Our Philosophy

Old Harbor Lifesaving Station along coastline at Provincetown, Massachusettes

WHAT MOTIVATES US?

Every profession has its own unique, built-in satisfactions - things that make the work worthwhile and inspire the people who do that work.

HERE'S WHAT MOTIVATES US:
As our clients quickly discover, it’s not what you make, it’s what you keep. And sometimes, it’s what you don’t invest in that is the truly important decision.
In 2008 and early 2009, making money involved keeping some portion of our clients’ wealth in the market for the anticipated rebound. Making money for clients can also involve identifying stocks that we think have great potential and then investing in them. And sometimes, it means taking profits in a stock that has run up.
Occasionally, people make a great deal of money in a brief period of time. If we can persuade them to invest that money for the future, we can increase their financial security. We have clients who are retired today based on their significant savings in the past. Seeing them enjoy this financial security is extremely rewarding for us.
Many investors have not been able to invest in Roth IRA’s in the past because their income was too high. So back in 2007, we started taking advantage of a loophole in the tax code that allowed us to help these investors cumulatively move over $750,000 into Roth IRA’s. Assuming that these funds increase over the years, our clients will have millions of dollars growing - without future income taxes.
Our wealth worksheet has made a real difference in helping people see the big picture. It has also enabled us to show clients the positive impact on cash flow when they pay down their debt.
Our office assistants do a wonderful job of helping clients break through red tape, untangle paperwork challenges and solve problems. We know this because clients tell us how much they appreciate our get-it-done approach.
Two heads are always better than one. By not being attached to our own ideas and seeking instead to take care of our clients, we have arrived at creative solutions to seemingly intractable issues.

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT FEES AND COMMISSIONS

Many fee-only* planners will tell you that they have eliminated all conflicts of interest and arrived at the perfect payment formula. But, over time, we have learned that there is no one universal best solution.

Which is why we take a different approach. First, we believe it's essential to have a good fit between clients and financial planners. So we charge a one-time, $1,500 - $2500 fee when we prepare a financial plan. This makes it easier for clients to decide whether to engage our services (or not) at the completion of the planning phase.

We also offer clients several different commission and fee options, and decide together what is best for them. These options include:

  • Fee only
  • Fee on some accounts, commissions on others
  • Commission only
  • Level Fee for services
    • In many cases, clients select a combination of fees and commissions. Why? Let's suppose we buy a 30-year municipal bond yielding 5%. Would you rather pay a one-time fee of 2% to purchase the bond or a 1% annual fee for 30 years while you hold it?
    • If you're a fee-only planner, you'd probably prefer to collect the 1% a year for 30 years. But we would argue that the client is further ahead by paying a commission.

 

* In a fee-based account clients pay a quarterly fee, based on the level of assets in the account, for the services of a financial advisor as part of an advisory relationship. In deciding to pay a fee rather than commissions, clients should understand that the fee may be higher than a commission alternative during periods of lower trading. Advisory fees are in addition to the internal expenses charged by mutual funds and other investment company securities. To the extent that clients intend to hold these securities, the internal expenses should be included when evaluating the costs of a fee-based account. Clients should periodically re-evaluate whether the use of an asset-based fee continues to be appropriate in servicing their needs. A list of additional considerations, as well as the fee schedule, is available in the firm’s Form ADV Part II as well as the client agreement.