An Interview with Deidra
Why did you become a financial planner?
A personal family experience was a primary factor in motivating me to become a financial planner. A few years ago my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor, already at an advanced stage when discovered. She and my dad, like many people, had not yet finalized their estate planning issues. But suddenly time was paramount.
I helped them find appropriate professionals who could assist in that process. I was especially touched by my mom’s inner peace in knowing that she was able to achieve some things that she wanted. Likewise, I saw what a difference financial planning could make, not only in monetary terms, but also in achieving peace of mind.
I had previously worked in a related field, property and casualty insurance, for 25 years. Over the years I had also been successful in investing on an individual basis. Friends and family frequently sought my assistance with insurance and investment-related issues.
So the combination of my personal family experience, my previous work and my interest in investing led me to make a formal transition to financial planning. I especially relished the idea of working with clients toward developing a plan that would help them achieve their goals, whatever the nature.
What is your educational and experiential background as it relates to personal financial planning?
I have been awarded the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ marks of distinction by the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Board of Standards. I completed the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER educational program through the University of North Texas and passed the 10-hour comprehensive exam covering all areas of financial planning. I have operated my own independent financial planning practice for the past ten years.
In addition, I worked for 25 years in the property and casualty insurance field, holding primarily personal lines related positions. During that time I worked with individual clients directly, with agents and with in-house underwriting staff on various issues as they affected individuals and families. I also achieved the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation during that tenure, as well as taught various insurance-related courses.
What are your financial planning credentials / designations and affiliations?
- CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional
- NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor
- Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter
What are your areas of specialty?
I offer a wide range of services, on an hourly, as-needed basis. Perhaps the services that clients most frequently seek assistance with are investment planning, including portfolio reviews, allocations and investment recommendations; retirement planning; and education planning.
Please describe your most common engagement / service provided? And the type of client or client situation you target?
I welcome working with clients from all walks of life, regardless of asset size, net worth or income. Clients may range from the new, relatively young individual to the soon-to-be retiree or beyond. The most commonly-requested services by my clients have been portfolio reviews/investment planning advice, retirement planning and education planning. Some of these clients may just be starting out toward building their future nest egg. Others are well down the path of accumulating that nest egg and thus seek more in-depth planning advice and reviews to make sure they are taking the best courses of action to achieve their goals.
Are you a registered representative of any broker/dealer?
Are you a licensed insurance agent with any company or agency?
Are you a registered investment advisor?
How are you compensated?
Fee-Only, please define method of determining fees:
YES, fees for planning projects are based on a flat project fee or an hourly fee tied to the actual time involved in meeting with you, researching and analyzing your current situation and developing specific recommendations. Fees for optional Investment Advisory Services are based on a percentage of client assets managed.
Commissions only: NONE.
Fee and Commissions (fee-based), provide typical breakdown: NONE.
Do you have minimums for assets, account size, annual fees paid, etc? And what is your typical fee or charge for an initial engagement?
I have no minimums as far as assets, account size, net worth, income or annual fees. Financial planning fees are determined on an individual project basis; the total fee for a financial plan will vary from client to client based on the specific needs and complexity of the situation. I will provide you with a fee estimate at the end of the Get Acquainted meeting, after your needs have been fully identified.
Do you provide a written agreement detailing the total amount of compensation and services that will be provided in advance of an engagement?
Yes, my standard client agreement for hourly planning projects will detail the scope of the project, in terms of the type of planning services that the client wishes to address, as well as a minimum and a maximum estimated range for fees.This fee estimate is provided at the end of the Get Acquainted meeting, when clients’ needs have been fully identified. Services provided and fees for Investment Advisory Services are also detailed in the written client agreement, which is provided to clients who wish to engage us for those services; the fee charged is based on a percentage of client assets managed.
Do you provide a thorough written analysis of one’s financial situation and recommendations?
Yes, I provide a written analysis and recommendations for the client’s planning project, tailored for that individual. I discuss my recommendations during a follow-up meeting with the client, and I also provide them with a written narrative in executive summary format so they can refer back to the analysis and recommendations after the planning project has been completed.
Do you offer assistance with implementation with the plan? Please elaborate.
I find that client preferences cover a wide range in this respect, so I am pleased to offer the flexibility needed with each individual case. My base hourly planning projects do not entail providing assistance with implementing investment recommendations. I am glad, however, to offer such assistance for a separate fee, which I will provide to the client on a case-by-case basis. Implementation for recommended investments is automatically included for those clients who wish to engage us for Investment Advisory Services. For all areas other than investments I refer clients to appropriate professionals in specific fields for assistance with implementation, as needed.
Will you provide a second opinion or one time review?
Yes, I am happy to provide a second opinion or a one-time review. Flexibility really is the essence of my services, in that I am proud to offer hourly, as-needed financial planning and advice. Of course, I am happy to work with clients over a longer time period, also, if they wish; the choice lies strictly with the client.