Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®)?

Licensed by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, CFPs 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, CFPs must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years.

What is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)?

CFA is a professional designation given by the CFA Institute that measures the competence and integrity of financial analysts. Candidates must hold a bachelor's degree, have four years of financial career experience, and are required to pass three levels of exams covering areas such as accounting, economics, ethics, money management, and security analysis. The CFA charter is one of the most respected designations in finance, considered by many to be the highest standard in the field of investment analysis.

What is an Accredited Estate Planner (AEP®)?

The Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP®) designation is a graduate level specialization in estate planning, obtained in addition to already recognized professional credentials within the various disciplines of estate planning. The AEP® designation is awarded by the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils (NAEPC) to recognize estate planning professionals who meet stringent requirements of experience, knowledge, education, professional reputation, and character.

What is a “fee-only” advisor?

A fee-only advisor is compensated solely by the client, with neither the advisor nor any related party receiving compensation that is contingent on the purchase or sale of a financial product. Diversified Asset Management, Inc., does 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 his or her planning recommendations.

Why is fee-only compensation of critical importance?

A financial advisor who has a financial stake in the course of action that he or she recommends to a client faces an inherent conflict of interest and cannot be considered objective and unbiased. This is true even if the planner truly believes that he or she has only the best interests of the client at heart. Unfortunately, the vast majority of financial advisors in the United States are sellers of financial products. Some or all of their income may be dependent upon their ability to steer their clients to a limited slice of the thousands of financial products available today. (Putting aside the conflict of interest factor, this limiting of choices in and of itself is often enough to impact the quality of the investment advice.) These advisors include stockbrokers, analysts, insurance agents, accountants, and attorneys, as well as financial planners. Many of their clients are not aware of their advisors’ dependence on selling products, or else they do not recognize its significance.These conflicts of interest have the potential to lead to mismanagement of debt, failure to protect retirement assets, and poor allocation of savings and investments.

What is NAPFA?

NAPFA, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, is an organization through which fee-only financial planners 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. Founded in 1983, NAPFA currently has more than 2,400 members nationwide.

What is the significance of the term, “NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor?”

It indicates that a financial planner adheres to the industry’s most demanding practice requirements, including fee-only compensation, and meets NAPFA’s rigorous standards. Through the NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor program, NAPFA has created the financial planning industry’s clearest message about the level of responsibility and care that must be exercised on behalf of each client.

What is your fee structure?

At Diversified Asset Management, Inc., our asset management compensation is 100% transparent, so you know exactly what we make and the value we provide. We charge a competitive asset under management (AUM) annual fee that is computed on the value of the assets we manage. Our fees decrease for larger portfolios and our complete fee schedule can be found on our ADV.

Do you have a minimum account size?

While our clients include a wide range of financial planning needs and asset levels, our services are best suited for clients with investable assets ranging from $1 Million to $25 Million.

How do I know my money is safe?

Our firm works directly with an independent third-party custodian, TD Ameritrade, and all of our client assets are held in protected TD Ameritrade accounts. We provide 24/7 access and visibility to your accounts via our online client portal. Your funds will never be comingled with any other investments.

How do I create my retirement paycheck?

For many of our clients, managing the transition into retirement is a key concern—whether that transition is months or years in the future. 

We want to make sure we help you feel understood and provide clarity through this process of choosing a financial planner to transition from working to retirement.

From managing current assets, to helping select and implement appropriate investment vehicles, to creating retirement “paychecks,” we serve as our clients’ Chief Financial Officer, removing the burden of day-to-day asset management from the “to-do” list.

The result: Our goal is that our clients have the freedom to focus on managing their careers, running their businesses, or enjoying their well-earned retirement. 

I consider myself to be financially savvy. Do I need a financial advisor?

Highly successful and disciplined people know that accountability is a key to success. However, many people with the knowledge and experience to manage their own assets will procrastinate when it’s time to make a decision. Often their own needs take a back seat to jobs or family. We add value not only by helping you develop a customized wealth management plan, but also by implementing, monitoring, and adjusting that plan to accommodate personal and market changes over time.

Can I use just one of your services?

We offer solutions using a collaborative and consultative approach, with the goal of simplifying your complex financial life. Typically, coordinating a client's investment portfolios and financial planning is the best path to achieving this goal. While the majority of our clients seek our comprehensive services, when appropriate, we are able to unbundle our services and provide individual services to meet your needs.