Frequently Asked Questions

1What exactly is a Certified Financial Planner® professional?
A Certified Financial Planner® professional (CFP®) is someone with a college degree, at least 3 years of experience and has passed a very rigorous examination. In addition, they are lifetime learners who complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education every 2 years.

Most important, a CFP® is someone who commits to an extended fiduciary standard. They agree to watch out for and make recommendations that are in your best interest. To assure that all advice is in your best interest, the CFP® professional will take time to understand your interest, your vision of the life you want to create and your goals.

2How long does it usually take to put together a financial plan?
Provided you are fully committed to the process; a financial plan typically takes 4 to 6 weeks to prepare. During the first meeting we will engage in exercises to help you gain a clear picture of your values and vision. Then we will send you home with some homework that will include gathering relevant financial documents.

At the second meeting we will dive deeper into your vision and identify a major overarching goal and the milestones you want to complete along the way. Also, we will verify that we have all the financial information we need.

The third meeting is the point where we start to connect your financial picture with your vision picture. We will look at the funds needed to accomplish your goals and develop strategies.

Once the plan is in place, we will meet to start the implementation. On-going we will stay in touch via the communication system that you are most comfortable with to monitor progress and make adjustments as the years go by.
3Does it matter if I don't have millions of dollars?
Financial planning, when done right, is about connecting your money to your hopes, dreams and passions. It really doesn’t matter if you have a million dollars – more or less. If you have a goal, even a fuzzy one, then you will benefit greatly by engaging in the financial planning process.
4I'm only 35 – do I really need a financial advisor?
The most common comment I hear from 55 year olds is, “Why didn’t someone tell me this when I was 35.” You want to get your finances in order and working for you at the youngest age possible. This will give the advantage of time to help you build your resources.
5How do I know what is happening with my portfolio?
Portfolio management represents about 10% of the financial planning work we do with clients. However, it is important to know what is happening and why it is invested the way it is. So, we send out quarterly reports that show you the performance of your portfolio and how it is invested. Then we meet with you in-person or via Skype to discuss what is happening in your portfolio. Our goal is to be totally transparent.
6How often do you meet with your clients?
Once the financial plan is in place and implemented, we meet at least once per year for a thorough review. We will be in contact at least once per quarter to check on progress and report on our activities. Communication is critical to successfully reaching your goals so we want you to contact us whenever there is a change in your life or your plans.
7Will I have online access to my accounts?
Yes. You will be able to monitor your investment account at the custodian website. Also, you will have a secure, online portal at Allison Spielman Advisors where you can upload information we need and we will upload reports to you.
8Can you work remotely with clients?
Yes. We realize that it is not always convenient to meet in person so we make use of Skype for many of our client meetings.
9Do I have to sign up for a certain period of time?
No. You can end your relationship with us at any time. However, we are pleased that the majority of our clients have been with us for over 10 years.
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