Burning Questions

In previous renditions of the Weekend Word we have discussed the various changes facing the industry and our general stance, and place with in them.  As these topics have become more prevalent more and more articles are being written about “Questions You Should Ask Your Advisor”.  So, we thought we would take the time today to answer some of those burning questions.

How will you be compensated?

This question is one of the ones everyone wants answered.  The bulk of the business we do is fee based, we charge a flat percentage on the assets in the account debited quarterly.  This is in line with the recent shifts in the industry and it is how we have been conducting business in this fashion for over a decade now.  We do occasionally do commissionable accounts when they make sense for that individual client.  In those accounts we are paid by the upfront commission and something called a 12b-1 fee that is paid by the fund.

Are you a fiduciary?

This is the mac daddy of them all and to put it matter-of-factly, yes.  Laurel Financial Group has been a Registered Investment Advisor since 1988 and, by definition, an RIA operates as a fiduciary for its clients. So, we have been functioning in this capacity for nearly thirty years.

Are we credentialed?

For those who don’t know credentials are those nice little letters that follow our names. To get them we have to go through rigorous testing and continuing education to earn and keep these designations.  As of right now Wes is both a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional (CFP®) and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®).  Mike is currently in the process of earning his Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®) designation.  I, myself am currently working on getting my Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®).

How long have you been a financial advisor?

Wes has over 34 years of experience.  I have been in the industry for 7 years now and have been an advisor for the last 4.  Mike has been with Laurel for just over 3 years and became an advisor shortly after joining the company.

Do we have any disclosures?

Anyone registered to sell investments must disclose any complaints, legal actions, terminations, bankruptcies and criminal/civil proceedings. Neither Wes, Mike nor myself have any disclosures.

How do we invest, what is our philosophy?

Well, this question is going to be a very simple answer.  Generally speaking we aim to do what is best for that client.  We don’t use models, we aren’t tied to a single fund company, we don’t use the flavor of the month.  What we do is take the experience we have between the investment and insurance realms and custom tailor a plan and portfolio that suits your needs.

That’s it, hopefully we passed the test! All in all, we hope this might clear up any questions you might have.  Should you have anything else you want to know or would like more specific answers feel free let us know.