Common Questions & Concerns

Common Questions & Concerns

1. Please tell me about the financial planning process.
2. How do you create this blueprint?
3. Sounds like a lot of work!
4. Who can benefit most from your services?
5. What is Fee-Only financial planning and why should that be important to me?
6. I understand the benefits of working with a Fee-Only financial planner, but I might need to obtain financial products. How will I be able to do that?
7. Does Clintsman Financial Planning provide only comprehensive financial planning?
8. My spouse and I are just beginning to build for our financial future. There is so much to learn! We need help and guidance to get started. Will you accept us as clients?
9. I have already accumulated substantial assets and think I am doing quite well. But as I progress and build for the future, things seem to be getting more complicated. I want to be sure I am on track, but I don't always have the time or inclination to manage the myriad details by myself. Can you help me?
10. I'm in charge of the retirement plans and employee benefits at my firm. I would like to increase the number of employees who participate in our benefit programs. How can you help us?
11. What types of securities do you provide advice for?
12. If I use Clintsman Financial Planning to develop a financial plan, am I obligated to purchase the recommended products?
13. Tell me about your investment philosophy.
14. How do you select investments for recommendation to a client?
15. How do you price your financial planning services?
16. How much will my financial plan cost?
17. Are your fees tax deductible?
18. Once my financial plan is completed, will our relationship end?
19. How can I get started?

1. Please tell me about the financial planning process.

Financial planning is a multi-step process that provides you with two important things: (1) An in-depth review of your current financial situation, and (2) a blueprint that shows you how to achieve your goals and objectives for the future. See Our Process for details on our unique approach to financial planning. It is important to remember that financial planning is a process . . . not a one-time event.

2. How do you create this blueprint?

First we focus on your goals, objectives, priorities, and values. For instance: the reduction of current and future income taxes may be an immediate goal, funding a quality education for your children and/or grandchildren may be an intermediate goal, and enjoying a secure financial future in your retirement years is likely to be one of your most important long-term goals. Another great goal in life for some people is creating wealth and/or leaving a legacy for your chosen beneficiaries or charities. You may already be on the road to meeting these objectives and simply need a new strategy, professional insight, or to fine-tune your plan. You may just be starting out, or you may be somewhere in between. Whatever your unique situation may be, everyone needs a periodic assessment of where they are on the road to meeting their financial goals. That's why we do an in-depth review of your current financial situation. Next, you need to know how you can set about achieving (or continue working toward) your financial goals. By focusing on cash flow, investments, taxes, pensions and retirement plans, estate planning, insurance issues, savings opportunities, and other general financial matters, we design a customized financial plan for you. Finally, to achieve the intended results, you must implement and monitor your plan.

3. Sounds like a lot of work!

It may seem like that at first, but the good news is, if you follow your plan and maintain a disciplined approach, you can rest easy knowing you can reach your stated goals. Clintsman Financial Planning tries to make the process as easy as possible for you. In addition to receiving professional advice on your most important financial concerns, we can also provide additional education regarding the implementation process, if appropriate for your needs.

4. Who can benefit most from your services?

Any individual seeking financial peace of mind can benefit from our services. We serve people at all income levels, from all walks of life. Clients have the flexibility to work with us on either a one-time, as-needed basis or an ongoing basis. We welcome clients who simply need a one-time financial consultation or a second opinion, as well as those who need comprehensive financial planning. In addition, any corporation or organization seeking quality, unbiased financial education for their employees or members can benefit from our financial education programs.

5. What is Fee-Only financial planning and why should that be important to me?

Because we are Fee-Only financial planners, all conflicts of interest regarding compensation are removed. We do not accept sales commissions; we work solely for our clients. Because we do not sell financial products such as investments and insurance, there are no third-party relationships or outside influences to taint our thinking and financial recommendations. In addition, we are Registered Investment Advisors (RIA); RIAs must comply with a host of regulations designed to protect the consumer. One important question you should always ask when considering a financial planner's services: May I please have a copy of your ADV Part II? This document contains important information about the planner's qualifications, fiduciary duties, history of any past violations, etc.

6. I understand the benefits of working with a Fee-Only financial planner, but I might need to obtain financial products. How will I be able to do that?

While we do not sell financial products, we will offer specific recommendations and opinions regarding the purchase of the various financial products that may be appropriate for you. So, if you need to obtain an insurance policy or a new mortgage, invest in a portfolio of mutual funds, or find an estate planning attorney or tax professional, we can direct you to the resources you need and/or help you obtain these products and services.

7. Does Clintsman Financial Planning provide only comprehensive financial planning?

No. Although a comprehensive financial plan can provide the greatest benefits, we can limit our advisory services to your specific needs, such as cash management and budgeting, investment analysis or college education funding.

8. My spouse and I are just beginning to build for our financial future. There is so much to learn! We need help and guidance to get started. Will you accept us as clients?

Yes. Some firms have income levels and/or net worth minimums but Clintsman Financial Planning realizes that everyone has financial needs. We are proud to work with people from all income levels, and all walks of life. Remember, you don't have to have a fortune to start building one!

9. I have already accumulated substantial assets and think I am doing quite well. But as I progress and build for the future, things seem to be getting more complicated. I want to be sure I am on track, but I don't always have the time or inclination to manage the myriad details by myself. Can you help me?

Yes. People who need more sophisticated financial planning or advice will find our services appealing and beneficial. If you are looking for a professional review or a second opinion to ensure you are on track, we can provide that as well.

10. I'm in charge of the retirement plans and employee benefits at my firm. I would like to increase the number of employees who participate in our benefit programs. How can you help us?

Corporate education is key in building employee participation. We can help your people understand the benefits of your programs. In fact, prior to founding his own firm, Bryan was with a large consulting firm where he was in charge of Employee Financial Education for the Texas region. Please call to discuss your specific needs. We can custom-build an educational program for your company.

11. What types of securities do you provide advice for?

We provide advice for a wide variety of securities, including mutual funds, stocks and bonds (as they relate to your portfolio holdings), bank deposits, and variable and fixed annuities. We also provide advice on mortgages, budgeting and cash flow issues, 401(k), 403(b) and other retirement programs, stock options, life and disability insurance, etc. If it has to do with money and finances, we can provide counseling, guidance and/or resources for you. Because we want our clients to know that they can call on us with any and all of their financial concerns, we use the slogan Financial Planning and Advice for Everyday Life. Clients are encouraged to call us when they have a major life event, such as a new job, a baby, a marriage or divorce, or if they are planning to buy a new home or start their own business. We also encourage our clients to call us with more common everyday questions.

12. If I use Clintsman Financial Planning to develop a financial plan, am I obligated to purchase the recommended products?

Absolutely not. We will offer recommendations which in our professional opinion will meet your needs and objectives, but you are under no obligation to purchase them, and we do not benefit in any way if you do purchase them. In today's competitive market, it makes sense to shop around for the best available product or service. For instance, if you need to obtain a life insurance or disability policy, we will suggest the type and parameters of policy, which riders and what amounts may be best for you. We will then direct you to a choice of companies that can provide a quality product at competitive prices for you.

13. Tell me about your investment philosophy.

We believe global investment markets are extremely efficient, processing information and pricing securities very quickly on an ongoing basis. As a result, it is very difficult to actively time the markets and consistently outpace industry benchmarks over an elongated time frame. Historically, financial markets have rewarded long-term investors who are able to avoid common behavioral pitfalls of investing i.e. chasing returns, overconfidence, confirmation bias, and loss aversion to name a few. We believe the best way to achieve long-term success is to work with the world’s financial markets, not against them. Therefore, we believe that investing in globally diversified low management-fee investments, avoiding market timing, and managing emotions, will increase the likelihood that one will achieve their long-term financial objectives.

We do not believe in the long-term success of picking single stocks, so our portfolios use mutual funds and ETFs. Our portfolio construction and ongoing management also looks to minimize transaction fees and taxes when possible, and manage tax gain/loss harvesting when possible to benefit the client. We also believe that evidence based investing has given a premium to investors who invest in smaller companies as well as those considered to be value companies. As such, our portfolios will generally have a “tilt” towards small and value companies.

14. How do you select investments for recommendation to a client?

As financial planners, we believe in the following fundamental principles with regard to designing an investment portfolio and making specific recommendations: The purpose of a client's investment portfolio is to fund current and/or future financial objectives. The design of the portfolio must take into account the client's financial objectives, timeframe, tolerance for risk, needs for current income or liquidity, and special considerations such as estate taxes. The appropriate allocation of investment assets for your goals and risk tolerance is the most important component in developing an investment portfolio. 

15. How do you price your financial planning services?

The fees are based on the actual time involved in meeting with you in person or over the phone, researching and analyzing your current situation, and providing specific recommendations. An estimate of fees will be provided at the end of the Get Acquainted Meeting, when your needs have been fully identified.

16. How much will my financial plan cost?

Financial planning fees are determined on a project basis; the total fee for a financial plan will vary from client to client based on the specific needs and complexity of your situation (please see Our Process to learn about our financial planning sequence). An estimate is provided after the Get Acquainted Meeting, when your personal needs are fully identified.

17. Are your fees tax deductible?

Only your tax advisor can make this determination, but Section 212 of the Internal Revenue Code permits an itemized deduction for tax and/or investment advice in the miscellaneous section of Schedule A. It is subject to a 2% floor of the adjusted gross income on a personal tax return.

18. Once my financial plan is completed, will our relationship end?

While the delivery of the written financial plan concludes one stage of the process, most of our clients choose some sort of Continuing Client Program. Because financial planning is a process, not an event, we offer ongoing services, periodic reviews and day-to-day consultation as requested and/or needed. We encourage you to think of us in the same way you might a medical professional: You can handle most of the everyday decisions, but when something more complicated or serious arises, it is best to consult with us. Similarly, we also recommend a yearly check-up for your financial plan, just as you might do with your medical needs.

19. How can I get started?

The first step is an initial inquiry from you. Call us at (817) 410-8200 or email us at info@clintsmanfinancialplanning.com. Clintsman Financial Planning offers an initial no-cost, no-obligation one hour Get Acquainted Meeting, either on the phone or in the office. For Get Acquainted Meetings, appointments are scheduled based on availability during regular business hours of 9-5, Mondays and Fridays. Expanded office hours are available to accommodate special needs or emergency situations. Should you decide to engage the services of Clintsman Financial Planning, we will discuss which of our services is appropriate for you. Most clients find the financial planning process to be stimulating and enlightening. The end result, of course, is greater peace of mind. We look forward to helping you build a brighter financial future!