Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is financial planning?

2. What is the difference between a financial advisor and a Certified Financial Plannerô professional?

3. How can a Certified Financial Planner help me?

4. Who can benefit most from your services?

5. Don't I need to have significant assets to get a good advisor?

6. What's so different about MTR Financial Services, LLC?

7. Do you provide only comprehensive financial planning?

8. My spouse and I need help and guidance getting started.

9. I already have substantial assets and am doing quite well financially--I think. Can you help me?

10. What if I want or need to buy investment or insurance products? How do I do that?

11. I'm in charge of the retirement plans and employee benefits at my company and would like to get more employees to participate. How can you help us?

12. Can you help me with different kinds of securities?

13. What is your investment philosophy?

14. How do you select investments for a client?

15. If I use MTR Financial Services, LLC to develop a financial plan, am I obligated to purchase the recommended products?

16. How do you charge for your financial advisory services?

17. Are your fees tax-deductible?

18. Once my financial plan or project is finished, will our relationship end?

19. How do I get started?

 1. What is financial planning?

Done right, financial planning is a process that helps you figure out where you are financially today and where you want to be in the future, and then helps you determine the best way to get there.

At MTR Financial Services, LLC the process involves an initial in-depth review of your current financial situation, and then the creation of a blueprint on how to achieve your future goals and objectives.

 2. What is the difference between a financial advisor and a Certified Financial Plannerô professional?

The government does not strictly regulate the use of the term financial planner. However, this may be changing in the near future. Currently, it classifies and regulates advisors as brokers, insurance agents or investment advisers, depending on the services they provide. As a result anybody can call himself or herself a financial planner, but not a Certified Financial Planner. A Certified Financial Planner is held to a much higher fiduciary standard in their dealing with clients and must abide by a strict Code of Ethics to work in your best interests at all times. Also, in order to work on a fee only basis, an advisor must be a Registered Investment Advisor and must be formally registered with either the state he or she is doing business or the Securities & Exchange Commission. The formal education of a Certified Financial Planner normally requires two years of study or more and the applicant must pass a 2 day 10 hour exam to become Certified. After the planner is Certified by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, they must complete 30 hours every two years of continuing education. A Certified Financial Planner is trained to assist you with every aspect of your financial life, not just investment planning or insurance planning.

Most financial advisors you'll encounter are not Certified Financial Planners or Registered Investment Advisors. They typically have a Series 7 or Series 6 securities license and/or insurance licenses that allows them to sell investment and insurance products and work as a Registered Representative for a brokerage company on commission for product sales. The licensing process of a Series 7, Series 6 and insurance license can be completed normally within a few months of study and is not nearly as comprehensive as the Certified Financial Planner program.

 3. How can a Certified Financial Planner help me?

Any one, any age, looking for help in reaching their financial goals and financial peace of mind can benefit from working with a good Certified Financial Planner as needed or on a regular basis.

Each individual's situation is unique. Someone just starting out may need a long-term plan of action, while someone else already on the road to achieving their goals may just need help with an important decision, a review of their situation, or a second opinion on other advice they have received. That's why we custom tailor our services to meet each client's individual needs.

Goals can be short-, intermediate-, or long-term. For example, reducing current income tax liabilities is a short-term goal, while funding a child's education may be intermediate-term, and enjoying a secure financial retirement a longer-term goal.

By focusing on cash flow, investments, taxes, retirement plans, estate planning, insurance issues, savings opportunities, and other general financial matters, we can design a customized financial plan for you.

 4. Who can benefit most from your services?

Any individual or family seeking financial peace of mind can benefit from our services. We serve people at all income levels and from all walks of life. We welcome clients who simply need a one-time financial consultation or second opinion, as well as those who need comprehensive financial planning and perhaps on-going services as well. In addition, any corporation or organization seeking quality, unbiased financial education for their employees or staff can benefit from our financial education programs.

 5. Don't I need to have significant assets to get a good advisor?

No. Unlike many other advisors who have minimum asset or income requirements, we have no minimum requirements for hourly engagements.

 6. What's so different about MTR Financial Services, LLC?

We provide our advisory services on an hourly, fee-only basis. We do not accept sales commissions or any compensation other than directly from our clients. Clients pay only for the time we work for them. Click on The Fee-Only Difference for additional information.

 7. Do you provide only comprehensive financial planning?

No. Although a comprehensive financial plan may yield the greatest benefits, we can focus our services on specific needs like cash management and budgeting, investment analysis, college funding, or estate planning - whatever is critical to you right now.

 8. My spouse and I need help and guidance getting started to build our financial future. Will you take us as clients?

Yes, we will be happy to help. We have no minimum income or net worth requirements. We realize that everyone has financial questions. We are proud to work with people at any income level and from all walks of life. Remember, you don't have to have a fortune to start building one.

 9. I already have substantial assets and am doing quite well financially--I think. Can you help me?

Yes. We offer many services for those people who need more sophisticated financial planning or advice. If your goal is to simplify your financial affairs, an on-going client program may be right for you. Or, if you're interested in a professional review or a second opinion, we can provide that, too.

 10. What if I want or need to buy investment or insurance products? How do I do that?

While we do not sell financial products, we will offer specific recommendations regarding the purchase of financial products that may be appropriate for you. So, if you need to obtain an insurance policy or a new mortgage, or find an estate planning attorney or accountant, we can direct you to the resources you need and/or help you obtain these products and services.

 11. I'm in charge of the retirement plans and employee benefits at my company and would like to get more employees to participate. How can you help us?

Education is key in increasing employee participation and appreciation. MTR Financial Services, LLC can tailor a program for your company's employees to help them understand the value of their benefit programs, and also provide services for executives and staff if desired.

 12. Can you help me with different kinds of securities?

Almost always. We provide advice on many types of securities, including mutual funds, stocks, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), stock options, and bonds, We also provide advice on mortgages, budgeting and cash flow issues, 401(k), 403(b), 457 and other retirement programs, life and disability insurance needs, and more.

 13. What is your investment philosophy?

As a financial planner and investment advisor, we believe in the following fundamental principles when it comes to designing an investment portfolio and making specific recommendations:

  • The purpose of a client's investment portfolio is to fund current and/or future financial objectives.
  • The design of the portfolio must take into account the client's financial objectives, timeframe, tolerance for risk, needs for current income or liquidity, and considerations such as income and estate taxes.
  • It is important to remember that no one can predict the future. Investment and economic "experts" provided with the same information often come to different conclusions. We do not suggest that we, or any of the money or mutual fund managers that we may recommend, will make the correct decision every time. We do believe, however, that studying historic trends and relationships of asset classes and the philosophies and approaches of successful investment managers can provide valuable insight.
  • The appropriate allocation of investment assets for your goals and risk tolerance is the most important component in developing an investment portfolio.
  • A diversified, well-balanced, low-cost portfolio, combined with a long-term investment strategy, increases the likelihood that you will achieve your long-term financial objectives.

 14. How do you select investments for a client?

Before recommending any investment, we consider current economic conditions, the outlook for a particular asset class or type of security, and how the investment fits within a client's portfolio given his or her objectives and tolerance for risk.

With equities, the focus is on choosing asset classes and on the philosophies, experience, and track record of the investment managers. With fixed income investments, we look for the best potential return available for a given quality of security type.

As fiduciaries for our clients, we strive to obtain the most appropriate investment vehicles to meet a client's objectives, while being very conscious of total expenses and risk exposure.

 15. If I use MTR Financial Services, LLC to develop a financial plan, am I obligated to purchase the recommended products?

Absolutely not! We offer recommendations to meet your needs and objectives, but you are under no obligation to purchase anything. We also recognize the importance of shopping around for the best available product or service. If you need life or disability insurance, for example, we will suggest the type of policy, options, and amount that best fit your situation, then refer you to several providers with quality products at competitive prices.

Since we are not compensated by commissions on products, you can be assured that our recommendations are based on what we truly believe is in your best interests. We take our fiduciary role seriously.

 16. How do you charge for your financial advisory services?

Our fees are based on the actual time involved in meeting with a client in person or via the phone, researching and analyzing the client's current situation, and providing specific recommendations and implementation assistance (if appropriate). We provide prospective clients with firm quotes of their estimated fees at the end of an initial no-cost, no-obligation Get Acquainted session. Please contact us if you would like to schedule a Get Acquainted meeting.

 17. Are your fees tax-deductible?

Yes, with certain limitations. Section 212 of the Internal Revenue Code permits an itemized deduction for tax and/or investment advice in the miscellaneous section of Schedule A. It is subject to a 2 percent floor of the adjusted gross income on a personal tax return.

 18. Once my financial plan or project is finished, will our relationship end?

Depending on your individual needs, this engagement of services may end, but the majority of our clients choose to meet on an on-going, periodic basis to review their investment results and address new questions.

Because financial planning is a process, not an event, we offer ongoing services, periodic reviews, and quick consultations as requested and/or needed.

 19. How do I get started?

The first step is an initial inquiry from you. Call us at (281) 913-1844, or email us. We offer an initial no-cost, no-obligation Get Acquainted meeting, either on the phone or in our office. Contact us to schedule a time that is convenient for you. We can discuss which of our services may be appropriate for you during this meeting.

Most clients find the financial planning process to be stimulating and enlightening. The end result, of course, is greater peace of mind. We look forward to helping YOU build a brighter financial future!