Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Here are some FAQs from the Certified Financial Planner Austin Houston Texas.

What services are offered? Is investment Management included?
We help Baby Boomers align their values, visions, and goals to create a comprehensive financial plan and investment management. We offer free assessments and socially responsible investing options. The comprehensive financial planning includes withdrawal planning, tax optimization, and income planning.

For investment management we will manage all aspects of your investments. We use TD Ameritrade as our custodian. Your assets are safely held there — we have limited trading authority to implement our mutually agreed upon investment plan.

We will manage the account opening, account transfer, funding, initial investment and the ongoing rebalancing, as well as all distributions. For the bulk of your investments, we’ll use Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA). We appreciate evidence based investing.

What is Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA)?

DFA is a mutual fund company based in Austin, Texas with principles based on academic research:

Research-based foundation.
DFA was founded 30 years ago with the goal of providing long-term value by increasing real returns.

History of “dimension” of success in real-world investments.
DFA has identified a few select dimensions of success that bring greater value to investors: higher returns with less risk.

Low cost.
DFA funds are in the lowest decile of mutual fund costs. One way cost is curbed is through the elimination of “star” fund managers with their associated high salaries. DFA has a repeatable, global process rather than individual star managers.

Smart indexing.
DFA avoids fads and focuses on the long-term “dimensions” of success. This produces a smart index that is not blindly tied to an index, and DFA allows drift and timing as needed. Truly smart!

How do you charge for your services?

Our services are offered on a fee-only basis. This means that you pay a clear fee for the services we deliver. We do not accept commissions or third-party compensation (no sales, no commission, no insurance, no annuities, no pressure).

What methods of payment do you accept?
For ongoing investment management, the fees are deducted from your investment accounts on a quarterly basis.
How are you different from the stockbroker I use?

Fiduciary responsibility and CFP® Professional
Independent Investment Advisor Representatives (IARs) have a fiduciary obligation to put their clients’ needs first all the time. In contrast, advisors employed at brokerage firms are held at a lower “suitability standard” (which is not a legal standard), under which a broker is supposed to recommend suitable investments. However, such brokerage firm advisors do not have to put their client’s needs ahead of their firm’s needs. In addition, I hold the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ designation.

Fee structure.
We rely exclusively on a fee-only model. This means that we do not receive any commissions or fees from any source other than our clients. In contrast, many brokers are paid via commissions. They have a strong incentive to suggest products that carry high commissions or loads, which may or may not be suitable investments. To be clear – we are commission-free.

Obligation to disclose.
Unlike brokers, IARs are subject to strict disclosure rules requiring that they provide clients with a Form ADV — which lists potential conflicts of interest — as well as their compensation practices.

We do not have financial relationships with any brokerage firms or money managers. We are therefore not obligated or compensated to favor or push any firm’s proprietary investment products.

Will my personal information be kept confidential?

At Hamilton Financial Planning, our relationship with our clients is our most important asset. We strive to earn and maintain your trust and confidence. This involves a commitment to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and security of your personal information.

We value client privacy. Therefore, we will never disclose any personal information to anyone unless it’s required by law, or at your instruction. Most importantly, we do not sell your personal information to anyone. For more information, please review our Privacy Policy.

How can I get started?

Schedule a Quick Call so we can begin getting to know you: your concerns, goals, hopes and plans for the future. Then, will be the Get Acquainted Meeting where will begin to learn more about your concerns and goals. Then, if we agree to move forward, we will begin the financial modeling and investing process.

Where is my money held?
Your accounts are held in your name, at an independent custodian who reports any transactions that occur directly to you. As long as you are a client, we maintain limited trading authority in your accounts, so we can implement, rebalance and oversee your customized investment portfolio designed to achieve your personal life goals.
Why Work With a CFP®?

Anyone can call themselves a “financial planner”, but only those who have fulfilled the certification and renewal requirements of the CFP Board can display the CFP® certification marks. In addition, to the following “four E’s” CFP®. Once certified, CFP® practitioners are required to maintain technical competence and fulfill ethical obligations. Every two years, they must complete a minimum 30 hours of continuing education to stay current with developments in the financial planning profession and better serve clients. Two of these hours are spent studying or discussing the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics or Practice Standards. In addition to the biennial continuing education requirement, all CFP® practitioners voluntarily disclose any public, civil, criminal or disciplinary actions that may have been taken against them during the previous two years as part of the renewal process.

Education: CFP® professionals must develop their theoretical and practical financial planning knowledge by completing a comprehensive course of study at a college or university offering a financial planning curriculum approved by CFP Board. Other options for satisfying the education component include submitting a transcript review or previous financial planning-related coursework to CFP Board for review and credit, or showing the attainment of certain professional designations or academic degrees.
Examination: CFP® practitioners must pass a comprehensive two-day, 10-hour CFP® Certification Examination that tests their ability to apply financial planning knowledge in an integrated format. Based on regular research of what planners do, the exam covers the financial planning process, tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance.
Experience: CFP® professionals must have three years minimum experience in the financial planning process prior to earning the right to use the CFP certification marks. As a result, CFP practitioners possess financial counseling skills in addition to financial planning knowledge.
Ethics: As a final step to certification, CFP® practitioners agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct, known as CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, that sets forth their ethical responsibilities to the public, clients and employers. CFP Board also performs a background check during this process, and each individual must disclose any investigations or legal proceedings related to their professional or business conduct.
When selecting a financial planner, you need to feel confident that the person you choose to help you plan for your future is competent and ethical. The CFP® certification provides that sense of security by allowing only those who meet the following requirements the right to use the CFP® certification marks.