Frequently Asked Questions
Please contact us with any questions you have about our services and our process.
Arrivity Financial Planning is a fiduciary and our planners work with clients in a fiduciary capacity. This means we put your needs first. We act with professional prudence, provide fair disclosure, and avoid conflicts of interest. As a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), we’re required to uphold this standard by Washington State regulations. We also voluntarily uphold the fiduciary standard established by The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.
The fiduciary standard is the highest in the industry and differs significantly from the “suitability” standard which typically governs sales of financial products.
The CFP Board’s definition of fiduciary is: One who acts in utmost good faith, in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be in the best interest of the client and places the interest of the client ahead of his or her own.
All we do is financial planning. Our interest in your money is to help you keep it, grow it, and use it to accomplish your goals – we’re not trying to manage your assets and gain control of them for our personal gain. We take a holistic approach to your financial situation. Our advice is 100% for your benefit and customized to your needs.
We recommend mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. We do not provide advice or research on individual securities such as bonds and stocks, although we can integrate existing holdings within current investment recommendations.
Financial planning is a process, not an event. Once your initial financial plan is complete, we encourage you to schedule annual reviews to make sure your plan continues to track with your goals. We can help you update your cash flow and your financial assets as well as rebalance your portfolio.
Of course, your Arrivity financial planner is available to you whenever you need advice and additional planning. This is especially important during a major life event like marriage, a divorce, new children, a job change, or an inheritance.
We’re happy to match you with a planner based on your needs, interests, and schedule. You can also read about Arrivity planners on the Meet Our Team page. Let your client relations specialist know if you feel a particular planner would make a good match and we’ll get you on their schedule.
Financial planning is a multi-step process that starts with an in-depth review of your current financial situation, and results in a customized plan that shows you how to achieve your goals and objectives. The process follows these seven steps:
- Data gathering
- Identifying goals
- Analyzing alternate paths of action
- Developing financial plan recommendations
- Presenting recommendations
- Implementing recommendations
- Monitoring progress and updating the plan
We’re strong advocates of asset allocation and setting the percentage of different assets such as stocks and bonds within a portfolio. Your allocation strategy will be determined based on your specific goals and risk tolerance. The right asset allocation enables you to keep costs low by buying and holding investments. This limits high levels of trading. We don’t recommend buying and selling in response to or in anticipation of market movements. Rather, we help you establish a diversified portfolio with regular re-balancing with the goal of taking advantage of long-term market trends.
Our investment approach involves identifying both your short and long-term goals and recommending investments appropriate for each. While we typically prefer using low-cost index funds, sometimes our investment recommendations include actively managed mutual funds when these funds are the only alternatives offered by a client’s retirement plan. We diversify portfolios globally in an effort to control the risk associated with traditional markets.
Your investment strategy is custom designed based on a number of factors including risk tolerance and your age. With your financial plan you’ll receive Investing Guidelines or an Investment Policy Statement.
As part of our planning process we take into account that there will be market corrections from time to time. Your plan will show the potential impacts of these corrections to your portfolio. You maintain full control of your assets, but we recommend that you contact us whenever you have questions about what to do with your portfolio during a market downturn.
There are a number of reasons your financial life may be more complex than your parents’. First of all, longer life expectancies mean it’s possible that a 65‐year old could have a 30‐year retirement. It’s important to be sure you have enough assets to sustain your lifestyle. We also provide advice to clients with complicated family situations like blended families, spousal support requirements, and different Social Security choices. Finally, there are many more choices available for investing, and at the same time few companies offer pension plans.
The fee for your financial plan is based on the complexity – not the amount – of your current finances. We will provide you with an estimate after our Get Acquainted meeting once we’ve identified your personal goals and situation. Fees are based on the time we spend on your project. We track our time and work within the scope of work defined. You can review our fee structure and client profiles pages for more detail.
Fee-only financial planners are registered investment advisors with a fiduciary responsibility to act in our clients’ best interest. We don’t accept any fees or compensation based on product sales or your investment decisions. As fee-only advisors, we believe our conflicts of interest are minimal and we generally provide more comprehensive advice. Arrivity financial planners don’t accept sales commissions from companies encouraging us to sell their products. We work solely for our clients and get paid only by you. Because we don’t sell financial products such as investments and insurance, the only thing that influences our thinking and financial recommendations is your best interest.
Arrivity is also a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). This means we must comply with regulations designed to protect you, the client. It’s important to ask financial planners for their Firm Brochure (Part 2A of Form ADV). This document contains information about the planner’s qualifications, fiduciary duties, and any history of past violations. We would be happy to send you a copy of our Firm Brochure, or you can find it in the client forms section of our website.
In 2021 we were excited to announce our new name, Arrivity Financial Planning. Our commitment to the highest quality service and financial planning remains the same – under a name that will carry us confidently into the future.