“Help me understand …”

 

Lots of people have questions about financial planning.

Our answer? Keep it simple.

TreMonte Financial Consulting is a fee-only advisory firm and proud member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. NAPFA members must adhere to demanding practice requirements including fee-only compensation, professional designations, continuing education, comprehensive planning, and fiduciary commitments.

 

What’s a “Fee-Only” Financial Advisor?

NAPFA defines a fee-only advisor as one who is compensated solely from the client. Neither the advisor or any related party may receive compensation contingent on the purchase or sale of a financial product. NAPFA members cannot receive commissions, rebates, finder's fees, or any other form of compensation from third-parties as a result of implementing their investment recommendations.

What is the difference between fee-only and fee-based advisors?

Fee-only signifies that your advisor does not receive commissions or additional revenue from product providers. This eliminates any conflict of interest and bias when allocating assets and ensures that your advisor has your best interests at heart. However, fee-based advisors receive fees from you as well as commissions from selling products and/or have revenue sharing agreements with product providers. A fee-based structure, therefore, introduces unwanted monetary influence in the way your advisor manages your portfolio.

How are you compensated?

TreMonte Financial Consultants is a fee-only advisory firm.  We are compensated solely by the agreed upon fees paid by our clients. We do not receive any commissions, trails, kickbacks, or finders fees.  

What type of clientele do you serve?

Our clients are intelligent, kind, diligent and often times leaders within their industry. A TreMonte Financial Consultants client is seeking a long term professional relationship built on trust and on-going unbiased counsel. Many of our clients have had experience with self-management or with the traditional financial advisory sales model. TFC clients recognize the need for professional, objective, and competent advice to manage their finances successfully.

How do you service your clients on an ongoing basis?

We ask all of our clients to commit to a minimum of a bi-annual financial reviews. By adopting a holistic approach to financial planning, we manage and advise on all aspects of our clients’ financial situation, including but not limited to: tax planning, investment planning, retirement planning, insurance planning, education planning, and estate planning. In the event we are unable to provide needed expertise, we consult with our trusted affiliates, which include local CPA firms and attorneys. Because financial planning is an ongoing and dynamic process, we believe a regular communication schedule is paramount.  This allows all parties involved to adjust and optimize your financial situation as your circumstances change.

What types of investments do you utilize?

As independent advisors, we enjoy access to most publicly traded investment products. We work with our clients to determine which investment options are best suited to their unique financial situation.

What is the significance of the term “NAPFA-REGISTERED financial advisor?”

The term NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor indicates that a financial planner adheres to the industry's most demanding practice requirements, including Fee-Only compensation, and meets NAPFA's rigorous standards. We believe that through our NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor program, we have created the financial planning industry's clearest message about the level of responsibility and care that must be exercised on behalf of each client.

Why does this matter?

A financial planner who has a financial stake in the course of action that they recommend to a client faces an inherent conflict of interest and cannot be considered objective or unbiased. Unfortunately, the vast majority of financial advisors in the United States are sellers of financial products. Some or all of their income may be dependent upon their ability to steer their clients to a limited number of the thousands of financial products available today. (Putting aside the conflict of interest factor, this limiting of investment choices, in and of itself, often is enough to impact the quality of advice.) NAPFA believes many of the problems that beset Americans today in their financial affairs relate directly to the conflicts of interest that pervade the marketplace.

Tell me the difference between fiduciary and suitable.

Fiduciary is a standard key to client agreements with fee-only advisors. While acting as a fiduciary, your advisor must disregard other influences and act only in your best economic interest.  

'Suitability' lies within much more murky boundaries in which advisors are not upheld to the same level of dedication and commitment to their clients as fiduciaries.

Analogy: Suitability means selling a suit that fits you. Fiduciary duty means it actually has to look good on you, too.