Case Study: Too Many Funds

I recently had a new client contact me after they found me online.  The couple was considering leaving their current financial advisor because they felt that their advisor could no longer justify the relatively high fees he was charging.  In this post I’m going to explain what I discovered and how I helped them to clean up the mess. The Problem The clients were concerned because the performance of their accounts was well below what

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TIAA Traditional

Understanding TIAA Traditional in your Retirement Plan

If you’re fortunate enough to have a retirement plan through your employer managed by TIAA, your plan will have access to the TIAA Traditional Annuity option.  This is a unique guaranteed investment option only available from TIAA. Client interest in this guaranteed option is on the rise as the yields on short term bond funds have gone down to practically nothing, and the prospect of rising interest rates is causing fear that bond funds will

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Saving for College

The Best Low Cost 529 Plans for California Residents

Once you have kids, it hits you pretty quickly that it’s time to start thinking about saving for college.  At that point though, you’re probably too busy with more important stuff, so you end up putting it off.  In this post I’m going to introduce you to three good low cost 529 plan choices for California residents, and share which one I chose for my family. The first thing to be aware of is that

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Fee-Only Financial Planning

Why You Need Real Financial Planning

Real financial planning involves much more than just managing investments. True comprehensive financial planning looks at all aspects of your finances to understand how they all fit together. This helps you to gain clarity about your family’s financial values and priorities. Real financial planning is also about dealing with a sea of unknowns.  Life expectancy, careers, health, inflation, investment returns, are all involved.  The key is to make reasonable assumptions and then review the plan

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Financial Planning San Francisco

Financial Planning with Sensible Fees

Make financial planning more accessible by de-linking financial planning from asset management.  Offer fee-only financial planning for a sensible flat fee.  These ideas may not sound radical, but they represent a clear alternative to the traditional financial advisor business model. Challenging Sacred Cows The most common way financial advisors change for their services are fees based on percent of assets under management (AUM), usually 1%.  This means that a client with assets of $5 million

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