Ever wondered how to find a financial advisor? Finding the right advisor can be really hard. Especially since advisors all tend to say the same things and make the same promises.
Here’s some information about me and my practice to help you decide whether or not I sound like someone you’d like to hire.
Who I Serve
Our clients range from those with millions of dollars to those who are diligently saving for retirement.
Many investment management firms pride themselves on having account minimums for new clients. I understand their perspective but my experience has taught me that filtering clients only by account size can lead to serving clients who are best served at another firm.
I choose not to focus on the size of the account but rather that the client is a good fit for how I operate. I enjoy having clients who are honest, open-minded and respectful of others. I like these kind of people – they are the kind of people that my family would love to have over to our house for dinner! I have found that when I work with people that I genuinely enjoy spending time with, the account size doesn’t seem to be an issue.
Most of my clients have a good number of the characteristics listed below.
- Desire wealth management strategies – not just investment products
- Value long-term personal relationships
- Have real goals and recognize that these goals are not achieved overnight
- Have expectations of realistic investment returns
- Understand that minimizing risk is more important that maximizing return
- Look to my firm for wealth management and not wealth creation
- Live within their means
- Are not looking for the next hot stock tip
- View Carroll Investment Management as the first stop for all financial advice
What I Do
I recognize that I cannot be effective at every area in finance. For that reason, I choose to narrowly focus on those preparing for, or living in, retirement.
For the other areas of financial planning, I use a team of allied professionals. These are specialist in fields such as law, taxation, real estate, debt management & estate planning. Most are not directly affiliated with Carroll Investment Management or LPL Financial, but having them as members of my extended team affords me the ability to specialize in one area while offering a comprehensive approach to your wealth management needs.
My normal services include:
- Retirement Income Planning
- Social Security Planning
- Investment Management
- Legacy Planning
- Long Term Care
Issues relating to retirement needs, but offered in conjunction with my extended team:
We’ve also been valuable in these areas:
How I Am Paid
I believe that my clients should have a choice in how they pay for my services. You can choose from:
- Fee Based Management
- Commission Based Management
- Hourly Consulting
Fee Based Management
In our fee based investment advisory programs, you generally pay an annual fee, charged quarterly in advance, based on the total value of the assets in your account at the end of the previous quarter. There are no additional fees for trading.
The fee structure applies to household assets and is as follows:
Commission Based Accounts
In a commission based account I offer transaction-based pricing in which you pay commissions, sales loads, markups/markdowns or other fees for each transaction. The amount of this charge varies depending on the product.
Hourly consulting services include specific financial problem-solving and consulting in various areas such as Social Security planning, retirement planning and debt management. The costs for hourly consulting are based upon an hourly rate, which is fully disclosed in a written engagement agreement.
- The interest of the client is at the core of every action.
I will make all decisions and communications with:
- Integrity-Honesty and openness with clients. The foundation of the
- Objectivity-Decisions should be made free of emotion and in our client’s best interest
- Fairness-Disclose all conflicts of interest. Treat others in the same fashion I wish to be treated
- Integrity-Honesty and openness with clients. The foundation of the
- I will explain concepts in language that is clear and understandable.
I will protect the confidentiality of my clients, ensuring that information is accessible only to those who are authorized to view it.
I will never stop learning. I will maintain a high level of knowledge and skill and apply it to provide services to clients.
I will be aware of my limitations and will consult with professionals who are proven experts in their field.
- Fees & Commissions
I will ensure that our clients are aware of
- how they are paying for our services
- how much they are paying for our services
It’s a fast paced and busy world. It’s pretty easy to feel overwhelmed by the flow of competing and contradictory opinions. My diligent, four-step process helps me design a customized financial plan that is right for you. It’s specifically created to help me understand what matters to you and then deliver an effective solution. Carroll Investment Management will be at your side as you identify your goals and aspirations. But I’m not just here to help you map your route, I’ll stay by your side throughout your journey.
Step 1) Discovery
Before I get down to crunching numbers, I’ll talk about the things that are most important to you – family, community, pastimes, health. I’ll ask a lot of questions about what you’re really thinking, feeling, worried about; your experiences with money; and what you’ve accomplished so far. Together, we’ll figure out where you are now.
Step 2) Planning
Based on what we discuss in the Discovery phase, I’ll assess your personal situation, gauge where you are now relative to your life goals and priorities, and consider what gaps exist. Together, we’ll weigh the financial implications of each goal and construct the framework for a plan that supports them.
Step 3) Solutions
A benefit of comprehensive planning is that it provides a top-down view of all areas of your financial life. During this phase, I’ll recommend specific solutions to help match each of your goals. This is where we implement your customized plan.
Step 4) Monitoring
Just when you make plans, life happens – and events large or small can change everything. The monitoring stage incorporates tracking systems to keep your plan on target. I’ll help you plan for the unexpected, anticipate change, and adjust your plans over time as necessary.
How I Communicate With My Clients
The relationship I have with my clients is built around a mutual respect. This respect extends to our communications with one another. I realize that I’m not the only busy person in the world. Most of clients are incredibly busy-even if they are retired.
After a few years of the “old school” method of phone tag and email exchanges, I began using an online appointment scheduler.
This accomplishes two things:
1. No more phone tag or needless email exchanges. As a client, you have a direct link to my schedule. Without the back and forth messages and missed calls, you and I can spend our time much more efficiently.
2. A scheduled phone call is time set aside specifically for you. My practice is client focused. My clients know and feel that but if they need to call they’ll often worry that they’ve caught me at a bad time. That’s not a concern when the time is scheduled. You’ll know that I have your information ready, account pulled up and ready to focus on YOU.
While I’m still available by phone or email, I strongly encourage the use of my appointment scheduler. You should see it on my sidebar.
Out of Town Clients
Technology sure makes things easier. For example, about half of my clients are in the Texarkana area. Most of them choose a traditional meeting in my office. The other half live all over the United States, and we work together virtually. Under this arrangement, we use web conferencing (like Skype), phone, and email to regularly communicate.
To ensure that my time is best spent handling the essential client issues, my firm has built a support system that takes pride in a “white glove” customer service experience. My full-time assistant is in my office and instantly available every day between 8 and 5. She is experienced, trained and highly qualified. For most administrative issues, she is more knowledgeable than me.
One other thing you’ll notice about our communication; there is a very limited use of big fancy terms and jargon. Occasionally, you may hear some of these terms and want to know more. If that’s you, visit our Investment Terms page.