FAQs

How do you charge?

We charge for our services in several different ways, designed to meet your needs for specific services. The initial consultation (up to 45 minutes) is $100, payable at the first meeting. When you decide to engage us, the $100 is applicable to your total fee. We offer: Customized fee-only advice, by the hour: We can work with you on an hourly fee basis (at $239/hour) in just the same way as other professionals such as lawyers and accountants. Each project is unique, but some typical charges are:
  • A comprehensive financial plan examining your investments, retirement planning, risk management, income tax strategies, estate planning and if applicable, college financial planning, usually takes about 7-15 hours. This is our most popular service and the place where most people should begin.
  • If you want advice on a specific issue, for example evaluating your retirement plan, portfolio opinion, college financial planning, investing an inheritance or any other consultation, usually this can be accomplished in 4-8 hours.
  • Divorce financial planning charges depend on your needs. If the project is analyzing settlement offers and projecting benefits and drawbacks, we are usually able to give you a firm project price based on our hourly fees. This service usually ranges from 7-15 hours. If, however, your case is more complex, we require a retainer and will bill you monthly if the retainer is expended. Our minimum retainer in this situation is $2,000. If you are seeking assistance with post-divorce financial planning, either hourly or asset management services may be appropriate.
We offer asset management if you need ongoing monitoring of your investments, help in selecting investments, and want access to regular advice and updating. We use the same types of portfolios as we would recommend on an hourly basis; the difference is that we handle the details for you, and act as an ongoing resource for your questions and implementation of your investment plans. This service includes a full financial plan and regular updates. Fees are automatically billed quarterly to your account as a percentage of your assets that we are managing. There is no minimum asset requirement--we will manage any portfolio--but our minimum fee for this service is $2,500 for portfolios under $250,000.  

What is your investment philosophy?

We recommend that clients have a balanced portfolio of well-diversified assets that is consistent with the client's risk tolerance, stage in life, goals, and investment knowledge. We typically recommend portfolios of index mutual funds that are no-load, rebalanced annually, and have low management fees. Generally, we do not recommend, evaluate, or manage individual stocks on an ongoing basis. However, personal behavior can impact the success of any investment program. As part of a prudent investment strategy, we recommend that clients build up an emergency fund, have a plan for paying off any debt, and have a plan for managing cash flow that allows saving a significant portion of income.

When can you be reached?

The office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. We make every effort to return calls and emails within one business day. If you call after-hours or on weekends, we will contact you the next business day. Please understand that during business hours we may be meeting with clients and unable to respond immediately. We'll treat you and your project with the same careful attention. You are welcome to drop off materials. However, please call first.

Where are you located?

We are located in Evanston, Illinois, a suburb which is immediately north of the city of Chicago. The office is in a private and quiet residence just east of Ridge Avenue and west of Chicago Avenue. The entry has a flight of stairs and is not handicapped-accessible. If you have mobility issues, please contact us to discuss alternate meeting arrangements. Parking is available on the south side of Oakton Street, and we are about two blocks from the South Boulevard stop of the CTA Purple Line.

When do you schedule meetings?

Our business hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. We can schedule meetings first thing in the morning, during your lunch hour, or toward the end of the day, or whatever fits best in your schedule. We do not have evening or weekend hours.