Q: Why are your fees so much lower than everyone else I've checked? Is it because you're not very good?
A: No, I'm pretty good. My fees are really low for three reasons:
- So the people I most want to assist can afford them.
- I don't yet have my CFP(r) credential and really low prices keeps people coming in the door so I can get the experience requirement done faster and earn that credential. (Frankly, when I have the credential I will likely bump up my prices a bit.)
- So people who enjoy paying more because it makes them feel better keep on looking. (I don't need them as clients.)
Q: What credentials do you have? Are you a CFP(r)?
A: I am an Enrolled Agent, which is the highest tax credential awarded by the Department of the Treasury. I am registered as an investment advisor in the Commonwealth of Virginia (RIA). (That required passing the Series 65 exam.) I am not yet a CFP(r). I have the coursework done and have passed the CFP(r) exam. The last remaining hurdle is the experience requirement, which I anticipate having satisfied by the end of 2018.
Q: Are you a fiduciary? Will you sign a statement or an oath attesting to the fact you are a fiduciary?
A: Yes and yes. Without hesitation. I was a fiduciary before being a fiduciary was cool.
Q: Are you fee-only? (I heard that was best as it reduces conflicts of interest.)
A: Yes. (What you heard was true.)
Q: How long have you been in business?
A: I opened my doors in October 2015. My application to become a Registered Investment Advisor was approved by the Commonwealth of Virginia on February 20, 2016.
Q: Do you belong to any professional organizations?
A: Yes. I am on the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Association of Hampton Roads. I am also a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, the National Association of Enrolled Agents, the National Association of Tax Professionals, the Virginia Society of Enrolled Agents, the American Association of Individual Investors, the Financial Therapy Association, and the Tidewater Real Estate Investors Group.
Q: Can you help real estate investors with financial planning?
Q: What is the minimum I need to invest with PIM Financial Partners to become a client?
A: $0. (There is no minimum.)
Q: Do you prepare tax returns?
A: Yes. Financial Life Planning clients get this service included with their fees. Clients under other plans get deeply discounted tax preparation service in the year they purchase their plan.