You Ask, I Answer!
Who is AFP’s typical client?
While every client is unique, there are clients who benefit the most from AFP’s services. AFP’s clients are most often in the wealth accumulation phase of life and mid-career. They lead busy lives, often times working as a sole proprietor or small business owner. They do not have the desire or time to manage their financial assets the way they know they should, but they do have an interest in working collaboratively with their financial advisor.
What does fiduciary mean?
AFP is proud to have taken a fiduciary oath, which requires AFP to always act in their client’s best interest. Strict care is taken to ensure conflict of interests do not occur. Fiduciary standards are stricter standards than the suitability standards which are more common for the majority of advisors. Fiduciary standards require all recommendations to be in the client’s best interest whereas suitability standards require recommendations to be generally suitable for the client. Under the suitability standard an advisor may recommend a product which pays a higher commission or is required to be sold by their employer, even if there is a similar product in the marketplace which would be more beneficial for the client. AFP is obligated to recommend only the products which are most beneficial to our clients, every single time.
What does “fee-only” and “fee-based” mean?
Fee-only means the advisor gets paid only by the client and not by anyone else. Fee-only is often confused with fee-based. Fee-based advisors earn their fees through a combination of client fees and commissions, and therefore may have a financial incentive to recommend a particular product to a client. Most advisors earn a significant portion of their compensation through commissions, and in addition they may be required to sell their company’s proprietary products even if there is a more beneficial product available to the client in the marketplace. AFP is committed to recommending only the products which are most beneficial to our clients, every single time.
What makes AFP different from most financial advisors?
There are several distinctions between AFP and the typical advisor. The most significant is AFP is a fee-only, fiduciary advisor committed to providing premier financial services to clients in an affordable, transparent, and convenient manner. AFP has no asset minimum. AFP emphasizes financial education and empowerment for clients. AFP uses secure, cloud-based, industry leading technology to make financial planning and investment management accessible to sole proprietors and small business owners with complicated lives and busy schedules. AFP is a true partner with clients.
What is AFP’s investment philosophy?
AFP uses a client-focused, researched backed approach to investment management, which is fundamentally different than that pursued by most individual investors. It is not based on last quarter or last year’s performance, and it is not based on what is expected to happen next quarter or next year. Instead it is based on Nobel-prize winning research and discipline rather than hope, luck, market timing, or stock-picking. We favor low cost products such as index funds from Vanguard and asset class funds from Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA), which are diversified and low-cost portfolios tilted toward sources of higher expected return. AFP manages legacy investments, socially conscientious investments, and other client portfolio preferences as long as they are in line with AFP’s overall investment philosophy of low cost, sound investment products which align with the client’s Investment Policy Statement
Do I need to live in the Boston area to hire AFP?
Not at all! AFP uses industry leading technology which enables AFP to provide premier financial services in a location-independent manner. AFP conducts the majority of its business using a secure client portal on AFP’s website, videoconferencing, phone, and email. Clients find working with AFP much more convenient because travel is not required. But if you are in the Boston area we’d love to meet in person if you prefer.
Is it difficult to conduct business virtually?
Just the opposite! Clients find it much more convenient to work virtually with AFP. AFP uses cutting-edge technology to make the financial planning process as painless as possible, from online data gathering, a secure online vault where we can safely and securely share important documents, screen sharing abilities with clients, and convenient online scheduling. AFP’s industry-leading platform allows clients to easily access their accounts at any time, features robust features such as analytic tools which allows AFP to run dynamic financial models virtually with the client, all without the need to be in the same location.
My finances are an embarassment. Will AFP judge me?
AFP is a judgement-free advocate for you in your financial journey. If you had all the necessary time, financial resources and knowledge already, then AFP wouldn’t be able to provide much value to you as a client. AFP loves helping clients turn around their financial situations as much as we love providing needed services and support to those who are further along in achieving their financial goals.
I have a question about AFP’s services which is not frequently asked.
I want to learn more about my finances.
Empowering clients to be confident participants in their financial decisions through knowledge and technology is AFP’s goal. The AFP Academy page is devoted to providing relevant and timely information to clients in order to provide them with the best chance for financial success, all in a format which strives to be free from technical jargon and bias. If there is a topic you’d like AFP to research, let us know and if it’s relevant to clients AFP will be happy to add it to the AFP Academy.
The Next Step
“If you are facing in the right direction, all you need to do is keep on walking.”