Six Step Financial Planning Process
• Establish client-planner relationship.
• Gather client data and determining goals and expectations.
• Determine the client’s financial state by analyzing and evaluating.
• Develop and present the financial plan.
• Implement the financial plan.
• Monitor the financial plan.
As a Deeter Advisory Group client, you can rely us to suggest new investment ideas and opportunities, report on the progress of your portfolio, keep in touch with changes in your circumstances and respond quickly to your questions and concerns. In addition, we are available to counsel and educate other members of your family. Your confidentiality and privacy is strictly respected.
Comprehensive Financial Planning
Comprehensive Financial Planning is designed for clients who want a thorough review of their entire financial life, including goal planning, asset allocation, risk management, retirement planning, estate planning and specific investment advice, including 401(k)s and other qualified retirement plans. We believe that Comprehensive Financial Planning is the cornerstone of the services we provide. Clients are expected to be actively involved in the planning process, and for married couples, the participation of both spouses improves the process and the results. When someone schedules an Initial Interview to discuss their financial planning needs, we encourage them to complete our Initial Interview Questionnaire. By understanding in advance your unique situation, we will be able to better use our time together. At the Initial Interview, we strive to determine your wants and needs and encourage you to evaluate our capabilities and your comfort in working closely with us. At the end of the meeting we will use the information we gathered to quote a fee for the first year of service. Fees generally begin at $1,000 and are based on a formula that considers the client’s assets, income, and the complexity of their situation. Engagements are open-ended with no limited number of appointments or time allocation.
Financial planning is a process, not an event. Yes, we provide each client with a written plan, but in reality, the written plan is merely a summary of the conversations that occur during our various meetings. Once someone decides to use our firm, an engagement agreement is prepared outlining the services to be provided, as well as the cost for the first year of service. After the engagement agreement is signed, we schedule a Data Collection Meeting to accumulate your important financial information. This information is then used as the basis to analyze your financial life. Within 10 days we will schedule the first of several meetings to present your plan in a series of written reports. At one of the meetings, we will discuss your current asset allocation, along with our observations on your investment holdings. You will have ample opportunity to review the plan, ask questions and have it modified as we fine tune it throughout the process. Once the plan is near completion, we will furnish you with our written recommendations, tying together our conversations from our various meetings. Finely, we will assist you in implementing your plan and monitoring the results. Your financial plan is not set in stone and there is updated each year and events in your life change.
Estate and Wealth Planning
We can advise you on a full range of financial and estate issues, including reviews of wills and trusts, asset titling, identification of IRA beneficiaries, reviews of employer retirement benefits and insurance planning. We are actively involved with developing and implementing charitable giving plans and estate tax savings ideas. We offer you significant experience in Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, Family Limited Partnerships, Qualified Personal Residence Trusts and Private Foundations. We are also experienced in advising clients on concerns that relate to divorce and the management of settlement proceeds. As Certified Financial Planners®, we use this expertise to work proactively with your other trusted advisors, including your accountant and attorney, to ensure that your investment strategies effectively complement your estate plans and current tax situation.
Fee-Based Planning: What It Means to You
The Deeter Advisory Group believes that clients should be fully aware of all costs when shopping for financial services. It is important, therefore, to understand the three methods in which clients pay for financial planning services.
Commission only: An advisor receives a commission for the sale of a product which varies based on the dollar amount of the sale.
Fee-Based: An advisor charges a fee, perhaps to write a financial plan, and also receives a commission for any products sold to implement the plan.
Fee-Only: An advisor bills a client for services provided, but receives no other form of compensation from any third party.
Since not all products carry the same commission schedule, a bias may exist with a commission only or fee based advisor to sell products with a higher payout. A combination of commissions, incentives, rebates, and other types of soft dollars can easily lead an advisor to recommend a product based on what’s in his or her best interest, rather than the client’s.
• On November 17, 2003, the Washington Times reported that a major brokerage firm was fined $50 million by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for various mutual fund abuses. The article stated “the firm had a select group of mutual fund companies pay it substantial fees for preferred marketing of their funds. Moreover, to encourage the sales force to recommend the purchase of those particular funds, the brokerage house paid more to individual registered representatives and branch managers on sales of those funds’ shares.”
• On December 21, 2004, The Wall Street Journal reported that a major brokerage firm agreed to pay $75 million to settle regulatory charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Association of Securities Dealers and the New York Stock Exchange. According to the article, the firm “steered investors to seven preferred mutual-fund groups, without telling the investors that the firm received hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation from those funds.
• On February 23, 2005, The Wall Street Journal reported that the National Association of Securities Dealers fined two large brokerage firms for “giving preferred sales treatment to mutual funds offered by certain fund companies in exchange for brokerage commissions and other payments.” One brokerage firm that is owned by a major national bank was fined $570,000, while the other firm paid a $275,000 fine.
The Deeter Advisory Group offers services on a fee-only basis and does not receive commissions for any insurance or investment products we recommend. We work for our clients, not a brokerage firm, insurance company or bank. We also do not pay any referral fees to someone who recommends our services, nor do we accept any fees from other professionals we recommend to our clients. We subscribe to the Core Values and Fiduciary Oath of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), the largest association devoted solely to fee-only planning.