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Frequently Asked Questions

If you're like me, you like doing a little online research before making an appointment with someone you've never met. That's why I've created this FAQ page to answer the most commonly asked questions I receive.

How do you get paid?

There are three ways we get paid: 

1. Financial planning fees- we offer Holistic Financial Plans, helping you make financial decisions in light of your full financial life, rather than one piece at a time. We set a fee for the work we will do based on complexity and the amount of time we expect to spend on your plan. 

2. Advisory fees on assets we manage for you- we charge an annual fee (which is listed transparently on our website) based on the balance of your account, charged quarterly. For example, if your account value is $100,000, our 1.3% annual fee would come out to $1,300/year, or $325/quarter. (This fee includes platform fees, sponsor fees, account fees, trading fees, and what we get paid to manage your account- no surprise fees here!)

3. Commissions- we occasionally offer investments that charge an upfront commission, which we will disclose. We also earn commissions for helping you purchase things like life insurance. In these instances, the insurance company pays us directly, and you do not pay anything extra for our help.

Do you have an investment minimum?

For new clients, we have an investment minimum of $250,000, which we reduce to $100,000 for clients who engage in our Holistic Financial Planning services. There is no investment minimum to engage in Financial Planning.

We wish we were able to serve everyone who wants our help, but we simply cannot provide the service levels we're committed to for smaller accounts. We do provide free education via our blog, email newsletter, and social media presence. 

Do you sell insurance?

We do offer insurance solutions such as life, disability, and long-term care, but only for clients who engage in our Holistic Financial Planning services. We cannot confidently recommend what type and level of insurance you should buy without fully understanding your financial situation. However, we would be happy to help you find another professional if insurance is all you are looking for at this time.

What are your qualifications?

Nicole has been serving clients as a Financial Advisor since 2015 and earned her AAMS® designation in 2017. She holds her Series 7 and Series 66 Registrations through LPL Financial, allowing her access to a large range of investments. She also holds her life and disability insurance license.

Our planning services are supported by a team of experienced professionals within LPL Financial, including CFP® holders. Our investment models are managed by teams of experienced professionals, allowing us to spend more of our time with our clients on their plans. 

How do you communicate with your clients?

I meet with clients in person or via Zoom based on what works best for the client. Clients receive a scheduling link so they can schedule a call or full session with me anytime they need.

Outside of appts, I am available via email, phone (360-453-6322) and a special client-only text number. I also have an admin team available via phone and email if I am not immediately available.

Are you a fiduciary? 

The fiduciary standard of care requires advisors to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own, and is legally binding.  As Financial Advisors, the fiduciary standard of care applies to advisory and retirement accounts, financial planning services, and any recommendations made through the planning process. 

Some advisors are held to the fiduciary standard on ALL they do as advisors, such as those holding the CFP® mark. Other advisors, such as those who are RIA-only, limit themselves to investment options that fall under the DOL Fiduciary Ruling, and therefore are always held to the fiduciary standard. Many of these individuals refer to themselves as a fiduciary. 

We could go RIA only and drop the license that allows us to help you purchase other investments that fall outside of the DOL ruling, and call ourselves fiduciaries. But we believe that we do best for our clients when we select the right tool for the job, not by taking tools out of our tool belt. For the occasions we offer investment tools that do not fall under the binding fiduciary standard,  we still hold ourselves to the standard of putting your interest first- it's just not a legal fiduciary capacity.

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