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.
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.
Who are your typical clients?
The majority of my clients are city-dwelling couples in their 30s to early 50s and navigating the transitional seasons and competing financial goals that accompany these years, such as purchasing an apartment and saving for college while also planning for retirement.
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 we develop and implement a comprehensive financial plan. After that initial period, many clients choose to continue the relationship through our Ongoing Planning services, while others prefer to move forward with the plan on their own. 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.
DO YOU MEET WITH CLIENTS IN PERSON OR VIRTUALLY?
Both. Clients in New York City are welcome to meet with me at my office in Columbus Circle. For clients outside New York City (or upon request), I do virtual meetings.
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.
HOW DO YOU GATHER FINANCIAL INFORMATION FROM CLIENTS?
I use several tech tools to gather financial information and efficiently deliver my services, which clients must be comfortable using. These include:
RightCapital for bank/brokerage account aggregation
Google Drive for file sharing and collaboration
AdvicePay for electronic payment processing
WHAT INFORMATION do clienTS need to provide?
After beginning an engagement, clients provide the following in advance of our first client meeting:
Two recent pay stubs
Most recent tax return
Statements for all investment accounts
Policy summaries for life and disability insurance
Employee benefits information
Linking bank and brokerage accounts through RightCapital
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.