Frequently Asked Questions
If you're interested in working with us, please read this page, and then head over the Schedule page to book an planning appointment, or to book a phone call if you have more questions.
Is financial planning right for me?
Financial planning is a process that most of us do for some period of time on our own, or with the guidance of family or friends. For many people, there comes a point where our financial lives become more complex, either gradually or because of a specific triggering event, and we're managing multiple goals, hopes and priorities. These moments, whether they come when you're 25 or 55 years old, are often when people start to work with a financial professional. We believe that financial planning with a fee-only advisor to give objective advice and guidance provides deep value.
Who are your typical clients?
Our typical clients are individuals and families who are building their careers, working, nearing retirement or in retirement and have questions about their finances - budgeting, saving, investing for retirement, educational or other goals. We work with people who have accumulated significant assets as well as those who are working to build their wealth. We work with couples who are planning to be married or recently married, LGBTQ families, new or expecting parents. Read more here.
Are you a Fiduciary?
Yes, we are Fiduciaries, offered the highest standard of care 100% of the time we work with our clients. We have signed public fiduciary oaths.
What does it cost?
Hourly clients pay a flat hourly rate for our time, and investment management clients pay a quarter retainer that is calculated as a fixed percentage of assets under management. These are not performance based or wrap fees.
Our hourly rate is $200. Please see our Services page for more hourly details.
Our investment management fee is a fixed quarterly fee that is initially calculated as 0.5%-0.9% (50-90 BPS) of managed assets - please review item 5 of our ADV for full details - this is not a performance based fee.
As fee-only advisors, we are only compensated by our clients, never any third parties - we don't take commissions or fees based on investment or insurance products we recommended, we take no referral fees from other professionals, and we do not charge performance fees. Please review our service agreements for full details.
Where are your offices? Do you meet with clients who live outside Massachusetts?
Charlo hosts clients in Watertown, MA and virtually via Zoom meetings. Vera hosts clients in Newburyport and virtually via Zoom meetings.
There is free street parking in all locations, as well as a municipal parking lot a few blocks from the Newburyport office. See maps and directions here.
How do I schedule?
If you're ready to meet, please feel free to schedule an informational phone call about either hourly planning or investment management.
What's the meeting process like?
Initial client meetings for both hourly and investment management are first scheduled for 2 hours. Before a meeting, we ask that clients gather their recent and relevant financial documents and complete a client questionnaire. During the meeting we will review your materials, talk about your goals, and lay out a foundation for your financial plan. The meeting process is interactive and participatory - your input as the client is key. Planning is a dynamic process and client participation is how it all works.
What's the difference between hourly planning and investment management services?
Hourly planning and investment management both initially involve an initial meeting either in person or virtual to do evaluate your current financial situation and discuss next steps.
Hourly planning: Clients leave with a to do list of suggestions, and the client is responsible for implementing any suggestions, the advisors do not monitor clients investments or progress between meetings. This is the typical choice for clients with less than $300,000 in investable assets.
Investment management: This service includes both financial planning as well as active investment overview management - the accounts for us to manage are kept in your name, but transferred to our custodian, TD Ameritrade for us to prepare, implement and monitor an agreed upon investment strategy. Investment management clients receive unlimited financial planning meetings and support as part of their fee, with the option for tax preparation as well. This is the typical choice for clients with at least $300,000 in investable assets.
What's the outcome from a financial planning meeting?
Hourly planning: The outcome of an initial meeting will be a comprehensive to do list that will lay out step by step the suggestions we have for you and how to implement them. We will build the foundation and base points of the list in our meeting, and then we'll finish it up and send it along.
Investment management: The outcome of an initial meeting is a summary of discussed topics and a plan for next steps of implementation - some steps will be for the client to complete, and the rest are what we will do as the advisor. We will prepare an investment policy statement that's customized to your goals. We will also use software to prepare retirement projections, evaluate investment portfolios, plan for educational expenses, etc - these reports and more will be provided to you as the data gathering and planning process unfolds.
What does follow up work look like?
Hourly planning: We are available to answer questions via email after you've got your list and start working it. Depending on the length and breadth of questions email responses may be billable time, and we may suggest a phone call to follow up. We may also suggest a timeline for additional meetings at the end of our first meeting if we have more planning topics to work on together.
Investment management: We are available for unlimited phone, email and meeting time to discuss your financial questions and concerns. Typical annual meetings may be a once a year review meeting, and quarterly check in phone calls to discuss seasonal topics or questions.
What are your licenses and certifications?
Peace of Money is a Registered Investment Advisor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Vera and Charlo are registered investment advisor representatives, having passed the Series 65 examinations. Charlo and Vera are both NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisors. Vera is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional (CFP®).