No, We’re pretty good. We keep our fees lower than industry averages for three reasons:
- We keep our entry level fees low–starting at $100/month–so the people we most want to assist can afford them. Neither of us came from money, and we view our core mission as helping people become financially free just the way we did–a month at a time. Many firms have given up on the idea of profitably serving people who don’t already have a whole bunch of money for them to manage. We haven’t.
- We think a great deal of what many firms offer is overpriced. Many other firms would prefer to find clients who have ten times as much money and charge them ten times as much for services that might require them to put in double the time. While a million-dollar portfolio will be more complex and will require more time to manage than a portfolio that’s “only” $100K, it ain’t ten times more complex. We charge for the value we believe we can provide…and will strive to demonstrate in terms more tangible than just “how well you sleep at night.” If paying more for stuff helps you feel better, we’re probably not your people.
- Lower prices keep people coming in the door so we can satisfy the experience requirement faster and earn the CFP(r) credential. Candidly, when we each have the credential we will likely increase the minimum fee a bit for new clients. (But if you get here before then, we guarantee a level monthly fee for at least twelve months from the time you become a client.)
Paul is an Enrolled Agent, which is the highest tax credential awarded by the Department of the Treasury. Both Paul and Sean are registered as investment advisor representatives in the Commonwealth of Virginia, which required passing certification exams and license us to provide investment advice for a fee (and only for a fee). Neither of us are yet a CFP(r). Paul has the coursework done, has passed the exam, and anticipates having satisfied by the end of 2018. With his five years in the business, Sean satisfies the (three-year) experience requirement; he is one-third of the way through the coursework.
We are, and we have. Paul was a fiduciary before being a fiduciary was cool, and both Paul and Sean are signatories to XY Planning Network’s Fiduciary Oath.
ABSOLUTELY. And what you heard was true. It’s not that dual- or triple-registered advisors (with brokerage and/or insurance licenses) aren’t capable of navigating conflicts of interest honorably; it’s just that fee-only advisors have fewer of them to navigate. It’s important to note that even fee-only advisors are not conflict-free. Lots of fee-only firms will tell you that. We couldn’t disagree more. Regardless of whose services you’re exploring, you should always ask how they’re compensated and what conflicts of interest exist in their service model. If they answer that they have no conflicts, we strongly recommend you thank them for their time…and then keep looking.
Paul opened the doors in October 2015 as PIM Financial Partners, and his application to become a Registered Investment Advisor was approved by the Commonwealth of Virginia on February 20, 2016. Sean has been in the financial services industry for five years. When he merged his former firm into PIM, we changed the name to Redeployment Wealth Strategies.
Yes. Paul is on the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Association of Hampton Roads. He is 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. Both Paul and Sean are proud members of the XY Planning Network.
Yes. Our service model is built to accommodate many varieties of management–from us managing assets, to looking over your shoulder to manage accounts you must (or just prefer) to manage yourself (like your TSP or 401(k)), and any combination of the two. We do not offer real estate management services, so that’s something you’ll ultimately have to do, but building it into your plan is no trouble at all.
RWS has no minimum investment requirement. And we never will.
Yes. Legacy Planner and Wealth Manager clients get this service included with their fees. Wealth Builder clients receive a 50% discount on tax preparation fees. While these services are offered as benefits, clients are not required to use them. All tax preparation services are fulfilled by our sister company, PIM Tax Services.
Yes. We charge a $300 onboarding fee for our comprehensive/continuous planning services. This one-time fee reflects our anticipation that we will spend more time and meet more often as we’re getting started. We do retain the discretion to waive the onboarding fee under some circumstances.
What we don’t charge is the industry-standard $1000 or more to build your plan before charging a monthly fee to help you implement and monitor it.
Absolutely. In fact, as an entering argument we recommend it. By definition, any fee charged against an investment account is a drag on your returns. In other words, if you pay a 1% asset-under-management fee from an investment account that earns an 8% return, your return will be 7%. To put that into perspective, if you had a $100K investment account and never touched it, the difference between an 8% return and 7% over twenty years is nearly $90K–almost the size of the original account. So if you can afford to pay your fees out of monthly cash flow, it’s pretty likely it’s in your best interest to do just that.
Much of the industry prefers that your fees feel sort of invisible to you. We prefer that you know exactly what you’re paying and why. And if your fees increase because you have more assets and more complex planning needs, we think you should specifically sign off on that increase rather than paying more without really being aware of it.
For clients who have smaller projects than a soup-to-nuts comprehensive plan, would rather not commit to $1500 or more over the course of a year, or are do-it-yourselfers just looking for a sanity check on their own plan, we do offer limited scope work at a rate of $200/hour. In these cases, we’ll quote you an estimate and secure your agreement beforehand, so you know what you’re committing to. You should anticipate that at least two of the hours quoted to you will include an hour to write a report for you and another hour to discuss it with you when we’ve completed the work. We’ll typically invoice you prior to scheduling time to discuss our report and recommendations.