Frequently asked questions

Aren’t financial planners only for rich people?

    • That is a myth.  Many people think they need to have a large net worth to warrant financial planning when the truth is that a financial planner can add a lot of value to young professionals who are just getting started, mid-career professionals who find themselves straddled in debt, and (yes) to rich people too.  In other words, financial planning is something everyone can benefit from.

How do you set your fees?

After assessing your current financial situation and the complexity of your goals, we set our fee using a sliding scale that increases with net worth/salary as well as the complexity of your situation. For example, a single young professional would typically have a lower fee than a blended family with children approaching college.

How do you get paid?

We get paid directly by our clients for planning advice.  We do not get paid commissions for anything.

Are you a Certified Financial Planner®?

John Quattlebaum is.  He passed the CFP® in 2006 and earned his certification in 2008 after completing his work experience requirements.

Do you manage assets?

We do not manage assets. We have partners in many specialties and would be happy to facilitate introductions if needed.

Do you sell investments?

We do not sell investments or insurance. We have partners in many specialties and would be happy to facilitate introductions if needed.

Do you prepare tax returns?

We do not prepare tax returns. We have partners in many specialties and would be happy to facilitate introductions if needed.

What am I paying for?

You are paying for holistic financial planning advice that coordinates the various components of your financial situation – investments, taxes, insurance, cash flow/budgeting, estate planning, education planning, etc.

What are the fees?

Fees vary by client depending on each client’s financial circumstances.

What services are included in the fees?

Financial Planning is a one-time fee and Implementation/Maintenance is a recurring fee that starts after the financial planning is completed.

How often will we communicate?

While we are in the planning phase, we will typically meet once a month.  Once we are in the maintenance phase we will meet at least every six months.  However, should something come up in between meetings, we encourage our clients to contact us should any circumstances arise that they feel we need to discuss.

How do we meet?

We meet most of our clients via Zoom.  Given hectic schedules, it is much easier and less stressful than meeting in person.  However depending on your location, in-person meetings can be arranged.

Do I pay you directly?

Yes, we accept payments by check.

What credentials do you hold?

John Quattlebaum is a Certified Financial Planner®.

How much experience do you have?

John Quattlebaum has been working as a financial planner since 2005.  You can check out his LinkedIn profile.

Will I be working with you on a long term basis?

Our hope is that we will build a long lasting relationship so that we are apart of your “team” as you grow and your life evolves.

Are you an accountant or bookkeeper?

While John Quattlebaum does have experience in both, he does not offer these services.  We have partners in many specialties and would be happy to facilitate introductions if needed.

How do I know if I need a financial advisor?

A financial advisor is someone who helps you buy and sell investments.  Sometimes financial advisors provide financial planning as well.  If you are looking for financial planning from a financial advisor, make sure you understand how they get paid for their financial planning services as well as all their services (commissions, referrals, etc).  Also you should find out if they do holistic planning or focus mostly on the performance of your investments.

Do you handle Estate and Trust planning?

We help our clients design estate and trust plans as part of the planning process.  However, since we are not attorneys, we do not draft estate or trust documents.

Are you a fiduciary?
Yes, as Certified Financial Planners® are bound to a fiduciary commitment.
How do you get paid?

We get paid in fees for advice.  Since we do not sell anything and do not have relationships with investment firms, we do not earn any commissions.

What’s your investment philosophy?

The biggest driver of your success is choosing the right asset allocation and rebalancing to it periodically.  We are strong believers in ETFs and Mutual funds to keep fees down and achieve diversification.

What asset allocation will you use?

That depends on your risk tolerance and how long you have before you need your assets to provide income for particular goals.

Who is your custodian?

We do not manage assets therefore we do not have a custodian.

How do you go about choosing investments for your clients?

We do not choose investments for my clients.  Most of my clients manage their own assets primarily because the bulk of their portfolio is in their 401(k).  For those with IRAs or brokerage accounts, we can give them pointers on how to select stocks or funds.  If their situation warrants, we will advise them to add an financial advisor to their “team”. We have partners in many specialties and would be happy to facilitate introductions if needed.

Do you receive commissions or incentives?

We do not.

How often will my investment accounts be reviewed and repositioned?

After we wrap up the planning phase and move into the maintenance phase, we will typically meet every six months.  At that time we will see if your asset allocation needs to be rebalanced or even changed to a new allocation.  

Where will my assets be held?

That is your decision.  We do not manage assets.

What is the process when it comes to planning?

View The Planning Process

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