For a Complete Peace of Mind
Frequently Asked Questions
We know that interviewing a financial advisor is a challenging task. After all, your financial life impacts so much of your day-to-day and long-term goals.
From everyday cash flow to planning for the retirement of your dreams, your financial advisor will walk alongside you through some of the most challenging decisions you’ll face.
That’s why it’s critical to ensure you’re asking the right questions when meeting with potential financial advisors. Here are a few of the questions that we seek to answer for all new prospective clients, and other advisors should be able to answer, as well. We hope that this guide empowers you to make a decision with confidence.
1. Are you a fiduciary?
Yes. At Wealth Habits, we have a legal and ethical obligation to do what’s best for you. No exceptions. There are two standards of conduct that help financial advisors and their clients manage conflicts of interest: (1) fiduciary duty and (2) best interest.
Fee-only, CFP® Professionals who adhere to a fiduciary standard don’t typically lead with investments – they lead with a financial plan.
Fiduciary > Best Interest.
Fiduciary standards are more stringent than the SEC’s best-interest standard. Conflicts of interest are allowed under the best-interest protocol, but advisors must disclose them. In practice, this happens in the fine print.
2. How do you get paid?
You, the client, are the only person who pays fee-only financial advisors. We do not receive no commissions or incentives based on product recommendations. This method of compensation encourages objectivity because the planner is able to focus solely on your best interests. There are different methods of calculating fee-only compensation. Some firms charge a percentage of assets, others a flat fee, and others an hourly fee based on the actual amount of planning time used. Wealth Habits is a fee-only financial planner.
3. What are my all-in costs?
You can find our fee schedule here. Although what you pay will depend on your specific needs, we can provide you with an estimate based on the work to be done. We would charge a percentage of assets under management or hourly rates for our advisors.
Fees for financial planning and investment management are initially separated. By doing so, we align our fees with the choices consumers have. As your assets under management increase, we consolidate everything into an AUM fee. This reduces the complexity of billing and invoicing for us. Our fees are competitive compared to the industry.
4. What are your qualifications?
Gabriel Kaplan is a CFP® and a CPA. He has over +10 years of experience. Personal financial advisors can have a range of licenses and certifications. Those credentials tell you what type of education and training the advisor has. Credentials also help you with background checks; you can contact the credentialing organization to verify the advisor is still certified.
5. How will our relationship work?
Gabriel Kaplan will be your financial planner and main point of contact.
Some financial advisors work with their clients directly, and others have a team of people that work with them. Ask who will handle your account, meet them, and ask whether they work with professionals outside their own practice, such as attorneys, insurance agents or tax specialists. If yes, get a list of their names to check on their backgrounds.
6. What's your investment philosophy?
Our investment philosophy is determined at the client level through risk tolerance analysis. Wealth Habits has a natural inclination towards value-oriented investment philosophy is rooted in the belief that the greatest risk investors face is not day-to-day market volatility but rather the permanent impairment of capital, the primary cause of which is overpaying for assets. On the fixed income side, bond investors may benefit from actively managed funds (see research)
7. How Often Do You Communicate With Your Clients?
8. What Types of Clients Do You Specialize in Serving?
Comprehensive wealth management is a nearly infinite service. It ranges from something as important as calculating a safe withdrawal rate for retirement or designing a customized Roth conversion plan to something as small as computing the taxable interest paid by mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and money market funds which hold U.S. debt obligations for deduction on the state income tax return.
At Wealth Habits, we focus on retirement planning but maintain specialist training in tax planning, investment management, in stock compensation planning
8. What types of clients do you typically work with?
Some investment advisors use a minimum asset value as a selling point of their exclusivity. These advisor are often selling securities which are exempt from the regulations and disclosures required by the Securities and Exchange Commission unless sold to accredited investors. Not all investments using exemptions are bad investments. But being an accredited investor is not a selling point.
We believe that the basic principles of financial planning are the same no matter how many zeros you add or subtract.
When we accept a client, we aim to make the relationship a lifetime partnership and will strive to serve you for as long as we have together. We provide ongoing investment management services for our clients and investment advice for our clients’ families. As a result, our clients range from teenagers with a few thousand dollars in a Roth IRA to retired couples with millions of dollars. They include university professors and small business owners. They also include full-time artists and recent graduates from college. While most of our clients are frugal super-savers who have saved and invested to build wealth, some of our clients need help limiting their spending and living within a tight budget.
Our preferred fee structure, based on a percentage of assets under management, is intended to foster open door communications with our clients. Managed-account clients are encouraged to contact us throughout the year whenever they have financial questions at no additional charge. As fee-only advisors, the only compensation we receive comes from you, the client, allowing us to better provide unbiased financial advice.
Our fees are listed on Our Fees page. Clients who will benefit most from our services either have sufficient manageable assets or are willing to meet our annual fee for services. Although we recommend an ongoing relationship, we also offer an hourly fee for non-managed accounts and can quote a fixed fee to complete a specific service as needed.
If you meet this profile and are interested in considering our services, contact us. We look forward to meeting you!