FAQ

 

What are the FCF programs and cost?

This is the home of Fixed Cost Investing℠. You will not pay more because you have more, or receive less because you have less. We bifurcated investment advice from management. Advice is available on a quarter-hour basis and Management is provided at a fixed monthly cost. We have three Fixed Cost Investing℠ programs to fit the needs of all investors, including those with sudden wealth.

The hierarchy of roads, according to functions and capacities, provides an ideal descriptor for the 3 FCF programs. The three broad categories are] roadways (local paved and unpaved), highways (major and minor arterials), and expressways (multi-lane and divided, aka interstates).

Roadway

$5 per month, per brokerage account for investment management.

0% Assets Under Management Charge by FCF

No Per-Trade Commission Charge

$200 per hour for investment advice.

$50 per hour for administrative assistance.

The Roadway is for those with $4,000 or $0 and invest at least $25 per month. The Roadway approach utilizes time and volatility based portfolios, each comprised of 7 to 13 exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The Roadway is for those with limited experience, or who prefer a fully-delegated passive approach. The Roadway program includes a single brokerage account, the ability to utilize multiple ETF-based investment silos within a brokerage account withdrawal timing and overall objective, assistance with the purchase of no-load variable life and annuities (no commissions), and access to client-only audios, videos, and live presentations. The Roadway is also ideal for those who do not want complex brokerage statements that show individual holdings, and prefer to keep everything it extremely simple.

Highway

$50 per month, per brokerage account for investment management.

0% Assets Under Management Charge by FCF

No Per-Trade Commission Charge

$200 per hour for investment advice.

$50 per hour for administrative assistance

The Highway is recommended for those who start with $40,000 or $0 and invest at least $100 per month. The Highway approach is for those with experience and who want a portfolio of primarily based on a large number of individual stocks with limited use of ETFs and mutual funds for bond allocations. The 6 Highway portfolios are Income, Income & Growth, Balanced, Growth & Income, Growth, and Aggressive Growth. The Highway program includes a single brokerage account, assistance with the purchase of no-load variable life and annuities (no commissions), and access to client-only audios, videos, and live presentations.

Expressway

$500 per month for investment management.

0% Assets Under Management Charge by FCF

No Per-Trade Commission Charge

$500 per hour for wealth advice.

$50 per hour for administrative assistance.

The Expressway is recommended for those who start with $400,000 or $0 and invest at least $1,000 per month. The Expressway approach is for those with extensive investment experience and seek to silo (segregate) investments based upon ownership, withdrawal timing, and overall objective. The Expressway program includes up to 20 brokerage accounts at no additional cost, self-directed accounts, Blacklist options (the deselection of individual securities based upon the client’s criteria), assistance with the purchase of no-load variable life and annuities (no commissions), and individual 30-minute quarterly video or audio conference calls. Expressway clients also have access to all client-only audios, videos, and live presentations, and full access to advanced wealth management and individual stock and market commentary and insights.

SWAT

Sudden Wealth Awareness Training

$5,000 per day, 8 hours per day maximum.

Travel expense extra for travel and overnight accommodations; generally 120 miles from FCF offices.

Are you financial planners?

No. Financial planning is a tool, not a service. Financial planning is a sales process. It began as a way to sell high-commission insurance and bundled investment products. True fiduciary-based financial planners never sell commission-based products. Also, the true-fiduciary based planner does not manage insurance or investments. The concept of financial planning began and continues to be a mosh pit. Everyone and anyone can call themselves a financial planner. The entire financial planning industry is fundamentally flawed, including all financial planning-based certifications, when the selling or management of insurance and investments is permitted or part of the process. Financial planning is critical for those with complicated lives, matters, and estates. Financial planning can and should be done on one’s own with the aid of no or low cost, online planning software. We are an investment advisory firm. We provide fiduciary-based advice and management, not financial plans.

90%

90% of what a financial planner does can and should be done without a product-pushing financial planner.

Accountant

If someone legitimately needs a financial planner, the profession best suited is accountancy. Unfortunately, many accountants, CPAs or otherwise, are conflicted and unsuitable to serve as a true fiduciary-based financial planner.

Attorney

A true fiduciary-based attorney is critical to have as an individual, family, or business owner. Laws, rules, and regulations can be complex and bewildering. It is the attorney who is trained to navigate the transactional and litigation maze. Like medical doctors, there are numerous specialities within the practice of law, such as estate planning, elder law, asset protection, commercial, business development, litigation, criminal defense, and more. Knowing how, who, and when to use an attorney is something that should be thought about, before “it” happens.

Advisor

Words should have specific meanings. An “investment advisor” means an organization provides investment advice and management. Many off-Wall Street salespeople use the words financial planner and investment advisor interchangeably. When the typical salesperson does this, it is a breach of true investment advisor fiduciary duty and should be illegal.

The Fiduciary Planner

A true fiduciary-based financial planner is like an architect. The architect plans, designs and reviews the construction of building, and the space surrounding for one or more principle purposes. Architects are not building contractors. A true fiduciary-based financial planner designs and writes financial plans for a fixed cost or based on the time it took to complete the project. A true fiduciary-based planner never sells, implements, or manages any form of financial product. 99+% of today’s financial planners are fake-planners, which means they are selling insurance, investments, mortgages, real estate, or other commission-based products and/or services.

It’s a Tool, Not a Service

Financial planning is a tool, not a service, and has been used as nothing more than a sales script for the vast overwhelming majority of those using the moniker.

Will you review my financial plan if I am a client?

Yes, we are advisors.

Our approach is advisory-based. We provide our clients, without cost, all of the online tools needed to complete a “living” financial plan. It’s not difficult, and anyone with average intelligence can do their own “living” plans. A traditional financial planner rarely provides a comprehensive written plan beyond the first year. Why? Because the plan is a sales tool to sell insurance and bundled financial products. A “living” plan is one where you, not the conflicted planner, develops, modifies, and tracks regularly. Because many people “freak-out” over mathematical calculations and “what-if” scenarios involving complex critical thinking, we provide our clients with how-to audios and videos that guide them through the process.

I have a financial planner who handles my insurance and investments, but I would like a second opinion. Will you review my financial plan on an hourly basis if I am not an investment management client?

No.

You should use the services of a true fiduciary-based accountant. We are an investment manager first and foremost. Investment advice is limited to our clients whom we know and have a professional relationship.

Are you a broker with a broker/dealer?

No

We are an independent registered investment advisor. As a fiduciary we are not dual licensed with a broker/dealer and we are not a subsidiary of an insurance company, broker/dealer, bank, law firm, or accounting practice. Independence means we have the freedom to be a true fiduciary without the pressure to sell and make quotas.

Do you sell insurance?

No.

We are available to provide advice on a fiduciary basis. Life, disability, and long-term care insurance policies are complex and confusing. Our fiduciary-based advice, review, oversight, and second opinion is priceless.

Do you use mutual funds?

We use mutual funds for bond positions and when a specific need exists.

Funds, both mutual and exchange traded, are a bundled financial products. Stock funds are often far more expensive than our direct stock investment approach. We use mutual and exchange traded funds for those areas where we are do not exercise direct management (buying and selling of individual securities). We do not manage individual bond portfolios.

Do you provide educational material?

Yes. Our client and prospective client educational material is logical, methodical, and updated on a regular basis.

Our podcast is called Connecting Dots, and it, along with our Blog are linked in the header. Education is also public as well as many FCF LIVE events. Client have access to “client-only” documents, audios, and videos through their dashboard.

What is the percentage you charge for assets under management (AUM)?

0% - Zero

We do not utilize the typical assets under management scheme where you continuously pay a commission based on the value of your account. We strongly believe it is unethical and a complete breach of duty for a fiduciary to charge engage in an AUM scheme when managing money.

What do you make when you trade an account?

$0 - Zero

We are not paid a commission or any form of fee when trades are placed.

Do you maintain a referral network?

Yes

We are always open to knowing professionals who are fair and reasonable. We will not pay for or accept payment for referrals. Knowing others and keeping a network of like-minded organizations and individuals who may benefit the needs of an existing client is merely one way of saying “thank you” for your trust, confidence, and business. In other words, it’s the right thing to do.

Reward

Did you read everything up to this point? Did you take the time to learn about what makes FCF different? Well, if you did, here’s a reward. Click here for 3M - Minting Mature Mindsets. Now continue reading.

This sounds too good to be true.

It may sound that way but it’s not.

Here is the problem, the overwhelming majority of investors have been brainwashed. For many decades, the public has been bombarded with advertisements and one-to-one sales pitches by Wall Street and off-Wall Street salespeople. The two choices are to pay the commissions to an advisor, agent, banker, broker, dealer, or financial planner, or do-it-yourself and still pay commissions. Then there are those who say their costs are zero or so low as to be negligible. Salespeople who say this are liars and the online brokers are simply making their clients the product and selling their information to outsiders or insiders for the purpose of lending money. The money-lending industry is highly profitable compared to investment advice or management.

Between the extremes of DIY (retaining) and abdication is delegation. Those who delegate understand the need to pay for services rendered but remain engaged with oversight. A true professional is non-discriminatory, paid on a time or procedural basis only, and adheres to the highest fiduciary standards. It is not unusual for us to hear from those who will never become clients words to the effect:

“Yeah, that makes perfect sense, that’s what my guy does.” No he or she doesn’t do it that way, but we do.

or

“That’s nice, but my guy doesn’t charge me, he’s a friend.” No, he or she charges you, and you are suffering from cost-blindness.

Cost Blindness

The overwhelming majority of investors suffer from cost blindness. Those who think they are aware of costs, rarely consider the holistic cost of investing. Not only is there the transparent and non-transparent financial costs, but there is the cost of time and effort. In other words, many investors major in the minors and minor in the majors, rather than focusing on their big bets on big ideas (BBOBI©) that they like, are good and profitable at and can control. Yes, one may understand the difference between load and no-load, full and discount trading, and online versus call-in trading, but there’s so much more that very few understand, and continue to be happy to ignore for whatever reason.

Crossing the Emotional Line

Do not cross the line. Don’t do it and don’t let any accountant, advisor, agent, attorney, banker, broker, dealer, or financial planner do it. We call it The Hug and Mug. The Hug and Mug is a sales technique that uses emotional manipulation and behavioral weaknesses to “hug” the client, the distraction, while “mugging” the client and picking their wallet. Now that you know this, if you say “oh no, my guy is a friend, he wouldn’t do that,” well then you my friend, you are a fool. Rarely does anyone go out and methodically plan to be stupid. Instead, people are generally stupid because they could not control their emotions. The trifecta of the galactically stupid are those who are short-sighted, and lack patience. See this YouTube video from A Few Good Men.

Too Old and Set in One’s Ways

If you are 65 years of age or older, there is nearly a zero chance that you will become a client of FCF. Why? Those over 65 are generally set in their ways, and this is natural. What is unnatural is for people to keep an open mind, to seek continual improvement when retired, or keep current with technology, trends, and current events beyond the headlines. If this upsets, you, well then, as William Ray "Bill" Engvall, Jr. the comedian would say: Here’s your sign. Widows and widowers are the least likely to become clients of FCF because of emotional dependency. Loneliness and depression are widespread in retirement communities. Family, friends, neighbors, and former co-workers move away, become disabled, and die; therefore, the friendly commission-based off-Wall Street salesperson is a welcome distraction for the sameness of daily retirement living. As long as there is money in motion (MIMO), the salesperson will return with donuts, coffee, and pats on the back. It’s an ugly and expensive situation that many retirees experience, and it’s primarily their own fault for checking out and dropping out. Also, when the MIMO is over, and the buddy is gone, it’s time to attend another free lunch seminar and start the process of churning products and paying high commissions, in exchange for more attention with donuts, coffee, and pats on the back.

Stupid

There is nothing wrong with being ignorant. An ignorant person is one who is not aware of something. Everyone is ignorant of the majority of what mankind has learned and does. Nobody knows everything and that’s a critical concept to fully grasp and understand if one wants to be successful. But then there’s stupid. Stupid is knowing but not doing or denying the obvious. Frankly, those who have now been exposed to what a true fiduciary is, does, and the value thereof, and yet continue to waste time and money with commission-based off-Wall Street salespeople are stupid, and we don’t have time for stupid.

Lazy

The path of least resistance is a straight line. While this sounds true, it’s rarely true in the real world. The overwhelming majority of Americans are lazy. Pure and simple, lazy and crazy are everywhere. Here’s an example. Bob knows the city he needs to go to is 20 miles due west. Bob walks a straight line to the city but comes upon a river. Rather than walk downstream five miles to a bridge and back up to the city on the other side of the river, Bob stops and makes his home on the other side of the river with the attitude that close is good enough. When the rainy season comes, Bob’s home is washed away as the good-enough land is much lower in elevation than where the city is located on the other side of the river. The water recedes, and Bob rebuilds. Bob does this over-and-over. Bob asks for public assistance from the city and continually receives help. Bob is not only lazy, but he’s stupid, as well as those in the city who continue to fund his lazy and stupid behavior. Bob needs to make the extra effort and move to the high ground, which is what we did at FCF with professional fixed cost investing based on true fiduciary principles. And so the question is this: Are you a lazy Bob or motivated Bob?

You’re Mean

We are not mean, but we are blunt, frank, and fatherly. You may have never read anything like this before because mommy and daddy sheltered you. You may become highly emotional and upset over things that do not directly affect you because you take on the emotional turmoil of everyone around you and the world. Moreover, you may be nothing more than a rat on a treadmill. Stop it. Don’t do stupid and win stupid prizes for being stupid. Seriously, stop it. Since you got this far, and if you are a tad upset, click here for the story: 10-10 at Dale Mabry and North B.

Are You a Member of NAPFA or CFPs?

Absolutely not.

The National Association of Personal Financial Planners does not meet our fiduciary standards. As of February 1, 2019, their website states the following:

NAPFA’s position is that the Fee-Only method of compensation is the most transparent and objective method available. This model minimizes conflicts and ensures that your financial planner acts as a fiduciary. Fee-Only planners are compensated directly by their clients for advice, plan implementation and for the ongoing management of assets. All NAPFA members are required to work only within the Fee-Only structure, accepting no commissions for their work.

Fee-Only financial advisors may be paid hourly, as a retainer, as a percentage of assets (AUM), or as a flat fee, depending upon the planner you choose.

We refuse to associate with an organization that fails to hold its members to the highest fiduciary standard. The same is true for the CFP Board, which made convoluted mountains out of molehills in definitions, practice procedures, rules, and regulations. Also, the CFP Board, like NAPFA, permits commission-based compensation through assets under management (AUM). And with great disgust, we also strongly discourage the use of CPAs with a PFP designation who are investment advisors, brokers, or insurance agents.