For more information on financial planning, investments and tax concerns, please explore the Frequently Asked Questions below, read the latest Korbitz Financial Planning quarterly newsletter and review our Tax Letters.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Personal Financial Planning?

Personal financial planning provides an in-depth review and independent assessment of your current financial situation. Based on the review, I can develop a detailed plan designed to achieve your goals and objectives.

Regardless of your income level, everyone can benefit from independent, objective and unbiased financial and investment advice.

To discuss your needs further, please feel free to schedule a complimentary Get Acquainted meeting.

How Do You Create a Customized Plan?

Developing your personal financial plan begins when you schedule a Get Acquainted meeting.

Prior to our meeting, I ask that you complete a confidential questionnaire online. I will e-mail you the online link in advance of our meeting. Also, if you would like me to work on your investments, please bring copies of your most recent statements so I can see how many accounts and holdings you have. It is also helpful if you bring copies of your most recent income tax returns.

During our Get Acquainted meeting, I explain how I work on my clients’ behalf and the services I provide. I then listen to you to learn about your financial situation, your goals and expectations, your time frame and risk tolerance.

If you are interested in working with me, I prepare a fee estimate, based on the services you’d like.

Next, I analyze your current financial status or tax situation or both.

Based on my analysis, I develop recommendations and present them to you for approval.

After that, it’s time to implement the plan.

Finally, it’s important to evaluate your plan every 12 to 18 months.

When Can I Schedule a Get Acquainted Meeting?

Get Acquainted meetings are scheduled by appointment. I do not schedule evening or weekend meetings.

Can I Skip the Get Acquainted Meeting and Simply Schedule an Appointment to Get Started?

Over the years, I’ve found client relationships work best when we start with a Get Acquainted meeting. First, it gives us a chance to meet and make sure we are comfortable working together. Second, it allows me to understand your needs so I can provide you with a realistic fee estimate.

How Soon Can We Schedule a Get Acquainted Meeting?

I generally fill my schedule 4-6 weeks in advance. It’s also important to know that I do not schedule Get Acquainted meetings or start working with new clients between February 15 and April 15 since I am helping my clients meet their tax filing obligations during that time.

How Many New Clients Do You Take On Each Year?

Unfortunately, I am not able to work with everyone. Since I do one-on-one planning with all of my clients, I am only able to accommodate a limited number of new clients each year. I typically take on new clients in the summer and fall. Please call or e-mail me for my current availability.

I Haven’t Worked with a Fee-Only Financial Planner Before. Can You Explain Your Services and Charges?

As a fee-only financial planner, I charge $280 an hour for my services. My work is focused solely on the areas that my clients identify, and I provide a fee estimate in advance.

I provide clients with an analysis and solutions to their concerns. Depending on the focus of our work together, I examine specific areas such as cash flow, investments, employee benefits, retirement planning or other relevant areas in order to develop a personalized recommendation.

I explain my recommendations in detail and direct my clients in executing those recommendations. My clients do need to implement certain elements on their own, but I’m always available to answer their questions.

How Much Do You Charge for a Financial Plan?

The cost of a financial plan varies, based on the scope and complexity of each client’s situation.

I do not charge for the initial Get Acquainted consultation, which typically takes 30-45 minutes. Once the scope of the project is identified, and we agree on the specific services to be rendered, I provide a fee estimate. My estimate is based on my hourly rate of $280 and the time required to research and analyze the data provided and develop a personalized plan.

What Distinguishes Your Firm from Other Financial Advisors?

Korbitz Financial Planning is a fee-only firm, meaning that all compensation is received directly from the client. I do not work on commission. Instead, I work solely on your behalf to provide objective, unbiased recommendations.

Furthermore, Korbitz Financial Planning is fully independent and has no ties to brokerages, mutual funds, insurance companies or other product sponsors. The counsel and services I provide are grounded in objectivity and stewardship and my recommendations are based entirely on what is best for each client.

I am also an experienced certified public accountant, so I can assess and evaluate your entire financial picture, including your tax situation.

Another distinguishing feature of Korbitz Financial Planning is the fiduciary nature of the client relationship. I firmly believe the financial advisor-client relationship requires me to always work in your best interest and I pledge to do so for every client. In my view, a minimum requirement for doing business as a financial advisor includes providing each client with written attestation of my fiduciary duty.

Do You Have References?

To respect my clients’ confidentiality, I do not provide references. However, please do research my professional background.

To verify my individual CPA license, visit
http://online.drl.wi.gov/LicenseLookup/IndividualCredentialSearch.aspx
Select “Certified Public Accountant,” enter “Korbitz” in the name box and click “Search.”

To verify my accounting firm license, visit
http://online.drl.wi.gov/LicenseLookup/OrganizationCredentialSearch.aspx
Select “Accounting Firm,” enter “Korbitz Financial Planning” in the name box and click “Search.”

To verify my registered investment advisor status, visit
http://www.wdfi.org/fi/securities/registration/licensee_lists/Default.asp
Enter “Korbitz” in the search box and click “Search.”

To receive a CPA license, you must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree in accounting
  • Pass a multi-day exam
  • Pass an ethics exam
  • Have 36 months of experience

To earn CFP® certification, you must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree
  • Take specified courses or be a licensed CPA
  • Pass a two-day, 10-hour exam that covers:
    • General principles of financial planning
    • Insurance planning and risk management
    • Employee benefits planning
    • Income tax planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Estate planning

To earn membership in the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), you must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree
  • Have a broad-based advanced education in financial planning
  • Have a comprehensive financial plan approved by peer review
  • Have at least 36 months of comprehensive financial planning experience

Based on the memberships and certificates I hold, I am required to pursue continuing professional education to retain my membership or certificate holding in the following organizations:

  • 40 hours per year, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • 40 hours per year, Wisconsin Institute of Public Accountants
  • 30 hours per year, National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
  • 15 hours per year, CFP Board of Standards

Do Your Plans Include Specific Stocks or Mutual Funds?

I generally do not offer recommendations on individual stocks or bonds. However, if you own individual securities, I will analyze them in the context of your overall portfolio and offer suggestions for improvement or diversification.

My specific investment recommendations are generally focused on no-load mutual funds and the alternatives available to you in your company-sponsored savings and retirement plans. The fiduciary philosophies, cost-effectiveness, tax-efficiency and historical performance of successful investment managers are key factors in determining specific recommendations.

Please Describe Your Investment Philosophy and Approach.

My approach is to analyze my clients’ objectives, risk tolerance, need for income or liquidity and other special considerations to create customized portfolios that provide structure and discipline for the selection of individual investments.

I emphasize “time in the market” over “timing the market.” I focus on enhanced and consistent long-term returns while managing overall portfolio volatility and risk.

To keep my clients’ portfolios in line with target allocations, I advise periodic adjustments and rebalancing.

I emphasize the construction of diversified portfolios that allow each client to sleep at night, regardless of market conditions. The turmoil experienced during the Great Recession bears witness to the wisdom of owning various asset classes, market sectors and investment styles. No one has yet consistently and accurately predicted market moves and sector rotations.