My Approach to Financial Advice
Cole Financial Consulting, LLC has provided independent, objective financial advice on an hourly-rate basis since 2009. I am no longer accepting new clients so the goal of this webpage is to provide you with information about my version of the hourly-rate model. Perhaps that information will help you in your search for assistance with your finances.
I am a financial fiduciary; my only allegiance is to my clients. My fees simply reflect the number of hours spent on their behalf. The time includes that spent in person, over the phone, via email, or behind the scenes. I believe the hourly-rate model provides an efficient, customizable and cost-effective way to work with a financial professional.
I used two approaches with new clients after which advice would be provided on an as-needed basis for as little or as much time as appropriate. Everyone's needs are different and can vary from year to year. I believe that hourly-rate advice provides the best flexibility to meet those changing needs.
My approaches with new clients were:
- The $traight Talk financial planning package is a two-hour collaborative working session augmented by another hour of preparation, analysis, and follow-up. At the meeting, we’ll prioritize your financial issues and address them one-by-one to the degree that time allows. Given its limited scope, a $traight Talk package enables you to have access to objective financial advice for a significantly lower fee than that of Project Engagements. For most clients, $traight Talk is a precursor to an ongoing relationship.
- A Project Engagement can revolve around a broad-based financial plan or be oriented toward specific areas needing attention. Project Engagements are rigorous and detailed. They include data gathering, assessment of your needs and goals, financial analysis, written reports, working meetings, and presentation meetings. Project Engagements involve fully-documented financial plans, such as Financial Action Plans, Cash Flow Plans, Retirement Income Plans, and Investment Portfolio Projects.
My hourly rate is $220/hour including applicable gross receipts tax.
What Does Hourly, Fee-Only Really Mean?
In the parlance of the industry, I provide advice on an hourly, fee-only basis. I am solely compensated by the fees you pay for the time I spend on your behalf. It's hourly-rate advice, a straight-forward fee-for-service business model similar in structure to the legal and accounting professions.
I do not sell investments or insurance products, so I don't take commissions. Nor do I directly manage portfolios to earn percent-of-asset fees. And I don't accept or pay referral fees. In addition, I am totally independent. I have no ties to any other financial firm, including money managers, broker/dealers, or insurance companies. And I never have minimums regarding investable assets, net worth, or income.
Industry jargon can be confusing. "Fee-based" is very different from "fee-only." Fee-based advisors are compensated by a combination of commissions, percent-of-assets fees, and --perhaps-- hourly or retainer fees. Also note that "fee-only" is different from "hourly, fee-only" as the former includes percent-of-asset fees.