Frequently Asked Questions

Please click the questions below to discover the answers.

What is financial planning?

Done right, financial planning is a process that helps you figure out where you are financially today, where you want to be in the future, and then helps you determine the best way to get there. With Emerick Financial Planning, the process involves an initial in-depth review of a client’s current financial situation and then the creation of a blueprint on how to achieve future goals and objectives.
Click here for more details about our Financial Planning Process.

What is a financial planner or advisor?

Anyone can say that he or she is a financial planner or advisor. That’s why it’s essential to be sure of the qualifications and credentials of any “planner” or “advisor” before you pay anything or entrust them with your financial present or future. We offer a no-obligation Get Acquainted meeting via phone or in person.
Emerick Financial Planning is well-qualified to help you with your financial advisory needs. Carl is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, a Certified Public Accountant, and holds a Masters degree in Financial Planning. He has taken extensive training, adheres to a rigorous code of ethics, and is independently registered as an investment advisor with the state government. Carl adheres to the CFP Board Code of Ethics and Practice Standards and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors Fiduciary Oath.

What’s so different about Emerick Financial Planning?

Emerick Financial Planning, like all members of the Garrett Planning Network, provides our advisory services on an hourly, Fee-Only basis. We do not accept sales commissions or any compensation other than directly from our clients. Clients pay only for the time we work with or for them. We also offer our services on a retainer basis. In addition, Emerick Financial Planning has no income, net worth, or investment account minimums for hourly engagements.

How can a financial advisor help me?

Anyone, any age looking for financial peace of mind can benefit from working with a good financial advisor either periodically or on a regular basis. Emerick Financial Planning serves people at all income levels and from all walks of life—whether the need is one quick question or ongoing financial assessment, management, and direction. Because our fees are on an hourly or portions-of-an hour basis, we offer an accessible option for beginners, middle-income Americans, and do-it-yourselfers to get quality financial and investment advice.
Each individual’s situation is unique. Someone just starting out may need a detailed, long-term plan of action while someone else already on the road to achieving their goals simply may need a new strategy, professional insight, fine-tuning or second opinion of an existing plan. That’s why we custom tailor our services to meet each individual’s needs.

Goals can be short, intermediate, or long-term. Reducing current income tax liabilities, for example, is a short-term goal, while funding a child’s education an intermediate one, and enjoying a secure financial retirement a more long-term goal.

By focusing on cash flow, investments, taxes, pensions and retirement plans, estate planning, insurance issues, savings opportunities, and other general financial matters, Emerick Financial Planning can design a customized financial plan for you.

What if I want or need to buy investment or insurance products? How do I do that?

Emerick Financial Planning does not sell products, only our time and expertise. We offer specific recommendations and opinions on various products and services that may be appropriate for a client’s situation, and in turn can advise a client where to obtain those products or services. If appropriate and at the client’s request, we will also help with plan implementation.
Does Emerick Financial Planning provide just comprehensive financial planning?
No. Although a comprehensive financial plan yields the greatest benefits, we also can limit our services to individual, specific needs like cash management and budgeting, investment analysis, or college education funding—whatever is critical to you right now.

My spouse and I need help and guidance getting started building for our financial future. Will you accept us as clients?

Yes. We will be happy to visit with you about your situation. Emerick Financial Planning has no minimum income levels, net worth requirements, or investment account size. We realize that everyone has financial questions. We are proud to work with people from all income levels and all walks of life.
Remember, you don’t have to have a fortune to start building one. Click Contact Us and start building today.

I already have substantial assets and am doing quite well financially—I think. Can you help me?

Yes. Emerick Financial Planning offers many services for those people who need more sophisticated financial planning or advice. If a goal is to simplify your financial affairs, one of our Ongoing Client Programs may be right for you. Or, if you’re interested in a professional review or a second opinion, we can provide that too.

Can you help me with any kind of securities?

Yes. Emerick Financial Planning provides advice on all types of securities, including: mutual funds, stocks, stock options, bonds, bank deposits, variable and fixed annuities, limited partnerships, and tax shelters. We also provide advice on mortgages, budgeting and cash flow issues, 401(k), 403(b) and other retirement programs, life and disability insurance, and more.
If it has to do with money and finances, Emerick Financial Planning can provide counseling, guidance, and resources.  Whatever advice you need, whenever you need it, we can help.

If I use Emerick Financial Planning to develop a financial plan, am I obligated to purchase the recommended products?

Absolutely not! We offer recommendations to meet your needs and objectives, but you are under no obligation to purchase anything. We also recognize the importance of shopping around for the best available product or service. If you need life or disability insurance, for example, we will suggest the type of policy, various riders or additions, and the amounts that best fit your situation. We can then direct you to one or several different providers with quality products at competitive prices.
The extent of your advisor’s involvement in helping with your purchase of a product or investment also is up to you. If you would like, an advisor can help you purchase investments and/or set up your accounts with a third-party custodian like a discount broker. Since Emerick Financial Planning is not compensated by commissions on products, you can be assured that our recommendations are based on what we truly believe is in your best interests. We take our fiduciary role seriously.

What is Emerick Financial Planning’s investment philosophy?

As financial advisors and investment consultants, we believe in the following fundamental principles when it comes to designing an investment portfolio and making specific recommendations:
The purpose of a client’s investment portfolio is to fund current and/or future financial objectives.
The design of the portfolio must take into account the client’s financial objectives, tolerance for risk, needs for current income or liquidity, and special considerations such as income and estate taxes.
The important thing to remember is that no one can predict the future. Difference of opinion makes a market. Investment and economic “experts” provided with the same information often come to different conclusions. We do not suggest that we, or that any of the money or mutual fund managers that we may recommend, will make the correct decision every time. We do believe, however, that studying the historic trends and relationships of investment classes and the philosophies and approaches of successful investment managers can provide valuable insight.
The appropriate allocation of investment assets for your goals and risk tolerance is the most important component in developing an investment portfolio.
We believe that a diversified, well-balanced portfolio, combined with long-term buy-and-hold strategies, affordability, and patience, increases the likelihood that one will achieve his or her long-term financial objectives.

How does Emerick Financial Planning select investments for a client?

Before recommending any investment, we consider current economic conditions, the outlook for a particular asset class or type of security, and how the investment fits within a client’s portfolio given his or her objectives and tolerance for risk.
With equities, the focus is primarily on the philosophies, experience, and track record of the management team. With fixed income investments, Garrett advisors look for the best yield available for a given quality of security.
As fiduciaries for our clients, we strive to obtain the most appropriate investment vehicles to meet a client’s objectives, while being very conscious of total expenses and risk exposure.

How does Emerick Financial Planning charge for periodic financial advice?

Emerick Financial Planning’s’ fees are based on the actual time involved in meeting with a client in person or via the phone, researching and analyzing that client’s current situation, and providing specific recommendations and implementation assistance (if appropriate).  We do provide prospective clients with estimated fees or firm quotes (depending on the nature of the engagement) at the end of an initial no-obligation Get Acquainted session. For more information, click here or get in touch with us.

Once my financial plan or project is finished, will our relationship end?

No, only that engagement will cease. It’s up to you to contact your advisor as the need arises. However, Emerick Financial Planning likes to think of ourselves as ongoing providers. Just as someone thinks of a doctor as an ongoing provider and has regular checkups to maintain good physical health, good fiscal health requires periodic reviews of your personal finances by a qualified financial advisor.
Because financial planning is a process, not an event, we offer ongoing services, periodic reviews, and day-to-day consultation as requested and/or needed if you so desire.

How do I get started?

Click Contact Us here to request your brief, no-obligation Get Acquainted meeting. You can also give us a call to schedule this meeting if you prefer.  At your Get Acquainted meeting with Carl, he will ask you about your financial situation and goals, and describe how he works with clients.  He will also discuss the process of developing your plan and recommendations, and give you a estimate of the fees you can expect based on the projected amount of time required.  If at the conclusion of the meeting you think there is a good fit, you can discuss next steps.