FAQ about Ofps
FAQ about Ofps
WHAT SERVICES DOES OCONEE FPS OFFER?
Oconee FPS offers complete personal financial planning services to individuals and families. The range of services is extensive. At one end of the spectrum is a limited service engagement for specific client needs. At the other end is the development of a comprehensive, integrated financial plan, known as a Personal Financial Plan. All these services at whatever level are personalized for the individual client and are designed to meet the financial planning needs of any client regardless of current income or wealth.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A FINANCIAL PLAN?
A financial plan is a document with supporting materials that analyzes a client's present financial situation, considers the financial objectives of the client, and presents the means by which those objectives can be met. The plan is developed in consideration of all idiosyncratic aspects of a particular client's situation such as the status of the client's family, health, and employment. At Oconee FPS, the Personal Financial Plan includes at minimum a statement of financial condition (balance sheet), a cash flow statement, and a thorough analysis of how a client's objectives may be met. It includes specific, detailed, recommendations for actions to meet a client's objectives accompanied by a rationale for each recommendation. The Plan is personalized, comprehensive, and integrated.
IN WHAT RESPECT IS THE FINANCIAL PLAN PERSONALIZED?
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all financial plan. Each client's needs are considered individually and are based upon current income/wealth, desired future income/wealth, planned retirement dates, employment and life style factors, risk tolerance, family and health considerations, and many other factors which are unique to an individual client.
IN WHAT RESPECT IS THE FINANCIAL PLAN COMPREHENSIVE?
Financial planning considers investments, retirement planning, insurance protection, and estate planning, all of which are planned in such a way as to minimize taxes or avoid them entirely.
IN WHAT RESPECT IS THE FINANCIAL PLAN INTEGRATED?
The components of personal finance --- investments, insurance protection, retirement and estate planning, and tax minimization --- must be considered in an integrated fashion. Each element touches on the others and is considered not only by itself but also as how it relates to the other elements. A piecemeal, non-integrated plan is neither efficient nor cost-effective.
IS A CLIENT OBLIGED TO FOLLOW THE PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLAN?
No. Clients are encouraged to consider carefully all recommendations of the Plan, however they are under no obligation whatsoever to implement it.
WHO IMPLEMENTS THE PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLAN?
The client does. The plan is the client's plan. It is the client's money and the client's financial future that are at stake so ultimately it is the client's decision as to whether to implement the plan in part or in its totality. However, the Personal Financial Plan will include a thorough rationale with each recommendation so a client will understand the effect of implementing or not implementing one or more particular recommendations of the Plan. Specific information relating to implementation is presented with each Plan.
CAN OCONEE FPS IMPLEMENT THE PLAN IF THE CLIENT DESIRES?
Yes. Oconee FPS can provide any level of assistance a client desires.
IS THE PLAN PERMANENT?
Yes and no. On the one hand, the Plan is based upon detailed important information known to the client and the company as of a given date. As such it is a chart for the future and should not be changed lightly. In other words: stay the course. But on the other hand, as life situations and financial conditions change so do financial plans need to change as well. Oconee FPS believes that a Personal Financial Plan needs to be monitored and updated as needed. Clients are encouraged to keep Oconee FPS informed as to life changes that are relevant to financial planning such as changes in family or employment status. The company on its part will keep clients informed as to changes in law or markets that are relevant to their clients' financial future.
WHAT IS A "FEE ONLY" PRACTICE?
Financial planners may be categorized as to how they are compensated for their services. Some planners are compensated through salaries paid to them by the companies that employ them. Other planners are compensated through the commissions they receive when they sell financial products to their clients. (Some of these planners are compensated through a combination of salary and commissions.) Still other planners known as "fee-based" planners charge a fee to their clients which may be offset totally or in part by commissions received through the sale of financial products to them. A "fee-only" planner charges a fee for services which is paid directly by the client as is the case with other professionals such as lawyers and accountants.
DOES OCONEE FPS ACCEPT OUTSIDE FEES OR COMMISSIONS?
No. Oconee FPS is a fee-only company. It works for and is accountable only to its clients, and it receives its fees for services directly from them. It does not sell any financial products. It is independent of any brokerage house, bank, insurance company, or legal or accounting firm. Oconee FPS believes that the provision of financial services by persons selling financial products can compromise the cost-effectiveness, integrity, and objectivity of a client's financial plan. Thus, the company functions purely in an advisory capacity and not as a sales mechanism. When the purchase of financial products is recommended to meet client needs, Oconee FPS will recommend the most effective and cost-efficient provider of those products.
WHAT FEES ARE CHARGED TO CLIENTS?
Fees are charged for the specific services rendered. Limited engagement fees are based on hourly rates. For the development of a Personal Financial Plan a client may choose a flat fee or an hourly fee based upon an estimate given by the planner. The fees charged will be a reflection of the complexity of the client's financial situation. Half of the fee is due at the signing of the Agreement between the client and the company. The other half is due upon presentation of the completed work. Fees charged by Oconee FPS are competitive with other financial planning service providers.
It should be noted that fees for needed services provided by attorneys, accountants, or other financial or legal service professionals are paid by the client directly to those professionals and are not included in the fees paid to Oconee FPS.
WITH WHOM DO CLIENTS WORK DIRECTLY?
Clients work directly with the founder and President of Oconee FPS, Dr. Edward M. Wolpert, who has had extensive experience in personal finance. After a career in higher education spanning more than three decades, Dr. Wolpert founded the company to meet the needs of all clients regardless of income level and/or net worth who seek assistance in meeting financial goals and who desire independent, unbiased, sound financial advice. He has successfully completed the Certified Financial Planner Professional Education Program of the College of Financial Planning, and is a member of the Financial Planning Association. Moreover, he has engaged in advanced study of accounting, taxation, and economics. But most importantly, he has had more than forty years of experience as a successful private investor which gives him a broad perspective on personal finance and investing. He is desirous of sharing his experientially based financial acumen with clients needing his services.
DO I REALLY NEED A FINANCIAL PLAN?
Yes. Everyone does. Without a plan, you're shooting in the dark. You may be ready for the future and then again you may be not. Oconee FPS can not guarantee what the future will be, but we can state without reservation that the future will be a lot more enjoyable with financial security than without it. As is presently the case, virtually everything in life will have a price tag on it in the future. And if you don't have the funds to pay the price on the tag, the future is not going to be much fun. Planning is the means to help ensure a sound financial future.
SHOULDN'T I WAIT TILL I'M CLOSER TO RETIREMENT BEFORE I DO FINANCIAL PLANNING?
No. Oconee FPS recommends that financial planning be done as early as possible in a person's life. Young people have time on their side; older people do not. Projections of financial wealth readily show that in most cases it is the time an investment has to grow that is more important than the amount actually invested. Persons who wait until their mid-fifties to start planning for their retirement are often disappointed to find out that they could have accumulated a great deal of wealth had they begun systematically investing relatively modest amounts of money even fifteen years before. Further, they may have missed out on opportunities to minimize the tax bite on their investments.
HOW IS A PERSONAL FINANCIAL PLAN DEVELOPED?
There are five steps in the preparation of a Personal Financial Plan:
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Potential clients may contact Oconee FPS to determine if their needs would be met by the services offered by the company. An informational meeting is planned to discuss the client's situation. There is no fee charged for this meeting. Oconee FPS strongly recommends that prior to the meeting potential clients visit the company's website and read carefully the material presented there.
WHERE CAN I GET ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT FINANCIAL PLANNING?
Please call Dr. Wolpert at 404-374-3048 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will be happy to answer all and any questions about Oconee FPS.
22 Running Bear Ridge Road · Blue Ridge, GA 30513
404-374-3048 · email@example.com
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