believe anyone knows what will happen tomorrow, and the range of outcomes for a single company are so wide, I also tend to avoid concentrating too much of a portfolio in a single stock.
+ Do I pay anything for our first meeting?
No. The first meeting we have is always free, which allows us to get to know each other.
+ Do you work with people outside of Louisiana?
Yes. I work with clients who live across the country.
+ Are meetings conducted face-to-face or virtually?
Whichever is most convenient for you. Face-to-face meetings are great for developing a relationship, but they aren’t always possible. We can meet via Google Hangouts, FaceTime, or any number of other ways.
+ How do you get paid?
By my clients, and only by my clients. As a fee-only financial planner, the only compensation I receive is for providing advice – I don’t sell products like insurance, and I don’t receive commissions for making trades. As a fiduciary, I act in your best interests – and having no other sources of income eliminates any potential conflict of interest.
+ How is my money protected?
Your money will be held at a custodian (a reputable third party like a major bank or broker-dealer); I will not have access to it at any point. Your account will be insured by the SIPC against failure of the broker-dealer up to $500,000. (This is not a protection against investment losses, and is different from the FDIC insuring a savings account.)