My Approach to Financial Advice
Cole Financial Consulting, LLC provides independent, objective financial advice on an hourly-rate basis. My fees simply reflect the number of hours spent on your behalf -- whether in person, over the phone, or behind the scenes. I am a financial fiduciary; my only allegiance is to you, the client.
With any of the following arrangements, you get the information, analysis, tools, and advice you seek as well as the inspiration you need to make the changes that will help you meet your life goals:
- A $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. While structured to be self-standing, $traight Talk can be a precursor to a Project Engagement or Virtual Retainer. Learn more by downloading the $traight Talk flyer.
- A Project Engagement can revolve around a broad-based financial plan or can be oriented toward specific areas needing attention. Typical formal projects are Financial Plans, Cash Flow Plans, Retirement Income Plans, and Investment Portfolio Projects. A Project Engagement can also be structured as a series of working sessions to address your questions more informally. Project Engagements include data gathering, assessment of your needs and goals, financial analysis, written reports, working meetings, and presentation meetings.
- A Virtual Retainer is an on-going advisory relationship that is customized to provide the level of support and attention that is appropriate for you. This informal arrangement typically grows out of a Project Engagement or $traight Talk planning package and often includes periodic reviews directly related to our initial work. It usually includes the services typically offered by a retainer but for a fee that only reflects the actual hours involved.
With a Project Engagement, our relationship begins with an introductory phone call and a complimentary, no-obligation, get-acquainted meeting where we determine the style and scope of your project. With $traight Talk, we hold the working meeting after a no-obligation introductory phone conversation and my review of your completed questionnaires. Get-acquainted sessions and $traight Talk meetings are typically scheduled within a few weeks of your initial inquiry. Introductory phone calls can be arranged via the Contact page.
For most Project Engagement clients, first-year fees range from $3,000 to $5,000. Project Engagements are for a minimum of 5 hours and are typically much longer. Before a Project Engagement commences, we'll discuss the amount of time that is expected to be required, as well as what might enable time savings or require additional time. My hourly rate is $200/hour including gross receipts tax.
The $600 3-hour $traight Talk financial planning package efficiently serves clients who have more limited financial resources, have more targeted advisory needs, or who simply want to take a quick-start approach.
It’s easy to get started! Just visit the Contact page.
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 simply hourly-rate advice, a 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.