Frequently Asked Questions
What is financial planning?
At Burkholder Wealth Management we view financial planning as the cornerstone of your financial life. A well-designed financial plan starts with an analysis of where your finances stand today and a discussion of your current and future goals. With this information, we evaluate each area of your finances and build out a personalized plan to help you achieve your goals. While many financial planners often focus on retirement planning only, we at Burkholder Wealth Management look at everything, including retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning, investments, insurance, education, and anything else that touches your financial life. Financial planning is an ongoing process with your advisor and should be built with flexibility to navigate the changes in your life.
Do I need a financial advisor?
How complex your finances are, at this time, will largely dictate the type of relationship you need to have with your financial advisor. However, we strongly believe that everyone could use a financial advisor to help navigate their financial plan. Whether you are more of a DIY investor or someone who would prefer to outsource everything, a good financial advisor, who knows you and your goals, can be a huge difference in the long-term success or failure of your plan. A financial advisor can be your eyes and ears in the industry to keep you updated on changes in tax laws, economic shifts, and much more. Everyone has blind spots and when you are managing your own finances, having a trusted professional there by your side can be key to helping you avoid making mistakes that could cost you years in retirement.
Are you a fiduciary, and while we are on the topic, what is a fiduciary?
Yes, we a fiduciary. A fiduciary is required to work in your best interest and only recommends solutions that are the best fit for you, the client. Many firms operate under the standard of “suitability”, which means that they only need to recommend suitable solutions to you, even if there are better, lower-cost choices that would help you achieve the same or better result. At Burkholder Wealth Management, we take this responsibility very seriously. When you work with us, you will know that each recommendation we make is in your best interest, first and foremost.
How are you compensated?
We are a fee-based firm that operates under a traditional, “Assets Under Management or AUM” structure. This means that we charge a percentage based on the number of assets that we are managing directly. Our fee percentage starts at 1% and is tiered down as the assets grow so you pay a lower effective fee the more you grow. Another way to look at our fee structure is that we do better when our clients do better, and we do worse when our clients do worse. In some cases, where we can’t manage your investment assets directly, we may instead charge a flat fee based on the amount of planning work.
If we choose to work with you, where are our investments held?
We choose to custody assets at Charles Schwab. As an independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), Burkholder Wealth Management has the freedom to choose any custodian and we feel that Charles Schwab is a great partner for our clients and offers many great benefits to you. With Charles Schwab, you will get a personal login to view your accounts and they have a great mobile app, which is available on Apple and Android devices.
What is your investment philosophy?
At the core of our investment philosophy, we at Burkholder Wealth Management believe that the best investment portfolio is one that you can stick with through thick and thin. We believe that your portfolio should be built to achieve your specific goals and not to simply achieve an arbitrary rate of return. While our approach leans more passive than active, our implementation of your investments leans more active than passive. We use scientific data and research from some of the top economic minds in the world to help build your portfolio with tilts toward the value premium, size premium, and profitability premium. Check out our blog for some great videos on how we implement this strategy into each client portfolio.
Do you do estate planning in-house?
Yes! We have an estate planning attorney that works in our office. He can assist you in setting up your wills, trusts, POAs, etc. Having estate planning in-house is a great benefit to our clients as it helps to keep your entire financial plan in sync and moving in the same direction.
Do you do taxes?
While we do not file taxes on behalf of our clients currently, we do include tax planning as a part of your financial plan. Most advisors in the industry do not include tax planning in their plans, instead relying on the client’s CPA or other tax professional to do this. At Burkholder Wealth Management, we think that tax planning is extremely important and find that most CPAs will be focused on minimizing taxes in the current year, with little to no regard for long-term consequences. Our goal is to help you reduce your long-term tax liability and make better decisions today, that could impact your taxes down the road.
How will our relationship work?
We believe strongly in over-communication. Because each advisor at Burkholder Wealth Management will only ever work with 100 clients at a time, we are able to dedicate our time and energy to our current clients year-round. Our current client-to-advisor ratio is 50:1 with a maximum ratio of 100:1. We require at least 1 annual meeting, but often this could turn into 2-3 meetings throughout the year based on changes in your financial life. Your financial plan is not a document you create and stuff in a drawer to review right before you retire. Instead, it is an ongoing assessment of the progress you are making toward your goals. We know that it is a great responsibility we have to help you manage your finances and we take that to heart.
How do I start working with Burkholder Wealth Management?
The first step is to schedule a free, initial consultation with an advisor. You can click this link to book that first appointment at your earliest convenience. Prior to that first meeting, we will send you our client intake form for you to fill out and send back so we can prepare our discussion with you to be most impactful. We will also send you a link to upload any investment statements you would like us to review in advance of that meeting. We look forward to the opportunity to your trust and confidence.