Fee-Only Financial Planning ℠

Frequently Asked Questions

Financial planning is the process of reviewing your financial situation, taking into consideration your specific goals and objectives, and then providing steps to help you achieve those goals and objectives.
Fee-only financial planning means that advisers are compensated through client fees only. The adviser does not accept commissions or other fees related to the sale of specific financial products. As a result, the adviser has removed the largest source of conflicts of interest and can compellingly offer objective investment advice in the best interests of his clients.
Fee-Only Financial Planning offers two services: financial planning on an as-needed basis and ongoing investment advisory services.
Financial planners gather relevant data about the client, analyze it, and then provide a number of recommendations for the client to follow in order to help achieve their specific goals and objectives. Complete financial plans take into consideration all of the elements of the client's financial situation. This includes, but is not limited to: cash flow planning, investment analysis and planning, tax planning, retirement and estate planning, risk management (insurance needs), education funding and any other needs specific to you.
Investment management services include not only a comprehensive financial review, but also includes the process of providing ongoing oversight, guidance and implementation of investment decisions. Investment management services also include making adjustments when appropriate, evaluating results, providing regular communication and ongoing general financial advice. When you retain FOFP for investment management services, consider us your personal financial confidant: someone who is available to answer your questions about any financial matter at any time.

FOFP does not take custody of client assets. Clients will retain individual ownership of all securities, which will be held at the custodian. (See below: "Do you take custody of my assets?")
We encourage clients to call with any questions they might have regarding financial matters, such as: “How should I invest my 401(k) or 403(b)?”, “Should I refinance my mortgage?”, “Can I retire at 60 or can I retire now?”, “Is my portfolio properly diversified?”, “Am I doing the right thing with my money?”. There are no silly or superfluous questions when it comes to your financial health and well being. FOFP places a high priority on educating and helping its clients reach their financial goals.
You can execute transactions on your own or, if you prefer, FOFP would be happy to implement some or all of the recommendations on your behalf as part of investment advisory services.
Any individual who is seeking help and understanding when making important financial decisions.
There is no minimum needed in order to begin reviewing your financial situation.
There is no minimum needed in order to retain FOFP as an ongoing investment adviser.
FOFP can provide financial advice as part of your estate planning or tax planning process, but does not provide legal or tax advice. Please consult a qualified attorney or accountant.
FOFP welcomes initial consultations with no obligation. FOFP will provide a 30-minute free consultation to see if we can provide you with the services and guidance that you are looking for.
Please click on the Initial Meeting Documents link and print out the listed worksheets. This will guide you through the documents and data that you should bring to your initial meeting.
Financial planning services are initiated by you on an as-needed basis and charged for as they are incurred. We recommend that you review your goals with us annually.

Investment management services are ongoing and you may call on us at anytime so that we may help you with your financial needs. Continuous communication helps to keep your financial plan on track. At a minimum we provide you with investment updates quarterly. In addition we undertake to meet with you annually. We are available at all times for any special needs or situations.
Not necessarily. Financial planning is an ongoing process and as your needs change, so should your financial plan. Annual reviews are recommended.
Financial planning fees are calculated based upon a charge of $100 per hour or on a flat fee basis. Typically, flat fees range from $100 to $500 depending upon the complexity of the work. Clients are then billed upon the completion of the work.

Money management clients are charged an annual fee of 0.10 of one percent calculated on a quarterly or monthly basis and charged in arrears. The ending balance of the previous quarter determines the base upon which the fee is charged. Clients are billed directly by the advisor. Fees are not deducted from the clients’ accounts.
Fee-Only Financial Planning will not have custody of any assets. Clients will retain individual ownership of all securities. Your assets will be held by independent custodians.
Broad Diversification - FOFP believes that the single most important determiner of investment success is not individual security selection nor market timing but in the intelligent allocation of a broad universe of assets within a portfolio.

Closely tied to the success of a broadly diversified portfolio is the fact that the underlying assets, when wisely chosen, often do not react to market or internal forces in the same manner at the same time. This lack of correlation in performance is the key to diversification. A truly diversified portfolio will be able to ride out the negative returns of one asset class because other asset classes are not behaving in a similar manner.

Fully Invested When Appropriate - We believe that stocks will continue to outperform bonds on a long-term basis. On average this has been true for the past 70 years. This is not to say that bonds cannot outperform stocks over certain periods of time. However, we believe that participation in the equity markets at some level is essential to investment success. One cannot predict the movement of the market with 100% accuracy. The market is emotional, irrational, and a great psychological arena worthy of respect and caution. Though there may be value in reallocating investments within a portfolio to take advantage of the equity market's strength or weakness, we believe that one cannot successfully time entrance and exit points as an investment strategy. However, participation in the market, to an extent deemed reasonable for the specific client, based upon her goals and objectives and risk tolerance, is considered essential to investment success.
The relationship between Fee-Only Financial Planning and our clients is our most important asset. We strive to maintain your trust and confidence in our firm, an essential aspect of which is our commitment to protect the confidentiality, integrity and security of your personal information. As we believe that all of our clients value their privacy, we do not disclose your personal information to anyone unless it is required by law, or at your direction. We do not sell your personal information to anyone. (Please refer to our Privacy Statement)
An adviser who has been awarded the CFP™ certification is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. A person designated with the CFP™ certification completed a requisite series of courses offered by the College for Financial Planning and successfully passed written examinations in taxation, retirement planning, insurance, estate planning, and investments administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Furthermore, an adviser designated as a CFP™ professional must fulfill certain continuing education requirements throughout his or her career.

Fee-Only Financial


Based in

Western Massachusetts

David Martula

Dedicated Marathon Runner and Your Financial Adviser