We don’t expect you to have all of the answers.
That's why we’ve provided answers below to some of the most common questions we receive.
How long has FAI been in business?
FAI Wealth Management opened its doors in 1987 focused on combining world-class investment thinking with highly personalized financial planning. Our esteemed team has a combined 150+ years of experience in financial planning, investment analysis and wealth management. Today, we manage over $330M in assets for more than 200 families and we believe our longevity is a direct result of the highly personalized service we provide to our clients. As we continue to grow, our emphasis will always be on keeping pace with our clients’ needs and expanding our knowledge base, skill set and areas of specialization.
What brings clients to FAI Wealth Management
FAI Wealth Management is the advisor of choice for families impacted by significant financial events. While preparing for retirement is the most prominent impetus, many clients are changing careers, preparing for the sale of a business, facing divorce, the death of a spouse, or stock option deadlines. Others are primarily seeking active investment management.
What is wealth management?
We define wealth management as the integration of investment management and financial planning to help our clients achieve their personal goals. Whether it’s recommending an estate planning strategy or estate attorney, evaluating life insurance options or building a child’s college fund, we are with you every step of the way.
What is included in FAI’s financial planning?
We begin with a thorough review of the client’s balance sheet and ask a series of questions that help the client define and quantify their financial goals. Topics addressed include pre- and post-retirement cash flow planning distribution strategies, review of investment asset allocation and risk tolerance, insurance analysis, tax planning, legacy and estate planning and specific goal planning (e.g. education, travel, second home, etc.). FAI will refer clients to other professionals such as estate attorneys, tax advisors, and insurance professionals as needed. The exchange of information takes place over the course of 2-3 meetings. FAI continues to be available for consultation six months from the date of final plan delivery.
What is a fee-only advisor, and why is this important?
Since our founding in 1987, we have provided strictly fee-only financial advice. This means your advisory fee is our only compensation. We do not accept commissions, referral fees or any other compensation from outside sources. As a result, you can be confident the advice we provide is completely objective since our interests are aligned with yours. We are considered a fiduciary. FAI is a member of The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. NAPFA is the country’s leading professional association of fee-only financial advisors—highly trained professionals who are committed to working for the best interests of those they serve.
How often will FAI Wealth Management communicate with me?
At FAI, regular, proactive communication is a priority. Monthly, we provide a written summary of major trades in our profiles and their rationale, in addition to other valuable financial insights. Every quarter, we send detailed investment progress reports. Throughout the year, we distribute “The Blue Sheets,” our popular commentary addressing the global economy and securities markets. Several times a year, we host client events which include presentations on investment and financial planning strategies with lively question and answer sessions.
We see so many credentials in the financial industry. Can you explain the difference between a CFP® and a CFA?
Similar to the CPA credential in accounting, the CFP® and CFA serve as the gold standard for wealth managers. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, or CFP®, has completed two years of university-level financial planning coursework, three years of a peer mentored work-experience requirement and passed a 10-hour exam covering a wide range of personal financial topics such as investment management, taxation, insurance and estate planning. A Chartered Financial Analyst, or CFA, has passed three exams each of which requires a minimum 250 hours of graduate-level study focused on building strong investment analysis and portfolio management skills. The team at FAI includes both CFP® and CFA professionals with one common goal of providing comprehensive wealth management services to our clients.
How will FAI Wealth Management help me achieve my financial goals?
It is our MISSION to help our clients experience complete confidence in all aspects of their financial lives. We begin each new relationship by helping each client develop a detailed personal financial plan that quantifies their goals and builds from their present financial reality. Through this process, the advisor and client will determine a realistic investment return for their financial goals. We also discuss investment risk and agree on an appropriate balance of risks and opportunities in pursuit of each client’s personal goals. Throughout our relationship, we continually monitor and evaluate the plan to appraise the client’s progress and, as necessary, we revise it to accommodate changes in their lives.
Much of our savings is in my 401(k). How do you handle this?
Because employer-sponsored plans often have limited investment choices, we start your investment plan by working with those options, then we use the more flexible portions to create an overall portfolio balance that is appropriate for your situation within the current opportunities.
How do I get money when I need it and from which accounts?
Many of our clients receive a regular monthly distribution from their investment accounts into their personal checking account. To determine which account to draw from for the distribution, we consider the tax efficiency of each option and our client’s preference. For non-systematic cash needs, clients may utilize electronic transfers, an account-specific check book, or debit card to access funds in their accounts. All are easy to implement and we are always here to help.