Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need a financial planner?
For most clients, the biggest reasons to hire a financial planner are two fold. First, I have the expertise and experience to see areas of weakness in your finances that require attention. Second, I collaborate with you and hold you accountable to your plan. A plan isn’t worth the paper it is written on if it’s not put into action.
How do you get paid?
Stone Steps is a fee-only financial planning and wealth management firm which means that our compensation comes directly from the clients we serve. We do not receive commissions or kickbacks by selling products. To learn more about our services and pricing click here.
Who is your typical client?
Young families, professionals, and entrepreneurs. They are serious about saving and working to achieve their financial goals. They are looking for Stone Steps to collaborate with them, hold them accountable, and help them maximize their fullest financial potential.
I need help with getting out of debt, Can you do this?
If you are struggling to keep up with the demands of credit card debt or other personal debts, you may be better served by getting in touch with a credit counselor. The National Foundation of Credit Counseling can be a great resource to find a qualified credit counselor and see if a Debt Management Program might be a good option for you.
Who is NOT a good fit for Stone Steps?
Anyone who thinks I have a crystal ball to predict movements of the markets will not be well served at Stone Steps. Investments in client portfolios are utilized as a tool to help clients achieve their financial goals. If you want to win big quickly, go to Vegas. Investing in the markets should feel more like watching grass grow than standing at a craps table. Additionally, anyone who is averse to technology.
I’d like to learn more, what is the next step?
Schedule an Introductory Meeting by visiting my contact page. You can also reach me by phone or email, information for both is available on the contact page as well. If you aren’t quite ready to meet but you would like to keep in touch, please feel free to sign up for my weekly blog post at the bottom of the page.
Why do you have a blog?
I have a blog because I believe in the abundance mentality. I want to help as many people as possible make smart, more informed decisions about their finances. The blog allows me to share knowledge about personal finance that is educational and hopefully entertaining.
Do I have to come into your office?
I am happy to meet with clients in my office but at this stage of life, time is so precious that it can be very difficult to get away from the office, kids, or other commitments. Stone Steps services and systems have been designed so that all of the information you need to understand your finances can be found on your smartphone, tablet, or computer at any time. With this accessibility, we can easily have impactful conversations about your finances, by video chat or phone, without forcing you to come into the office and disrupt your routine.
Do I have to pay for the first meeting?
No. The first meeting is free and is not a high pressure sales pitch. This meeting serves as time to get to know one another and see if we can work well together. We will chat about your finances and goals from a 30,000 foot view, discover areas of opportunity, and discuss how we can move forward together.
What is the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation?
The CFP® certification is a voluntary certification; no federal or state law or regulation requires financial planners to hold CFP® certification. It is recognized in the United States and a number of other countries for its (1) high standard of professional education; (2) stringent code of conduct and standards of practice; and (3) ethical requirements that govern professional engagements with clients. – See more at: CFP Board
Why did you name your firm Stone Steps Financial?
I love surfing so I named the firm after a surf break just a few minutes north of my home. I live in a small beach town, Cardiff by the Sea. Additionally, Stone represents the solid foundation you will have once you create a goals-based financial plan and Steps represent the path forward as we work to achieve your financial goals in the years to come.
What is the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential?
The Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) credential is the most respected and recognized investment designation in the world. The curriculum covers academic theory, current industry practice, and ethical and professional standards to provide a strong foundation of advanced investment analysis and real-world portfolio management skills. A work experience requirement and an annual attestation to ethics ensure career long professional excellence by those who have earned the charter. (Source: CFA Institute)
Do you work with people outside of California?
Yes, our services and systems have been designed so that clients can easily work with us from any location that has an internet connection.