How Are We Different?
Have you seen the commercials for the large money management firm that state they are '"clearly different"? How are they different? Well, they say they don't charge commissions on investment products or on trades. And they don't have hidden fees. Oh, they also use diversified portfolios to spread risk. And the final differentiator: they are a fiduciary.
What's a fiduciary anyway? Simply put, a fidiciary has a legal obligation to put their clients' interests ahead of their own. Now, there are many 'financial advisors' who are not fiduciaries so this is an important distinction to note.
All this sounds great! But the reality is that they just described a large segment of the financial planning community, including us here at Aegis Wealth Partners.
What exactly is different about what they do? I'm sorry to say that its nothing, really. Its great marketing. Oh, but don't call them if you don't have $500,000 or more in investments such as your IRA (but not your current 401k. They can't get paid to manage your 401k). They drew you in, but gut punch you at the end. They're really telling America that the only ones who can afford or deserve "clearly different" financial advice are those families with money. Lots of it.
For example, if your net worth is $500,000 that will land you around the top 20% of wealthist Americans. Keep in mind,though, that net worth includes home equity so that number is even lower when we're discussing only investable assets. So, again let's ask the question, what's so different about a financial advisory firm that is ignorning at least 80% of Americans? You know the answer at this point. In fact, all those big national firms cater to the same demographic. If you don't have $500,000, don't call. Some might even direct you to a call center advisor if you don't have $1,000,000 to invest. Really.
How does a financial planning firm actually do things differently? Read on...
At Aegis Wealth Partners, we are turning the financial advice industry upside down. We know people are not just looking for advice on managing their investments. They want real, actionable advice on how to budget and to set financial goals. We hear questions like "Can I retire when I want?" "Will my money last?" "How can I save on taxes?" "Do I need a Will? And what is a Trust? Do I need one of those?" "How can I save for retirement when student loans are killing me?"
Do you need half a million dollars to work with us? Nope. While we can manage your investments, we work with some families without managing any assets. What we focus on is creating a personalized financial plan to make sure you're reaching your goals and avoiding the pitfalls along the way. You can learn more about the process on our Financial Planning page.
Families also want help planning for their kids' college education. They're not just asking "Should I have a 529 plan?" People want help with financial aid forms like the FAFSA and CSS Profile. They want help with negotiating financial aid award letters. They want help identifying schools that are generous in giving scholarships and grants. Check out our page on Late Stage College Planning for details.
Are those some of the questions you have? If you're like the majority of Americans, you probably do. We can help. And that's how we're different. Truly different. Don't worry though. We're also a fiduciary and we create diversified portofolios without charging a commission on investments or trades. Head over to our How Are We Paid page to see our fee schedule.