How long have you worked as a financial planner?
I founded my own firm in 2015 and have worked in the financial planning industry since 2009. Prior to that, I worked as a CPA at Ernst & Young.
Who are your typical clients?
The majority of my clients are city-dwelling couples in their late 20s to early 40s. Many are building a family and navigating the financial challenges and goals that come with the territory, such as purchasing a home or saving for college.
Do you work with clients through one-time engagements or on an ongoing basis?
Both. All new clients work with me for a minimum of six months, during which time we’ll develop and implement a comprehensive financial plan. After that initial period, some clients choose to move forward with the plan on their own, while others prefer the ongoing relationship with Ford Financial. In either case, we design the engagement to suit your financial world and goals. (You can learn more on our Services page.)
Do you provide investment management services?
Yes, but I do not require that clients have me manage their investments. I’ve found that this flexibility allows me to tailor my services to the needs, preferences, and style of my clients. Whether or not I’m actually managing investments, I provide investment advice to clients (including specific investment recommendations across all accounts) as part of my comprehensive financial planning services.
What do you charge for investment management services?
Investment management is priced into the ongoing, flat monthly fee for comprehensive planning, so I do not charge a separate fee (such as a percentage of assets under management).
Do you have an asset or income minimum for clients?
No. Because I base my fee on complexity (and not a percentage of assets or net worth), I am able to serve clients without imposing an asset minimum. As far as investment management, I usually do not manage accounts below $25k, and instead for smaller accounts will help clients open and manage accounts at a low cost brokerage firm or a robo-advisor.
Do you do taxes?
No. However, as a CPA, I do develop financial plans and provide recommendations with an eye toward tax consequences and efficiencies. I often recommend a local CPA for clients who need a tax accountant.
What is the typical process for working with you?
Financial planning works best as a relationship. It starts with a conversation where we identify your goals and points of stress around money. We’ll then build a clear picture of your wealth and talk about what’s possible: how can we change your current circumstances to align with where you’d like to be in a year, 5 years, 10 years, and beyond? I create a detailed financial plan that will help you make progress towards your goals. We’ll tweak your plan and I’ll make new recommendations as life happens and we continue to move forward together.
Where is your office?
In Columbus Circle. For clients outside New York City (or upon request), I do virtual meetings.
Do you make money from selling products to your clients?
No. Financial planning fees paid by clients are my only form of compensation. I do not sell any insurance or investment products, nor do I receive commissions of any kind.
WHAT'S YOUR INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY?
I primarily practice passive investment management through index mutual funds or exchange traded funds. I help clients invest for the long-term based on their goals and risk tolerance. I am not a good fit for clients focused on stock-picking or “beating the market” or wanting active management. I’m a big believer in understanding what you’re investing in, so I aim to educate clients and make sure they understand where they are putting their money.
Passive investment management is characterized by low portfolio expenses (i.e., the funds inside the portfolio have low internal costs), minimal trading costs (due to infrequent trading activity), and relative tax efficiency (because the funds inside the portfolio are tax efficient and turnover inside the portfolio is minimal).
By contrast, active management involves a single manager or managers who employ some strategy or technique to construct a portfolio that is intended to generate returns that are greater than the broader market or a designated benchmark. Empirical studies indicate most active managers underperform the market.