We differ from most of our competitors in several ways.

1. Fiduary Capacity

First, we are compensated by fees paid by clients thereby allowing us to work in their best interests and solely for them. In other words, we act in a fiduciary capacity when advising our clients. We have found many of our competitors receive the bulk, if not all, of their compensation (commissions) from products they recommend. At times commissions and compensation fees, may not be transparent to the client. It has been our experience that other firms work as a fiduciary for their client part of the time (they charge a fee part of the time) and also as a commissioned salespeople at other times. 

These advisors can be fee-based; which can be confusing to clients. In both of these situations, the individuals that represent these firms have an incentive to recommend high-cost products, such as whole life insurance, annuities and retail shares of mutual funds. Depending on the client and the situation either of the above methods of compensation is perfectly appropriate. In fact, in certain instances, commissionable products are the only route that can be taken, which can be entirely appropriate, if the recommendation is coming from an independent un-biased non-captive salesperson. Although our entity has the capacity to act as a broker for insurance we are truly fee-only for securities advisory services to the client. Our founder is critical in representing their Mission Statement in that the client’s best interests will always be served first and foremost.

2. Team-Based Services with Personalized Attention 

The second way in which we differ from our competitors is we work as a team for our clients, providing personal attention every step of the way. In most firms, each advisor has his or her own set of clients. While any two advisors in the same firm may operate in a somewhat similar manner, clients may receive two different levels of service as well as quality of advice. At The Art and Science of Successful Planning, all clients are considered firm clients and are counseled in the same manner and receive the same innovative level of advice and hands-on, courteous service. Each of our advisors specializes in a different area and works on the clients’ behalf in a concerted manner to ensure the quality of advice and level of service. Also, we take over the time-consuming task of managing client’s affairs among multiple disciplines both internal and external.

We are also eager to work with a client’s existing advisor(s) to collaborate and recommend strategies that address our client’s needs. Should a client need an advisor in a particular area that requires expertise we do not provide, (for example a labor or estate planning attorney, medical practitioner or accountant, if we were counseling a business or individual), we recommend a pre-screened professional to assist.

3. Customized Strategies

We further differ from our competitors in that we create customized strategies. One simple example is, oftentimes, our clients come to us with investments, which have a low-cost basis. I have found at many of our competitor’s firms, they would simply sell the asset(s) and fit the proceeds into their investment offering. We provide a comprehensive analysis of all tangible (example: Real Estate) and intangible (example: securities) investments as well as their tax ramifications would first take place and then be discussed at length. A strategy is then developed and agreed upon. If a particular security no longer fits the portfolio, a plan of attack is developed to liquidate. Typically, those investments with a low-cost basis would be whittled down over time, utilizing losses from other securities.

Not only do we have a number of investment management offerings, which can be tailored to each client’s needs, but we constantly look for new investment strategies to offer to our clients.