Revised September 1, 2007
PMP is a fee-only financial planning, investment advisory, and investment management firm that provides knowledgeable, trustworthy information and advice on the financial aspects of our clients’ lives. We put the needs and concerns of our clients foremost in our advisory process. In doing so, we aim to do the right things for our clients, for the right reasons, and in the right context of their needs.
The basis for how we should act in the world can be summarized by quoting Matthew 7:12,
Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them…(NKJV)
Here is how we apply this to Personal Money Planning:
To best help our clients, we need to be impartial.
We are “fee-only” meaning that our income comes exclusively from our clients. We do not receive commissions from the sale of securities. We do not receive hidden fees or kickbacks. This has been done to remove the temptation to recommend one investment over another due to how much money we’d make from it. We are sure that other biases remain; and as we identify these they will be detailed to our clients.
To best help our clients we need to know what we are doing.
We continue to keep up with the latest research to help improve the way we handle our clients’ money. However, we are not quick to take on the newest fad. Rather, we deliberate in our analysis so we don’t get caught up in the hype. If we don’t know about a particular item, we will do research and then decide whether or not it would be in the best interest of clients. We will never stop learning.
To best help our clients we must keep their needs at the forefront.
We hold ourselves out as a Fiduciary to our clients. The normal requirement a stock broker or insurance agent must meet is that their recommendations be “suitable” for the client. To us, good-enough is never good enough. We, under Fiduciary requirements, in utmost good faith recommend what we believe is in the best interest of our clients.
To best help our clients we need good employees.
Our employees are important to us. Just as we expect them to be supportive of the company’s goals, the company will be supportive of them. We will provide the training, environment, and resources they need. We will understand that Personal Money Planning will not be their lives. We will expect excellence in their service to our firm and clients.
To best help our clients we must have the “right” clients.
: We are not the right firm for everyone. If we cannot help a person reach their goals we will not take them on as clients. This includes those who we could help, but who desire to be much more conservative or aggressive than we feel is appropriate.
Those we can help
Those who will pay us: We’ve got to eat. While we certainly aren’t cheap, we do feel we earn the fees we charge. The ability to make a reasonable profit allows us to continue to help our clients.
Those who are not being effectively served: If a competitor’s client approaches us and we find that they have been served well by the other firm, we will encourage the client to stay with them. While we do not steal clients, we do care for those who have been wounded by others in our profession.
Those who are pleasant: The owner and employees of Personal Money Planning want to enjoy life. We can’t do this by constantly dealing with miserable people. We will therefore only keep clients that are pleasant to work with.
Those who truly want advice: Why would a client not want advice? You’d be surprised at the number of times a client really just wants us to agree with their thoughts and actions. While we like it when we can agree with them, we do not shy from letting them know when we think they are wrong. We also need them to let us know when they think we are wrong. It is only through an open, sharing partnership between the advisor and the client that good planning and advice can take place.