FAQs

Why charge a Flat Fee for Asset Management?

Asset management is $6,000 per year per relationship.

 

We believe that a Flat Fee structure is fair to both the client, as well as the advisor.

 

Since our fees are fixed, and not tied to your assets, you will always know exactly what you are paying.  This creates complete fee transparency.  Conflicts of interest are also reduced since ThinkPlanSave has no incentive to “gather assets” under management to increase our fees.

 

Finally, a flat fee structure can also provide significant savings over time compared to a traditional advisor fee of 1% or more of AUM (Assets Under management) annually.

What is the account minimum for Asset Management?

The minimum balance for Asset Management is $300k.

 

There is no minimum for the Financial Planning Only service.

 

If you’re just getting started investing, we can help you open your own accounts at a low cost provider such as Vanguard.

Can I get help with Financial Planning without asset management?

If the majority of your investments are held in your current employer’s 401k, or you like managing your own investments, ThinkPlanSave can work with you.

 

We offer both a Comprehensive Financial Plan, as well as a monthly Financial Planning Only subscription without asset management.

 

If you subscribe to the monthly Financial Planning service, we can advise you on your outside accounts, however you will be responsible for executing any transactions.

How am I charged for the Financial Planning Only monthly subscription?

Financial Planning Only fees are subscription based and are paid directly to us.

 

Since all fees are subscription based, you may leave at any time.

What can I expect on a monthly basis?

ThinkPlanSave will gently nudge you along to accomplish your goals and keep you accountable throughout the year.

 

We are available for questions by email, text, or phone.  You can also expect quarterly scheduled check-ins during our first year together to make sure that you stay on track.

 

ThinkPlanSave will review all Asset Management client portfolios quarterly, and perform any required rebalancing and tax loss harvesting.

What does it mean to be Fee-only?

Fee-only financial planners have a fiduciary responsibility to act in their clients’ best interest.  Fee-only advisors have fewer inherent conflicts of interest, and generally provide more comprehensive advice.

 

They do not accept any fees or compensation based on product sales such as commissions on the sale of insurance or annuities.

Do you comply with the new DOL Fiduciary Rule?

Yes.  We act as a fiduciary and only act in a client’s best interest at all times.

I’m ready to leave my current high fee advisor.  What are my options?

Already working with an advisor?  Most people think that it’s a lot of trouble to fire their current advisor, but it’s not true.

 

When you decide to work with ThinkPlanSave, we will assist you in transferring over your accounts to our low-fee platform in the most tax-efficient way possible.

 

ThinkPlanSave will also provide you with a simple email template letter for you to sign and send to your current advisor to officially terminate the relationship.  Your old advisor will no longer be able to make trades in your account unless directed by you.

 

You will never need to speak with your old advisor unless you choose to do so.

 

Are you affiliated with a large well known national franchise?

ThinkPlanSave is completely independent.  With today’s internet technology, any size firm can have access to the same technology used by large financial advisor groups.

 

As a small firm we are able to offer independent thinking and a high level of customized service.  We are not required to promote any firm’s products.

Do you sell insurance or prepare taxes?

We do not sell insurance or prepare taxes.

 

During the financial planning process, we will evaluate your need for insurance and can assist you with selecting low cost insurance options.

 

Whether you are happy doing your taxes yourself, or you have a rock star CPA that you love, we can work with you.  If you need a recommendation to a qualified CPA we can provide referrals to local service providers.

Do I need to live in the San Francisco Bay Area to work with you?

ThinkPlanSave can serve clients locally or across the country.  Since we are a virtual practice, we meet with clients primarily online as well as traditional email, texts, and conference calls.

 

For clients living in the greater San Francisco Bay area, we will meet in person at least once during our first year together.

What is your investment philosophy?

Costs Matter – Keep investment fees low

 

Keep it Simple – Avoid unnecessary complexity

 

Index Investing – Capture the return provided by the market

 

Stay the course – Avoid psychological mistakes such as market timing and chasing past performance

 

Real Financial Planning – Planning and behavior are the key to long term financial success.  Save more for retirement and minimize lifestyle expenses.

 

Ignore the Noise – Focus on variables that you can control, ignore Wall Street, and enjoy your life.

What books do you recommend for someone to get started learning about investing?

“Common Sense on Mutual Funds” by John C. Bogle

 

“If You Can: How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly” by William J Bernstein

 

“The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing” by Taylor Larimore

Where do you custody client assets?

TD Ameritrade

I’m interested in learning more.  What are my next steps?

Sign up to join our mailing list and receive new blog posts and useful information by email or contact us through our email contact form.

What documents should I gather prior to our first meeting?

  • Last year’s Federal tax return
  • Homeowner and Auto insurance policies
  • Existing life insurance policies
  • Account statements for any investment accounts including any employer retirement plans
  • Employer benefits handbook
  • Current Social Security statement (a PDF can be obtained online)
  • Recent mortgage statement
  • Recent paystub
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