Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ

Answers to questions we are frequently asked by new clients.

What is financial planning and what does your process do for me?

Financial planning isn’t just the most important part of our process, it is our process. It’s what connects the dots between the numerous considerations involved with your personal finances: cash-flow, employee benefits, estate, investments, risk management, real estate, taxes, and more.

If you’re like most of our clients, you want to work with us because you’re facing a critical money moment — a change in your financial situation that’s important and deserving of serious consideration but potentially too complex and too time-consuming to navigate alone. Our clients continue to work with us because these moments occur consistently and frequently enough that a well-defined financial plan and ongoing guidance from your very own personal finance expert becomes indispensable and extremely valuable.

Our financial planning process is organized and thorough. While you’ll still commit time to the process, you’ll face far fewer dead ends in your decision making and have the confidence to move forward with the complex made simple. It’s through the lens of your financial plan that we provide you with actionable recommendations and aid you in implementing them, including the management of your investment accounts and the preparation of your tax return. 

How will my investments be managed?

That depends:

• If we manage your account(s) for you at TD Ameritrade, generally we will follow a process that matches your investment time horizon, tolerance for risk, and need for income or growth with a portfolio of low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs). We’ll create an investment policy statement for you that we’ll offer to review semi-annually, and we’ll strategically rebalance your account on a quarterly basis.

• We also have a sub-advisor agreement with Betterment. If you use Betterment, Betterment can tell you all about the process. In general, Betterment’s use of low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with a focus on the things you can control — like the amount of risk you take — aligns with our firm-wide investment philosophy. Our agreement affords our clients a discounted fee of 0.15% when using Betterment.

What about my 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan account(s)?

We will work with you to evaluate your available plan options and help you invest your account(s) consistent with your investment policy statement. Because plans vary from employer to employer, we’re generally unable to provide the same level of direct management that we would be able to otherwise. In all cases, we will do what we can to make sure that your investment portfolio is consistent with your needs across all of your accounts.

Will you prepare my taxes?

Yes. Income tax preparation is included for all comprehensive services clients at no additional charge. We consider your current and near-term future tax filing requirements at the beginning of our relationship and structure your services proposal accordingly.

What if I already have a tax preparer?

If you work with another tax professional, we’re happy to collaborate with them. Depending on your situation, this may create more or less complexity but, in either case, we’ll work hard to provide you an exceptional experience.

Will you help me with things like my budget or cash-flow plan?

Yes. We will work with you to properly plan your cash flow. We start by adding your information into our Budget Plan Worksheet. Then our team will analyze and develop recommendations for your unique situation to help you implement your financial plan and meet your financial goals. To help you keep an eye on your budget, we’ll also reimburse your subscription to the popular You Need A Budget (YNAB) app.

How often will you meet with me?

As a comprehensive services client, you will have access to unlimited meeting and consultation time, so the answer to this question can vary. We will proactively invite you to a semi-annual investment portfolio review and an annual financial plan review. We’ll also prompt you for additional opportunities to get together when you need more help and join you at other meetings important to your finances. Scheduling is easy — just find a time that works for you.

How do you determine what my fee will be, and how often does it change?

We base our pricing on the complexity of your needs and situation. The primary proxy we use for complexity is your investable net worth, which is generally your total net worth, excluding your primary residence. Your investable net worth includes the value of cash, bonds, stocks, mutual funds, rental real estate, and other business or financial interests. This aligns with the holistic nature of our comprehensive services.

We may also consider several other factors in determining the complexity of your situation. You can see examples in our Form ADV Part 2A, Item 5, under the section titled “Complexity.”

We review fees together with clients every two years.

What about a fee for investment management? You charge more for that, right?

No. We do not charge an additional fee for investment management for comprehensive services clients. We manage clients’ investment accounts at TD Ameritrade for no additional charge. Optionally, clients can use Betterment, and Betterment will charge a discounted annual fee of 0.15% of the amount you have invested with them.

Can you bill my fees to my investment accounts?

Yes. We are able to accept check, credit card, or electronic funds transfer for the payment of fees we bill to you. This includes the debiting of accounts at TD Ameritrade or Betterment.

How often do I pay?

Monthly or quarterly. Generally, clients paying from their cash flow will pay monthly while clients paying from their investment account(s) will pay quarterly.

How long am I locked into a contract? What happens if I cancel?

Our client agreements require no term commitment, and you can cancel at any time without a penalty.

• If you cancel in the middle of a billing period and you paid your fee in advance, you will receive a refund based on the number of days remaining in the billing period. If you pay your fee in arrears, you will have a balance due.

• If you cancel, your investment accounts with Betterment and/or TD Ameritrade will be seamlessly migrated to the Betterment and/or TD Ameritrade retail platforms, respectively (at then-current retail pricing).

• If you cancel, you will no longer be eligible to have your tax return prepared by Fort Collins Tax Service, LLC, for no additional charge.

• If you cancel, you will lose access to our personal finance learning modules, our client dashboard, and our financial planning app.

• If you cancel, you will no longer receive reimbursement for subscriptions to YNAB and/or Everplans.

Why do you need non-public, sensitive information from me when I sign up as a client?

We need your information because we’re required by our regulators to know who you are and we need to have at least a general idea about your finances as a starting point. Of course, we will let you know what’s new with us and send you our latest blog articles, but we will never sell your data to a third party or use it in any way that’s inconsistent with our privacy policy. Betterment and TD Ameritrade maintain a separate privacy policy, and you will need to agree to it if you invest with either.

How do you protect my information?

We maintain a data security program and policy that we’re very serious about. We always use encrypted means to transmit and store your data. In addition to vetting our vendors for adherence to industry-leading data security practices, we also carefully implement our user access, including procedures for employee and contractor background checks, the use of multi-factor authentication, and need to know standards for data access.

How do I sign up?

General

I don’t live near Fort Collins. Can I work with you?

Yes! We are able to work with clients in states where we are registered or exempt from registration. We are currently registered in the states of Colorado, California, and Louisiana, conditionally registered in the state of Texas, and exempt from registration in all other states. Working with Financial Planning Fort Collins, your search doesn’t need to be limited to the “best financial planner near me.”

Are you a fiduciary?

Yes! In fact, we are so passionate about our unwavering fiduciary duty to our clients that we have trademarked the term “Your Full-Time Fiduciary™.” Some financial professionals act as fiduciaries when giving advice about certain accounts or products and not others. To prevent confusion for our clients, we never “switch hats” in this or any way.

How do you get paid?

As a fee-only firm, we are paid by our clients and only by our clients. We do not accept commissions from any other companies for any financial product sales or for anything else, so you can be confident that you’re receiving advice that fits and can improve your life — not our bottom line.

Who do you work with?

Our Certified Financial Planner professionals have experience working with clients of all ages and backgrounds. We especially enjoy working with people who are experiencing a critical money moment — a significant financial change that requires careful planning and strategy along with ongoing implementation support and maintenance to make the most of a successful financial plan. Additionally, we have unique experience serving members of Generations X and Y.

Will I work with one person or a team?

You will have a dedicated Certified Financial Planner professional maintaining your client relationship and meeting with you. We use a collaborative approach to address our clients’ needs, so you may hear from other members of our team while we work together, but you will always have your dedicated CFP® pro involved.

Who is Fort Collins Tax Service, LLC? Why do I see that name sometimes?

Fort Collins Tax Service, LLC, is our legal-entity name. 

What’s with your logo?

In Fort Collins, a sight we see when looking toward the foothills is Horsetooth Rock. So the logo isn’t a blue umbrella but actually a silhouette of the rock formation that reminds us to go have fun outdoors.

Have a question we didn’t include on this list? Try the chat feature at the lower-left corner, schedule a quick, free intro call, or reach out via our Contact page.

MINIMUM ACCOUNT SIZE
The minimum initial investment for the Invest:FOCO platform is only $5,000 per account. This minimum can be met via transfer of an existing account or with new funds.
ANNUAL FEE
1.00% of assets under management ($100 per $10,000 managed). Debited from your account(s).
FINANCIAL PLANNING
Strategy:FOCO financial planning services are ongoing, and include unlimited phone, email, web and in-person meeting and consultation time. Pricing is based on the unique circumstances of each client situation. Generally, there is a one-time plan development fee ranging from $500 - $2,000 and a monthly fee of $150 - $500; cancel anytime. Clients utilizing investment management services with portfolios of $500,000 or more will typically receive financial planning services for no additional fee.
INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT
Assets Under Management (AUM)Annual fee as a % of AUM or flat-dollar
$0 - $249,999(See Invest:FOCO)
$250,000 - $499,9990.90%
$500,000 - $999,9990.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,9990.65%
$2,000,000 - $2,999,9990.50%
$3,000,000 - $3,999,999$15,000
$4,000,000 - $4,999,999$20,000
$5,000,000 or more$25,000 + $2,000 per additional $1mm
MINIMUM ACCOUNT SIZE
There is a minimum initial investment of $100,000 per Strategy:FOCO client household. This minimum can be met via transfer of existing accounts or with new funds. A client household may generally include accounts for a head of household, a significant other, dependents, and any controlled organizations or entities.

Minimums do not apply to inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service.
ANNUAL FEE
Assets Under ManagementFee as a % of AUM
$100,000 - $249,9991.00%
$250,000 - $499,9990.90%
$500,000 - $999,9990.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,9990.65%
$2,000,000 or more0.50%

inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service: $1,000/year or $100/month
MINIMUM ACCOUNT SIZE
There is a minimum initial investment of $100,000 per Strategy:FOCO client household. This minimum can be met via transfer of existing accounts or with new funds. A client household may generally include accounts for a head of household, a significant other, dependents, and any controlled organizations or entities.

Minimums do not apply to inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service.
ANNUAL FEE
Assets Under ManagementFee as a % of AUM
$100,000 - $249,9991.00%
$250,000 - $499,9990.90%
$500,000 - $999,9990.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,9990.65%
$2,000,000 or more0.50%

inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service: $1,000/year or $100/month
MINIMUM ACCOUNT SIZE
The minimum initial investment for the Invest:FOCO platform is only $5,000 per account. This minimum can be met via transfer of an existing account or with new funds. Invest:FOCO is currently available for Individual, Joint, Traditional IRA, and Roth IRA registrations.
ANNUAL FEE
0.65% of assets under management ($65 per $10,000 managed)
MINIMUM ACCOUNT SIZE
The minimum initial investment for the Invest:FOCO platform is only $5,000 per account. This minimum can be met via transfer of an existing account or with new funds.
ANNUAL FEE
0.65% of assets under management ($65 per $10,000 managed)
TAX PREPARATION
Invest:FOCO clients are eligible for a 10% discount on income tax preparation services offered through Fort Collins Tax Service, LLC. This discount applies to the base cost for return preparation as well as Schedules B & D. More details can be found here.
MINIMUM RELATIONSHIP SIZE
There are no minimums when utilizing inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service.

When investment management services are desired, there is a minimum initial investment of $125,000 per Strategy:FOCO client household. This minimum can be met via transfer of existing accounts or with new funds. A client household may generally include accounts for a head of household, a significant other, dependents, and any controlled organizations or entities. inStream proactive financial planning is then included at no additional cost.
ANNUAL FEE
inStream proactive financial planning as a stand-alone service: $1,250/year or $125/month

Assets Under ManagementFee as a % of AUM
$125,000 - $249,9991.00%
$250,000 - $499,9990.90%
$500,000 - $999,9990.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,9990.65%
$2,000,000 or more0.50%
TAX PREPARATION
Strategy:FOCO clients are eligible for a 50% or 100% discount on income tax preparation services offered through Fort Collins Tax Service, LLC. This discount applies to the base cost for return preparation as well as Schedules B & D. More details can be found here.
Monthly Economic Update
Stay in the loop with our Monthly Economic Update. It's a great way to catch up on the things effecting your financial plan in an easy to read and relatable format.

We promise to only use your name and email address for sending our Monthly Economic Update. We will not sell, rent, lease, loan, or use your name or email address for any other purpose, internally or externally. You can easily unsubscribe at any time.
Monthly Economic Update
Stay in the loop with our Monthly Economic Update. It's a great way to catch up on the things effecting your financial plan in an easy to read and relatable format.

We promise to only use your name and email address for sending our Monthly Economic Update. We will not sell, rent, lease, loan, or use your name or email address for any other purpose, internally or externally. You can easily unsubscribe at any time.
MINIMUM ACCOUNT SIZE
Minimums do not apply to always-on, real-time financial planning as a stand-alone service.

For investment management services there is a minimum initial investment of $125,000 per Strategy:FOCO client household. This minimum can be met via transfer of existing accounts or with new funds. Investment management fees are generally debited from the accounts to which they apply. Financial planning services are included for Strategy:FOCO investment management clients at no additional charge.
ANNUAL FEE
Always-on, real-time financial planning as a stand-alone service:  $125/month or $1,250/year

Assets Under ManagementFee as a % of AUM
$125,000 - $249,9991.00%
$250,000 - $499,9990.90%
$500,000 - $999,9990.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,9990.65%
$2,000,000 or more0.50%
Five Savings Secrets
Are you 30 - 60? Let us give you a few tips with our free white-paper: Five Savings Secrets. Then stay in the loop with periodic emails featuring relevant information on financial planning, investment management, and income taxes.

We promise to never sell, rent, lease, loan, or use your email address for any other purpose, internally or externally. You can easily unsubscribe at any time.
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FINANCIAL PLANNING
Financial planning services are ongoing, and include unlimited phone, email, web and in-person meeting and consultation time. Pricing is based on the unique circumstances of each client situation. Generally, there is a one-time plan development fee ranging from $500 - $2,000 and a monthly fee of $150 - $500; cancel anytime. Clients utilizing investment management services with portfolios of $500,000 or more will typically receive financial planning services for no additional fee.
INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT
Assets Under Management (AUM)Annual fee as % of AUM or flat-dollar
$0 - $249,9991.00%
$250,000 - $499,9990.90%
$500,000 - $999,9990.80%
$1,000,000 - $1,999,9990.65%
$2,000,000 - $2,999,9990.50%
$3,000,000 - $3,999,999$15,000
$4,000,000 - $4,999,999$20,000
$5,000,000 or more$25,000 + $2,000 per additional $1mm
ESTIMATE YOUR FEE
Your fee is determined by the complexity of your needs and situation. The primary proxy we use for complexity is your investable net worth, which is generally your total net worth, excluding your primary residence. Your investable net worth includes the value of cash, bonds, stocks, mutual funds, rental real estate, and other business or financial interests. This aligns with the holistic nature of our comprehensive services. You can use the chart below to estimate your fee based on your investable net worth. In some circumstances, your fee may be more than the minimums in the chart below.
Minimum Annual Fee Investable Net Worth (INW)
$4,000Up to $500,000
$6,000Up to $1,000,000
$8,000Up to $1,500,000
$10,000Up to $2,000,000
$11,000Up to $2,500,000
$12,000Up to $3,000,000
+ $1,000per additional $1,000,000 of INW
Critical Money Tips
Need some tips to help you tackle your next critical money moment? Stay in the loop with our weekly(ish) email!

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Critical Money Tips
Need some tips to help you tackle your next critical money moment? Stay in the loop with our weekly(ish) email!

We promise to never sell, rent, lease, loan, or otherwise use your email address for any reason inconsistent with our privacy policy. You can easily unsubscribe at any time.
Critical Money Tips
Need some tips to help you tackle your next critical money moment? Stay in the loop with our weekly(ish) email!

We promise to never sell, rent, lease, loan, or otherwise use your email address for any reason inconsistent with our privacy policy. You can easily unsubscribe at any time.
Critical Money Tips
Need some tips to help you tackle your next critical money moment? Stay in the loop with our weekly(ish) email!

We promise to never sell, rent, lease, loan, or otherwise use your email address for any reason inconsistent with our privacy policy. You can easily unsubscribe at any time.
Critical Money Tips
Do you have a cash surplus? Learn more what to do with extra money in the free-preview of our Teachable course: Sudden Money and Windfalls.

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Critical Money Tips
Are you here because of a big change in your finances? Subscribe for our PDF on 6 questions to learn the benefits of working with a full-time fiduciary.

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Inheriting Money Can Be Overwhelming.
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Equity Compensation Can Be Confusing.
Let us make it less complicated for you. Whether it’s a one-time award or ongoing compensation, we know how to help.