Who do you work best with?
We work best with people who share our long-term patient and multi-decade approach to building and sustaining wealth. Our clients are people who have better things to do than obsess over their finances and are happy to delegate to someone that they trust. Many of our clients have never worked with an advisor before, and many have worked with an advisor but become disillusioned by an industry that has not put them first.
Who don’t you work well with?
If you think that beating the market is the most important part of financial planning, or you want us to engage in market timing or pick the next hot stock, then we are probably not a good fit for each other.
What is a fee-only fiduciary advisor?
You can read a good definition here. We define it as an advisor who can look into someone’s eyes and say “if this was my money, or my family’s money, this is what I would do’”. This is only possible if the way the advisor is paid is aligned to create the best outcome for the client. Unfortunately this is not the case for most financial advisors, because most financial advisors are incentivised to sell products and inherent in selling products is a deep conflict of interest between the advisor’s best interests and the client’s best interests. Our business is structured so that we eliminate conflicts of interest as much as we possibly can. You can read about our fees here.
What is the CFA?
CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst. The CFA designation is the highest distinction in the investment management profession. To become a CFA Charterholder you have to take three rigorous exams that require over three hundred hours of study. The CFA Institute writes that the CFA “tells the world you have the skills necessary to compete and excel in today’s complex and evolving investment industry”. Liberty Wealth adheres to the CFA Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct which sets the ethical benchmark for investment professionals around the world.
What questions should I ask a financial advisor before working with them?
We think that one of the most important things about the advisor you work with is that you feel comfortable with that person and you feel that you can trust them. All good relationships are built on trust. However, you should always ask yourself whether this person is qualified to provide the type of advice that you are seeking. You should question working with anyone that does not have a professional designation such as the CFA or CFP.
Do not be afraid to ask your advisor how they get paid because that is what influences whether you are likely to receive unbiased advice from the adviser that will be in your best interest. Jason Zweig has an excellent article titled ‘the 19 questions to ask your financial adviser’. We would be happy to answer all of those questions.
Where do you meet your clients?
We have a beautiful office in George Town above Bluestone Lane Cafe, on Fort Street. Our office is a relaxing, calm and comfortable place to hold meetings. We can do our best job when we have all our tools at our disposal so we do ask that you make the journey to us.
Do I have to pay for the first meeting?
There is no charge for a discovery meeting, during which we will determine whether or not there is a good fit between us. There is absolutely no commitment requested at the end of that first meeting. However, if we mutually decide to meet again, it will be at that second meeting where we make proposals to you around what we think you should do and clearly lay out what it will cost you. We then give you time to go away and think about it before deciding to sign on the dotted line. It’s a big deal and we want every client to be fully committed to entering into a partnership with our firm.
What can I do if your fees are too much for my income level?
We believe that everyone should have access to great financial planning which is why we have no minimum account size. However, we recognise that $290 a month is too much for some people to pay. We work with a number of families each year on a pro-bono basis. If you would like to work with us and get clear on where you are and what you should be focusing on, then email us at email@example.com. In your email please include: A little bit about you and your family; Your household income; Your assets – any houses you own, any cash in the bank or any investments you have; Your debts – your mortgage(s), credit card debt, student loans, other personal loans