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Common Questions

You’ve worked hard to plan and save for the future. We are here to help you get to the next level and ensure that you and your family are financially prepared for whatever the future may hold. We will help you determine:

  • Where do you want to go? What are your goals now and in retirement? The first step to securing a strong financial future is to clearly define your goals. Many clients dream of retiring to Florida, traveling abroad, or paying for college education for grandchildren. We’ll discuss what you want to do, and develop a customized plan to help you realize your dreams.
  • What are your assets and liabilities? Growing assets and reducing debt will put you on the path to long-term financial success. Our financial planners will summarize your assets and debts to understand the types of assets you own, the amount of liquidity you have, and opportunities for consolidation among other considerations.
  • Are you saving enough and saving efficiently? It’s more than just a matter of saving money every month; it’s a matter of ensuring you are saving efficiently to minimize taxes to maximize your savings. Our staff can help you create a tax-efficient plan that will help you make the most of your savings opportunities.
  • Do you have adequate insurance? We will review your finances to identify what assets and sources of income you would have available in case the unexpected happens. When we find a gap between what you have and what you need to maintain your current quality of life, we make recommendations on life, disability and long-term care insurance to help protect your financial future. We do not sell insurance products. We make unbiased recommendations based on your needs. If you have an existing relationship with an insurance agent, great. If not, we are happy to provide referrals to low-cost agents.
  • Are you planning appropriately for future expenses, such as college? Long-term planning focuses on just that, the long term. It’s important to keep in mind big-ticket expenses down the road, such as college expenses, a dream boat, or second home. We will work with you to identify and implement appropriate saving and, if necessary, borrowing strategies to responsibly pay for those expenses.

We will work closely with you to develop and implement an investment strategy that aligns with your unique financial situation, needs, and goals. Our experienced investment managers will help you create a written investment policy statement to guide all investment decisions, and build a portfolio that reflects your needs for diversification, income, and growth, as well as your tolerance for risk. We will also review opportunities for tax efficiencies within your portfolio to ensure you maximize your return.

Determining how much is enough to retire can be complicated and overwhelming. It’s important to understand the risks associated with retirement, such as inflation, taxes, investment volatility, and health care expenses. Our experienced financial planners and investment managers are here to help guide you through each of these issues and implement appropriate strategies. We are here to lead you through all financial issues you may face in retirement and provide advice on how best to meet your financial needs now and in the future.

You’ve saved enough and are ready to retire. You want to be sure your investments will produce the money that’s needed for every day expenses, and enable you to achieve your goals. The mechanics and positioning of your investment portfolio that will provide you with tax-efficient income on an ongoing basis can be confusing. We can help you create a stream of income from your accounts. Our investment approach focuses on income producing assets like dividend paying stocks and real estate, and interest from bonds. We will then work with you to craft a system that provides a “paycheck” on a regular basis.

You have worked hard and made smart financial decisions to accumulate enough financial resources to take care of your immediate family. Now, you want to pass on a financial legacy that will ensure your loved ones are always financially secure.

Our experienced financial planners will work closely with you and your attorney to develop estate plans that will ensure your wishes are implemented. We will make sure your accounts are properly titled, and will pay close attention to details like retirement account beneficiary designations.

We act as a resource for important financial decisions when you are unable. Our staff can also help you prepare the next generation for responsibilities that go with your family’s wealth.

Choosing to work with a fee-only advisor allows you to receive unbiased financial advice, while also benefiting from a fiduciary standard of care – the industry’s highest standard of care.

Unbiased advice

In one way or another there is always a cost for financial advice, either through the direct payment to the advisor or indirect payment via commissions paid when investment products (ex. stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities) are bought or sold.

The three most common payment arrangements for financial advisors are fee-only, fee-based and commission-based. Fee-only advisors, like Foster & Motley, only receive compensation from fees paid by clients for financial and investment advice. Fee-based advisors receive some of their compensation from fees paid by client, but they also receive commissions on product sales. Commission-based advisors, like traditional stock brokers or insurance agents, receive all of their compensation from commissions on product sales.

As a fee only advisor, our advice is free from the conflict of interest inherent when recommendations are made on products that the advisor is being paid to sell. Our recommendations are strictly based on what we believe is in your best interest, and not on products that may pay the most generous commissions.

Fiduciary Standard of Care

As a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), Foster & Motley is held to a fiduciary standard. That means, by law, we must act solely in your best interest. We must provide upfront disclosures about our qualifications, how we are compensated, possible conflicts of interest and any history of disciplinary action. As a fiduciary, we are required to always place your interests ahead of our own. Most brokers and other salespeople are not fiduciaries. They are only required to consider whether an investment is suitable to be recommended, and not whether the investment best fits your unique financial goals and circumstances.

When selecting and working with professional advisors, carefully review how and from whom advisors receive their compensation to ensure your best interests are always placed first. At Foster & Motley, it’s our duty to work with you to create a customized plan uniquely tailored to your situation. We believe the fiduciary standard of care is best for clients, and we have structured our business around this principal. As an independent, fee-only, employee-owned firm, you can rest assured that we are always focused on your best interest.

If you are like us, you like to know where you are going before you get there. You don’t want to be “sold” financial services or products. You don’t like “sticker shock” and want a clear understanding of all costs associated with any product or service. We have worked hard to develop a process of working with you that is comfortable, informative, and transparent. We start the process by having a confidential, no cost, no obligation meeting. In that meeting, we listen. We encourage you to share your situation and how you think we may be able to help. After we have an understanding of your situation, we will make suggestions of how we can work together. It might be developing a financial plan, managing your investments, or a combination of both. Our services are entirely customized to your needs and goals.

Following the initial meeting, we will provide you with a proposal and a fee quote. At that point, it is your decision whether to engage us. You are in control. Always.

Life Scenarios

Receiving an inheritance generally follows a great time of stress and emotional upheaval. In addition to losing someone close to you and your family, we understand it can be overwhelming to suddenly be responsible for making once in a lifetime financial decisions. We work with our clients to resolve the following:

  • How do I want to use my inheritance?
  • How should I invest my inheritance?
  • Are there family needs that can be met with this inheritance, such as paying for college or paying off loans?
  • Should we celebrate our loved one’s life by taking a special trip or making a donation in his or her honor?

We can serve as a sounding board and provide objective advice for these important questions.

Losing your spouse is emotionally, physically, and mentally overwhelming. Suddenly, you are tasked with finding answers to questions you didn’t even know existed. If your spouse was responsible for coordinating finances, you are now faced with managing financial decisions on top of coping with a loss. We can work with you to help make short-term financial decisions, such as locating financial accounts and identifying your sources of income. When the time is right, we can help you with long term planning and investing to help you gain control of your finances.

You’ve put in the time, energy, and dedication to grow your business. After carefully identifying the right opportunity to sell, you are ready to enjoy the rewards of your hard work. Now you need your wealth to take care of you and your family today and in the future. We have the experience in managing this transition for business owners, and can work with you to develop a comprehensive financial plan and investment strategy that allows you to focus on your next challenge.

Going through a divorce can be a time of transition, adjustment, and anxiety – all rolled into one. You’re learning new things, facing different and sometimes difficult decisions. Now, you are working to create a new life based on your interests and needs.

We understand that this is a challenging time. We will work closely with you to understand your unique situation, needs and goals. Then we will work with you to develop a customized financial plan and investment strategy for the next chapter of your life.

Deciding if you are ready for retirement can be complicated and intimidating. You’ve saved and dreamed for years, and now the time seems right to understand your options. We will work with you to learn about your financial situation, needs, and goals and help address issues and questions such as:

  • Have you saved enough?
  • What do you want to do in retirement?
  • Where will money come from once I’m retired?
  • What changes need to be made to my investments in order to achieve my retirement goals?
  • How do needs of parents or children fit into this plan?

Congratulations! Your hard work and dedication is being recognized by your employer, but you are busier than ever, and have little time to manage your finances. We are here to help guide you through the financial and investing complexities that accompany executive compensation. Our team of advisors is experienced in providing advice on stock options, restricted stock units, deferred compensation, tax planning, concentrated stock positions and other complexities faced by executives. We will help you create a plan to ensure when you are finished climbing the ladder, you and your family will have the financial freedom you have worked so hard to achieve.