I am convinced that I want to work with a fee-only advisor, so how do you differ from other fee-only advisors?
Congratulations for identifying your key search criteria to be a FEE-ONLY advisor. You will likely also find – or should - that the FEE-ONLY advisors you are considering have the Certified Financial Planner designation. The CFP designation indicates a competency, by virtue of passing a certification exam, in all areas of finance related to financial planning. These are the minimums you want to be looking for, but we differ from other advisors in the following key ways:
- Broad Tax Expertise – All Summit Wealth Advocates advisors are either CPAs or Enrolled Agents, with education, specifically in tax. Summit Wealth Advocates advisors have practical tax practice experience.
- Investment Expertise – Summit Wealth Advocates has an Investment Committee that is made up of tax professionals and investment professionals to integrate net of tax solutions. Our Chief Investment Officer is a Certified Financial Analyst, which is the gold standard of investment management and indicates successful completion of three exam levels and a minimum of 4 years professional experience in the investment decision process. We have the expertise to help you plan for complex investment situations that include stock options, concentrated stock positions and optimal tax asset location.
- Firm Continuity – “What happens if….?” In our view, this is one of the most overlooked criteria when hiring an advisor, and the question no one wants to ask, but you should ask. If the answer is, “the custodian will take care of you,” do you think you will still have the deep personal relationship? Summit Wealth Advocates has a written succession plan. You will have a clear understanding of what the process will be in the event of incapacity or death. We are happy to review our continuity plan with you.
- Strong Team – We have an experienced team and believe that teamwork leads us to the best decisions for the clients’ success.