Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a fee-only advisor important?

Fee-only means that all our fees are easy to see and you know exactly how much you are paying for our services. We do not earn commissions on selling or recommending any product or service. We believe this is the best way to stay impartial and avoid conflicts of interest.

What is your financial planning process?

We always start by understanding your goals and values before designing your financial plan.  We look at the big picture of where you are today before delving into the details. Below is our general process for designing a financial plan:

• Understand your goals, both personal and financial.

• Gather financial data, including your income and expenses, bank and brokerage statements, tax returns, insurance policies, and employee benefit plans.

• Meet with you to review your current financial situation and different alternatives and what-if scenarios.

• Develop your financial plan keeping in mind your main financial objectives and preferred alternatives.

• Identify the action steps necessary to move forward with the plan.

• Meet with you to review the plan and action steps. Set dates to monitor and adjust plan as necessary

What is your investment philosophy?

We use mainly index funds and exchange traded funds because of their low fees, low trading costs, and large availability of asset classes. Index funds also perform better than most actively managed funds. We create a portfolio based on your risk tolerance, when you will need the funds and current level of assets.

We review and rebalance your portfolio throughout the year to make sure your portfolio stays within the targets we established. This also naturally takes advantage of the market fluctuations by selling high and buying low.

Do you have an asset minimum for your services?

We do not have an asset minimum for our services. We offer financial planning and budgeting services on an hourly or ongoing basis. We also offer ongoing investment services starting at a fee of 0.5% of assets under management. If you would prefer to manage the assets on your own, we offer a portfolio and rebalancing review on a per hour basis.

What is the best way to see if you are a good fit?

The easiest way is to schedule a free introductory meeting.  Please contact us to set up a meeting. We can go over any questions and our general process.

Do you work with people outside the Bay Area?

Yes.  We use Skype, phone calls, and email to work remotely with people from around the country.

Balance Financial Planning, LLC

5438 Shafter Avenue

Oakland, CA 94618