Answers to all your

Frequently Asked Questions

Imagine you go to the doctor, and the doctor does not charge you (or your insurance) at all.  Instead, the doctor is paid by the pharmaceutical company when you purchase a prescription.  When this doctor prescribes you a medication, would you trust that this doctor is acting in your best interests?  Fee-Only means that we do not sell any financial products for a commission, receive any referral fees or other revenue sharing.  Unlike sales-based representatives, a Fee-Only advisor is ONLY compensated by the client.

This eliminates many of the conflicts of interest so prevalent in the financial industry.

EA stands for Enrolled Agent.  Enrolled agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), have unlimited practice rights.

This means they are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before.

An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee.

Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.

NAPFA is the country’s leading professional association of Fee-Only financial advisors-highly trained professionals who are committed to working in the best interests of their clients.

Only about 2% of financial advisors have been accepted for membership (WSJ).

NAPFA insists that every NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor meet the highest competency standards. All NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisors must:

  • Meet stiff credentialing and educational requirements
  • Be primarily engaged as holistic financial advisors (rather than merely investment or tax advisors)
  • Meet the most rigorous continuing education requirements in the industry
  • Submit to outside professional review, to ensure that they do not have the conflicts of interest that commissions bring
  • Submit a financial plan for review by peers before they can be admitted

NAPFA-Registered Advisors must also sign a Fiduciary Oath.  See Robert’s here.

The CFP® certification is a voluntary certification; no federal or state law or regulation requires financial planners to hold CFP® certification. It is recognized in the United States and a number of other countries for its (1) high standard of professional education; (2) stringent code of conduct and standards of practice; and (3) ethical requirements that govern professional engagements with Clients. 

The CFP® certification process, administered by CFP Board, identifies to the public that those individuals who have been authorized to use the CFP® certification marks in the U.S. have met rigorous professional standards and have agreed to adhere to the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence when dealing with clients.

We focus on the investor’s return and chances of meeting their goals rather than trying to beat the odds and guess which investments will outperform. Similarly, time in the market matters more than timing the market.

Check out our investment management page for more!

Your investments will be held at TD Ameritrade or Charles Schwab as the custodian.  They are two of the largest custodians out there and are in the process of merging.  Provision Financial Planning is simply authorized to trade and service your accounts via a limited power of attorney.

Optimizing retirement income, lowering taxes and improving investments are outcomes that require ongoing work.  

Think of a pilot preparing a flight plan.  The destination is known and the general flight path is chosen.  Once airborne, the pilot must make many slight course corrections to arrive at the destination.  Without these course corrections, the plane can end up way off course.  The longer the pilot waits to correct, the bigger correction needed.

Even a very good financial plan needs course corrections.  It is almost certainly wrong a year later unless every single assumption came true.  We’ll help you make those adjustments.

Check out our service calendar.

By scheduling an intro meeting (no cost or obligation) and deciding for yourself!

From an expertise standpoint, people focused on retirement are usually a good fit, especially if retiring before 65 or self-employed.  

Beyond that, we’re looking to become your comprehensive trusted advisor.  The best way we know how to do that is with an ongoing relationship that usually involves investment management.

Our process is designed so you can properly evaluate whether or not PFP is the right firm for you.

You should have a fairly clear idea on whether or not we’re the right firm for you after the intro meeting.

Check out our pricing page.

No, but it usually makes sense for a few reasons.  The first is that some investment management is effectively included at no additional cost for ongoing financial planning clients. 

The planning fee is offset by any investment management fee. Let’s say a client’s financial planning fee is $5,000.  This client will owe $5,000 whether we manage $0 or up to $500k. 

There are also some tax benefits to paying the applicable investment management fee from a pre-tax account.


Still have questions? That's what our intro call is for!

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