FAQ

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FAQ 2017-06-30T18:30:26+00:00
What is a fiduciary and are you one? 2017-06-30T18:31:15+00:00

Goddard Financial Planning is a fiduciary and our planners work with clients in a fiduciary capacity. This means we put your needs first. We act with professional prudence, we provide fair disclosure, and we avoid conflicts of interest. As a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), we are required to uphold this standard by Washington state regulations. We also voluntarily uphold the fiduciary standard established by The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. The fiduciary standard is the highest in the industry and differs significantly from the “suitability” standard which typically governs product sales.  CFP Board’s definition of fiduciary is: One who acts in utmost good faith, in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be in the best interest of the client and places the interest of the client ahead of his or her own.

How are you different from other advisers? 2017-06-23T22:11:02+00:00

We are first and foremost financial planners. We take a holistic approach to financial questions and “emphasize thinking through” and analyzing financial decisions. We provide our clients with the advice they need, when they need it.

What type of securities do you provide advice for? 2015-07-24T22:04:45+00:00

We recommend mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. We do not provide advice or research on individual securities such as bonds and stocks, although we can integrate existing holdings within current investment recommendations.

Once my financial plan is complete, will our relationship end? 2017-06-30T18:33:23+00:00

Once the initial financial plan is complete, all Goddard clients continue a relationship with our firm on their terms. This may include meeting annually, quarterly or on an as-needed basis.

Annual clients want to keep track of progress towards goals each year and make adjustments as required. This may include updating your cash flow, updating your current financial assets and rebalancing your portfolio. This is for clients who appreciate that financial planning is a process, not an event. These meetings are often pre-scheduled to ensure your planner maintains their availability for you.

“As needed clients” are always welcome to contact us when you are ready to rebalance their portfolios or perhaps have a major life change that want to discuss and review such as marriage, after a divorce, new children, job change, inheritance, etc.

Who is the best planner for me? 2017-06-23T22:11:03+00:00

Clients are matched with a planner based on planner availability, the client’s schedule, and client requests. You need to feel confident with the planner you choose as we build a trusting relationship.  Click the “Meet Our Team” link at the bottom, you may be drawn to one planner over another,  just let the Client Services Coordinator know who you feel would make a great match for you and we will schedule you with your choice of planner

What is the financial planning process? 2015-07-24T22:03:20+00:00

Financial planning is a multi-step process that provides you two important things: (1) An in-depth review of your current financial situation, and (2) a customized plan that shows you how to achieve your goals and objectives.

What is your investment philosophy? 2017-06-23T22:11:03+00:00

We are strong advocates of asset allocation and setting the percentage of different assets such as stocks and bonds within the portfolio. The allocation strategy is designed to match the client’s goals and risk tolerance and is the most important investment decision that an investor makes. An appropriate asset allocation enables investors to pursue a buy-and-hold strategy that limits trading and keeps costs low. We do not recommend buying and selling in response or anticipation of market movements. Rather we recommend diversified portfolios and regular re-balancing that can take advantage of long-term market trends.

How do you select investments? 2017-06-23T22:11:03+00:00

Our investment approach involves identifying both your short and long-term goals and recommending investments appropriate for each. Investment recommendations include actively managed mutual funds when these funds are the only alternatives offered by a client’s retirement plan. Portfolios are globally diversified to control the risk associated with traditional markets.

The investment strategies are custom designed for a client/household and based on a number of factors such as risk tolerance, age and other factors. Each client receives “Investing Guidelines” or an “Investment Policy Statement” as part of their financial plan.

Once I am a client, will you contact me if there is a correction in the stock market? 2017-06-23T22:11:03+00:00

Because you maintain control of your assets and value your financial autonomy, you will contact us if you have questions about what to do with your portfolio during a market downturn. As part of our planning process we take into account that there will be market corrections from time to time and we counsel our clients on the potential impacts to their portfolio.

My parents never needed a financial plan why do I need one? 2017-06-30T18:31:56+00:00

The need for planning has increased due multiple factors including longer life expectancies. It is increasingly possible that a 65‐year old could have a 30‐year retirement. How much money will that require?  Our financial lives have become much more complex, we face many more choices than ever before.  Many of us have complicated family situations with blended families, spousal support payments and Social Security choices never faced by our parents.  Professional advice and guidance that helps simplify the complexity and provide you with actionable steps. This is why you would come to Goddard.

Whether you are in the distribution phase and want to know how to make your money last or in the accumulation and trying to determine how much to save, a financial plan provides a path to follow.

How much does it cost to have a financial plan created for me? 2017-06-23T22:11:03+00:00

Our services are based on a project-by-project basis; the total fee for the financial plan will vary from client to client based on the specific situation and complexity of a household. A project estimate is provided at the end of the Get Acquainted meeting once your personal goals and situation have been fully identified. See “Fee Structure” and “Client Profiles” for more detail.

How do you price your services? 2015-07-24T21:59:32+00:00

Fees are based on the actual time spent on your project. We keep track of our time and work within the scope of work defined at your initial meeting. You pay only for the work you want, when you want it.

What is “hourly, fee-only” financial planning and why should that be important to me? 2017-06-30T18:37:59+00:00

Fee-only financial planners are registered investment advisors with a fiduciary responsibility to act in their clients’ best interest. They do not accept any fees or compensation based on product sales. Fee-only advisors have fewer inherent conflicts of interest, and they generally provide more comprehensive advice. (Forbes, 2012)
As Goddard is a Fee-Only financial planning firm, all conflicts of interest regarding compensation are removed. We do not accept sales commissions; we work solely for our clients. Because we do not sell financial products such as investments and insurance, there are no third party relationships or outside influences to color our thinking and financial recommendations.

In addition, our firm is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA); as such, we must comply with a host of regulations designed to protect the client. One important question to ask when considering a financial planner’s services: “May I please have a copy of your Firm Brochure (Part 2A of Form ADV)?” This document contains important information about the planner’s qualifications, fiduciary duties, history of past violations, etc. We would be happy to send you a copy of our Firm Brochure, or you can find it in the “Client Forms” section of our website.

What happened to Blue Canoe? 2017-06-30T18:39:20+00:00

We recently found out that we are unable to continue operating under this moniker. Disappointing? Yes. But moving forward has provided us an opportunity to explore and reaffirm our mission and goals. Our new name is 603 Financial, Inc. dba Goddard Financial Planning.