FAQ

  • What is a Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®)?

Licensed by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, CFPs must complete an advanced college-level course of study addressing financial planning subject areas, including insurance planning and risk management, employee benefits planning, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning. In addition, they must pass a comprehensive CFP certification examination and obtain at least three years of full-time financial planning-related experience. To maintain the designation, CFPs must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years.

  • What is a “fee-only” planner?

A fee-only planner as someone who is compensated solely by the client, with neither the advisor nor any related party receiving compensation that is contingent on the purchase or sale of a financial product. As a fee-only planner, Guerin Financial Services does not receive commissions, rebates, awards, finder’s fees, bonuses, or any form of compensation from others as a result of the implementation of a client’s planning recommendations.

 

  • Why is fee-only compensation of critical importance?

A financial planner who has a financial stake in the course of action that he or she recommends to a client faces an inherent conflict of interest and cannot be considered objective and unbiased. This is true even if the planner truly believes that he or she has only the best interests of the client at heart. Unfortunately, the vast majority of financial advisors in the United States are sellers of financial products. Some or all of their income may be dependent upon their ability to steer their clients to a limited slice of the thousands of financial products available today. (Putting aside the conflict of interest factor, this limiting of choices in and of itself is often enough to impact the quality of the investment advice.) These advisors include stockbrokers, analysts, insurance agents, accountants, and attorneys, as well as financial planners. Many of their clients are not aware of their advisors’ dependence on selling products, or else they do not recognize its significance.

 

  • What is your fee structure?

At Guerin Financial Services, our asset management compensation is 100% transparent, so you know exactly what we make and the value we provide. We charge a competitive asset under management (AUM) annual fee that is computed on the value of the assets we manage. In certain circumstances, a financial planning fee may be charged.

 

  • Do you have a minimum account size?

Our services are best suited for clients with investable assets in excess of $500,000. For clients utilizing our 401(k) management services, our minimum account size is $100,000.

 

  • How do I know my money is safe?

Our firm works directly with an independent third-party custodian, Charles Schwab, and all of our client assets are held in protected Schwab accounts. We provide 24/7 access and visibility to your Schwab accounts via our online client portal. Your funds will never be comingled with any other investments.

 

  • I consider myself to be financially savvy. Do I need a financial advisor?

Did you know that even millionaires often hire the assistance of a planner? These highly successful and disciplined people know that accountability is a key to success. However, many people with the knowledge and experience to manage their own assets will procrastinate when it’s time to make a decision. Often their own needs take a back seat to jobs or family. We add value not only by helping you develop a plan, but also by implementing and adjusting it when necessary. Our knowledge and accountability as a financial advisor can help you take the necessary actions to meet your goals.

 

  • Can I use just one of your services?

We offer highly personalized solutions using a consultative approach, with the goal of simplifying your financial life. Typically, coordinating a client's investment portfolios and financial planning is the best path to achieving this goal. While the majority of our clients seek our comprehensive services, when appropriate, we are able to unbundle our services and provide individual services to meet your needs.

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