What is a financial planner or advisor?
Anyone can say that he or she is a financial planner or advisor. That’s why it’s essential to be sure of the qualifications and credentials of any “planner” or “advisor” before you pay anything or entrust them with your financial present or future. We offer a no-obligation Get-Acquainted meeting via phone or in person.
As a member of the Garrett Planning Network, we are well-qualified to help you with your financial advisory needs. Each is at minimum a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional — or in the process of earning that designation — and an independently registered investment advisor. That means that we have taken extensive training, adhere to a rigorous code of ethics, and are independently registered as an investment advisor with New York State. We adhere to the CFP Board Code of Ethics and Practice Standards and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors Fiduciary Oath.
What’s so different about Garrett Advisors?
Huguenot Financial Planning is a proud member of the Garrett Planning Network. Members of the Garrett Planning Network provide their advisory services on an hourly, fee-only basis. Members do not accept sales commissions or any compensation other than directly from their clients. We require no income or investment account minimums for hourly engagements. Clients pay only for the time an advisor works with or for them. Huguenot Financial Planning (HFP) offers services on a retainer basis as well. HFP can also provide corporations and organizations financial education programs for employees or members.
What does being a “fiduciary” mean?
A fiduciary is a person or institution given the power to act on behalf of another in situations that require great trust, honesty and loyalty. Fiduciaries are hired to act in your best interest and must set aside personal motives and conflicts of interest in favor of pursuing the best outcome for your unique situation.
Huguenot Financial Planning proudly embraces our fiduciary duty. Investment professionals who aren't fiduciaries are often held to a lesser standard, the so-called sustainability standard. This standard means that the products they sell you just have to be suitable for you, not necessarily ideal or in your best interest.
In many cases, our clients did not know that an advisor that they have worked with in the past was actually a broker who is a registered representative on behalf of a brokerage or insurance company. They were not provided with details on how much commission the representative would receive on the recommendations or if there were commission-free alternatives.
The issue is that while many advisors appear to be independent and the same to the general public, only independent fee-only advisors like Huguenot Financial Planning are legally required to act as fiduciaries to their clients. This means that the clients' interests have to be put first and the only compensation to the advisor comes directly from the client, not from hidden commissions or kickbacks from the mutual funds or insurance products they recommend.
What if I want or need to buy investment or insurance products? How do I do that?
We don’t sell products, only their time and our expertise. Yet we do offer specific recommendations and opinions on various products and services that may be appropriate for your situation, and in turn can advise you where to obtain those products or services. If appropriate and at your request, we also can help with plan implementation.
Does HFP provide comprehensive financial planning or simplified collaborative planning?
Both. The comprehensive plan involves a thorough financial review of investments and risk tolerance, retirement planning, insurance needs, budgeting and debt management, education planning, tax planning and estate planning. We typically schedule at least two meetings during the full service planning process and clients typically have their plans reviewed annually.
For returning clients, financial reviews are a “check-up” for your financial plan. Most returning clients have their financial plans reviewed annually. We update your reports, evaluate progress toward your financial goals, review your investments and asset allocation, and discuss any new financial topics or concerns.
Please click here for a summary of the planning process.
I already have substantial assets and am doing quite well financially – I think. Can you help me?
Yes. HFP offers many services for those people who need more sophisticated financial planning or advice. If a goal is to simplify your financial affairs, one of our Ongoing Client Programs may be right for you. Or, if you’re interested in a professional review or a second opinion, we can provide that, too.
I’m in charge of the retirement plans and employee benefits at my company and would like to get more employees to participate. How can you help us?
Education is key in increasing employee participation and appreciation. Huguenot Financial Planning can tailor a program for a company’s employees to help them understand the benefits of various programs.
Can you help me with any kind of securities?
Yes. We provide advice on all types of securities, including mutual funds, stocks, stock options, bonds, bank deposits, variable and fixed annuities, limited partnerships and tax shelters. We also provide advice on mortgages, budgeting and cash flow issues, 401(k), 403(b) and other retirement programs, life and disability insurance, and more.
What is Huguenot Financial Planning’s investment philosophy?
As financial advisors and investment consultants, we believe in the following fundamental principles when it comes to designing an investment portfolio and making specific recommendations:
- The purpose of a client’s investment portfolio is to fund current and/or future financial objectives.
- The design of the portfolio must take into account the client’s financial objectives, tolerance for risk, needs for current income or liquidity, and special considerations such as income and estate taxes.
- The important thing to remember is that no one can predict the future. Difference of opinion makes a market. Investment and economic “experts” provided with the same information often come to different conclusions. We do not suggest that we, or that any of the money or mutual fund managers that we may recommend, will make the correct decision every time. We do believe, however, that studying the historic trends and relationships of investment classes and the philosophies and approaches of successful investment managers can provide valuable insight.
- The appropriate allocation of investment assets for your goals and risk tolerance is the most important component in developing an investment portfolio.
- We believe that a diversified, well-balanced portfolio, combined with long-term buy-and-hold strategies, affordability and patience, increases the likelihood that one will achieve his or her long-term financial objectives.
How do Huguenot Financial Planning members charge for periodic financial advice?
HFP’s fees are based on the actual time involved in meeting with a client in person or via the phone, researching and analyzing that client’s current situation, and providing specific recommendations and implementation assistance (if appropriate). Prospective clients are given firm quotes of their estimated fees at the end of an initial no-obligation Get Acquainted session.
Are Huguenot Financial Planning advisor fees tax deductible?
No, they are not. Unfortunately, the recent revamp of the U.S. tax code has removed this potential tax deduction.
Once my financial plan or project is finished, will our relationship end?
No, only that engagement will cease. It’s up to you to contact us as further needs arise. However, we believe that good fiscal health requires periodic reviews of your personal finances by a qualified financial advisor.