Helping You Make Wise Financial Decisions

My Approach to Financial Advice

Cole Financial Consulting, LLC provides independent, objective financial advice on an hourly-rate basis. I am a financial fiduciary; my only allegiance is to you, the client. My fees simply reflect the number of hours spent on your behalf in the context of the advisory choices shown below. The time includes that spent in person, over the phone, via email, or behind the scenes.

Advisory Choices

With either of the following choices, 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:

  • 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. Learn more by downloading the $traight Talk flyer.
  • 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.

Following either of these approaches, you have access to my services at the level of support and attention that is appropriate for you. I am a resource to you on an as-needed basis. An ongoing relationship typically includes periodic reviews directly related to our initial work, as well as answers to your miscellaneous financial questions when they arise.  The fee simply reflects my hourly rate for the time I spend on your behalf, whether spent via email, phone, in person, on analytical tasks, or on detailed follow-up projects.

First Steps

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 complimentary, no-obligation introductory phone conversation and my review of your completed questionnaires. Introductory phone calls can be arranged via the Contact page. Do know, however, that I am only able to accept a handful of new clients this year with a wait of up to several months.


Project Engagements are for a minimum of 8 hours and are often 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.

The $800 3-hour $traight Talk financial planning package efficiently serves clients who have limited financial resources or targeted advisory needs, or who just want a quick-start way of working together on miscellaneous topics. $traight Talk is also the launching pad for an ongoing relationship.

My hourly rate for Project Engagements and for work following a $traight Talk package is $220/hour including applicable gross receipts tax.

Getting Started

If you'd like to discuss the possibility of us working together, simply visit the Contact page. I am accepting new clients on a limited and selective basis, with a lead time of several months. 


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.