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Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS A FEE-BASED FINANCIAL PLANNER?

A fee-based financial planner, as opposed to commission-based, is a licensed professional who is paid by the customer, rather than by a sales commission. This arrangement is appealing to investors who want objective advice, not recommendations based upon what is most profitable for the planner.


SOMEONE IS OFFERING ME A 'FREE' FINANCIAL PLAN. SHOULD I BE SKEPTICAL?

YES! Many advisors offer a "free" financial plan, but oftentimes the ultimate goal is to steer you only toward certain products that are profitable for the advisor. Over time, it is likely that investment fees will outweigh the cost of a 'free' financial plan. Public Retirement Planners charges you directly for creating a financial plan, ensuring that our advice is unbiased and serves your best interests. In addition, we select mostly low-cost investments that do not compensate us with a sales commission.


HOW CAN I BE SURE THAT MY MONEY IS SAFE?

Unlike many investment firms, Public Retirement Planners does not hold your funds. Instead, we use Charles Schwab & Co, Inc. or TD Ameritrade, Inc. as custodians. The custodians we utilize are members of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)*, which protects customers if a brokerage firm closes due to bankruptcy or other financial difficulties. SIPC protects the accounts of each customer up to $500,000 in securities, including a limit of $250,000 on claims for cash. For details, please visit www.sipc.org.


ARE MY ACCOUNTS REGULARLY MONITORED?

Yes. Our clients' investment holdings and asset allocation strategy are continually monitored, analyzed, rebalanced, and traded when appropriate.


HOW MUCH DO YOUR SERVICES COST?

Our initial and second fact-finding meetings are complimentary. During these meetings we never put you on the spot and ask that you make a hiring decision or complete any paperwork. If we agree to work together, we will present you with a comprehensive financial plan at our third meeting and the cost of your personalized plan is $1,800. However, we will completely waive our $1,800 financial planning cost if you hire us to manage over $100,000 of assets or if we place you with an appropriate type of insurance. Our asset management rate is 1.1% on the first $500,000, 1.0% total on assets over $500,000, and .75% total on accounts over $2,000,000. Asset management costs are clearly disclosed as a dollar amount on your quarterly statement. Client assets are held in custody at TD Ameritrade, Inc. INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT section.


WHAT ARE THE EXPENSE RATIOS IN THE UNDERLYING FUNDS?

The expense ratios are very low considering that we primarily use index funds, exchange traded funds, and individual securities. While the underlying expense of the investments vary depending upon which ones we choose for you, the average expense is typically between 0.1% - 0.3% annually. These costs are detailed in each fund's prospectus and are clearly stated for the customer.


WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING OUR FIRST MEETING?

Public Retirement Planners operates strictly on a no-pressure, consultative approach to financial planning and investing. During the first meeting, your planner will uncover how you plan to enjoy your accumulated wealth and what specific goals you are trying to accomplish. Once intent is discovered, you and your planner will determine if the services of Public Retirement Planners can be of benefit to you.


WHAT ADVANTAGES DOES PRP OFFER VERSUS INVESTING ON MY OWN?

Using the services offered by Public Retirement Planners provide many benefits as opposed to planning and investing on one's own. These benefits include: asset allocation advice, disciplined and strategic rebalancing, access to PRP's research and educational materials, time savings, and professional advice based upon years of practical experience in the financial services industry.


*All investments involve market risk. SIPC does not insure against any losses due to market fluctuations or investment risk