The Alder Financial Group

Here are few of the questions we most frequently hear from prospective clients. You can learn more about The Alder Financial Group, our team, why we are different, our partnerships, and much more.

You should choose Alder Financial Group as your financial advisor because we provide the exclusive financial planning and investment expertise you want and deserve. We aren't distracted by affiliate or referral relationships nor are we in the business of selling high-fee products. Our sole purpose is to be your trusted lifetime partner that will guide you through the seemingly complex journey to financial independence. We have many years of successful professional experience and manage our clients' investments as if they were our own – with diligence, integrity, and professionalism.
Many brokers refer to themselves as financial advisors or financial professionals but these titles are meaningless. Financial professionals work as either broker-dealers, or Registered Investment Advisors. Registered Investment Advisors such as Alder Financial Group have a fiduciary duty to their clients and are legally required to always put their clients' interests first. Brokers are held to a much lower suitability standard; they do not have a fiduciary duty to their clients. Brokers sell financial products and make a commission for doing so. They have no legal obligation to put their clients' interests ahead of their own. Before you hire any financial professional, ask if they are a Registered Investment Advisor and if they have a fiduciary obligation. To learn more, please visit RIA Stands For You
Alder Financial group is an independent financial advisory firm that holds itself to a Fiduciary Standard which occupies a special trust and confidence when working with a client. A fiduciary is simply someone who represents your interests, even above their own interests. As a fiduciary, we are required to act with undivided loyalty to you as our client. This includes disclosure of how we are compensated and any corresponding conflicts of interest.

Not every financial advisor accepts this fiduciary duty. For example, some brokers are held to the much lower standard of suitability. This standard of care means an advisor need only suggest products that are suitable for your objectives and no disclosure is required for possible conflicts of interest. The introduction of compensation by commission also introduces a conflict with acting in your best interest first and foremost.

Unfortunately, it is harder than you might think to find an independent financial advisor that is also a fiduciary. Fiduciary advisors make up less than 10% of the financial services industry. This means that 90% of financial advisors do not have a legal duty to put your interest ahead of their own and their company. If you wonder whether fiduciary duty is a higher standard than the suitability standard that brokers are under, simply ask a broker whether his company will sign a letter stating they accept fiduciary duty. It won't happen, sadly.
Most people think that all financial planners are "certified," but this isn't true. Anyone can call himself or herself a "financial planner." Only those who have fulfilled the certification and renewal requirements of CFP Board can display the CFP® certification marks. When selecting a financial planner, you need to feel confident that the person you choose to help you plan for your future is competent and ethical. The CFP® certification provides that sense of security by allowing only those who meet the following requirements the right to use the CFP® certification marks. For more information on the CFP® designation, please visit: www.cfp.net.
The cost of your fee covers our comprehensive financial planning, the investment portfolio management, research we conduct, ongoing review of your accounts, rebalancing of these accounts which typically occurs no less frequently than quarterly, a financial planning review which occurs no less frequently than annually, and answering any ongoing financial planning or investment questions you might have.
A financial plan provides you with peace of mind and helps you find cost-effective, efficient ways to fund your important life goals. A small investment now will provide you with future benefits, and you'll feel better knowing that your family is protected against unforeseen events. You'll be on track to reach your retirement goals and your finances will be properly diversified in a low cost manner. Statistics suggest that most Americans are doing a poor job of preparing for the future. In 2009, fewer than 50% of surveyed workers thought about or put together a retirement plan. Most people only guess about how much they will need in retirement. In addition, most people do not carry sufficient insurance and do not have a will or updated estate documents in place. Ongoing checkups provide you with further confidence that you are staying on top of your financial life and are on track to reach your important goals.
This question is best answered not by the size of your portfolio but rather by the range of services you desire. Our services are best suited for individuals who have come to believe that the complexity of their investments has outpaced their abilities or those no longer well served by the sales relationships often found in the brokerage industry. Investors often find themselves in these situations as they approach retirement and begin to worry about generating their retirement income. Others feel overwhelmed after coming into a large sum of money such as an inheritance or business sale. Some investors, after saving consistently over the years, realize their assets have accumulated past the point at which they feel they have the expertise or time to manage their money. Those who choose to take advantage of our comprehensive services typically have investable assets of $250,000 or more. However, even if your investments are less than this, we still encourage you to contact us.
We are a Fee-Only financial advisor. Our only compensation is from working with our clients. We have no financial relationships with any other firms nor are we compensated by the securities we recommend. Our investment management fees are either based on the size of the portfolio we are managing or a flat monthly fee. We do not charge commissions or account fees and we never accept sales commissions, referral fees or any other form of compensation. It is important to be transparent and have no hidden expenses.

A Fee-Only financial advisor is not the same as someone who claims to be fee based. Don't be fooled. A fee-based "advisor" usually refers to a stock broker or registered representative who is usually compensated by asset management fees and/or the products he or she sells – like a wrap account. A "fee-based" advisor thus is someone who receives fees both from clients and from the trading itself – or from a third party such as a brokerage firm or an insurance company. The Alder Financial Group is a 100% Fee-Only advisor.
In this day and age, many investors have become wary about the safety of their assets. We can appreciate this and have put checks and balances in place to protect our clients. As Registered Investment Advisors, our firm never takes possession of your assets. We have the authority to place trades in your accounts but cannot access your funds. We partner with Charles Schwab and Co., a highly reputable custodian, for the safekeeping and protection of your assets. You will receive trade confirmations and monthly statements directly from Schwab so you can independently verify account activity. Additionally, you can always access your accounts through Schwab's website.
First we will set up an initial meeting in order to introduce ourselves and begin to get to know each other. Once you make the decision to partner with our firm, we will focus on identifying your goals and time horizon, assessing your risk tolerance, and collecting other information crucial to putting together a customized financial plan. Simultaneously, we will assist you in opening accounts with Charles Schwab and transferring your existing securities to your new account. We respect that you are busy and make the setup process as simple as possible for you. The account set up and transfer process is painless and all electronic.
Oftentimes people wonder if their assets are property invested, but don't know who to turn to for an unbiased second opinion. We now offer a free portfolio review to anyone interested in getting a professional opinion but not necessarily ready to commit to a relationship with an investment advisor. We ask that you fill out a brief questionnaire to provide us with some basic information regarding your current investments. With this we can give you some general observations and recommendations regarding your current situation.          Learn More
Absolutely. We service clients in many locations. Essentially, our clients can reside anywhere as the Schwab platform is completely secured and web based. Quarterly portfolio updates with your advisor can be handled via conference call, skype or via web ex if clients reside out of the area or the country.
We believe your assets should be primarily managed according the phases of one's investing life cycle.

  • Accumulation Phase – growing your wealth
  • Transition Phase – nearing retirement
  • Distribution Phase – in retirement

Each phase encompasses different challenges and requires different set of solutions. Our strategies are centered on the disciplined but flexible allocation of assets into the following major categories: equities mutual funds or ETFs, bonds, and cash. The information from the client profile and the Investment Policy Statement is invaluable for determining a strategic mix of asset categories that best fits your individual profile. Our proprietary computer modeling, which takes into account all relevant facts, will provide us with a strategic asset allocation and allows us to we design a portfolio with characteristics we feel are best suited to obtaining your goals

Through proper asset allocation and a strong focus on keeping costs low and minimizing taxes, we help ensure that more of your money is working for you. Your financial independence will come from your investment's ability to generate a predictable and steady income flow in retirement and not from some arbitrary performance figure. The result is a highly customized yet practical, cost effective and tax efficient portfolio that meets your short term as well as long range goals.
Discretionary management is where a client has given specific authorization to their portfolio manager to make decisions, select securities, and execute trades for them without consultation on each transaction. The client entrusts the manager to follow the investment guidelines already agreed upon. Clearly, this level of directed authority is essential in the investment process. While we concede that turning over authority is difficult at first for some people, it is very much like how a mutual fund is managed. Only then the manager doesn't really know the client or the client's overall plan. Also, it is our belief that if a client does not trust their advisor to carry out their wishes, then they should not be working with this advisor in the first place.
As investing became more and more difficult, we felt no one was honestly addressing the needs of those investors with assets from $250,000 to $3,000,000 who had real concerns about many issues such how to retire, or how to provide an employee retirement plan, or even how to leave a legacy to their heirs. We simply saw an opportunity to fill a void for those needed investment services. Over time, those investors have come to realize that they want more and better independent solutions and thus are tired of dealing with the sales mentality typically found with banks and stockbrokers. With the help of Charles Schwab, we set out to make our vision come true: to create a Fee-only independent investment firm that would allow us to provide guidance and advice to our clients for a much lower cost and without the abuses typical of the stockbrokerage companies.

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