WHY DID YOU BECOME A FINANCIAL PLANNER?
To help people.
I remember sitting in investments class when my professor asked the room, “Why do you all want to become CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals?” Everyone but me answered in unison, “to get a raise!”
I answered, “to help people!”
I 'get' money. I understand the big picture and can step back and see how things are either adding up to work for you or against you. I can then see through all the messy emotions that money inspires, to take stock of what actions are necessary to steer you in the right direction. And with that insight, I believe I can have a profound impact on my client's lives.
Money affects us in countless ways, so helping someone to plug their financial leaks can not only have a compounding effect over time — but it has the potential to create a ripple effects for generations to come.
It’s my privilege to gain the trust of my clients, and work closely with them to improve their financial lives.
WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION?
I have a BA from Oberlin College, an MFA from California College of the Arts, and an Executive Certificate In Financial Planning from San Francisco State University. I love learning, and have found that my varied background and interests have given me a rich understanding of people, business, and real life. My unending curiosity has become one of my sharpest tools as a financial planner.
What are your financial planning designations?
I am a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional. To get here I've put in hundreds of hours of study, clocked thousands of hours of experience, and passed a grueling national exam. I'm proud of this accomplishment, not only to demonstrate my mastery of the subject, but also because it allows me to stand in the role of a fiduciary — always advocating, and representing my client's best interests.
What are your areas of specialty?
For years I've focused on the specific needs of working artists and creative entrepreneurs, helping them to deal with the thorny issue of a fluctuating income. People think artists are bad with money — it's not true. After having hundreds of conversations with artists about their money, I think the exact opposite is true. Artists are masters at doing so much with so little. But not knowing how much money you're going to make from month to month, year to year would be challenging for anyone. And if you don't know how much money you're going to make — it's really hard to save. I've made it my mission to come up with strategies to cut through that mystery and help creative people build assets despite the uncertainty inherent in their work.
Please describe the most common engagement/service you provide, And the type of client or client situation you target:
People usually come to me once they've made the decision to actively engage with their money. This might be because they've reached a milestone and have a new perspective, or something has happened that they need to react to — or most often — because they're finally tired of living with the anxiety of financial uncertainty.
No matter the reason — what connects my most successful clients is a willingness to learn a new way of doing things, and a willingness to believe that they can enact change.
Every client engagement is different, but there's a common thread to creating more resources in one's financial life, and I often take my clients through a process that involves:
- Clearly define short and long-term goals. We'll assign numbers and dates to your dreams, so you know what you're working towards, and when you've gotten there.
- Plug the leaks. We'll identify the inefficiencies in your current spending to free up funds for the things you value most.
- Increase income. Many of my clients are entrepreneurs or artists, and it’s a natural fit to develop new streams of income.
- Put savings to work. Cutting back on spending and/or making more money isn't enough to build assets — you need to take it a step further so that your surplus starts working for you. That means clearing out bad debt, establishing a cash reserve, and setting yourself up to mindfully invest in an asset allocation that accommodates your timeline and risk tolerance.
This is a stage that some clients find scary, so I take as much time as necessary to educate them at each step, so they feel confident, and competent to make the right decisions.
- Establish protection. Insurance is an essential part of any financial life, and an important tool to make sure progress in building assets and achieving financial goals isn't interrupted by life's inevitable, unplannable uncertainties. I offer my clients a comprehensive insurance review to make sure appropriate policies are in place, and that they are properly coordinated.
- Monitor progress. Financial planning isn't an event — it's a process that evolves over time. Insight plans are designed to be adjusted to fit clients’ needs as their circumstances change. Unless something comes up, I like to meet annually with clients to check progress and re-evaluate as necessary.
I take great pains to understand where my clients are starting from and guide them along this process. It takes time and commitment, but for those who are ready, I have seen remarkable progress made towards life's goals.
Are you a registered broker/dealer?
No, my job is to inform and educate my clients, and I have no financial products to sell them.
Are you a licensed insurance agent?
No, but I can advise on matters of insurance, and will make recommendations on the most appropriate forms of risk management to protect my clients.
Are you a registered investment adviser?
Yes! I am registered in the state of California, but will work with clients from other states, as allowed by each state's de minimus rules.
Are you a fiduciary?
Yes, I am very proud to take the Fiduciary Oath for every one of my clients.
How are you compensated?
I am a fee only financial planner, and charge either $250 per hour, or a lump sum based on my hourly rate. I don't take commissions of any kind, which means I work only in the best interest of my clients.
Do you have minimums for assets, account size, annual fees paid, etc? And what is your typical fee or charge for an initial engagement?
I don't have any minimums for assets, account size or annual fees paid. My typical fee for an initial engagement is $750.
Do you provide a written agreement detailing the total amount of compensation and services that will be provided in advance of an engagement?
Absolutely. I always provide a written contract detailing our professional relationship, outlining what I plan to offer, how much it will cost, and what is expected of you.
Do you provide a thorough written analysis of one's financial situation and recommendations?
Yes, a detailed written analysis is one of the most important parts of the work I do. It acts as an instruction manual for you to take action with, and also remind us where you were starting from at our next engagement. This way we can gauge your progress and adjust your plan accordingly.
Do you offer assistance with implementation? Please elaborate.
I am happy to help you take the necessary steps to enact your plan. This is outside the scope of an initial engagement, but can be provided on an hourly basis. I can look through statements with you, be on the phone for conversations with other financial services providers, or guide you through opening accounts. I am not a broker/dealer, so I can not make trades on your behalf, but I can assist you each step of the way as you do it yourself.
Will you provide a second opinion or one-time review?
Absolutely. Even if you are planning on staying with your current financial advisor, I am happy to give you my perspective on your financial situation, help with assessing your risk tolerance, or provide an extra set of eyes on your current portfolio.
I'm also happy to provide a one-time engagement, if that's all you’re looking for. My goal is to help you understand your finances, and set you into a productive relationship with your money — not to rope you into a long-term engagement that you're not looking for.
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All investing involves risk, including the potential for loss of principal. There is no guarantee that any investment plan or strategy will be successful.