Here are answers to many of the most frequently asked questions from new clients:
Business description – Engagement questions / Philosophical approach
Q: What is the role of M&E as my financial planner? / How often will we meet?
A: As practitioners with a history of over 30 years of service, our experience indicates that it’s best to have an ongoing relationship with your financial planner and not just a “one time transaction” relationship. In this relationship we will meet to discuss initial concerns, create an action plan to address those concerns, work through planned actions, and then monitor progress to make changes over time as needed.
Since client concerns change over time as new situations arise and laws or regulations change, it helps to meet once or twice a year to make sure that current action and planning takes this change into account.
Q: What does financial planning involve? / What services do you provide?
A: Financial planning is a process in which you are able to effectively manage a complete range of financial concerns over the course of your lifetime – concerns like managing your investments and saving for retirement, making sure that you accumulate significant assets to enable you to live a good life now and in the future, supporting those that you care about, maintaining adequate insurance coverage for your specific situation, maximizing allowable benefits under current tax law, and leaving assets for your heirs if that is part of your ambition.
Mosher & Ellis provides knowledgeable consultation, implementation support, and the benefit of ongoing relationship with a team of certified planners and professional staff to address your financial concerns over a long horizon of time. As we get started, most clients prefer to walk through the financial planning process in a “modular” format, where we work together to understand the current situation and identify desirable future outcomes, focus on concerns related to a specific area like investments, insurance, financial independence or estate planning in a manageable fashion, and then progress to the next logical area. Once action plans are in place for the specific areas, we will meet periodically to review progress and make changes as appropriate.
Aside from regular update meetings or conversations, as rules and regulations change, and as we see new products, services or opportunities that may be of benefit to clients, we will contact clients to discuss possibilities.
Q: What communications will I see from M&E? From specific managers?
A: You can expect to receive quarterly newsletters and regular statements from the investment managers that you select and their custodians. Additionally, you can expect Mosher & Ellis’ quarterly newsletter, and contact from Mosher & Ellis at least once or twice a year to schedule a review or check in meeting or call.
Professional relationship questions
Q: What kind of clients are you looking for? / Can you help my parents / kids / friends?
A: Mosher and Ellis’ mission is to help our clients achieve and enjoy financial independence through ongoing insight, guidance and assistance. We specialize in helping professionals and their families. We strive to be the planner of choice for our clients, their families and the people they care about. The clients that work best for us are committed to reviewing and acting for the sake of their financial concerns both initially and as they change over time.
We look for people who seek help with all aspects of their financial plan because it increases our ability to help, is the most satisfying way to work for us, and has produced the greatest number of “Raving Fans” client comments.
Q: Can you refer me to an accountant or attorney? / Do you work with my accountant / attorney?
A: Mosher and Ellis actively seeks to coordinate work with our client’s accountants and attorneys to help make sure that your financial concerns are addressed. We have established relationships with several local area accountants and attorneys and, when appropriate, we provide referrals to those professionals.
Q: Financial Planning – how long does the process take?
A: Individual circumstances vary; as previously described, it is normal to start out with initial conversations that identify current concerns and desirable outcomes, and then work through distinct modules to address each planning area, or to focus on priority areas initially and catch up on refinements over time. A complete financial planning process can be compressed into a few months or take much longer, subject to your preferences and urgency.
Q: How much do you charge? / Will you work with us on an hourly basis? / What will I be billed for?
A: Mosher & Ellis receives compensation associated with the regular investment management fees that a selected investment manager charges. These fees pay for M&E to process your investment transactions, monitor your ongoing investments and meet with you to update investment performance.
Management fees are based on the amount of money being managed, and are reviewed with each client prior to implementation. Charging a percentage of assets under management was instituted to reduce the potential conflict of transactions based pricing.
Additionally, Mosher & Ellis bills planning specific work on an hourly basis. This means that time spent gathering data and creating reports, researching and formulating a plan of action, consulting with you about the plan and adjusting the plan as needed, and coordinating work with outside professionals is billable time. Mosher & Ellis strives to keep planning specific fees for clients at a manageable level. Mosher & Ellis’ planning fees are billed on a quarterly basis.
We review charges with each client as we set up to work together.
Q: Who are checks made payable to?
A: Checks are to be made payable to the appropriate payee. If the check is for an investment deposit, it should be made payable to the investment’s custodian company. If the check is for planning fees charged on a Mosher & Ellis invoice, it should be made payable to Mosher & Ellis. If you have questions about whom checks should be made payable to, please contact Mosher & Ellis.
Q: I’m moving – how should I go about updating address information for my accounts?
A: You can contact Mosher & Ellis to let us know about updated address information. In addition to updating our own internal records, we can contact individual investment managers, custodians and insurance companies for you, or you can contact them directly if you prefer.