Financial Planning FAQs
What is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®)?
Licensed by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, CFP®s must complete an advanced college-level course of study addressing financial planning subject areas, including insurance planning and risk management, employee benefits planning, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning. In addition, they must pass the comprehensive CFP® certification examination and obtain at least three years of full-time financial planning-related experience. To maintain the designation, CFP®s must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years.
What is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?
CPAs must have achieved minimum college education requirements, minimum experience levels working in a CPA firm environment, and the successful passing of the Uniform CPA examination. CPAs are licensed and regulated by state boards of accountancy. In addition, in order to maintain their license, CPAs in the State of Indiana must complete 120 hours of continuing education every three years, and a minimum of 20 hours each year.
What is the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) Credential?
The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has established a credential for CPAs who specialize in personal financial planning. The Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) credential is granted soley to CPAs with considerable personal financial planning education and experience. A CPA/PFS is more than just a financial planner - he or she is a CPA with the powerful combination of extensive tax expertise and comprehensive knowledge of personal financial planning. In order for a CPA to keep their PFS credential, he or she must complete 60 hours of personal financial planning education every three years as part of the 120 hours of continuing education that is required to maintain their CPA license.
What is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA)?
As an RIA, Market Street Wealth Management Advisors acts in a fiduciary capacity when engaged for comprehensive financial planning. This means that, unlike traditional stockbrokers, we always put the interests of our clients ahead of our own interests.
Under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, any firm that is engaged in the business of providing financial advice for a fee is considered to be an “Investment Advisor” and is required to be registered with the appropriate federal or state agency as a “Registered Investment Advisor.” As such, Market Street Wealth Management Advisors is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
What is a fiduciary?
Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a fiduciary is any person, company, or association that renders investment advice for a fee or other compensation with respect to the funds or property of a plan, or who has the authority to do so. A fiduciary exercises discretionary authority or control over the management of a plan or the management of the disposition of its assets, or has the discretionary authority or responsibility in administering a plan. Importantly, a fiduciary is bound to always act in the best interests of the client.
What is the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)?
Market Street Wealth Management Advisors are active members of NAPFA, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. The country’s leading professional association of Fee-Only financial advisors, NAPFA is an organization through which Fee-Only financial planners and Fee-Only wealth management firms can further enhance their professional skills, market their services and become part of a collective, influential voice on matters that affect them and their clients.
What is a “Fee-Only” wealth management firm?
“Fee-Only” indicates that a wealth management firm is compensated solely by the client. Neither the firm nor individual advisors within the firm receive compensation that is contingent on the purchase or sale of a financial product or the referral to an outside professional. A NAPFA member firm or affiliate may not receive commissions, rebates, awards, finder’s fees, bonuses, or any form of compensation from others as a result of a client’s implementation of wealth management recommendations.
Why is Fee-Only compensation of critical importance?
A wealth manager or financial advisor who receives a personal or monetary reward for recommending a specific product to a client faces an inherent conflict of interest, which means he or she cannot be 100% objective and unbiased. Yet the majority of financial advisors in the United States sell financial products for which they receive a commission. Their business model requires them to steer their clients to a specific group of products. Fee-Only financial planners are not influenced by commissions, and the only compensation they receive is from the client. As a result, they’re able to base their recommendations on one thing: the best interests of the client.
What is your fee structure?
At Market Street Wealth Management Advisors our compensation is 100% transparent, so you know exactly what we make and the value we provide. All services are offered as a percentage of assets under management (AUM) and are billed quarterly, in arrears. It’s that simple. We receive no other forms of compensation from anyone. We work ONLY for you.
Where are managed accounts held?
Market Street Wealth Management Advisors is free to manage your assets regardless of where your assets are held. It is critical—for your protection and our own—that all assets are held with independent, third-party custodians. Note that, unless we arranged otherwise, all non-employer-related accounts for which you choose to grant Market Street trading authority are held at Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., a registered broker dealer. Your employer accounts, including 401(k), 403(b), Deferred Compensation, etc., remain with your employer-directed custodian but are managed by Market Street.
Do you have a minimum account size?
Our services are designed to enable us to work with any client that wants to build a strong financial future. While our Wealth Management and Investment Management services do have a minimum fee of $2,500 per year, we do not limit clients based on their current circumstances. Instead, we focus on your financial potential and how committed you are to working together to build wealth and achieve your goals. For those early- to mid-career professionals just getting started, we offer our Foundations program, which is ideal for those with less than $250,000 of assets to invest.
How do I get started?
Our advisors are ready to meet you! Set up a stress and worry-free consultation today