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Frequently Asked Questions

How are you paid?

I only receive transparent planning fees invoiced directly from you for hourly work, or billed directly from accounts I manage on an ongoing basis for you.

No commissions or product sales here.

For ongoing clients, if we ever decide to part ways then we do so as friends and your accounts will not be billed for the quarter in which your accounts leave. Nothing is ever "locked in" and can always move.

What does it look like to work with you?

You can expect to meet with me in the Spring and in the Fall. This allows us to review your tax return in the Spring and strategize for the rest of the year. I prefer being proactive to prevent investment and tax-related mishaps from happening to you. In the fall, we can see where your income is at so far for the year and see what needs done before year's end to not miss any opportunities. 


What is your Investment Philosophy?

Our investment philosophy is built on four pillars.


1. Safety First  

Ensure your immediate financial needs are taken care of and don't take unnecessary risks in the market. If you are living off your investments, maintain at least 5 years of expenses in your "safety bucket" for protection when, not if, markets drop. Reducing the effect of market drops is extremely important to due the power of "reverse" compounding.


For example, a -20% loss actually needs a gain of +25% to break even. However, when we look at bear markets such as 2000-02 or 2007-09, the market can lose -50% or more, which requires a +100% gain to break even! This is why Safety is the first principle of Focal Point Financial Planning's investment philosophy. 


2. Markets Eventually Recover  

So buy low, sell high, and master your emotions to take advantage of larger market downturns while maintaining a long-term focus.


Remember, the "market" takes from the impatient and gives to the patient. 


3. Invest Efficiently 

Avoid unwarranted fees

Don't pay excessive taxes (it doesn't make you more patriotic)

Avoid overlap (e.g. don't own the same companies ten times via ten "different" funds)


4. Strategies Backed by Financial Science  

The investment process is based on an academically supported & market-tested framework. This framework is built upon two key concepts: 


-  The price you pay for something ALWAYS matters

-  Profitable companies are generally better than unprofitable companies (big surprise!)

Where will my money be held?

Your accounts will be held at Charles Schwab.

You will have your own login to access the accounts so you can always see what is going on. 

How will we communicate and meet?

Focal Point Financial Planning, LLC is a virtual-only firm.

We will communicate however you prefer between Zoom, email, or phone calls. 

Will you act in my best interest?

Yes; as a Certified Financial Planner I will always act in your best interest when making recommendations for you in your current situation. I will also inform you of any conflicts of interest as they arise so you can make better-informed decisions. 

Do I need to be in Utah in order to work with you?

Absolutely not. While I do encourage you to take a trip out to Utah and enjoy the great outdoors it has to offer, I work with clients all over the country.

What does your typical ongoing client look like?

I add the most value to those who are selling a business or property (i.e. have a large capital gain) or are preparing to retire. 

You are a professional in what you do, value your time greatly, and are looking for a financial advocate.

You are looking for someone who can help you spot areas of opportunity, or risk, that you may not be aware of or have overlooked.