At Ballast Point Financial Planning, we provide advice, not products. That is why we are a fee-only firm that does not receive commissions, kick backs, or any type of revenue from our vendor relationships. As a fiduciary, we always strive to put your interests first, thus our fees are very clear and transparent.
The only fees we collect come directly from you, the client. Whether we recommend an insurance product, a specific investment strategy, paying down debt, or getting your estate plan done, you can rest assured that we are making these recommendations because they are in your best interest and not to pad our bottom line.
What We Offer
COMPREHENSIVE FINANCIAL PLANNING
We will follow a three-step process to create a comprehensive financial plan that aligns your financial goals with your values.
1. First, we will understand what money means to you and how it fits into your life. Then we will organize your finances so you have a clear picture of where you currently stand right now.
2. Next, we will talk about your financial goals. What are your short, medium, and long-term goals? What are your dreams? We will work together to clarify your goals so that they are crystal clear and tangible.
3. Finally, we will create actionable steps to get you on a path towards financial independence.
This process is not something we do once and set aside on a bookshelf. Like physical fitness, your financial fitness needs constant attention throughout your professional career and beyond. But don’t worry, I will be there every step of the way to guide you and to make sure your money is working hard for you!
The investment to get started consists of an up front fee ranging from $500 to $3,000 (this payment can be paid in two installments) and a monthly fee ranging from $199-$499 (this begins after our first meeting) for ongoing implementation and support. Below is a guide for how we arrive at your up front and ongoing monthly fees.
Example Clients Include:
Example #1: You are a young family that just got married or had a baby. One of you works for a tech company and one of you runs your own small business. Part of your compensation is from company stock and you may have accumulated a large position that you want to diversify in a tax-efficient manner. You think you need life insurance, an estate plan, and to start saving for college, but you don't want to be sold something you don't need. You may have some cash sitting in your bank account, and feel like you may be missing out on some investment opportunities. Your one-time up front fee would be $1,999 (can be paid in two installments) and an ongoing fee of $350/month.
Example #2: You are a young professional a few years into your career. You are doing well moving up the corporate ladder and your personal finances seem to be getting more complex. You know the answers are out there, but you are looking for a professional to help shorten your learning curve and filter out all the noise on the internet. You also can't seem to make any progress on your student loan debt. Instead of pouring over personal finance blogs, you want someone to co-create a financial plan with and to come up with a plan to get your student loan debt off your back. Your one-time up front fee would be $999 (can be paid in two installments) and an ongoing fee of $250/month.
Note: There is no early termination penalty and you can cancel the monthly fee at any time. We would like you to commit to a one-year engagement so that you can see the results of our work together over time. We want you to be happy that you are paying your monthly fee and that you have us in your corner. However, if you "graduate" and we have helped automate your finances as much as we can, we will be happy knowing that you are on a good path towards financial independence.
2-Hour Ask Me Anything
What if you only have a few urgent financial questions and you need someone to provide an independent review? The "Ask Me Anything" session is perfect for you. Together we will tackle as many of your pressing needs as we can during our 120 minute meeting. I will follow up with actionable recommendations for you within 24 hours of our meeting. But before we meet, you will receive a link to a client portal to upload your financial docs and a survey to fill out so that we can be as organized as possible before we begin your meeting.
If you decide that you want to become a Comprehensive Planning client, you can apply the Ask Me Anything fee towards your initial planning fee.
Sample topics we have covered in the past include:
- Should I rent or buy a home?
- What investments should I choose within my 401(k)?
- How do I optimize my stock options?
- How should I tackle my student debt?
- How much should I put in my 401(k)?
- How do I get out of credit card debt?
- What is the best way to save for college?
- How do I prioritize saving towards my emergency fund vs. 401(k) vs. paying down debt vs. saving for a home?
- Where do I currently stand financially based on where I want to go?
- How do I get my spending under control?
- How can I minimize my taxes?
- Am I invested in the appropriate investment vehicles?
- Should I sell or rent my home?
- Help! I am totally clueless and don't even know what questions to ask!
Financial Planning By The Hour
Sometimes you may just have one burning question that may fall outside of the packages above. I also offer single engagements based on an hourly rate depending on the complexity of your situation. During our initial conversation, we will discuss the scope of the engagement and agree upon the services and fee. This option could be appropriate if you want to do a deep dive into your stock options or investment strategy. Depending on the situation, a deposit may be due. The deposit will be the lesser of either $500 or ½ of the agreed upon fee.
I believe that, for the most part, the market is relatively efficient. I don't think you can beat the market, but I do demand market returns for the level of risk we take in your portfolio. So I will help you carefully select investments that keep fees as low as possible while still maintaining broad diversification using low-cost index funds. You have worked hard to earn your investment dollars, so I will make sure those dollars are working hard for you. Before we invest your hard-earned money, we will discuss your goals, appetite for risk, and time horizon.
For financial planning clients, I do not charge any fees for investment advice. I believe you should keep your investment fees minimal and I partner with Betterment to offer diversified portfolios using Vanguard funds. Betterment charges a platform fee of 0.20%, Vanguard funds have expense ratios around 0.10% and that is it. No transaction costs, account maintenance fees, reporting fees, management fees, etc.