What does a financial planner do?
Financial planning starts with you:
- What are your goals and dreams?
- What do you love to do?
- Who do you want to spend your time with?
Having a financial plan brings you peace of mind and allows you to focus on those things you care most about in life, whether they be your family, your vocation or your hobbies.
I provide the knowledge you need about all things financial - managing your investments, buying a home, saving for college, determining the right amount of insurance, planning retirement, and more. I can also refer you to my network of experts for more complex topics like estate planning.
Perhaps most importantly, I'm an "accountability partner" to help you stick to your plan. We tackle the various aspects of your financial life one step at a time so they don't seem so overwhelming.
You can read more about financial planning here.
What happens at an introductory consultation?
An introductory call gives you the opportunity to understand more about how I approach financial planning and investing. More importantly, I get to hear about your financial goals, needs and what's really important to you in your life. We can then assess whether working together is a good fit. The first consultation is always free. You can schedule a meeting here.
How do you get paid?
On the Trail is a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm. As a fiduciary, I'm committed to eliminating conflicts of interest wherever possible. 100% of my compensation comes from you, not from banks or partners and not from selling products or taking commissions. I am typically paid monthly and my fees vary depending on the level of complexity of your situation.
What are your fees?
Ongoing Financial Planning and Investment Management: For ongoing planning and investment management I charge a monthly fee that is based on your income, assets and the complexity of your situation. This amount varies from $250 - $3000/month depending on your specific circumstances. Note: Occasional exceptions are made for those with low income and/or assets.
Financial Plans: I charge a one-time planning and setup fee of $2000. This can be waived or reduced for ongoing financial planning clients.
Consultations: Initial consultations and questions are free. You can set up a time to talk here.
Asset minimums: Many investment managers and/or planners have minimums that range from $200,000 to $5MM. I believe that financial planning should be affordable and available to everyone. We have no asset minimums and our fees are competitive.
My friends say that the stock market is like gambling. What do you think?
Investing in the stock market makes you a part owner of the companies in which you invest. Though it may be a very small share, you're aligning yourself with some of the most successful companies in the US or the rest of the world. There is risk inherent in any investing decision. Over the long run, stocks have had positive returns in ~3 years out of 4 and have returned in the range of 7-10% per year on average. But in any given year, there is no way to predict performance and stocks can have poor returns for years at a time.
There is also risk in doing nothing. By keeping your money in cash, you don't risk losing money in a market downturn but you do risk losing purchasing power due to inflation.
Investing can be scary. By starting with a plan suited to your situation and risk tolerance you increase your odds of having the money you need to live the life you want.
Are you limited to working with people in the SF Bay Area?
I can work with clients in all locations in the US. This is done virtually via video conference generally, though I will visit clients in other western states from time to time.
If you are located in the SF Bay Area, I'm available to meet in person depending on your preference. Some clients really prefer meeting face to face, others prefer the efficiency of electronic communication and virtual meetings. I'm flexible and will work with your preferences.
I don’t have very much money saved. Can I still work with you?
If you are younger or just beginning as an investor you may not have significant assets. This makes it tough to work with typical advisors, who generally charge based on your assets. At On the Trail, we have no asset minimums and will work with you to find an affordable solution for planning and advice.